Patrick Mahomes isn’t taking the bait.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback was asked by reporters Wednesday about the possibility of ending Ben Roethlisberger’s season – and most likely career – with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but Mahomes said he knows it will be a “challenge.”
“He’s an all-time great quarterback that’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day, but he’s still playing great football right now,” he said, via ProFotballTalk. “If you look at the big-time throws he’s made to keep their season alive, we know it’s going to be a great challenge for us. Not just him, but that entire team.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger greets fans after the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns, 26-14, on Jan. 3, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
He continued: “They have an attitude about them, a mindset they play with so we’re not taking them lightly at all. They’re a team that’s beat a lot of good football teams and so to get to play against Big Ben is an honor for me. He’s a great football player.”
The same day, Roethlisberger seemed to fully embrace the Steelers’ underdog status.
“I would assume, as a group, you understand that we probably aren’t supposed to be here” he said. “We probably are not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams I think are in, we’re probably number 14. We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So, let’s just go play, have fun and see what happens.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the Steelers against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 8, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
He added: “We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go play and have fun.”
The last time these two teams met, it wasn’t even close but Roethlisberger could be playing mind games. But Mahomes isn’t buying it.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes slips past Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Taco Charlton on Dec. 26, 2021, in Kansas City, Missouri. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
“They have a lot of really good coaches over there, they have a lot of really good players and they’ve played in playoff games,” Mahomes said. “They understand how to change stuff up, they understand to go back to what they’re great at. So, we’re expecting a battle.”