From Teresa Varley at Steelers.com:
Ben Roethlisberger knows this week nothing is a given.
He knows if you listen to the so-called experts, the Steelers wouldn’t even be playing this week in the Wild Card Round against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But they are in the postseason. They are preparing to take on the Chiefs. And they are going to be ready on Sunday night to get the job done, no matter what the ‘experts’ think.
“We probably aren’t supposed to be here. We’re probably not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams that are in, I think we’re probably at number 14. We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So, let’s just go play and have fun and see what happens. We’re probably 20-point underdogs and we’re going to the team that’s won the AFC the last two years. Arguably the best team in football. We don’t have a chance. So, let’s just go out and play and have fun.”
Roethlisberger is well aware of how close the Steelers came to not being in the postseason. He was like the rest of us, staying up late on Sunday night and sweating it out when the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers went into overtime, and then the game was decided on a last second field goal.
“I wish I would have went to bed instead of staying up and the stress of it, but what a crazy game, crazy ending. You go into the evening excited about getting in and then your hopes start to dwindle there for a little while, and then the last drive you really think they’re going to play for the tie. But there’s other plans out there.”
And those other plans have Roethlisberger and his teammates practicing today at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex preparing to take on the Chiefs, a team that defeated them in Week 16, 36-10, in a game where both teams were missing key components of the offense, with tight end Pat Freiermuth inactive with a concussion and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce inactive after not being able to be cleared to play with COVID.
Roethlisberger knows what the challenge is going to be like, but he is definitely looking for a better outcome this week.
“I hope so. I hope we don’t go in and get blown out by 20 or 30 points. I […]
When you decide to watch the end of the Sunday night game on Facetime with Bart & your homie…..a game that determines whether or not he gets in the playoffs and you don’t realize you’re 15 seconds ahead of him on the outcome. 😂😂😂@_BigBen7 @BartMillard pic.twitter.com/TOsiOFazaA
— TobyMac (@tobymac) January 11, 2022
From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:
I believe the clinical term for what we saw Sunday afternoon inside M&T Bank Stadium has been categorized officially by the scientific community, and in the future forever will be known as “Ben being Ben.” And if it hasn’t, well, it should be. After all, there are 18 years of evidence proving its existence.
“Ben being Ben” has taken on many forms since first being observed sometime after 2004 in its natural habitat of an NFL stadium during the fall and/or winter seasons. And while some of the specifics might differ, a true sighting of “Ben being Ben” always includes these two elements: the Steelers win a football game, most usually in a come-from-behind fashion, and Ben Roethlisberger has his fingerprints all over that outcome.
It was fitting that M&T Bank Stadium served as the most recent venue for this recurring phenomenon, being that a decent number of the previous occurrences had taken place on that exact plot of real estate, and it was appropriate the Ravens chose to host former Steelers antagonist Terrell Suggs for the occasion since he had been an active participant in so many of them.
“Ben being Ben” must have stakes, and that was handled sufficiently by the fact Sunday’s loser would be eliminated from the playoffs, and then Mother Nature cooperated with a day that was cold, windy, and damp, not that Steelers-Ravens ever really needs anything more than purple vs. black-and-gold.
Late in the third quarter, the Ravens seemed content to continue to probe the Steelers run defense. They moved from their 25-yard line to a second-and-6 at the Steelers 11-yard line all via running plays. But instead of sticking with what was working, the Ravens’ play-caller decided it was time to pass. Tyler Huntley followed orders, but he delivered a floater late over the middle and into the end zone. Cam Sutton intercepted for the touchback.
Maybe it was the defensive call that enticed Huntley to think he saw one thing when the reality was something totally different. But that’s life in the NFL for an inexperienced quarterback.
Asked about it after the game, Coach John. Harbaugh said, “We could have run the ball there.”
But the Ravens didn’t, and that set the stage for “Ben being Ben” with Baltimore holding a 10-6 lead early in the fourth quarter instead of the Steelers looking […]
“We just like to stress people out early. All you guys and all our fans at home…and I hope the NFL gives TJ Watt half a sack.” — Ben.
Roethlisberger now trails only Tom Brady, who has 67 career game-winning drives.”
The Steelers still need one more thing to happen to clinch one of the AFC’s final playoff spots. The Los Angeles Chargers-Las Vegas Raiders game on Sunday Night Football can’t end in a tie.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a fourth-quarter drive to take a 13-10 lead, when he hit Chase Claypool for a six-yard touchdown.
The defense was able to contain the Ravens, but a Justin Tucker 46-yard field goal tied the game, 13-13.
Roethlisberger and company got the ball back with 1:13 to play but came up one yard short on third-and-four, forcing a punt. The defense held, sending the game into overtime.
The Ravens won the overtime toss, but the defense was able to shut them down, giving Roethlisberger one final shot.
Roethlisberger led the offense down the field, setting up a Chris Boswell 36-yard field goal to win the game, 16-13.
“I’m so thankful for this rivalry. People always ask me where is my least favorite place to come and play? It’s always Baltimore. It’s because of how good the team is and it’s defense. And this place is always crazy loud. The fans are ruthless, and I mean that in a good way. So, it’s pretty special to get this win…it’s just good old fashioned football.” — Ben.
Roethlisberger finished […]
"If I tried to put it into words, I would say 'I love you.' I would say 'thank you.' I feel so blessed. It's just an honor for them to call me their QB for 18 years."
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 9, 2022