On Sunday, September 25, 2016, after 191 starts in the regular season and playoffs, Ben Roethlisberger suffered his most lopsided loss ever. Much has already been written about the Philadelphia Eagles' domination of the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-3, in Week 3, but what hasn't been written is the script moving forward. How will Big Ben respond to the worst loss of his 13-year career?
The best place to look is back at his storied history with the Steelers. Here's a closer look at the five previous worst losses for Roethlisberger and how he came back the following week.
Ravens 35, Steelers 7 - 9/11/11
Before Sunday's loss to their intrastate rivals, Roethlisberger's worst ever loss was to the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens to open the 2011 regular season. On that day, the Steelers fell, 35-7, as Big Ben threw 3 interceptions, got sacked 4 times (3 by Terrell Suggs) and couldn't begin to keep up with Joe Flacco's stellar performance.
Next game: Win. Ben Roethlisberger turned in an efficient, mistake-free performance against the Seattle Seahawks (22 of 30, 298 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) in a 24-0 shutout.
Ravens 27, Steelers 0 - 11/26/06
Get this: two of the five worst losses of all time for Ben Roethlisberger came within a matter of weeks to the exact same team back in 2006. Sometimes they say a team has another team's number, and that was certainly true of the Ravens over the Steelers one decade ago. In the course of five weeks, Baltimore outright embarrassed Pittsburgh both at home and on the road. But let's start with this date at Baltimore.
On the day, Roethlisberger went 21 of 41 with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and was chased out of the pocket all afternoon. The Ravens finished with 9 sacks and plenty more hurries.
Next game: Win. The Steelers didn't win many games in 2006 (8-8) but they piled up wins after both of Roethlisberger's biggest losses on the year. This time they beat up on Bruce Gradkowski's Buccaneers to the tune of 3 interceptions. Big Ben finished 12 of 25 with 2 TDs and 1 interception.
Patriots 55, Steelers 31 - 11/03/13
When Big Ben has 400 passing yards and 4 touchdowns against the New England Patriots, you'd expect the Steelers to earn a win, but Tom Brady was even better on this November day three years ago with a nearly mistake-free performance that toppled the Steelers by 24. Interestingly enough, the Pats rang up 28 of those points in the final quarter.
Next game: Win. After the Patriots' loss, the Steelers were 2-6 at the season's halfway point. They finished 8-8 and the winning streak began with this win in Week 10 over the Buffalo Bills. Roethlisberger went 18 of 30 for 204 yards and a single touchdown and interception apiece.
Ravens 31, Steelers 7 - 12/24/06
Five weeks after shutting out the Steelers at home in Baltimore, the Ravens went into Pittsburgh and put on a repeat performance. The Ravens sacked Big Ben five times and intercepted two passes. They also held Roethlisberger to an anemic 47% completion rate (15 of 31)
Next game: Win. In the final game of the 2006 season, the Steelers defeated the Bengals to keep their division rivals even with them at 8-8 overall. Roethlisberger had a nice day with nearly 300 yards passing and a 97.3 rating.
Browns 31, Steelers 10 - 10/12/14
Few expected the Browns to best the Steelers two years ago like they did, but this was the odd year where Brian Hoyer looked like a franchise quarterback. The Ben Tate-Isaiah Crowell backfield ran for 155 yards and 3 scores against Pittsburgh's run defense in this game where Roethlisberger threw too many errant passes (21 of 42 for 228 yards and 1 TD/1 INT). His final passer rating: 64.4.
Next game: Win. Roethlisberger enjoyed a fine day in the pocket against the Houston Texans in a 30-23 win on the road. He went 23 for 33 for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even Antonio Brown threw a touchdown pass. It was that kind of day.
If history is any indication, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to bounce back after last week's embarrassing loss to the Eagles. Even on weeks where Big Ben's performance doesn't get it done, the Steelers' defense has taken care of the rest. Somehow, the Steelers always adjust and there's rarely a losing streak. And when they've been the media's punching bag for a week, they make sure the story is different the following week.
The Chiefs certainly have reason to believe they're the better team but they're going to have to alter recurring patterns to do so.