Ben Roethlisberger, the great Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, has confirmed his retirement from the NFL after 18 seasons.

Thursday's announcement on Roethlisberger's official website's Twitter page had been expected at some point during the offseason.

The 39-year-old's comments around the Steelers' Wild Card Round defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs made clear his time with his only professional team was over and appeared to hint at the end of his career.

Reading a statement alongside his family in a social media video post, Roethlisberger said: "The time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children.

"I retire from football a truly grateful man."

Roethlisberger was a two-time champion in Pittsburgh, leading the Steelers to glory at Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII. They also made Super Bowl XLV, losing to the Green Bay Packers.

The 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, Roethlisberger won the Steelers starting job in Week 3 of his rookie season and never looked back.

He made 247 QB starts, the fifth-most of all time, with all of those coming as a Steeler.

Only the same four players again – legends Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre – can top Roethlisberger for passing yards (64,088), although he ranks eighth for touchdown passes (418).

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says "all options are on the table" as he searches for the franchise's next quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger's expected exit.

Veteran two-time Super Bowl winner Roethlisberger is yet to fully declare his intentions but it is widely anticipated he will depart the Steelers.

Mason Rudolph and 2019 first round pick Dwayne Haskins were QBs on the Steelers 2021 roster while they could explore their trade or free agency options with Russell Wilson and Jameis Winston potentially available.

"All options are on the table," Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday. "I enjoy working with [general manager] Kevin [Colbert] this time of year because we speak plain English.

"We have to improve our football team. There's two major ways you do it. You do it to free agency, and you do it through the draft.

"We have to look at what's available to us in the draft positionally. And we have to look at what's available to us, potentially, in free agency, positionally, and then we kind of bring those two discussions together.

"It kind of gives us a path in which to go about addressing our needs."

Tomlin added: "Quarterback mobility is valued not only by me but everyone. It's just a component of today's game and increasingly so."

Contracted QB Rudolph and Haskins, who joined the Steelers from Washington in 2021, were used sparingly in 2021 and would need to make a major step-up to be starters.

"Mason and Dwayne have had their moments, but they'll have to prove that," Tomlin said. "And not only in the team development process but through playing itself.

"They're guys that start that I wouldn't characterize as every-day starters. And so they'll be given an opportunity to establish themselves, and there's going to be competition. There always is.

"I think that both guys have positioned themselves to fight that fight with what they've done from a work standpoint and a professionalism standpoint in 2021."

Patrick Mahomes revealed the Kansas City Chiefs were motivated by being "p****d off" by a slow start to the Wild Card round against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 42-21 blowout win.

The Chiefs were shut out in the first quarter by a Steelers team that snuck into the playoffs as the seven seed and then fell behind when T.J. Watt returned a Mecole Hardman fumble for a touchdown.

But Mahomes took over thereafter, throwing for 404 yards and five touchdowns, a sole interception in the first quarter the only blemish on a blistering performance.

Tight end Travis Kelce also threw a touchdown on a trick play as the Chiefs turned on the style in setting up a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game with the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.

"I think we were all p****d off at ourselves," Mahomes said in his media conference. "We felt like we weren't playing with enough energy, we felt like we weren't executing at a high enough level and not playing with enough urgency.

"So, I feel like guys really motivated themselves. We all kind of talked, it wasn't like one person talking, it was everybody talking to each other, and we came with a different urgency starting in the second quarter and carried it the rest of the game.

"Playing in the postseason games, we have young dudes who hadn't played yet, so they got to get that experience this week.

"And we have those vets that have been in here before and showed that with how Tyreek [Hill] and Trav [Kelce] stepped up in big ways to kind of get us sparked and get us rolling again."

On the matchup with the Bills, who crushed the New England Patriots on Saturday behind a sensational five-touchdown performance from quarterback Josh Allen, Mahomes said: "Yeah I mean you expect a really good football team that's going to play really hard. We're expecting a fight, we're expecting a battle. 

"They have a great offense, great defense, great special teams, and we played them in the AFC Championship last year, and we know that it's going to be another fight for us if we want to try to move on to the AFC Championship Game this year."

Ben Roethlisberger reflected with pride on an 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as he looks ahead to the next chapter.

There was to be no magical ending for Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh fell to a 42-21 reverse against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round on Sunday.

The Steelers quarterback threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but he also had to watch Patrick Mahomes' brilliance cut open his side and end their postseason bid.

While Roethlisberger has not specifically said he is retiring, he hinted at as much after bidding a tearful farewell to Heinz Field following a Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns.

On Sunday, the two-time Super Bowl winner, who has donned the Steelers' black and gold for his entire career, spoke glowingly of his time in Pittsburgh as he looked back on his time with the franchise.

He said post-game: "Yeah it's tough, but I'm proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. 

"And it has just been truly a blessing, and I'm so thankful to him for the opportunity that he's given me.

"Just a bunch of guys that fought for each other, that fought their butts off and just competed. It wasn't always pretty, but there are a lot of games that we found a way. 

"I'm so proud of this group of men and the way they fight for each other, for the black and gold, for our fans. It's just been an honour to play with them."

Roethlisberger's opposite number Mahomes finished with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns, and the veteran heaped praise on his fellow quarterback, who will next face the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes responded in kind as he congratulated Roethlisberger on his Hall of Fame career.

"[He is] a tremendous player that I have a ton of respect for – the way he plays the game, the competitor that he is," Mahomes said. 

"He's won Super Bowls. He's a guy that I've watched growing up, and I have a ton of respect for him. That's what I told him, that if this is his last game, he did it the right way."

Roethlisberger is now hoping this Steelers team can carry on the legacy he has left behind.

"I've been here a long time, and it's been a lot of fun," Roethlisberger added. 

"Like I said, God has blessed me. We joke about the Browns and going there [in the NFL Draft], but it was meant to be that I was going to wear black and gold. Draft day I had a black suit on with a gold tie.

"I'm just so thankful. I hope that I'm able to pass the legacy of what it is to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney. We all miss him, anyone that knew him misses him. 

"Hopefully I can pass some of that on to some of the guys and they can continue the tradition of what it means to be a Steeler and get passed down.

"Whenever you get a bunch of new guys, once you start to lose some of the old regime if you will, you've got to find ways to pass it down. 

"And we've got some guys in there that will continue to do that. I gave Cam [Heyward] a big hug and told him it's on him now. It's his job to pass it down and to keep teaching and holding guys to the Pittsburgh standard."

As Roethlisberger prepares for whatever the next challenge is that is thrown his way, he remains thankful for the opportunities he has had, including the Steelers' improbable progression to the playoffs following a dramatic end to the regular season.

"We thought last week was going to be the end," he continued. "We didn't know what was going to happen and God blessed me to play another football game. 

"It didn't end the way we wanted it to. But it's a blessing to be able to play this game. I try and tell those guys how lucky we are that we get to play football for a living. We need to count our blessings and understand how lucky we are. 

"We're out there getting beat up and this and that, but we get to entertain millions of fans and throw, catch, run, do what we've all done as kids. That's our job and when we say our prayers thank God for that.

"I don't know if it's emotional because it's the end of the season. I mean, this would be emotional no matter what. We never like to lose and go out and I'll miss these guys. It'll probably really hit me come training camp time."

The Kansas City Chiefs set up a mouth-watering AFC Divisional Round matchup with the Buffalo Bills with a 42-21 blowout Wild Card round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh snuck into the playoffs as the seventh seed and, when T.J. Watt returned Mecole Hardman's fumble for a touchdown to open the scoring after a hugely impressive defensive performance in the first quarter, the Steelers would have been forgiven for thinking about a monumental upset.

Yet any such thoughts were quickly proven to be pipe dreams as the Chiefs took over, with Patrick Mahomes in blistering form as he threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns, a sole interception in the first quarter the only blemish on an otherwise sensational showing.

It means Mahomes will face off with Bills quarterback Josh Allen, himself fresh off a remarkable performance against the New England Patriots, in a repeat of last year's AFC Championship Game, while Ben Roethlisberger's career is likely over, the Steelers quarterback having said a tearful farewell to Heinz Field after their Week 17 win over the Clevaland Browns.

Roethlisberger will call it a career with two Super Bowl titles to his name, and Mahomes appears excellently positioned to tie that tally this season after dicing up the Steelers after the first-quarter shutout.

Touchdown throws to Jerick McKinnon and Byron Pringle restored order for the Chiefs after the Steelers' strong start and Mahomes capped the first half with a 48-yard toss to Travis Kelce, the tight end rumbling into the endzone after his former MVP quarterback executed a deep pass while rolling to his right with a degree of nonchalance.

A short scoring toss to offensive lineman Nick Allegretti and a 31-yard teardrop to Tyreek Hill ended any doubt over the final outcome, the final flourish coming when Kelce connected with Pringle on a two-yard trick play.

That touchdown sandwiched by two for Roethlisberger on passes to Diontae Johnson and James Washington before the seconds ticked down on a Hall of Fame career.

After the Patriots saw their playoff campaign emphatically come to an end on Saturday, the man who left New England to further his legacy begins his quest for an eighth ring on Sunday.

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be expected to win in routine fashion in their Wild Card round matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, while the team they beat in last season's Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, are anticipated to end Ben Roethlisberger's career with a routine victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sandwiched between those two potential blowouts is the game of the weekend as two storied rivals, the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, contest a long overdue renewal of acquaintances in the postseason.

As Stats Perform's look at Sunday's action explains, both the Niners and the Cowboys possess the offense firepower to ensure the matchup lives up to its lofty expectations.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending champion Bucs are unsurprisingly the heavy favourites against an Eagles team that claimed nine wins in the regular season, none of which came against an opponent that made the postseason.

Not much stock will be put in the history of this encounter, even if it does make pleasant reading for any Eagles fans looking for reason for hope.

The Eagles and Buccaneers have split their 20 all-time meetings, with each team winning eight regular-season games and two in postseason play. Their only postseason matchup in Tampa was a 24-17 win by the Bucs in 1979, their first-ever playoff win.

All eyes at Raymond James Stadium will be on Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who is set for another piece of history in his seemingly endless career.

Brady will be playing in his 19th postseason and in his 46th career playoff start, the most by any player in NFL history. At age 44, Brady will break his own record for the oldest quarterback to start a playoff game. Brady has more playoff wins since turning 36 years old (17) than any other QB has in his entire career.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have activated wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster off injured reserve ahead of their playoff showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Smith-Schuster has not played since Week 5, when he suffered what was thought to have been a season-ending shoulder injury against the Denver Broncos.

After recovering from surgery, he is expected to play at least some part against the Chiefs in the Wild Card round game on Sunday after practising on Thursday and Friday.

"God answered my prayers and I've recovered from my season-ending shoulder injury earlier than expected," Smith-Schuster wrote on Twitter.

"I can't believe I get another chance to take the field with this team and play in a playoff game to keep our season alive."

Kansas City beat Pittsburgh at home in Week 16, 36-10, their largest win over the Steelers in 36 all-time meetings.

The Steelers go in as heavy underdogs against the Chiefs, though they received a further boost when running back Najee Harris was removed from the injury report after recovering from an elbow injury.

This could be Smith-Schuster's last game with the Steelers given he is due to enter free agency after the season, while eyes are also on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is expected to retire after the playoffs.

"He had a pretty significant injury," Roethlisberger told 102.5 WDVE this week about the receiver's possible return.

"The way JuJu plays the game is physical. We all know it. We all love it. He could boost this offense. Even if it's just a few plays, the energy, the encouragement he brings on the sideline. 

"Anything like that, to have one of your guys out there would be huge for us."

Roethlisberger has thrown for 970 yards in his last two postseason games, both losses. That is the most passing yards by any player in a span of two playoff games. 

The veteran will face off against Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.

Chiefs QB Mahomes has thrown for two touchdowns and four interceptions in his two Super Bowl appearances, but in his six other playoff games, he has thrown 15 touchdown passes and no picks. 

Per Stats Perform data, Mahomes is just the second player ever (after Drew Brees) with 17+ passing touchdowns and no more than four interceptions in his first eight playoff starts.

The Jacksonville Jaguars helped the Pittsburgh Steelers virtually secure a playoff place as they stunned the Indianapolis Colts in their regular-season finale.

Indianapolis needed only to beat a two-win Jaguars team to secure their place in the postseason.

History, however, was against Frank Reich's team, the Colts having not won in Jacksonville since the 2014 season.

And the Jags' home hoodoo over the Colts continued as Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz imploded in a 26-11 defeat.

Wentz was sacked six times in a game the Jaguars led the entire way, rookie first overall pick Trevor Lawrence throwing multiple touchdowns for the first time since Week 1.

The dagger effectively came when Lawrence capitalised on Wentz's lone interception, the former Philadelphia Eagle picked by Jags linebacker Damien Wilson in the third quarter.

Lawrence then successfully handled a high snap from center, rolled to his right and lofted a three-yard pass to Marvin Jones Jr, who made a leaping grab in the back of the endzone.

The Colts were eliminated from the playoffs after the Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime. The Steelers will qualify unless the Los Angeles Chargers' game with the Las Vegas Raiders ends in a tie.

Despite the win, the Jaguars claim the number one pick in the 2022 draft by virtue of the Detroit Lions' win over the Green Bay Packers, who rested players for much of the game.

Titans take one seed

The Kansas City Chiefs kept the pressure on the Titans with their win in Denver on Saturday, but Tennessee did not waste the opportunity to clinch the one seed, though they received a scare from the lowly Houston Texans.

Tennessee surged to a 21-0 lead, only for the Texans to respond with 18 unanswered points of their own. Ryan Tannehill's fourth touchdown pass, on which he hit Julio Jones for the receiver's first touchdown as a Titan, gave them breathing room that proved enough as they hung on for a 28-25 win after Danny Amendola's second touchdown reception frayed the nerves.

Watt ties sack record as Steelers stay alive

Ben Roethlisberger bid a tearful farewell to Heinz Field in the Steelers' home finale on Monday, but his likely final season in the NFL looks like being extended into the Wild Card round.

The Steelers fought back from 10-3 down to lead 13-10 on a Roethlisberger pass to Chase Claypool and, though Justin Tucker's field goal forced overtime, the leg of Chris Boswell had the final say, giving the Steelers a 16-13 victory in a game that saw T.J. Watt tie Michael Strahan's single-season sack record as he took his tally to 22.5.

With Chargers head coach Brandon Staley saying they would not play for a tie that would punch the postseason ticket for them and the Raiders, the Steelers' spot seems virtually assured.

The 18th and final round of the NFL regular season is upon us and there remains plenty of intrigue in a frantic scramble to make it to the playoffs.

Five teams from the AFC are competing for two postseason berths, while one spot is up for grabs in the NFC. 

Away from the Super Bowl picture, there are a number of other intriguing subplots ahead of an action-packed weekend.

Stats Perform previews some of the standout games and the best of the rest.


Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) @ Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)

The winner of this contest is guaranteed a playoff spot, while there is also a scenario whereby a tie could see both advance. Interestingly, six of the previous seven games in Oakland/Las Vegas have been decided by three points or fewer.

The Raiders beat the Colts on a last-second field goal last week to prevail 23-20 – their fifth win of the season by four points or fewer, tied with the Packers and the Titans for the most in the NFL.

Justin Herbert set the single-season passing touchdowns record for the Chargers last week with his 35th of the campaign. He now requires 172 yards this week to also take the passing-yards record.

The Chargers' 34-13 win against the Broncos was their fourth victory in a win while scoring 30 points or more. They have averaged 33.9 points per game in wins this season, second most in the NFL behind the Bills (35.1).

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-8)

The Steelers have won three in a row against the Ravens, with all three of those victories being decided by less than a touchdown, the most recent coming by a 20-19 scoreline last month.

Last week's 12-point win over the Browns was the Steelers' largest of the season, though not since 1969 have they gone a full campaign without winning by at least 13 points.

The Ravens are coming off the back of a 20-19 loss to the Rams, their league-leading eighth game decided by three or fewer points this season – no team in NFL history has had more than nine games decided by three or fewer points.

Najee Harris rushed for 188 of the Steelers' 190 rushing yards against the Browns and accounts for 77.9 per cent of his side's rush yards this season, the highest share of any player in the NFL.

 

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) @ Denver Broncos (7-9)

The Chiefs will be looking to respond to their defeat against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 17 when they take on the Broncos, whom they have defeated in 12 successive meetings – the league's joint-longest active winning streak along with the New England Patriots against the New York Jets.

Despite last week's defeat, the Chiefs have scored at least 30 points in four successive games, which is the longest-running streak in the NFL and one short of their all-time record of five set in 2004 and 2018.

Kansas lead the way in the NFL with 391 first downs this season and, with nine more this weekend, will become the fifth team in the last 70 years with 400 or more first downs in a season.

The Broncos were defeated by the Chargers last time out to ensure a losing season for the fifth straight year, an unwanted run they last went on from 1963 to 1972 with 10 straight losing seasons.

Elsewhere...

The Jaguars require a victory against the Colts to avoid becoming the fourth team in the last 30 years to have consecutive seasons with two or fewer wins. The Colts have lost three games this season by exactly three points – the Seahawks are the only team this season that has failed to win a single game by three or fewer points with more losses in such games (0-5).

The Rams can clinch their third NFC West title in six seasons season since moving back to Los Angeles with victory over the 49ers. However, the Niners have won each of their last five meetings with the Rams.

The Falcons have three successive wins against the Saints in Atlanta and are seeking a fourth in a row for the first time since between 1991 and 1994. Following defeat to the Bills last week, the Falcons have alternated between wins and losses over their last seven games.

The Bills can clinch their second consecutive division title with victory against the Jets, following on from a previous run of 24 straight seasons without finishing top. All 10 of Buffalo's wins this season have come by 12 points or more.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin refused to get caught up in his own record-breaking history after sealing 15 consecutive seasons without a losing record.

The Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 on Monday to keep alive their playoffs hopes with a 8-7-1 record with one game left.

The victory also meant Tomlin will avoid a losing season for the 15th consecutive year, which exceeds Marty Schottenheimer's streak from 1984 to 1997 to begin an NFL career.

"Not as I sit here today, and I say that humbly," Tomlin told reporters when asked if the record meant anything to him. "Our agenda, this year, is to get into the single-elimination tournament and then pit our skills against others in that single-elimination tournament in an effort to win the world championship.

"That's our mentality every year and so with that mentality, it's just certain hardware that you expect to pick up along the way. If you don't, you'd be seriously disappointed. That's just an expectation that we have here in Pittsburgh."

Pittsburgh are second in the AFC North with the Cincinnati Benglas having seal the divisional title on Sunday.

Tomlin's Steelers face divisional rivals the Baltimore Ravens in the final regular season game on Sunday as both chase a victory to be in contention for an AFC wild card berth.

Tomlin remains the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl, when he led the Steelers to the title in 2009 at 36-years-old.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield paid tribute to Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger as the two players prepared to do battle in Monday Night Football.

Roethlisberger said this week "all the signs" are that the clash will be his last regular-season game at Heinz Field.

The 39-year-old is anticipated to retire after the 2021 season amid reports he has told former team-mates and people within the franchise that he expects to bring his illustrious career to an end.

The Steelers great, a winner of two Super Bowls, gave a strong indication his playing days are almost over as Pittsburgh strive to sneak into the playoffs without explicitly confirming he would retire.

And Mayfield, who was asked about the comments, revealed he was a huge admirer of Roethlisberger even though he will be looking to deny the veteran's bid for a last postseason appearance.

"There is a lot that I admire about his game and respect about it, to be honest with you," said Mayfield.

"His play, he extends plays, but he also trusts his guys thoroughly. 

"He trusts his receivers, tight ends and all of those guys to make plays for him, and he has done it consistently, no matter who has been out there with him. 

"When it comes to fourth quarter or coming back and sparking drives for a comeback and when a play is needed to be made, he has consistently done that for a long, long time. 

"That is something you can't teach. He has just had that, and that is why he has had success for so long."

Six-time Pro Bowler Roethlisberger has spent an incredible 18 years with the Steelers and has 163 career wins to his name, a record in the NFL for players who have spent their entire career with one team.

Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have won more games with a single franchise, racking up 219 victories for the New England Patriots.

The Browns are 7-8 while the Steelers are at 7-7-1, but neither team are out of contention in a competitive AFC North.

Mayfield added: "With everything in our division and the situation at hand for both teams right now, regardless of Ben's situation, I think it will be a great environment. 

"To add on top of that, just everything that he has given to that franchise over the years and the success he has had consistently for a very, very long time, I have nothing but respect for Ben. 

"I am expecting just an even better environment. Both teams to be playing for the likelihood of the playoffs at hand. 

"It is just one of those things that everything is aligning to where this game matters quite a bit, but for us, we need to handle it like any other game – one play at a time and do our job at the best possible level we can."

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski added about Roethlisberger: "Obviously, he is a great player, but I am really focused on trying to defend him Monday night. He is still playing at a really high level."

Remarkably, the Steelers have won 17 straight home regular season games against the Browns, the third-longest home winning streak against one team in NFL history, though Cleveland did win in the playoffs last season.

Pittsburgh have scored fewer than 20 points in eight of their 15 games this season, the most such games in one season since 2003, when they were held below 20 points nine times. 

Roethlisberger, though, has a 24-2-1 record in his 27 career starts against the Browns. 

Cleveland's last three games were a 24-22 win against the Ravens, 16-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and a 24-22 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Day.

It is only the second time in Browns history that they have played three consecutive games decided by no more than a two-point margin following a similar run in 2014. 

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Ben Roethlisberger says "all the signs" are that Monday's clash with the Cleveland Browns will be his last regular-season match at Heinz Field.

The 39-year-old quarterback stated earlier this month that he would not discuss retirement until the end of this season.

Roethlisberger is reported to have told former team-mates and people within the franchise that he expects to bring his illustrious career to an end when the campaign is over.

The Steelers great, a winner of two Super Bowls, on Thursday refused to confirm he will quit, but gave a strong indication his playing days are almost over as Pittsburgh strive to sneak into the playoffs.

He said: "I don't ever speak in definites or guarantees, that's not what I've ever done or who I am. But, looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing to this could be it.

"Regular season that is, I know we still have a chance to potentially get a playoff game there if things fall our way and we take care of business and things have to happen.

"But, in the grand scheme of things, in terms of regular seasons, signs are pointing that way this could be it."

He added: "I'll address the definite answer for that at some point down the road. But like I said, my focus is winning this game.

"If it is indeed my last regular-season game here, it's going to be one of the most important games of my career. I've been so blessed to play in front of the best fans in all of sports at the best venue, and what better way to have a last potential regular-season game than Monday Night Football against a division opponent.

"It's just special. So, the long-winded answer is I got a lot of focus on still for this year and this game, and that's got to be it right now."

The six-time Pro Bowler has spent an incredible 18 years with the Steelers and has 163 career wins to his name, a record in the NFL for players who have spent their entire career with one team.

Tom Brady is the only quarterback to have won more games with a single franchise, racking up 219 victories for the New England Patriots.

Roethlisberger has celebrated 91 victories at Heinz Field, 82 more than the next best for a QB of nine recorded by Kordell Stewart since the stadium opened in 2001.

Patrick Mahomes insists he appreciates "this year as much as ever" after the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up a sixth consecutive AFC West title on Sunday.

Kansas City had never won back-to-back crowns until their current streak, but they became the first side to claim the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Quarterback Mahomes completed 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three touchdown passes as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who fell 41-29 to the Houston Texans on the same day

However, at one point it did not seem like this season's title was on the cards after Kansas City were 3-4 at the end of October, which is why the triumph is even more special to Mahomes.

"I do 100 per cent, this year as much as ever," Mahomes responded when asked if he appreciated another divisional success.

"You look at the AFC West [and] every team is still battling for a playoff spot. It's a tough division. We have more goals we want to go after, but this was the first one."

Clark Hunt became the Chiefs' chairman in 2006 and he, too, has been astounded by his franchise's recent dominance.

"I remember in those early years being excited any year when we were in the running to win the division," said Hunt. 

"I never thought about winning the division five or six times in a row."

Kansas City convincingly overcame the underwhelming Steelers as Pittsburgh veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Chiefs did so without star tight end Travis Kelce, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and coach Andy Reid was delighted after his side reached the postseason for the eighth season out of nine under his leadership.

"We don't take any of those experiences for granted at all," Reid said. "There's a lot of sweat that goes into this, a lot of effort. 

"I'm proud of our guys, how they handled it. I'm proud of our coaches, how they handled it."

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys blew away the Washington Football Team with six first-half touchdowns as they recorded a comprehensive 56-14 win on Sunday.

Prescott completed 28 of 39 passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Cowboys reached 50 points for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

The Dallas QB recorded his fourth career game with 300 yards, four passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is the most by any player in franchise history, going past Tony Romo (three). Prescott remarkably passed for 320 yards by half-time.

The Cowboys also became the first team this season to score in all three facets of the game as they dismantled Washington.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the first half as the Cowboys opened up a 42-7 half-time lead. Elliott had nine carries for 37 yards and one rushing TD, along with one receiving touchdown.

Dallas had good contributions from receivers Amari Cooper (seven receptions for 85 yards and one TD), Dalton Schultz (eight receptions for 82 yards and one TD) and Malik Turner (three receptions for 82 yards and one TD).

Demarcus Lawrence also scored a TD after intercepting Washington QB's Taylor Heinicke's first-quarter pass with Chauncey Golston cleaning up in the end zone for a touchdown after Corey Clement blocked a punt.

The Cowboys, who have clinched the NFC East division earlier in the day after the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 17-13, improve to 11-4 while Washington are 6-9.

 

Burrow blows against Lamar-less Ravens

Joe Burrow was in record-breaking form with the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history to lead the Cincinnati Bengals won 41-21 over the Baltimore Ravens, who were without Lamar Jackson.

Burrow completed 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, which was a new franchise record for passing yards as the Bengals claimed a major AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The Bengals quarterback also becomes the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Wide receivers Tee Higgins (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns) and Ja'Marr Chase (seven receptions for 125 yards) were excellent against the Ravens whose stand-in QB Josh Johnson had two TD passes.

 

Chiefs clinch AFC West yet again

The Kansas City Chiefs became the first team to ever clinch the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three TD passes, while Steelers veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one TD and one interception.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle had six receptions for 75 yards with two touchdowns as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record in the AFC West, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who lost 41-29 to the Houston Texans earlier on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs will be without Travis Kelce for their clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers after he failed to clear COVID-19 protocols.

Kelce - missing his first game of the season - is joined by Nick Bolton, Lucas Niang, Harrison Butker and Tommy Townsend in being ruled out, while coaches Mike Kafka, Greg Lewis and Corey Matthaei are also under coronavirus protocols.

The tight end had been pre-emptively activated in the hope that he would be cleared to play, but he must now sit the match out as the Chiefs chase the AFC West title - which they would clinch with victory over the Steelers if the Los Angeles Chargers also fail to win - without him.

The Chiefs will feel Kelce's absence particularly keenly after his career-best performance in the 34-28 victory over the Chargers last time out, catching 10 passes for 191 yards and scoring the game-winning touchdown.

He is set to be replaced in the side by Blake Bell, who has just returned from the COVID list himself.

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