Steelers not crediting Oakland

"I can't tell you why he threw certain balls," said veteran receiver Hines Ward. "You'll have to ask Ben on that."

Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher called it "the decision-making."

"That's all I can say. We gave up two interceptions for touchdowns, you're not going to overcome that."

Roethlisberger already has thrown 11 interceptions, equaling his career high for a season, set in 2005. His record as a starter is 1-5 this season, surpassing the total number of losses in his first two seasons and postseasons combined (27-4).

"I'm embarrassed by the way I played," Roethlisberger said after Sunday's loss in Oakland.

"Last year, all the balls were bouncing our way," added Ward. "This year we're not getting the same bounces."

He was inconsistent in his first three games of the season, then put together consecutive games the likes of which the NFL has not often seen from a quarterback. In the two games previous to his Oakland debacle, Roethlisberger had a passer rating of 154.6. That's the fourth-best passer rating in two consecutive games by any quarterback since the 1970 NFL merger.

He was on a roll before his concussion. Perhaps he should not have played so soon.

"He practiced, he got all the reps," Ward said. "He looked fine. There shouldn't be any excuses, He was strong enough to play during the week. He looked good in practice, so why wouldn't he start?"

Santonio Holmes thought he was hit early by linebacker Kirk Morrison in the end zone on Ben Roethlisberger's fourth-down pass, a potential game-tying score, with 1:38 left that fell incomplete.

"The ref didn't make a call and you have to live with it," said Holmes. "We had plenty of opportunities before that too to get in the end zone. One call really doesn't determine a game."


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