The Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have done the unthinkable by sneaking into the AFC playoffs in the last game of the regular season.
Many, apparently, including Roethlisberger himself, seemed shocked to see the Steelers make the playoffs after a horrid 1-3 start to the season.
Rookie running back Najee Harris has taken umbrage at the words his star quarterback spewed about their chances against the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's AFC Wild Card playoff game.
Here are the initial comments made by the former All-Pro quarterback:
"We probably aren’t supposed to be here. We probably are not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams that are in, we’re probably at number 14. We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So let’s just go plan and have fun and see what happens."
Perhaps, this is all simply some sort of Jedi-mind trick to psych the Chiefs into not playing their best game. Roethlisberger continued:
“…We’re probably 20-point underdogs, and we’re going to the No. 1 team… that’s won the AFC the last two years. Arguably, the best team in football. We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go in and have fun.”
After seeing or hearing these words, Harris posted a now-deleted post to Instagram in which he disagreed with the sentiment from his quarterback by posting two words:
WARNING: The following statement from Najee Harris contains sensitive and inappropriate language.
It is evident that Harris does not see the Steelers as not belonging in the playoffs at all. The post has since been deleted, and the hope is that the two teammates have talked and there has been some sort of understanding between them.
Can the Pittsburgh Steelers pull off an upset over the Kansas City Chiefs?
Now that Pittsburgh is back in the playoffs, they must devise a gameplan to defeat Patrick Mahomes and the mighty Kansas City Chiefs.
The Steelers will be playing the game with house money as no one, not even their quarterback, expects them to have a chance against the Chiefs.
Of course, there is something to be said about mental warfare, and Roethlisberger may likely be attempting to place all of the pressure on the Chiefs with the hopes that they buckle.
But pulling off an upset begins with putting pressure on Mahomes with Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner T.J. Watt. Watt tied the single-season sack record of 22.5 sacks, which was solely held by Michael Strahan since 2001.
The defense will also need to be complemented by positive plays up the field from Big Ben. With Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson out at the receiver position, the team has the horses to drive the ball down the field.
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The AFC Wild Card matchup between Pittsburgh and Kansas City is on Sunday, January 16 at 8:15 p.m. EST