On Sunday, January 3rd 68,000 Steelers fans filled Heinz Field to watch a historic game against the Cleveland Browns. In 2004, the Steelers used their 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft on a highly touted quarterback from Miami University of Ohio. After 18 winning seasons, 2 Super Bowls, 6 Pro Bowls, an Offensive Rookie of the Year, and 6 AFC North titles with the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger played his final game at Heinz Field.
Big Ben greets the crowd one final time as he emerges onto the field before kickoff
All sports fans around the country knew this was Ben’s last chance to play in Pittsburgh. Many fans were talking about their QB’s last home game weeks before the matchup. We asked some Steelers fans what they thought about Ben playing his final home game, “I mean it sucks, you know. Ben means a lot to this city and the Steelers. I think it is significant and I am excited to see him whoop the Browns. On the upside, this gives the Steelers more flexibility in the future with cap space”, said sophomore Stuart McAdams. Sophomore Bradon Sapolsky had a more emotional response when asked about Ben’s last home game, “It’s very sad, but I can’t wait for the new generation of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Roethlisberger takes a lap around Heinz as the fans thank him for everything he’s done
Ben Roethlisberger ended up throwing his last touchdown pass in Heinz Field to Diontae Johnson. The Steelers ended up winning with the run game and a strong defense who ended the game with 9 sacks. It was 26-14 Pittsburgh with 10 seconds left when the Steelers Safety Tre Norwood picked the ball off of Browns QB Baker Mayfield. This let the veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger get one last play at Heinz Field that would end the game.
Ben embraces his children outside the tunnel
Following the surprise kneel down, Ben concluded his career at Heinz taking one final walk around the field with his family waiting for him in the tunnel. Wife Ashley and children Benjamin, Baylee, and Bodie were waiting for the quarterback as he took one last lap around Heinz Field, media in tow. When Ben reached his family, he embraced his wife and children and walked through the Heinz Field tunnel one last time.
The Roethlisberger family departs Heinz Field for what may be the final time