Home NFL Ben Roethlisberger & Jerome Bettis Accuse Bill Belichick & Patriots Of Cheating In 2004 AFC Title Game

Ben Roethlisberger & Jerome Bettis Accuse Bill Belichick & Patriots Of Cheating In 2004 AFC Title Game

Ben Roethlisberger & Jerome Bettis Accuse Bill Belichick & Patriots Of Cheating In 2004 AFC Title Game
(Credit: boston.com)

In a surprising revelation on the “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger” podcast, NFL legends Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis have boldly accused the New England Patriots of cheating their way to victory in the 2004 AFC Championship Game.

The Steelers star quarterback and running back, both of whom boast illustrious careers in Pittsburgh, did not hold back as they discussed the controversial game.

During the conversation, Big Ben minced no words, stating: “Hey, to be fair, the Patriots cheated.”

Bettis chimed in, affirming Roethlisberger’s claim, saying: “For sure, they did. It’s not even a question in my mind.”

The Patriots’ dynasty from 2001 to 2004 has long been marred by the Spygate controversy, and numerous allegations of cheating have arisen over the years.

Big Ben and Bettis revisited the game as they reflected on Roethlisberger’s plea to Bettis to return for another season following the crushing loss to the Patriots.

Bettis alleged that the Patriots had gained access to the Steelers signs, which played a critical role in stalling an early promising drive by Pittsburgh – a pivotal moment in the game.

The Steelers, facing a fourth-and-1 at the Patriots 39-yard line while trailing 3-0, appeared poised to make a crucial conversion.

According to Bettis, Pittsburgh’s offensive line coach, Russ Grimm, signaled for a counter play with a hand-slapping motion. However, the Patriots appeared to have caught wind of the strategy and called a timeout, a decision that raised suspicions among the Steelers.

Bettis explained, “Who normally goes to the sideline on timeouts? The defensive captains, right? They told the nose guard … they pulled him to the sideline. Big 400-pound guy, he don’t want to go to the sideline and come all the way back. What does he want to go to the sideline for?”

“They were yelling, made him go to the sideline, and I always thought, ‘What is he going…’ He went all the way to the sideline and back.”

When play resumed, the Steelers executed the counterplay, but to their surprise, the nose guard, who Bettis referred to as “Washington,” seemingly in reference to former Patriot Ty Warren, made a critical stop, resulting in a fumble by Bettis.

Linebacker Roosevelt Colvin, not Ty Warren, is officially credited with the tackle on that play. On the very next play, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady connected with Deion Branch for a game-changing 60-yard touchdown, extending New England’s lead to 10-0.

“They stopped us on fourth down. That’s a critical play in the game,” Bettis asserted. “They had our signs, and they called a timeout to get them ready for that play because they knew it was coming. No questions in my mind.”

“I remember vividly because I thought, ‘Why is this big dude going to the sideline?'”

Maybe the story is true. Maybe it’s not – But if it is, you can’t say you’re too surprised.

What do you think? Did Belichick and the Patriots cheat in that game?




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