Steelers defender Ben Roethlisberger will play the final game of his NFL career on Sunday. And if his comments on Wednesday suggest that he is not at all afraid to play his last match.
The veteran signal-call for the media noted that the Steelers from seventh place are significantly unlucky against the other Chiefs (12.5 favorites, according to FanDuel). He also noticed how deftly Kansas City destroyed Pittsburgh 36:10 in Team 16 – the last game in a series of eight wins, in which Roethlisberger completed 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and one capture.
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His opinion? “We don’t stand a chance.”
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in an NFL wild card match against the Kansas City Chiefs:
“We don’t stand a chance, so let’s go inside, play and have fun.” pic.twitter.com/FjLR8elIbs
– The Recount (@therecount) January 12, 2022
Big Ben’s introspectivity is to be admired here.
And if you take Roethlisberger’s comments as face value, you might conclude that he thinks his career is coming to an end on Sunday. But the basic message is painfully obvious: “Kansas City is under pressure to win this game.” And why wouldn’t it? The Chiefs – “probably the best team in football,” according to Roethlisberger – are trying to win their third place in the Super Bowl in so many seasons, a stage they have sought since the shocking 31: 9 defeat with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55.
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The 9-7-1 Steelers, meanwhile, entered week 18 of the NFL base and needed significant help to make it to the extended playoffs. The Jaguars’ victory over the Colts opened the door to Pittsburgh to smuggle like a seven. The Raiders and Chargers settled in their Sunday Night Football match and almost finished the match with a tie that would keep Pittsburgh out of the playoffs.
Fortunately for Pittsburgh, kicker Daniel Carlson sealed the deal with a field goal to win Las Vegas 35-32. (Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, it should be noted, dozed off and missed the end of the match, even though he was deciding whether his team would start the post-season).
All indications show that the Steelers team can play freely and freely in this game. And it’s not like Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh have never been here before: he led the series to three Super Bowl locations, winning two in 2006 and ’09. The 2005 Steelers also became the first 6 seeders in NFL playoff history to beat 1 seed, achieve a conference championship match and win the Super Bowl as the playoffs expanded to format 12 in 1990.
As Roethlisberger noted, the only thing left for the Steelworkers is to “have fun.”