DENVER (93-7 THE FAN) — Although he was certainly not the only culprit, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, in characteristic fashion, accepted full responsibility for his team’s 31-19 loss to the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium on opening night of the NFL season Sunday.
For one thing, Big Ben would have liked to finish two drives–particularly a nine-minute one–that led only to Shaun Suisham field goals. For another, he wishes he’d have slowed the game down before throwing a fatal pick-six to new Denver defensive back Tracy Porter in the final minutes.
“I’ve already told my two main coaches it’s my fault, and it’s on me,” Roethlisberger said after the game. “I should have called timeout. The play clock was running down, and I hate to burn timeouts, but I should have, because we were kind of all over the place.
“That loss is squarely on my shoulders. But I’ll take that, we’ll get better, and we’ll learn from it.”
He connected on 22 of his 40 attempts for 245 yards and two touchdowns, and although he was sacked five times, three of those sacks did not come until the game was all but out of reach, and Roethlisberger liked the way the makeshift offensive line played despite injuries to Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert.
“Obviously when Doug Legursky and Mike Adams step in, you have to be proud of the way those guys stepped up and played well,” Roethlisberger said. “Like I said, I can’t say enough about the rest of the guys on offense for the way they played. It’s on me.”
Check out the full post-game reaction from Roethlisberger, who also gave his thoughts on the running game, Denver’s defense, and his own success on third down:
Those offensive line injuries were potentially very damaging with the Steelers already hurting for depth after a hard-luck preseason; had any further injuries occured Sunday, head coach Mike Tomlin would have been forced to throw his tight ends into the mix.
Tomlin did not give further updates on Foster (eye) or Gilbert (hyperextended knee) after the game.
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