PITTSBURGH (AP) -Big Ben went ballistic.
When Troy Polamalu's flowing, frizzy mane - and the football - crossed the goal line and the Steelers were finally safe, Ben Roethlisberger pumped his fists and began hugging anyone within reach.
He's back in the NFL's biggest game.
Reduced to a 6-foot-5, 240-pound cheerleader in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh desperately hung on to a 2-point lead, Roethlisberger had an effective and turnover-free AFC championship Sunday as the Steelers advanced to the Super Bowl with a 23-14 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Now No. 7 will help the Steelers try to win No. 6.
urned into an electrifying 65-yard score in the second quarter against the league's toughest defense not dressed in black and gold. Roethlisberger was sacked four times, but he was also able to avoid trouble by dancing out of the pocket to buy himself time to throw.
That wasn't the case in the 2005 AFC title game against New England. Perhaps trying to prove he belonged on the same field as New England's Tom Brady, the rookie threw three interceptions as the Steelers were rocked 41-27 by the Patriots.
Even this week, Roethlisberger was bemoaning his performance on that day, when he learned lessons he leans on every time he takes the field.
With the Steelers up 16-14 in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh couldn't milk any more time off the clock and had to punt to Baltimore.
On the sideline, Roethlisberger traded his helmet for a stocking cap and cheered on the Steelers' No. 1-ranked defense. When Polamalu picked off Ravens rookie QB Joe Flacco, Roethlisberger grabbed one of his teammates and held on as Polamalu began a zigzagging run to the end zone.
re 5-1 and he is 1-0.
``I'm really proud of this band of brothers,'' Roethlisberger told the crowd before dedicating the win to troops overseas.

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Jets vs. Browns Pick Given issues at quarterback on both sides, will Sunday's game between the Browns and Jets be low-scoring for bettors?
Thumbnail Cardinals vs. Panthers Pick Did oddsmakers set the over/under too high in Sunday's Cardinals and Panthers matchup at 1:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Lions vs. Texans Pick Can the Detroit Lions add to their win streak this Sunday when they go on the road to face the Houston Texans at 1PM ET?
Thumbnail Chiefs vs. Colts Pick Will the Kansas City Chiefs be able to go on the road and maintain their strong offensive play when they face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at 1PM...
Thumbnail Raiders vs. Bucs Pick Will the Raiders and Bucs light up the scoreboard this Sunday when the two teams clash at 1:00PM ET?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages