Ryan Mayer

Big Ben and the Steelers couldn’t seem to get the offense clicking for much of last night’s 36-17 loss in the AFC Championship to the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Part of the offense’s problems stemmed from an early groin injury suffered by star running back Le’Veon Bell, but Roethlisberger thinks something else was to blame for the loss. According to Roethlisberger’s comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the moment was “too big” for the Steelers young players.

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Here are the quarterback’s exact words.

““There were missed opportunities whether we didn’t execute well enough, whether plays weren’t made by me or other guys. At times it felt like maybe it was too big for some of the young guys.”

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“It’s a little frustrating,” Roethlisberger said. “We talk about how sometimes it’s just one play here, one play there. Tonight we didn’t make those plays. Was [the moment] too big? I don’t know. We need to make every single play in a game like this, in a moment like this.”

“Hopefully, this is a learning game for guys to understand this isn’t promised to anybody. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Just to make the playoffs isn’t enough. A lot of guys have been in the league for a long time and haven’t been to any of these. I hope they understand the importance and relish the opportunity if it comes again.”

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To Roethlisberger’s point, Steelers receivers did have multiple key drops throughout the game that could have led to big plays. That said, the good news for the team is that, as Roethlisberger said, this can be a learning experience for the young guys as they gear up for another potential Super Bowl run next season.