This was a statement.

Clear, loud and definitive.

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Not for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but for Ben Roethlisberger as a man and quarterback to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No other quarterback in the long history of the Pittsburgh Steelers can do what Roethlisberger did on Sunday.


Not a one.

Not even — dare I say it — Terry Bradshaw.

Only Roethlisberger can take over a game to the tune of 40-for-49 passing for 522 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-34 victory over the Colts the way he did.

Any synonym for “brilliant” would be an apt depiction for he did between 4:25 p.m. and about 7:55 p.m. on that plot of grass at Heinz Field.

And what should be the result of such a statement? Roethlisberger, for certain, should get that long-term contract extension.

If the Rooneys didn’t realize that before this football-perfect autumn evening on the North Shore, they never will.

Ben was brilliant. Ben has been brilliant. And now Ben better get paid at the end of the season.

Roethlisberger’s eight-year, $102 million deal that he signed in 2008 runs through 2015 and there was a little buzz created when the Steelers elected to not extend the 32-year-old quarterback before this 2014 season got started.

Did you watch Sunday’s game against the Colts, anyone named Rooney?

Is there any doubt now you need to make him that offer at this season’s end?

I surely hope there’s no doubt left.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in the history of the league to accumulate two 500-yard games passing and also set a Steelers record with six touchdown passes in a game for the magic he weaved on Sunday.

If you were lucky enough to find your way into Heinz Field, it isn’t hyperbole to say you witnessed one of the greatest individual sporting performances this city will ever know.

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And the man should be paid accordingly moving.

A quarterback as distinguished as Roethlisberger can expect to command at least $50 million in guarantees with a $25 million salary in his next contract.

The Steelers need to give that to him. Did you watch Sunday’s game against the Colts?

The game rolled into halftime with a combined 55 points as the Steelers led 35-20.

It was the highest-scoring first half played in the NFL in four seasons.

But it was 30 minutes wherein Roethlisberger — using stellar protection by the line in front of him — was as sharp as he’s been in his career. As so many probably felt it would be Colts quarterback Andrew Luck shining on this day, it was Roethlisberger who was almost-perfect in the early going.

Ben’s first half numbers? He went 23 for 26 for 320 yards and four touchdowns.

Then, as the Steelers looked to salt the Colts away, only to allow a 35-10 lead slim to a 42-34 margin as the fourth quarter began, it was Roethlisberger who came up biggest when the Steelers needed him most.

On a fourth-and-short from the 11, when the safe play might have been to muscle ahead for a first down or kick a field goal as the Steelers were leading 44-34, Roethlisberger took an enormous chance.

He went play action, fooled everyone and found Heath Miller in the middle of the end zone to put the Steelers up 51-34 with 5:14 left.

Game. Set. Match.

The Steelers need to give that contract to Ben. Did you watch that play on Sunday when he found Heath?

Back in July, Steelers President Art Rooney II spoke to the team’s website about the contract status of his quarterback moving forward. At that time, Rooney said:

“We wanted to make sure [Roethlisberger and his agent] were understanding that we do want to make a commitment, that we do want to address Ben’s contract next year. It’s not a situation where we’re saying we want to put it on hold. We did assure him that next year is the time frame in which we want to address it.”

Addressing it is one thing.

Getting Roethlisberger the terms and money he needs to stay in Pittsburgh for the rest of his career is quite another.

If his presentation on Sunday against the Colts didn’t show everyone the Steelers should step in after the season and get a Roethlisberger deal done, nothing will.

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