"If you try and press, or stress yourself, that's when bad things happen."
After the Cardinals had taken the lead, Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes had told Roethlisberger he wanted to be the guy who made the plays to win the game. And, so he did. Holmes caught three passes for 67 yards and the Steelers found themselves on Arizona's 6-yard line with 42 seconds to play.
Down the stretch, a funny thing happened to Roethlisberger. He actually forgot the score.
"As we started getting closer, into field goal range -- this is absolutely horrible to say -- but I forgot that a field goal tied it," Roethlisberger said. "Like, I was focused only on a touchdown.
"I wasn't even thinking about tying the game, which I probably should have, because the last pass was really close to being intercepted."
Ah, that last pass. The play call was 62 Scat Flasher, which called for receiver Nate Washington to go down the middle and featured receiver Hines Ward and tight end Heath Miller in high/low backside routes. Holmes? He was the fourth or fifth option, running a curl toward the right corner of the end zone that split the coverage wide-open. Roethlisberger shuffled to his right away from the pass rush, buying himself a second or two, then heaved the ball toward Holmes -- and three Arizona defenders.
"As soon as the ball came out of my hand, I thought it was going to be intercepted," Roethlisberger said. "It was like slow motion. I knew it was intercepted. I was so mad."
Holmes planted his feet just inside the sideline and extended his arms. As Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco made contact, Holmes caught the ball and held on as he fell through the end zone. With 35 seconds left, the Steelers led 27-23 and held on for their sixth Super Bowl victory, most in NFL history -- one more than the San Francisco 49ers, the team Roethlisberger rooted for growing up.
The play has been compared to "The Catch," the Joe Montana pass to a leaping Dwight Clark to win the 1981 NFC Championship Game over the Dallas Cowboys.
"He throws that high ball at the back of the end zone," Roethlisberger remembered. "Clark goes up and catches it. I'm not taking anything from them, but what Santonio did was just as great. To get two feet in, to go up and pluck it like that ...
"People still talk about it to me, just how great that drive and that play was."
The New York Giants lost their first two games, saw their head coach Tom Coughlin under repeated fire and couldn't even win their division. That's why they were 12-point underdogs in Super Bowl XLII -- the biggest line since the Patriots played the heavily favored St. Louis Rams six years earlier. You know how that one turned out.
"We were just so enamored that we had the opportunity to knock off the so-called Goliath," Giants wide receiver David Tyree said. "I guess it amounts to resolve. It amounts to what did you come here for. It amounts to the journey that started in training camp."