"We aren't supposed to be here" Big Ben talks Steelers' chances
With a dramatic entry into the post season courtesy of a last ditch Raiders field goal, the Steelers are underdogs, but they've got history on their side.
Underdogs with a history. That's one way of looking at the Steelers but the real question is, what do their chances look like in the post season?
Ben Roethlisberger discusses the Steeler's playoff chances
Having made it to the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, the Pittsburgh Steelers are well aware that they are lucky to be in. That being said, the post season is where all bets are off and it's all about what happens on the day. Just ask their veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Speaking on their prospects heading into a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the quarterback was open about the fact that his 7th seeded team probably appear out of place as they prepare to face the No. 2 seed Chiefs. On the other hand the former Super Bowl winner knows all to well that when it comes to the playoffs, anything can happen.
"I would assume, as a group, you understand that we probably aren't supposed to be here. We probably are not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams I think are in, we're probably number 14," he said. "... We're probably 20-point underdogs, and we're going to the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 team. I know they're not the No. 1 seed, obviously, but they're the No. 1 team that has won the AFC the last two years, arguably the best team in football. We don't have a chance. So, let's just go in and play and have fun."
The Steelers hope to continue riding luck
While Roethlisberger's sentiment is understandable, the reality is not as harsh as he makes it out to be. The Steelers are actually 12.5-point underdogs to the Chiefs, who themselves have made it to the Super Bowl in the last two consecutive seasons. Incidentally, the Chiefs clinched the AFC West and ensured their playoff spot three weeks ago with a 36-10 win over the Steelers in Week 16. Indeed it was that loss that put Pittsburgh in a tight spot. The result? The Steelers had to beat the Baltimore Ravens in their last game of the season, while waiting to see whether or not the Jacksonville Jaguars could upset the Indianapolis Colts along with the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders matchup which they needed to end in anything but a tie. In the end the Chargers vs Raiders game gave the Steelers a scare as it went ot overtime, however, with seconds left on the clock, Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson sent the Steelers to the playoffs with his game-winning field goal.
Big Ben, 2005 memories and the spirit of Jerome Bettis
Speaking on the dramatic fashion in which Pittsburgh made it into the post season, the man they call 'Big Ben' didn't hide how the last gasp effort by the Raiders played with his emotions. "I wish I would've went to bed instead of stayed up with the stress," Roethlisberger said. "But what a crazy, 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."
With the Steelers now having qualified for the post season, one can't help but remember they fairy tale run in 2005 which culminated in Super Bowl XL. Seeded at No. 6, the Steelers rode went from strength to strength as they went all the way to a championship and in so doing gave legendary running back Jerome Bettis a title before his retirement. "I wanted to go win for Jerome because you know what he meant," Roethlisberger said. "Maybe [current Steelers teammates] feel the same way. I don't know. It's not like Jerome ever came to me and said, 'Guys, let's go win it for me.' He didn't have to say that. We wanted to win it for him anyway."
Ben Roethlisberger is staying focused
Though the past is the past, it's worth noting that along the way in that fateful 2005 season, the Steelers upset Peyton Manning and the No. 1-seeded Colts 21-18 after losing to them in the regular season. The comparisons are of course being made, but Roethlisberger doesn't see it that way, in fact Pittsburgh's main man has directly warned against getting lost in nostalgia when it comes to his current teammates. "I don't want to take anything away from this team, but that was a pretty good football team," he said. "We had Hall of Famers on it and stuff. Not that we don't have some really good football players here. We have a long way to go to compare ourselves to that team, in my opinion. ...These guys were, what, middle school or elementary school when that was going on. ...I think that team was a really good football team. And we're not as good of a football team as we were then. But, you know, anything can happen."
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