The NFL career game playoffs are finally here, with the top fourteen teams in the league ready to battle it out for a chance to play in Super Bowl LVI. With six games in this wild card weekend, only eight teams (six winners plus the two teams with a bye) will advance to the next round of the playoffs. This first week of games will prove to be vital for next week’s schedule. There are some great matchups, and some less interesting, more uneven matchups. Among those uneven matchups is Sunday’s 8:15pm game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The NFL odds are quite clear-cut for this game as the Steelers as 13-points underdogs for this wild card playoff game, which is not entirely surprising. Most teams and players, especially going into the playoffs, maintain a generally enthusiastic positivity about their upcoming games, but Ben Roethlisberger is the exception this year. The veteran Pittsburgh quarterback openly admitted in a press conference that he knows that his team stands no chance against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Let’s Just Have Fun”
Sunday might be the final game of Ben Roethlisberger’s successful NFL career, and it seems like he is perfectly fine with losing the last game of professional football he will ever play. In a media conference on Wednesday, Roethlisberger discussed the formidable task ahead of the Steelers, saying they were probably “20-point underdogs,” and calling the Chiefs “arguably the best team in football.”
“We don’t have a chance,” He said rather matter-of-factly. “So let’s just go in and play and have fun.”
It did not seem like Roethlisberger was the least bit worried or concerned. He seemed to be at peace about the whole situation. He seemed to be all right with losing his last career game. Roethlisberger has enjoyed such a long and illustrious career that losing a game will not break his spirit or matter at all in the long run.
The Steelers’ Journey to the Playoffs
A lot of people say that the Pittsburgh Steelers should not be in the playoffs, and they are probably right. Ending with a regular season record of 9-7-1, the Steelers had pushed their way through the season on shaky legs, finding their momentum a little more towards the end of the season.
This Pittburgh team entered their last game of the season needing to defeat the Baltimore Ravens, needing the Jacksonville Jaguars to beat the Indianapolis Colts, and needing the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders to not tie. Miraculously, all three of these things happen, though it should be noted that the Chargers-Raiders game was only an overtime, second-away-from-ending-the-game field goal away from a tie.
The Steelers simply are not good enough to last in the playoffs, especially when their first game is against the Kansas City Chiefs, the team who is looking to win the AFC Championship for the third time in a row and make their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance. It’s the Chiefs’ game to win, and Ben Roethlisberger knows that.
Ben Roethlisberger’s Career
As mentioned earlier, it is highly likely that Sunday’s game will be the last time Ben Roethlisberger will play in the NFL. The Big Ben era in Pittsburgh is coming to an end, and it has been a great one. Roethlisberger has been playing for Steelers for nearly twenty years, making his NFL debut in 2004.
He is currently fifth on the all-time passing yards list, behind legends Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Brett Favre, quite an elite queue. Most notably, Roethlisberger has the third-most fourth-quarter comebacks in NFL history with 40, behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
Roethlisberger has enjoyed a long, profitable, successful career in Pittsburgh, and his time will be up soon. He knows that there is only one thing left to do. Play football, and have fun doing it.