It’s a part of the NFL’s life cycle that stuff ends within the playoffs.
They can all come to an finish with the mistaken end result. And that’s the way it’s going to be between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday evening.
If the Chiefs lose, there goes the protection of their AFC title and an incredible run that has seen them win postseason video games in 2018-21, together with the Super Bowl in February 2020.
If the Steelers lose, there goes quarterback Ben Roethlisberger driving off into retirement — the obvious finish of an 18-year profession that delivered 53 recreation profitable drives, 41 comebacks and two Super Bowl titles.
It sounds somber and perhaps even miserable, however there’s no getting round the concept, on this one, the Steelers are going to topple the convention champs or Patrick Mahomes goes to make Big Ben strike midnight on a profession.
“I mean, I haven’t even thought about it like that,” Mahomes stated this week. “He’s an all-time nice quarterback that’s going to be within the Hall of Fame at some point, however he’s nonetheless taking part in nice soccer proper now.
“If you take a look at the big-time throws he’s made to maintain their season alive, we all know it’s going to be an incredible problem for us. Not simply him, however that total crew. They have an angle about them, a mindset they play with. So we’re not taking them frivolously in any respect.
“They’re a team that’s beat a lot a good football teams, and so to get to play against Big Ben is an honor for me. He’s great football player.”
The Chiefs, it’s best to know, completed the common season by profitable 9 of their final 10 video games. The one loss was by a area objective to Cincinnati.
So even when the Chiefs should not the No.1 seed within the convention, they’re form of good. And by form of good, I imply they’re first in whole offense and second in passing yards within the convention.
The Steelers should not that. The Steelers have the Thirteenth-worst document of the 14 playoff groups. They are the bottom seed within the AFC. And they bought into the postseason, mainly, as a result of Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley went for it on fourth-and-1 from his personal 18 yard line early and known as a dumb outing late towards the Raiders.
These details, little doubt, had been the rationale Roethlisberger was greater than a bit of snide in assessing his crew’s possibilities within the recreation.
“I would assume as a group you understand that we probably aren’t supposed to be here,” Roethlisberger advised reporters. “We most likely should not an excellent soccer crew. Out of 14 groups which are in, we’re most likely at No. 14.
“We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So, let’s just go play and have fun and see what happens.”
Yes, very inspiring.
Did I point out the Chiefs dismantled the Steelers on Dec. 26?
In that 36-10 whipping, the Chiefs constructed a 30-0 lead as Mahomes threw three TD passes. And it occurred whereas tight finish Travis Kelce and three different starters missed the sport attributable to COVID-19 protocols.
So can the Chiefs carry out like that once more?
“I think with any game, just like when you play a divisional opponent, you keep a little bit of
stuff here and there, but you got to come with a different game plan for sure,” Mahomes stated. “They’re going to undergo and watch the sport and check out to remove that stuff we had success with the primary time.
“We’ll have some components in there, however we’ll have stuff to go off of from the sport earlier than. We had an incredible recreation that day the place we executed at a really excessive degree, however it is a good protection. They’re going to come back with solutions. They have nice coaches who’ve coached for a very long time and had a ton of success, so we all know it’s not going to be simple.
“It’s going to be a battle each and every play, and we’ll come in with the mindset knowing that if we don’t play our best football, we’ll be at home the next week.”
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero