From one Super Bowl champion to another, Patrick Mahomes wanted to take a moment to thank Ben Roethlisberger as someone he looked up to for years. Mahomes likely faced off against Roethlisberger for the final time Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback appears set to call it a career after 18 seasons.
Mahomes and Roethlisberger shared a lengthy conversation after the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 42-21 wild card win on Sunday night, likely sharing their memories battling each other as Roethlisberger may have played his final game.
“He’s a tremendous player that I have a ton of respect for. The way he plays the game, the competitor that he is, you can’t take that stuff for granted,” Mahomes said. “To be able to battle to the very end every single year – he’s won Super Bowls. He’s a guy that I’ve watched growing up, I have a ton of respect for him and that’s what I told him, that if this is his last game, he did it the right way. Everybody knows that and you show him a ton of respect going out there.”
Mahomes joined Roethlisberger as the only players to throw for 400 yards and five touchdowns in a playoff game. Sunday was the second time Mahomes has thrown five touchdown passes in a postseason game, joining Kurt Warner and Daryle Lamonica as the only players in NFL history to have multiple playoff games with five or more passing touchdowns.
Roethlisberger, who once carried the AFC torch, knows Mahomes lays claim toward that title as the Chiefs seek their third straight Super Bowl appearance. He seemingly bid farewell to Mahomes following what is believed to be Big Ben’s final game.
“I just wished him nothing but the best, such a good football player. It is fun to watch him,” Roethlisberger said. “There is a lot of respect there between us. There is a lot of respect. He said he has to get a jersey and I told him I needed one, too.”