“He’s the key. You put another quarterback in there and they are not the same.” — Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib on Big Ben.

“We just wanna take it one [game] at a time. We’ve got a divisional opponent this week at their place, so that’s gonna be our focus. We believe in each other and in the system, and guys make plays. I thought the line did an unbelievable job with the pass rush they have, and helping get me some time, and receivers got open, and when they weren’t open, they found ways to make plays.” — Ben.

From Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com:

“Steelers can beat anyone with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown”

122115This team was buried.

Down 17 points to the Denver Broncos, defense lifeless, offense sluggish, Brock Osweiler punishing.

Then the Pittsburgh Steelers gripped the game with both hands and shook Heinz Field.

Lesson No. 1,176 — the Steelers are never truly out of a game with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. The two were phenomenal with 16 connections for 189 yards and two touchdowns against, oh, just the league’s best defense in a 34-27 win.

Brown carried the Steelers for parts of this game. Throw defensive coverages out the window, Roethlisberger said.

“AB was AB. Period,” Roethlisberger said.

The Steelers can tilt a game’s momentum in seconds. Ryan Shazier’s fourth-quarter interception turned into a touchdown three plays later thanks to Roethlisberger’s 23-yarder to Brown with 3:24 left.

Dangerous. Playoff dangerous.

You can read more here.

“Ben Roethlisberger is THE best quarterback in the NFL right now….he went through that Denver defense like it was swiss cheese!!”. — Mike Greenberg, Mike & Mike this morning.

And from Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Steelers gladly live with Roethlisberger”

122115_1They met in the Steelers locker room after the game, general manager Kevin Colbert and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Colbert was ecstatic. The Steelers had just climbed out of a 27-10 hole, rallying against the NFL’s best defense to beat the Denver Broncos, 34-27. Roethlisberger was relieved. He threw a late interception that could have ruined his and his team’s otherwise spectacular second-half performance.

“I told Kevin, ‘I’ve got to stop trying to make plays,’ ” Roethlisberger said. “He said, ‘No, you don’t. We’ll always live with you and die with you.’ It makes you feel good.”

Roethlisberger made plenty of plays before forcing a pass that was intercepted by linebacker Brandon Marshall at the Steelers 41 with 2:01 left and the Steelers leading, 34-27. After his defense bailed him out by forcing four consecutive incompletions, Roethlisberger completed one final pass to ice the win. His 8-yard throw to wide receiver Antonio Brown on third-and-5 at the Steelers 46 with 1:30 left allowed the Steelers to run out the clock and stay in control of the final AFC wild-card slot.

“You feel like you’ve killed the team,” Roethlisberger said of his interception. “I’m always going to beat myself up. But no one else did. I came off the field and [cornerback] Will Gay said, ‘We’ll get you the ball back.’ And they did …

“I was glad when the [pass] call came in at the end, that it wasn’t just a run and let’s punt it and rely on our defense. It was faith and belief in me from the coaches and players. It was great.”

Why not have faith in Roethlisberger? He is playing the best football of his Hall of Fame-caliber career. He completed 40 of 55 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half. It was his fifth 300-plus-yard game in the past six. It might have been his most impressive performance because of the competition. The Broncos defense came in No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.3), yards allowed per game (272.5) and passing yards allowed per game (188.2).

“The nameless gray faces we play are irrelevant if we’re on our game,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We feel like we’re pretty good on offense. If we take care of the ball, we feel like we can go up and down the field on anyone.”

You can read more here.