In the end, it was not a good night for Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers franchise quarterback, who had been though so much over the past 11 months, could have cemented his legacy with another Super Bowl win in Dallas.
Instead, it’s the two-time Super Bowl winner who was quiet and reserved after a stunning 31-25 loss to the Packers in which he threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown to make it 14-0 in the first quarter.
While there was plenty of blame to go around the black and gold locker room, Roethlisberger decided to put the weight of Super Bowl XLV on his shoulders.
“It was hard-fought. Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose,” Roethlsiberger said. “For me it’s even more disappointing because you feel like you let a lot of people down that stood up today to fight – people like Doug Legursky, Trai Essex, Ramon Foster, Antwaan Randel El. Personally, I feel like I let a lot of people down.
“I don’t put the blame on anybody but myself,” he said. “I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, my coaches, my teammates. It’s not a good feeling.”
The Steelers fought back thanks to the play of the QB and the defense, as the club got within three in the fourth quarter at 28-25. The defense though allowed a Green Bay drive that ended with a field goal to make it 31-25, and in the Steelers final drive, they managed one first down but then five yards and three incomplete passes to end the season.
“They did a great job of taking away deep things and taking away the outside,” Roethlisberger said. “You’re kind of stuck with very limited options there with that much time and no timeouts left. We just had to try to do what we could do.”
The final drive isn’t though what lost the game for the Steelers, it was three turnovers that resulted in 17 Packers points. In a game decided by 6, allowing 17 points on turnovers says it all.
“We’re a team of fighters. We don’t quit. We believe in each other,” Ben said. “We were going to fight all the way to the last second, which I think we did. If I had played a little bit better, I feel like we would have had a better chance to win the game.”
The first INT was a killer, as Nick Collins took it back 37 yards for a score. The second, a catch over the middle that should have been made by Mike Wallace, resulted in the score to make it 21-3. The Steelers rallied to score before half to make it 21-10, but by then, they were playing catch up all night.
“You know what, you’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” Roethlisberger said. “They’re a great defense; they got after us and I turned the ball over and you can’t do that.”