“Heart. Gotta have heart. Miles and miles of heart.”
That was the key for Washington to beat Dallas in The Replacements, with head coach Willie McGinty quipping that halftime line.
Pittsburgh didn’t find themselves in the same hole as the Sentinels. But their win over Cleveland Sunday required just as much heart. Speaking to reporters after the game, Ben Roethlisberger praised the other 52 guys for showing their heart.
“Got a lot of heart,” he said via the team’s YouTube channel. “And I told the guys up before the game, I said, ‘you can make up for talent. You can make up for things with heart.’ And I thought they showed a lot of heart today.”
It was a grind-it-out victory against a talented Browns’ team. 3-3 at halftime, Pittsburgh not taking the lead until four minutes into the fourth quarter. It wasn’t always pretty. Special teams was a mess, headlined by a failed fake field goal that left them without kicker Chris Boswell for the rest of the game.
Sunday’s win was Roethlisberger’s 50th in his home state of Ohio and perhaps one of his last ones. He’ll play there just one more time this regular season in their second meeting with the Bengals after Thanksgiving. With the way Roethlisberger acted post-game and in his press conference, he sounds like someone who knows this was probably his last game in Cleveland.
” I just told those guys. I told [Najee] and I told the line. Don’t ever, ever take a win against these guys in this stadium for granted. Ever. Because it’s always hard fought, it’s something special. Played a lot of games here and I don’t take anything for granted.”
Roethlisberger’s played and won a lot of games against Cleveland, now 25-2-1 all-time against the Browns. On the road, he’s now 12-2-1. That road record may be his final number. Should Sunday have been his final game playing on Lake Erie’s shores, it was a heck of a way to go out. Not because Roethlisberger or even the team as a collective played an amazing brand of football. But because they scratched and clawed their way to a win, the way AFC North wins are meant to be earned.