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Ben Roethlisberger on loss to Bills: 'If I don’t play good enough football, I need to hang it up'

Chris Cwik
·2 min read
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Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he’s the problem with the Steelers’ offense.

Following the team’s Sunday night loss to the Buffalo Bills, Roethlisberger put the offense’s woes on himself, saying, “If I don’t play good enough football, I need to hang it up,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Roethlisberger struggled against the Bills, completing 21 passes for 187 yards and throwing two touchdowns against two interceptions in the 26-15 loss. Pittsburgh’s conservative play-calling was a major issue, as Roethlisberger’s 5.05 yards per attempt were his lowest of the season.

After losing two straight games, Roethlisberger, 38, realizes that has to improve. If it doesn’t, Roethlisberger won’t be playing football much longer, according to the Post-Gazette.

“I’m not playing good enough football for us to win,” Roethlisberger said, without naming the few dozen teammates who could swear to the same statement. “If I don’t play good enough football, I need to hang it up. I’m going to do everything I can to get back on track.”

One assumes Roethlisberger would wait until the offseason to walk away from the game. One also assumes Roethlisberger wasn’t being completely serious, and this was a way to motivate himself and his teammates.

While Roethlisberger wasn’t great against the Bills, the rest of the Steelers’ offense hasn’t done him many favors lately. In the team’s Week 13 loss to the Washington Football Team, Steelers receivers dropped seven passes. It reached a point where head coach Mike Tomlin told receivers they would be benched if they couldn’t do their jobs. Tomlin made good on that threat Sunday, as Diontae Johnson was replaced by James Washington after Johnson had some early drops against the Bills.

Steelers lose grip on top AFC playoff spot

With the loss, the Steelers fell out of the top playoff seed in the AFC. The team entered Week 13 at 11-0 and in control of attaining home-field advantage through the playoffs. But after two straight losses, the Steelers gave way to the 12-1 Kansas City Chiefs. Should that hold the rest of the way, the Chiefs would host the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium if the two teams met in the AFC championship game.

Things could get worse for Pittsburgh if the team can’t get its act together soon. After playing the 2-10-1 Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15, the Steelers have to beat the 9-4 Indianapolis Colts and 9-4 Cleveland Browns the final two weeks of the season.

If the Steelers lose one of those games, they could be replaced by the 10-3 Bills for the No. 2 seed in the AFC. After Sunday’s game, the Bills hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers if their records are the same.

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