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Ben Roethlisberger's Week 8 play among NFL's best

On the Week 8 recap edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, we suggested that Ben Roethlisberger's extraordinary performance in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 51-34 shootout with the Indianapolis Colts ranks with the greatest in regular-season history.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback with two games over 500 passing yards, setting single-game franchise records for passing yards (522), touchdown passes (six) and completions (40).

If not for a pair of lost fumbles and three dropped passes, Roethlisberger believes he could have topped 600 yards.

"I'm mad because we left plays out there," Roethlisberger said after the game, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Among Roethlisberger's Week 8 feats:

» Factoring in strength of opponent, passing numbers and deductions for interceptions and sacks, Chase Stuart of Football Perspective ranks Roethlisberger's performance as the most impressive in the 21st century and the seventh-best in NFL history.

» No other quarterback has ever matched his 81.63 completion rate or 10.65 yards per attempt on 49 or more throws.

» Of those 49 pass attempts, our film study showed just two as misfires. He did not throw an interception or take a single sack.

» The 639 yards of offense are the third most in franchise history and the most ever allowed by the Colts.

» The Steelers entered the NFL in 1933 as the "Pittsburgh Pirates," wearing the same bumblebee throwbacks sported by Roethlisberger on Sunday. Not until 1935 did a Pirates quarterback pass for more than 522 yards in an entire season.

» Roethlisberger joined Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks in league history to win 100 games in 150 or fewer starts.

Among the compliments doled out by teammates:

» "From start to finish, he was into it. You could tell that all week," guard David DeCastro said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "Everyone was talking about Indy's offense, Indy this and Indy that, and I think he wanted to really come out and prove something."

» "It's amazing," 13-year-veteran Brett Keisel said, via the Post-Gazette. "I tell people all the time, we always have a chance with him."

» "He's a Hall of Famer, man," center Maurkice Pouncey said. "He can make every throw on the field. He leads us the right way. The O-line was really pushing for him. Hopefully we can do that every week, keep him clean. He'll make more history and break more records."

This offense joined the 1972 and 1975 Steelers as the only outfits in Pittsburgh history to score at least 30 points in four of the first eight games of the season. They are on pace to flirt with the franchise record for total points in a season, set by the 1979 team.

"Why does it have to stop here?" Roethlisberger told the team afterward. "Why can't we keep doing this?"

Todd Haley's offense is loaded with young talent, as Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah outlined on NFL NOW this week.

In a season dominated by DeMarco Murray, NFL Media analyst LaDainian Tomlinson has called Le'Veon Bell the NFL's premier running back.

Antonio Brown is leading the league in receptions after extending to 24 his NFL-record consecutive games with at least five catches and 50 yards. Coach Mike Tomlin compared his No. 1 receiver to J.J. Watt on Tuesday.

"He's one of the best in the world at what he does," Tomlin explained. "You know what they're capable of ... The storm is coming."

The aerial attack has kicked into a higher gear since fourth-round rookie Martavis Bryant entered the wide receiver rotation as a vertical threat and red-zone weapon. Tomlin singled out Bryant as a player whose role will continue to expand after reaching the end zone three times in his first two career games.

With second-year receiver Markus Wheaton back on track and veteran Heath Miller coming off the second-most productive game of his career, Roethlisberger's weapons can stack up with any quarterback's.

If the scoring binge continues, it will be the Steelers' offense overshadowing the defense on a playoff run for first time since that high-scoring 1979 squad won the Super Bowl to cap off a magical year in Pittsburgh.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 8 game. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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