‘Don’t Really Care About The Underdog Thing,’ Harris Says On Approach To Chiefs’ Game

Some Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Heyward, are leaning into the Pittsburgh Steelers being massive playoff underdogs. Others like Diontae Johnson are using it as motivational material, a show-the-world mentality to get ready for Sunday’s game.

And some guys? They just don’t care what Vegas has to say. That’s Najee Harris’ approach. Underdog, favorite, none of that matters when the ball is kicked off Sunday night.

“I don’t really care about the underdog thing,” he told reporters in audio provided by the team. “I don’t think that matters at all. Anytime that you’re playing a sport, no matter what people say or think, it does not help a team win or lose a game. Because they’re not playing the game at all. They’re just giving their comments.”

Harris is of course correct. If last Sunday proved anything, the lines aren’t the end-all. The Jacksonville Jaguars and their 15.5 point underdog squad upset the Indianapolis Colts, winning by 15 points instead. And way back in 2005, a plucky 6th-seeded Steelers team were nearly double-digit dogs to the top-seeded Colts and found a way to upset them, Vegas lines be damned.

All that is going to matter Sunday night are the players in uniform. Everything else to Harris is just noise.

“So I really don’t give a hell about any of that shit. Just for us to be here and have the opportunity to play, I’m always excited for that. So, let’s have fun. Let’s compete.”

Still, for historical purposes, this would be a monumental upset. As Dave Bryan recently pointed out, only one road team who was 12+ point underdogs have won, the 1996 Jaguars upsetting John Elway’s Broncos.

This will be Harris’ first NFL playoff game but he’s no stranger to big-time matchups. His Alabama teams are always in the college football playoff race and he won a National Championship in 2020 as the team’s leading rusher. Of course, those Bama teams were almost always favorites so being the underdog is new territory for him.

But to hear Harris tell it, he clearly couldn’t care less about what the odds say. Pittsburgh’s been a team to defy the odds all season long.

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