Big Ben Stepped Up & Played His Best When The Steelers Needed Him Most In Cleveland

There was a lot to like after the Steelers came away with an on paper upset win in Cleveland yesterday, but what I absolutely loved was seeing Big Ben do what Big Ben's made a career out of doing - owning the Browns - especially when we've spent 10 months hearing about how he'd never beat them again. 

The postgame celebration from him says it all. To me that says, "yeah, you finally got me in January, and God may own your soul, but I own your ass."

A shitshow end of the first half and abysmal start to the second from the defense had Big Ben and the Steelers facing a 10-3 deficit with 9:31 left to go in the third quarter, but from that point on the Big fella took over, and showed his vintage self when the Steelers desperately needed it most. Let's run through it.

3rd Quarter: 9:31 on the clock, Steelers down 10-3

Offense facing a 3rd & 5 from their own 27 yard line. The Browns just drove 86 yards on the defense and scored to go up 7. You absolutely CANNOT go three and out in this situation. Ben sits strong in the pocket, has Garrett bearing down on him, and throws a strike to Diontae Johnson for a gain of thirteen and a first down. From that play on he went 4-5 leading a six minute long drive that ended in a Najee Harris touchdown to get the Steelers within one, and should've taken the lead on a miraculously vintage Big Ben QB draw for the 2-point conversion if it weren't called back for a bogus holding penalty. 

Defense gets off the field, and the offense gets the ball back with 1:42 left in the 3rd quarter and this time it's from his own 17. Big Ben goes 5-7, takes no sacks, and connects with Muth for the eventual game-winning touchdown. But he still wasn't done. 

After the defense made two big stops to give the Steelers the ball back with 1:53 left in the 4th and a chance to ice the game, he did just that firing a perfect ball to Diontae on a slant that allowed DJ to break away 50 yards to end it. 

All in all, Big Ben went 12-15 with two third down conversions and the game winning touchdown on these drives. All when it mattered most, on the road, against the team and fanbase who has been claiming him "washed up" and "done" and that they're "Super Bowl contenders" for 10 months. It was absolutely beautiful to see. And I'll admit it fully, I've been far from praising Big Ben this year. I wrote after the Bengals game it was all done - and in fact - he did seem to be washed up. But Sunday showed me a lot about the Steelers, but more importantly about 7. Like he always says, "maybe that old cowboy still does have a little something left in him".