Big Ben focused on Bengals attempt to 'ruin Christmas'


If Mike Tomlin has peered ahead to Pittsburgh's Week 15 showdown with New England, the same can't be said of his players.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday that he hasn't gazed at "one thing of Patriots film" this season, despite his coach telling NBC's Tony Dungy that Pittsburgh and New England were headed for "fireworks" in the regular season before likely meeting again in the playoffs.

"Honestly, he's the head coach," Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio show, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "He's allowed to think about whatever game or whatever elephant in the room or whatever matchups, things like that.

"For me, I am 100 percent on Cincinnati and nothing else. That is my biggest focus because these guys are going to come out to get us. They want to ruin our playoff chances. I know those guys are going to want to get after us and try to ruin our Christmas."

Roethlisberger is wise to keep his eyes on the here and now. The Steelers face the Bengals on Monday night before a critical showdown with the Ravens in Week 14. Drop either affair and Pittsburgh (9-2) is likely to enter that Week 15 showdown with the Patriots sitting a game behind their AFC big brother.

Why? Because smart money says New England (9-2) isn't about to stumble against Buffalo and Miami over the next two weeks before facing the Steelers, who they've dismissed seven straight times without much thought.

For Pittsburgh, it's on to Cincinnati -- or else.