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Patrick Mahomes: I Told Ben Roethlisberger I Have 'So Much Respect' for Him

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2022

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes defeated Ben Roethlisberger during Sunday's playoff matchup, but the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has nothing but respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers legend.

"I just told him I have so much respect for him, I've watched him growing [up], and the way he plays the game, he competes to the very end," Mahomes said during his postgame interview on NBC (h/t The Athletic) when asked what he told Roethlisberger following Kansas City's 42-21 win. "And he did that this whole entire season."

The stark contrast between the two quarterbacks' respective trajectories was on full display Sunday night.

Mahomes put on a show and finished 30-of-39 passing for 404 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He unleashed perfectly placed deep balls to Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, mixed in an underhanded touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon, and was in full control from the second quarter on after a slow start.

Big Ben never established much of a rhythm until the game was well out of hand, leaving the  Steelers to fall behind 35-7 midway through the third quarter.

He managed touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson and James Washington in what amounted to garbage-time production for the visitors, ending with a stat line of 29-of-44 passing for 215 yards and two touchdowns.

While Mahomes is on pace to pass many of his counterpart's numbers and achievements if the early portion of his own career is any indication, there is no questioning Roethlisberger's on-field greatness.

He has two Super Bowl rings and is fifth on the NFL's all-time list with 64,088 passing yards and eighth with 418 career touchdown passes. He battled the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and more as one of the faces of the league during the last two decades and helped pave the way for players like Mahomes in a passing-based league.

Yet it is the younger Mahomes' Chiefs that are advancing in the playoffs as they pursue a third straight Super Bowl appearance.             

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