BOSTON (CBS) — After losing in stunning fashion on their home turf against their conference rival, the Steelers were no doubt disappointed on Sunday evening.
Yet when it came time to face the media after that 27-24 loss to the Patriots, the Steelers almost universally shared the same message: We’ll play the Patriots again, and the outcome will be different.
Wide receiver Eli Rogers, the intended target on Ben Roethlisberger’s game-losing interception, went so far as to essentially predict a Steelers victory if (when?) the two teams meet in the postseason.
“We’ll see them again,” said Steelers receiver Eli Rogers. “And the outcome will be different.”
And while most players and coaches on the Steelers’ side took issue with the NFL’s call to overturn a near-touchdown by Jesse James in the final minute, Rogers also took issue with what he deemed to have been a missed call on the fateful interception.
“I mean, [Eric Rowe] definitely, you know, pulled my hip. But, you know, they didn’t make the call. And it is what it is,” Rogers said.
Sharing in Rogers’ confidence for a rematch was the man who dropped the would-be game-winning touchdown.
“We’re gonna be good. It’s one game. We’ve got a lot of football left to play. Ultimate goal, we’ll probably end up seeing this team again,” James said. “So, that’s just the way the football game worked.”
Cornerback Artie Burns likewise shared the sentiment.
“We just gotta take it all in and just play better,” Burns said. “We know those guys real good, and they know us real good. So it’s all going to come down to the last wire. We’ve got some real good coaches, they’ve got some real good coaches. So it’s just going to be a battle, man, and we’re just looking forward to play those guys again.”
Rookie T.J. Watt’s confidence was not wavering after the loss.
“I’ll take the Pittsburgh Steelers over any team any day,” he said.
Veterans like Roethlisberger and Cameron Heyward weren’t quite as brash, knowing that speaking of a postseason rematch presumes the Steelers actually get to the AFC Championship Game.
“I mean, yeah,” Roethlisberger said when asked if he hopes to see the Patriots again. “Because that means we’ve made it pretty far.”
“You tip your hat to them. Ball just bounced their way. And that’s it,” Heyward said. “It’s one game. We can sit up here and say it was a big game, but it’s not the Super Bowl. We’ve got a lot of games left, and I’m looking forward to it. I’d like a shot at everybody we lose to. But there’s a road that we’re going to have to take. I know that we have the same record now, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of football ahead of us.”