Big Ben: Long odds vs. KC so let’s have fun ‘

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PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger knows his team is unlikely to be here, No. 7 in the playoffs, preparing to face the Kansas City Chiefs, No. 2. And yet the 39-year-old knows from experience that wild things once a team enters the off-season – no matter how it happens.

“I would assume that as a group you understand that we are probably not meant to be here. We are probably not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams that I think are involved, we are 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 are not the No. 1 seed, of course, but they are the No. 1 team, who has won the AFC the last two years, arguably the best team in football.

“We do not have a chance. So let’s just go in and play and have fun.”

The Steelers are actually 12.5 point underdogs for the Chiefs, who have played in the Super Bowl the past two seasons. The Chiefs beat AFC West and secured their playoff spot three weeks ago when they beat the Steelers 36-10 in Week 16.

But for the Steelers to reach this matchup, they had to beat the Baltimore Ravens in the season finale and needed the Jacksonville Jaguars to disrupt the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers-Las Vegas Raiders match in order not to end in a draw.

Late Sunday night to early Monday morning, the Steelers’ playoff hopes were on life support as the Raiders and Chargers went to overtime and were seconds behind ending in a draw. But as time ran out, Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson finally pushed the Steelers to the playoffs with a battle-winning field goal.

Roethlisberger looked at home and entered the game on FaceTime with two friends, the Christian music artists Bart Millard from MercyMe and TobyMac. During the Raiders’ last drive in overtime, Roethlisberger wore a too-small Raiders helmet signed by former player Shane Lechler and former kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

“I wish I had gone to bed instead of staying up with the stress,” Roethlisberger said. “But what a crazy, crazy game. Crazy ending. You go in tonight excited to get in, and then your hopes start to fade there too little. And then the last drive, do you really think they’re going to play for tie. But there are other plans out there. “

Now that the Steelers are in the off-season, this playoff push seems reminiscent of the 2005 race to the Super Bowl XL, where No. 6 seed Steelers rode a wave of momentum to bring returning Jerome Bettis to a Super Bowl victory before retired.

“I wanted to win for Jerome because you know what I meant,” Roethlisberger said. “Maybe [current Steelers teammates] feel the same way. I do not know. It’s not like Jerome ever came to me and said, ‘Gunner, let’s win it for me.’ He did not have to say that. We would still win it for him. “

To reach the Super Bowl XL, the Steelers upset Peyton Manning and the No. 1 seeded Colts 21-18 after losing to them in the regular season. But Roethlisberger warned against making too many comparisons between that team and the current group.

“I do not want to take anything from this team, but it was a pretty good football team,” he said. “We had the Hall of Famers on it and stuff like that. 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 it happened … I think that team was a really good football team. And we’re not as good at a football team as we were then But you know, everything can happen.”

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