Ben Roethlisberger thinks game-winning touchdown pass from Super Bowl XLIII should be a bigger deal

Super Bowl XLIII
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For the first time since 2004, the Steelers will head to training camp without Ben Roethlisberger. For the first time since 2004, Roethlisberger won’t be focused on getting ready for football season.

But he’s still present, in Pittsburgh. And he’ll possibly have plenty to say about the team with which he spent a generation.

Earlier, we posted about his comments to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding the perception that former Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert didn’t want Roethlisberger back for 2021, coach Mike Tomlin was lukewarm, and owner Art Rooney II made it happen. Although Roethlisberger was a shell of himself as a player, it worked. The fans got closure, given that 2020 unfolded without fans at Heinz Field. And the Monday night that marked his final game in Pittsburgh provided a moment for the ages.

The truth nevertheless may be a click away from the way that Roethlisberger characterized it. Some believe that the Steelers offered him a reduced contract in 2021, thinking that he wouldn’t take it. Some in the organization, we’ve heard, were surprised when he did.

It’s no surprise that, when asked by Cook to identify the favorite play of a career that eventually will land in Canton, Roethlisberger went with the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLIII. Although the catch helped receiver Santonio Holmes win the MVP award, Roethlisberger’s throw was a thing of beauty.

That’s what I dreamed of as a kid, to win the game,” Roethlisberger told Cook. “It wasn’t like it was to a wide-open guy. I still don’t think that pass gets enough credit. The catch was spectacular, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the whole combination gets enough credit.”

Some also think that the failure of Roethlisberger to win the MVP award for that throw in Super Bowl XLIII resonated into Super Bowl XLV, prompting former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to craft a game plan designed to help Roethlisberger, in his third Super Bowl, win the prize. As the theory goes, the desire to promote Roethlisberger undermined the broader effort to win the game. After the following season, the Steelers nudged Arians into “retirement,” and some believe it happened because he and Roethlisberger had gotten too close.

Still, he’s right. The Super Bowl XLIII pass should be more heralded. The fact that Holmes caught nine passes for 131 of the total 256 yards that Roethlisberger generated likely made the difference in the pass catcher winning the award over the pass thrower.

And who knows? Maybe the fact that Roethlisberger didn’t win the MVP award for Super Bowl XLIII skewed the offensive game planning in Super Bowl XLV, which resulted in 40 passes and 23 runs. In Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers had 26 runs and 33 throws — and won the game. In Super Bowl XL, the Steelers ran it 33 times and threw 22 passes. They also won the game.

36 responses to “Ben Roethlisberger thinks game-winning touchdown pass from Super Bowl XLIII should be a bigger deal

  1. Gonna be one of those guys who can’t shut up after leaving his controlling team. Brady used to be quiet too.

  2. Clutch down the stretch in XLIII. No doubt. But if memory serves, he pretty much sucked his other 150+ minutes in SuperBowls. I will always remember XLIII for James Harrison’s 100 yard pick-6. It was his MVP to lose. Not Ben’s.

  3. As the theory goes, the desire to promote Roethlisberger undermined the broader effort to win the game.
    +++++
    My recollection is Green Bay was up 14-0 early, 21-3 at the two-minute warning, Pittsburgh lost the turnover battle 3-nil, and they felt like they were chasing all game.

    By the end of the game Green Bay was on the ropes and were helped by an unnecessary roughness penalty on the kickoff. Doubt that was to plan (whatever it was).

  4. It was one of two of the best plays in Superbowl history…the other was a hundred yard run on a pick six, in the same game. Beauties. MVP worthy Both plays, all three players. I can watch them again and again.

  5. IIRC, Holmes had the pass hit him in the hands and dropped it in the end zone the play before. It was the better of the 2 throws, but both were pinpoint, money throws. It’s all fuzzy now, but JMHO, that is what diminished that play. It should have happened 1 play earlier.

  6. Roethlisberger threw that ball on a rope…there were 3 Arizona defenders around Holmes when he caught that ball almost a foot out of bound…to lean your body to catch a rocket ball while maintaining two feet inbound makes the catch and throw on equal par similar to the Montana to Clark catch against Dallas but this game is also remembered by the 100 yard interception by James Harrison right before halftime…great super bowl game

  7. Not a steeler fan, but that for me is the greatest throw and catch in super bowl history. There have been several, it was as perfect of a combination (catch & throw) I can think of and the point in the game it happened plays a major factor too.

  8. To think a coach would devise a super bowl game plan or even plays to promote a particular player – I just don’t buy it. Not even Pete Carroll and Russ Wilson. At that level, in that game, you don’t f around.

  9. For once I agree w Ben, it should be a bigger deal since it was the only good pass he threw in 3 SB’s.

  10. SMH. So after 20 years of adoration, praise and a celebrity status, 2 Superbowl rings & getting to play a game for millions upon millions of dollars. Basically leading a life any of us would give anything for a fraction of what he got, he still wants more praise. I’m sorry but that’s narcissism at it’s finest. That’s bordering on insanity. It’s getting harder & harder to support the NFL with the standard of human’s playing it these days. I used to not mind Ben too much but big surprise, he’s a giant man-child with obviously a huge ego, it’s pathetic really at this stage.

  11. No one remembers, he made that perfect super bowl winning pass twice. Holmes dropped the first one in the other side of the end zone.
    He’s not close to being my favorite Steeler [too much of a jagoff in his early years] but he definitely should have been the MVP against the Cardinals.
    I always thought he didn’t get it because he was so dismissive of the media–always letting them know that they really didn’t know anything about football. Them giving the award to Holmes was media payback time.

  12. Should have been a 15 yard flag on Holmes after the play for excessive celebration. That doesn’t get enough attention either.

  13. Holmes only got one foot down Cards should have likely won the game. Not to mention the other bad call against the Cardinals in the game. No way the NFL was going to let Bill Bidwill spoil a SB for the Rooney’s.

  14. supercharger says:
    Should have been a 15 yard flag on Holmes after the play for excessive celebration. That doesn’t get enough attention either.
    —————————–
    And you want to know what else doesn’t get attention, is earlier in the game Kurt Warner took his helmet off on the field to argue with the officials which should’ve been a 15 yard penalty making the Cardinals have to punt from deep in their own end.

  15. There are a zillion pics with that foot down. Google it.
    But how about that ‘holding in the end zone’ penalty which gave the Cards a safety? You can see from the end zone view that the ref throwing the flag from the secondary could not possibly have seen that tiny little shirt grab that happens on every play by every lineman. He saw the D-lineman fall and assumed he was pulled down.
    He doesn’t make that bogus call, it’s first and ten Steelers at the 20, and Roethlisberger’s TD pass, and this post don’t even exist.
    Steelers win in a walk.

  16. Should have been a 15 yard flag on Holmes after the play for excessive celebration. That doesn’t get enough attention either.
    —-
    so you’d like to change the outcome of the SB with a penalty? On a guy for being to happy?

  17. Holmes did NOT get 2 feet down, the video does not lie.
    The refs handed the Steelers another SB win just like in SB 40!

  18. Come on folks, he’s not just walking around talking ish, he was
    “asked by Cook to identify the favorite play of a career that eventually will land in Canton”.

    And if you’re a fan of the game — not just A team — acknowledging this play ain’t (<- and yes, i meant ain't) difficult.

  19. Never cared for rothburger but he was the mvp. He threw every pass Holmes caught accurately after mentally processing the defense before and after the snap. AND he threw every pass and made every handoff to everyone else. It’s almost always a real stretch to just be different and pc when the mvp is goes to a receiver.

  20. Are our memories that poor? the reason Roethlisberger’s legacy is never as touted as it should be is because he committed a bonafide rape, and got off because of a virtual technicality in the county the crime committed. It’s been an unspoken agreement amongst media to take it easy with the praise of Ben, who’s had a legendary career. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just stating the deal.

  21. A great pass for sure but the Steeler’s still would have lost without Harrison’s 102-yard pick-six ….. coming after Big Ben threw a pick at his own 30 with less than 2 minutes left in the 1st half naturally.

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