The Pittsburgh Steelers clearly hear what is being said outside the facility leading up to Sunday night’s wild card showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The game is a rematch of Kansas City’s 36-10 thumping of the Steelers on Dec. 26. And, based on Pittsburgh being a 12.5-point underdog, the expectation from prognosticators is that the Chiefs will overwhelm the Steelers once again. That fact wasn’t lost on Ben Roethlisberger, who used self-deprecation when asked about his team’s role as decided underdog.
“We haven’t discussed it, but I would assume as a group you understand that we probably aren’t supposed to be here,” Roethlisberger said on Wednesday. “We’re probably not a very good football team. Out of the 14 teams that are in, we’re probably number 14. We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So, let’s just go play, have fun and see what happens.”
Roethlisberger offered a similar answer when asked about the difference between being an underdog in the playoffs to being the favorite. Unlike this time around, the Steelers were favored and at home the last three times they entered the postseason.
“We’re probably 20-point underdogs, and we’re going to the No. 1 team that’s won the AFC the last two years,” Roethlisberger said. “Arguably the best team in football. We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go play and have fun.”
Sarcasm aside, Roethlisberger said that he has spoken to his younger teammates about the heightened importance of taking care of the football in the postseason. He added that he has also stressed the importance of playing fast, free and having fun. The Steelers, after all, weren’t even supposed to be in this situation after a 1-3 start and needing to win and have several other things fall in their favor in Week 18.
But things did fall in place for the Steelers, who also took care of their own business by coming from behind to defeat the Ravens in…