Monday Night Football reaction: Big Ben gets the storybook ending in Steelers win

A video tribute to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) after playing against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 2 weeks ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Week 17 is officially in the books. Monday Night Football wrapped up the slate, and Ben Roethlisberger got the happy send-off he deserved. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14, giving Big Ben one last triumph at Heinz Field.

There is still one week left in the regular season, and don’t forget to check out our free picks on the side and total for all of those games. But first, let’s talk MNF. The Browns had their playoff hopes dashed on Sunday, while the Steelers kept their slim ones alive. Let’s break down what we just witnessed:

Steelers send Big Ben off right

Nobody has set it in stone, but pretty much everyone acknowledged that tonight was going to be Roethlisberger’s final home game. It was a heck of a journey for the longtime Steelers quarterback, and he had plenty of legendary moments at Heinz Field since the team drafted him back in 2004.

It certainly wasn’t pretty, but a win was all that matters tonight. Big Ben got to take a knee to end the game in a truly emotional farewell as the crowd rained adoration on him one last time. Not a dry eye in the house. The Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive, but the game didn’t exactly inspire much confidence in them moving forward.

Roethlisberger somehow managed to throw for just 123 yards on 46 attempts (2.7 YPA). It was literally the fewest yards ever for a quarterback who attempted 45+ passes in a game. The Steelers can get into the playoffs if they beat the Ravens next week while the Colts lose to the Jaguars.

It’s unlikely, but that’s not what anyone is thinking about for now. Love him or hate him, it was a genuinely cool moment to see the Steelers give Big Ben a send-off like that. After 18 years with the organization, he deserved it.

Is the Baker Mayfield era ending?

Roethlisberger wasn’t the only quarterback potentially nearing the end of his time with his team on Monday Night Football. Baker Mayfield certainly hasn’t played himself into a lucrative extension, and his play down the stretch has left questions about whether he’ll be the Browns’ guy at all moving forward.

He didn’t make things better on Monday night, averaging just 4.9 yards per attempt while throwing two interceptions and taking nine sacks. This coming the week after he tossed four interceptions. After the game, Mayfield told reporters that he wasn’t sure if he’d play in Week 18.

It’s true that he’s been beat up, but there are real questions about whether he’ll be Cleveland’s franchise guy. This latest disaster against the Steelers was just the tip of the iceberg. It’ll be very interesting to see what Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry elect to do this offseason.

An extension had previously seemed like a foregone conclusion, but now it seems highly possible that Mayfield is either traded or forced to enter 2022 as a lame-duck in the final year of his contract.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

See All
BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if either team scores a TD in a Playoff game!

Bet $10 on the Money Line for any NFL team

Win $200 if either team scores a touchdown in the game

Winnings paid in free bets

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on Any NFL Team to Win Their Playoff Matchup!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook

Bet $5 on any NFL team to win their next playoff game

If your team wins, YOU WIN $150 - in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$280

Bet $5, Win $280 on Any NFL team to Win Their Playoff Game!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ any NFL playoff game Money Line

Win $280 in credits if your team wins the game

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 - Regardless of Outcome!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+.

Bet $20 on any game in any sport!

Win $200 - no matter whether your initial bet won or lost!

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,001

Get a $1,001 First Bet Match + A FREE NBA JERSEY!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Receive a free bet matching your initial stake up to $1,001 + a FREE NBA JERSEY!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$400

Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.