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fordfixer
12-07-2009, 07:45 AM
Roethlisberger: That hurts

By Kevin Gorman, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 7, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 56557.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_656557.html)

Once again, Ben Roethlisberger was talking about how much it hurts. Only this time, it had nothing to do with Hines Ward making controversial comments.

It was strictly about the 27-24 loss Sunday to the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field, the Steelers' fourth consecutive defeat and one that could potentially cost the defending Super Bowl champions a spot in the AFC playoffs.

"It hurts, especially when you know you have to fight to win these last few games," Roethlisberger said of the Steelers falling to 6-6. "To lose it close is never fun, especially to me. I hate to lose games."

If there were lingering effects from the concussion Roethlisberger incurred Nov. 22 at Kansas City or his top target publicly questioning the Steelers' quarterback for sitting out the Baltimore Ravens game with post-concussion symptoms, neither transferred to the playing field.

"That's for the media to worry about," wide receiver Santonio Holmes said. "We, as football players, we fight for one another. We know what's right and what's wrong, and we play football."

Roethlisberger completed 18 of 24 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns, including an 11-yarder to Ward that gave the Steelers a 24-20 lead with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. After the play, they were all smiles and embraced near the sideline in celebration.

"We knew that was the game-winning touchdown," said Ward, who had six receptions for 77 yards, including three catches in the second half. "We were going to go on our way and get back on the winning track. Oakland came out and did what they had to do, and we fell short."

Roethlisberger didn't come up short when he audibled for a keeper on a second-and-8 at the Oakland 19 late in the fourth quarter, picking up a first down on the run that set up the scoring pass to Ward.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger "did some good things," especially with his ability to avoid pressure in the pocket. Roethlisberger was sacked once for a 9-yard loss, and threw an interception.

"He moved when he had to move, gave us an opportunity to win the game and that's how we're all measured," Tomlin said. "I thought he gave us a shot, but ultimately we were unsuccessful."