Ben Roethlisberger knows his Pittsburgh Steelers are the underdogs in the AFC Championship Game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The veteran quarterback referred to their rivals as “dragons” but said they have the potential to “slay them”.
Roethlisberger as a “dragon-slayer” has been unsuccessful in the past, including a postseason loss in his rookie year in 2004. As a team, the Steelers are just 1-3 against the Patriots in four meetings. Pittsburgh is also 0-2 against a New England team led by head coach Bill Belichick.
Roethlisberger praises New England Patriots
“It’s the championship game. You’ve got one game to get to the Super Bowl. Like I said, you’re going up to the lion’s den, the dragon’s lair. They’re the dragon and we’re trying to slay them. It doesn’t matter who it is, but as I said they’re the gold standard,” Roethlisberger, who has been with the Steelers since 2004, stated to NFL.com.
“They’re the best in the world, they’re the gold standard if you will, so you want to have that opportunity to go play the best. It’ll be an awesome challenge for us.”
Roethlisberger is known for his toughness and leadership. By stating the truth that they are the underdogs, he could be setting up his teammates to have the mindset of the underdog and play their best against the “gold standard” team led by Belichick and Tom Brady, two of the best coaches and quarterbacks in league history.
This is the “dragon” and “gold standard” New England Patriots team that has appeared in eight Super Bowl matches. They are just 4-4 in the championship game but have won four of six Super Bowls since Belichick took over with Brady under center.
The Steelers have won two of three Super Bowl appearances in the Roethlisberger era. They are 6-2 overall in the championship game with the latest wins coming in 2005 and 2008.
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