Ben Roethlisberger's three first-half interceptions loomed large in the Steelers' eventual 48-37 upset loss to the Browns in Sunday night's wild-card playoff game. But in defeat, Roethlisberger did set an NFL playoff passing record in an effort to close Pittsburgh's 28-0 first-quarter deficit. Roethlisberger's 47 completions on Sunday night is a new NFL postseason passing record, via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. The previous marks were held by former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe and current Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who both completed 45 passes in their respective playoff games.
Roethlisberger's 68 attempts were the third-highest total in NFL history, behind only Bledsoe's 70 attempts and Vinny Testaverde's 69 attempts. Roethlisberger's 501 passing yards is the second-highest total in playoff history. Tom Brady's 505 yards in the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII remains the highest passing total in postseason history.
Roethlisberger also threw four touchdown passes as the Steelers got to within 12 points of the Browns when the fourth quarter began. But after stalling on their opening drive of the fourth quarter, the Steelers decided to punt on fourth-and-one on their own 46-yard-line with 12:57 left. The Browns added to their lead moments later, as Nick Chubb scored on a 40-yard screen pass. And while Pittsburgh responded with two more Roethlisberger touchdown passes, his fourth pick of the game set up Cody Parkey's second field goal of the fourth quarter, and the Steelers never got to within single digits of the Browns.
Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey were the last Steelers to exit Heinz Field after the loss. While he said numerous times during the season that he planned on returning for the 2021 season, Roethlisberger did not offer a definitive answer when asked about his future following Sunday night's loss.
"It's going to start between me and God," Roethlisberger said when asked about his uncertain future. "Lot of praying. And a lot of talking with my family. I still have a year left on my contract. I hope the Steelers want me back if that's the way we go."