Ben Roethlisberger will begin his 16th NFL season in a big way, on the road, and in prime time against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
“It’s the first game of the year,” Roethlisberger told reporters on Wednesday morning, “They are the world champs. We’re just trying to get to where they have been. It will be exciting for all of us.I know the crowd will be excited. Sunday Night Football. It’s not a 1 p.m. game. All those things add up to an exciting night."
Sunday night’s game will be the second time in five years the Steelers have opened their season against the Patriots.
It’s Ben versus Brady, and Roethlisberger has beaten Brady in Foxborough. It’s also a matchup between the Steelers and Patriots, the league’s only six-time Super Bowl champions.
There will be a lot of energy at Gillette Stadium, where the latest championship banner will be unfurled.
Roethlisberger told Channel 11 that the pregame festivities, including the banner-raising, will provide motivation.
“I think it’s cool to be a part of,” said Roethlisberger, “You go out there and watch it. You try to channel it to say, ‘That needs to be us next year.’”
Even after 15 seasons and two Super Bowl titles under his belt, Roethlisberger says he still gets butterflies, “I think it’s just as much excited nervous as nervous.”
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