Ben Roethlisberger ready for next chapter after Steelers’ career ends with playoff loss to Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Ben Roethlisberger tried to motivate his teammates by downplaying their chances against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC wild-card game.

He labeled the Steelers the worst of the 14 teams that extended their season into mid-January. He talked of wanting to keep the game against the second-seeded Chiefs close and for the Steelers not to get blown out by 20 to 30 points.

For all of his tongue-in-cheek comments, Roethlisberger, though, was merely predicting what was in store for the end of his 18-year NFL career.

The Steelers sustained a 42-21 loss at Arrowhead Stadium, and Roethlisberger, looking every bit his 39 years at times, was powerless to prevent it.

“It’s tough,” Roethlisberger said. “But I’m proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with the ability to throw a football and blessed me to play in the greatest city in Pittsburgh with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players.

“It’s been truly a blessing.”

After the Steelers won back-to-back games to close the regular season – and got some outside help along the way – to make the playoffs for the 12th time in Roethlisberger’s 18 seasons, they were no match for the Chiefs. The loss was as decisive as the 36-10 defeat the Chiefs handed to the Steelers three weeks earlier.

Roethlisberger finished with 215 yards passing and two touchdowns, but he had only 24 yards in the…

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