Steelers Throwback Thursdays: Ben Roethlisberger throws first career touchdown pass

Before the NFL officially gears up for the 2022-23 season, Steel City Underground will be taking fans back in time to feature events, special moments, and historical times in the world of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Steelers Nation. Join us as we revisit these moments in our “Throwback Thursdays”.

Ben Roethlisberger turned 40 years old a few weeks ago, so let’s go back and take a look at his very first NFL touchdown pass.

Roethlisberger was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers 11th-overall in the 2004 NFL draft. He was drafted behind quarterbacks Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. As the 2004 regular season came, head coach Bill Cowher wanted to ease Ben into the NFL by having him sit behind quarterback Tommy Maddox during his first season. This plan was quickly altered after Maddox was hit and injured his elbow in the third quarter. Unfortunately, the circumstances did not set Roethlisberger up for the best outcome the rest of the game as the Baltimore Ravens were already up 20-0 and had the best defense in the league.

Embed from Getty Images

Big Ben’s first drive in the NFL was nothing but running plays by Duce Staley, Antwaan Randle El, and Verron Haynes.

After a quick three-and-out by the Ravens, it was time for Roethlisberger to throw his first few passes. As Ben quoted after the game was over, “I’d say I got my feet wet, but I got my whole leg wet.” He threw for an incompletion, immediately followed by an interception.

The next drive started his decorated career when he threw his first completion to Plaxico Burress for 21 yards.

His first touchdown pass, however, came on the next drive, early in the 4th quarter.

After starting the drive by getting sacked, Roethlisberger quickly gained those yards back a few plays later by completing a 58-yard pass to Hines Ward. This set the Steelers up on the three-yard-line where Ben threw his first NFL touchdown pass to Randel El for three yards. This was the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game.

Embed from Getty Images

After a rough start, Roethlisberger threw for another touchdown on the next Steelers drive as they tried to climb back into the game. This one went for twelve-yards to Ward as they attempted to complete the 2-point conversion, but failed, and the Ravens ran away with the score.

Ben’s first game in the NFL came as a loss, but he outscored the Ravens when he was in the game, 13-10. Ben finished his first game 12/20 with 176 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Suggested articles from our sponsors