“I don’t care what the stats say or how it looks or any of that stuff. As a quarterback, you’re judged on wins and losses and getting to Super Bowls. And you can’t knock Ben’s record.” — Hines Ward, post-game.

What they’re saying…

Clark Judge, CBS Sports senior writer:

Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback people love, but when it comes to big games Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback they should trust.

You heard me. Love Rodgers; trust Roethlisberger. With Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers headed to the mother of all big games — their third Super Bowl in six seasons — I want a seat on the Big Ben Bandwagon.

Roethlisberger is one of the most reliable playoff quarterbacks out there, and Sunday’s 24-19 defeat of the New York Jets was more evidence. He didn’t produce big numbers; he just produced big plays, and isn’t that how it usually works? He converted that third-and-19 pass last weekend against Baltimore. He made the last-minute TD pass to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLII. Now this.

You can read more here.

“Shoot, any time you get to the Super Bowl, it feels good. I don’t care what you’re going through or what’s going on. We put a lot of stuff behind us early and found a way.” — Ben, post-game.

John McClain, San Antonio News:

After the New York Jets scored 19 unanswered points to pull within five with 3:06 remaining in the AFC championship game, the Pittsburgh Steelers relied on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to save them from the embarrassment of a monumental collapse.

Roethlisberger didn’t throw a touchdown pass on Sunday, but he did complete two clutch passes for first downs on the Steelers’ last drive, securing a 24-19 victory that ruined the Jets’ magnificent comeback and earned Pittsburgh a place in Super Bowl XLV opposite the Green Bay Packers.

The Jets had three timeouts and the two-minute warning to work with, but the Steelers made Ryan’s strategy backfire when Roethlisberger completed 14-yard passes to tight end Heath Miller and [Antonio] Brown, a rookie from Central Michigan.

[Jets coach Rex] Ryan was stunned when Roethlisberger threw the passes to Miller and Brown.

“Without question, it was a gutsy play,” Ryan said about the pass to Miller. “It was a great throw. We went for the swipe instead of putting the glove in.

“I was actually shocked they didn’t run the football (on Brown’s reception). They spread us out and went five-wide. I expected them to run the quarterback draw.”

You can read more here.

“We took care of business, and it’s a great win. This is my fourth year and my second time to go to a Super Bowl, and it feels great.” — LaMarr Woodley.

John P. Lopez, Sports Illustrated:

Ben Roethlisberger’s name is within range of being up there with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning when it comes to the NFL’s most elite quarterbacks. He may not put up gaudy numbers or flash stylish form, but this effort illustrated the entire palate of greatness Roethlisberger possesses — save for a hairy moment when he bobbled a snap and took a safety.

Don’t look at the numbers. Look at what Roethlisberger did. He improvised, extended plays and showed the will of a champion. Early, Roethlisberger managed a run-oriented attack. Later, he picked apart maybe the best secondary in football.

You can read more here.

George Willis, New York Post:

The Jets had beaten Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to get to this point, but they couldn’t beat Big Ben.

“We have a lot of tenacity,” Roethlisberger said. “We have a don’t-quit mentality and we have a belief in each other. We’re a family and we stay close no matter what.”

That don’t-quit mentality is what Roethlisberger is all about. It’s what the Steelers are all about. And it was evident on their final drive yesterday, when the Jets needed the ball and Roethlisberger wouldn’t give it back.

Roethlisberger, who ran for a 2-yard TD and completed 10 of 19 for 133 yards with two interceptions, didn’t play his best game. But he was good when he needed to be.

You can read more here.

“What’s rewarding is that Ben saw what I saw in training camp. I saw Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio playing well, and I told Ben, ‘These kids are gonna help us in December.’ I coached him, rode ’em really hard. I was unmerciful. But Ben saw it early, saw how good they could be. I said to Ben, ‘You hug ’em, I’ll cuss ’em,’ and it’s worked out. They’ve become good players for us.” — Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, from an interview this morning.

“For him to have confidence and trust in me is amazing. I watch him day in and day out and he’s a real tough, strong guy. He’s a high competitor and a great athlete.” — Antonio Brown, on his quarterback.

Zack Berman, New Jersey Star-Ledger:

Ben Roethlisberger sat by his locker, head in hands, for a few brief moments between conducting a news conference and taking a shower. He wasn’t far removed from winning his third AFC Championship, and he might add his third Super Bowl ring in two weeks.

Roethlisberger’s performance in last night’s 24-19 victory against the Jets was typical of the 28-year old quarterback.

“It’s okay for me because I know that I’m probably not ever going to win a league MVP, probably never going to win a passing title,” Roethlisberger said earlier this week. “But that’s not why I play the game. I just go out and try and win football games and try and win championships.”

And that happens with the clutch plays that come to define a quarterback’s career, such as converting a game-clinching third-down conversion with two minutes remaining or scrambling for first downs on three third downs earlier in the game.

“It’s a game of chess” with Ryan, Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger won, which has come to define the quarterback’s career.

Even he admitted it’s “not always pretty,” yet it’s nonetheless effective.

Roethlisberger finally got up from his locker and limbered toward the shower when Ward spotted the Steelers quarterback out of the corner of his eye.

“Ice that thing up, baby,” Ward shouted toward Roethlisberger.

Because for the third time in seven seasons, Roethlisberger will be one of the starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl.

You can read more here.

“I feel he is one of the elite, I’ve always felt that way. Just a lot of people outside of the game didn’t necessarily look at his play and think he was one of the guys.” — Charlie Batch talking about Ben, from the locker room last night.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated:

Ben Roethlisberger. Stats can be deceiving. Very deceiving. His passer rating of 35.5 and rushing average of 1.9 yards (11 carries, 21 yards) don’t show how he made five or six plays when his team had to have them, including the game-clinching completion to Antonio Brown.

You can read more here.

I’m not going out on a limb here, either. Ben Roethlisberger is the best quarterback in this game. He has won two Super Bowls and that’s a huge advantage. He’s been there, dealt with the distractions and has come out on top twice. This will be the Steelers’ second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons. That’s a pretty powerful statement by my former franchise and says a lot about Mike Tomlin, their 38-year-old head coach. — HOF Steelers quarterback and FOX Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw, from his column today.

Check the post below for video links to game highlights and post-game interviews!


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