The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2017 NFL season with a three-point victory in Cleveland against the Browns. And in doing so, their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made a little bit of history.
With the win across the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, Roethlisberger became the winningest quarterback in the history of FirstEnergy Stadium, the home of the Browns since they re-entered the National Football League in 1999.
Roethlisberger is now 11-2 in 13 career games in Cleveland dating back to the 2004 season. Those 11 wins surpass any win total by any Browns quarterback in FirstEnergy Stadium. On Sunday, the Steelers signal caller broke a tie he held with former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson at 10 wins.
Roethlisberger’s only two losses in Cleveland came on 12/10/09 in a 13-6 defeat against Brady Quinn and on 10/12/14 in a 31-10 loss when the Browns were led by Brian Hoyer.
In case you were wondering, here’s a list of the quarterbacks Roethlisberger has beaten while playing in FirstEnergy Stadium. It’s a who’s who of the dozens and dozens of men over the last two decades who have tried and failed to become the Browns’ franchise quarterback.
2004 – Jeff Garcia/Kelly Holcomb
2005 – Charlie Frye
2006 – Charlie Frye
2007 – Derek Anderson
2008 – Derek Anderson
2010 – Colt McCoy
2011 – Seneca Wallace
2013 – Brandon Weeden/Jason Campbell
2015 – Johnny Manziel
2016 – Josh McCown/Cody Kessler
2017 – DeShone Kizer
Just imagine if Roethlisberger wouldn’t have missed a few starts in Cleveland over the years, he’d have an insurmountable lead over all of the Browns quarterbacking hopefuls! And it’s been even worse for the Browns playing Big Ben in Pittsburgh, where he has an undefeated 11-0 record.
It took Anderson parts of four seasons before he could notch his 11th win on home soil. The tricky thing for the Browns is they actually need to stick with a quarterback for at least two or three seasons to get to that victory total that could one day surpass Roethlisberger. Given Kizer’s performance on Sunday, there’s at least some inkling of optimism that he could perhaps be the answer. Browns fans are hoping and praying that’s the case, not only for the long-term success of their franchise, but so they can rid the record books of this embarrassing footnote.