If Ben Roethlisberger was motivated by the trash-talk coming from players like Jalen Ramsey since the last meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, it did not show through the first three quarters on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, the Pro Bowl cornerback seemed to be proving his point early in the game, recording two interceptions before the Steelers had even managed their first points of the day.
With Roethlisberger’s struggles obvious to everyone, it appears the Jacksonville defenders were not shy about piling on the beleaguered quarterback with a barrage of trash-talk. However, it seems their words may not have had their desired effect after all. Rather than get in his head, it turns out their smack-talk actually inspired him, as Roethlisberger told reporters after the game.
“They had a linebacker, number 50, we’ll just use numbers so we don’t say any names, that wanted to let me know every time I threw an interception. He found me and told me how many interceptions I threw. It’s a little motivation too, to try and win the game.”
Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith gives Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger an ear full after throwing his second interception of the first half Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Florida. pic.twitter.com/wykBBRzPiP— Peter Diana (@peterdianapghpg) November 18, 2018
Lighting a fire under any NFL quarterback is never really a good idea, let alone a future Hall of Farmer with an army of weapons at his disposal. Whatever was said somehow helped flick a switch heading into the fourth quarter and Steelers’ fans can ultimately thank linebacker Telvin Smith (#50) for he part he played in the win.
“They’re a really good defense. They like to talk a lot, before the game, during the game, but I’m carrying the game ball home.”
While the rest of his teammates are not adverse to some verbal-sparring of their own, Roethlisberger does not normally indulge in this type of banter. Preferring to do his talking on the scoreboard, Big Ben clearly had the last laugh this time.