It appears Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis haven’t really gotten over the 2004 season AFC Championship Game.
That evening saw a 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers team, led by a then-rookie quarterback Roethlisberger, see their season end at the hands of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Both “Big Ben” and “The Bus” do not believe the Pats were the better team that day — with claims the Pats “cheated.”
Former Patriot Asante Samuel, however, gave a different — and much harsher — take directed at the two Steeler legends.
Asante Samuel Calls Out Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis
Speaking on his Said What Needs to be Said Podcast on Tuesday, Samuel buried the notion that his Patriots team was not the better team by Roethlisberger and Bettis’ standards, plus were not cheaters.
“Are you crazy? This is what determined the outcome of the game: Tom Brady was better than Ben Roethlisberger, Rodney Harrison was better than Troy Polamalu, Corey Dillion was better than Jerome Bettis,” ripped Samuel.
The Pro Bowl cornerback and Super Bowl winner wasn’t through with eviscerating both NFL legends.
“You guys decide to be sore losers,” Samuel said, pointing out the fact both acted out 19 years after the game.
Both Steelers thought the Pats had an advantage in learning the signals and formation of a critical 4th-and-1 scenario that forced New England to call timeout.
“You claim that on a critical play on fourth down, y’all line up, and we call a timeout because we knew the play that was coming. We knew the signs or the tips, or we had some type of information to figure out that play. You call it cheating? Are you crazy?”
Tom Brady was better than Ben Roethlisberger, Rodney Harrison was better than Troy Polamalu, Corey Dillion was better than Jerome Bettis etc…. pic.twitter.com/wArDWVf50H
— Asante Samuel Sr. (@pick_six22) September 27, 2023
Why Claim Was Made by Both Steelers Players
This claim stems from the constant scrutiny the Pats had during their Spygate scandal — which led to head coach Bill Belichick being fined for videotaping and stealing signals.
Roethlisberger made his claims on his Footbahlin Podcast Tuesday.
Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis say the Patriots stole their signs and cheated in the 2004 AFC Championship Game.
🎥: Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger pic.twitter.com/ng5JKhkEmF
— Jarrett Bailey (@JBaileyNFL) September 25, 2023
Samuel, though, ended his rant by naming off all his ex-teammates who outperformed the Steelers that evening. On his end, Samuel swatted four passes and delivered three solo tackles in the 41-27 romp in the Steel City.