Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play what may very well be the ultimate recreation of his NFL profession on Sunday. And, if feedback he made on Wednesday are any indication, he is not anxious about taking part in his final recreation in any respect.

The veteran signal-caller famous to media that the seventh-seed Steelers are vital underdogs in opposition to the second-seed Chiefs (12.5 favorites, in keeping with FanDuel). He additionally made be aware of how handily Kansas Metropolis demolished Pittsburgh 36-10 within the crew’s Week 16 assembly — the ultimate recreation in an eight-game win streak wherein Roethlisberger accomplished 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards, one landing and one interception.

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His opinion? “We do not stand an opportunity.”

One has to admire Large Ben’s introspectiveness right here.

And should you take Roethlisberger’s feedback at face worth, one might come to the conclusion that he thinks his profession is coming to an finish on Sunday. However the underlying message is painfully apparent: “The stress’s on Kansas Metropolis to win this recreation.” And why would not or not it’s? The Chiefs — “arguably one of the best crew in soccer,” per Roethlisberger — are looking for to make their third Tremendous Bowl berth in as many seasons, a stage they’ve aimed for since struggling a surprising 31-9 defeat to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Tremendous Bowl 55.

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The 9-7-1 Steelers, in the meantime, entered Week 18 of the NFL common season needing vital assist simply to make the expanded playoffs. A win by the Jaguars over the Colts opened the door for Pittsburgh to sneak in because the 7-seed. The Raiders and Chargers created a detailed name of their “Sunday Night time Soccer” recreation, practically ending the sport in a tie that will have stored Pittsburgh out of the playoffs.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, kicker Daniel Carlson sealed the take care of a walk-off area purpose to provide Las Vegas a 35-32 win. (Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, it must be famous, dozed off and missed the ending of the game, regardless that it decided whether or not his crew would make the postseason).

All indicators level to a Steelers crew with the ability to play free and free on this recreation. And it isn’t as if Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh have by no means been right here earlier than: He has led the franchise to a few Tremendous Bowl berths, successful two in 2006 and ’09. The 2005 Steelers additionally grew to become the primary 6-seed in NFL playoffs historical past to beat a 1-seed, attain a convention championship recreation and win the Tremendous Bowl for the reason that playoff expanded to a 12-team format in 1990.

The one factor left for the Steelers to do, as Roethlisberger famous, is “have enjoyable.”


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