Roethlisberger was able to extend the 2021 season for another game – a game he previously said the Steelers “don’t have a chance” in. His prediction came true but for him, the outcome doesn’t have much weight on his 18-year career.
“It’s tough, but I’m proud to play with these guys,” Roethlisberger told reporters after the game. “God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city in Pittsburgh with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players, and it has just truly been a blessing, and I’m so thankful to Him for the opportunity that He’s given me.”
A six-time Pro Bowler with a pair of Super Bowl rings, Roethlisberger’s season – and likely career – didn’t end on a high note.
The Steelers struggled from the start to get the offense going. Roethlisberger went 29-of-44 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to match Patrick Mahomes, who ran a clinic on Pittsburgh’s defense, completing 30 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns to advance to the divisional round.
“I will say that I’m really proud of the way guys fought,” Roethlisberger continued. “We had guys, whether it’s linemen or backs or receivers, tight ends, I mean, guys stepped up and literally fought to the end. Tonight, guys just never quit literally until the last second. Even when it’s out of grasp, guys don’t quit. … I’m just so proud to call these guys brothers and to play for ’em.”
Roethlisberger has yet to officially announce his retirement but has previously said that “all signs are pointing” to this being the end of his time in the NFL.
“I’m just so thankful,” he said, reflecting on his time in Pittsburgh. “I hope that I’m able to pass the legacy of what it is to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney, you know? We all miss him, anyone who knew him misses him and so, it’s just, hopefully I could pass some of that on to the guys and continue the tradition of what it means to be a Steeler.”