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Roethlisberger Continues to Be Underrated as an Elite NFL Quarterback

Posted on June 07, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is ranked as only the 41st best player in the NFL, according to current players.

Last night, I was watching the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2011” and saw that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ranked 41st in a poll ranked by current NFL players.

This proves once again, that Roethlisberger is one of the most underrated players in pro football.

Ever since he joined the league back in 2004, all Big Ben has done is win, as he complied a 69-29-career regular season record, 10-3 in the playoffs, and appeared in three Super Bowls, winning two of them.

And this guy is the 41st best player in the NFL?

I guess one of the reasons Roethlisberger is not ranked so high on the list is the way he plays, which is not pretty at times.

Big Ben is knowing for holding the ball for a long time, which has caused a number of sacks, but has benefiting Pittsburgh in that he can extend the play as long as he can, before finding a open receiver or scrambling for a big gain.

This has lead to a major belief that Roethlisberger does not put good stats, or good numbers for fantasy football owners.

"Big Ben" has lead the Steelers to numerous come-from-behind victories in his seven NFL seasons.

But on further review, “Big Ben” has some pretty nice career stats.

In his seven seasons, Roethlisberger has completed 63.1% of his passes for 22, 502 yards and 144 touchdown passes, with a 92.5% quarterback rating.

Twice he has a quarterback rating of over 100, and threw for over 4,000 yards in 2009.

So, what other reason for Roethlisberger being underrated?

There is no doubt that “Big Ben” had played with one of the league’s top defenses in his seven years, but that should not be held against him.

While not spectacular, Roethlisberger has led a productive offense in Pittsburgh, with the team finishing in the top half of the league in total yards and points, six of the seven years with “Big Ben” at the helm.

Grant it, a lot of that offense comes from the running game, but Roethlisberger sling it as good as any quarterback in the league, with 16 career games in which he has thrown for over 300 yards, three of those for more than 400 yards, including his 503 yards in a 37-36 win over the Green Bay Packers in 2009.

Roethlisberger is a 2-time Super Bowl champion, including leading the Steelers on a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIII.

And then there is his performance in the clutch, as he as come through many times in the fourth quarter and in the playoffs.

Twenty-five times in the fourth quarter or overtime, Roethlisberger has lead the Steelers on a drive that culminated in the game-winning score, with his most notable one coming in Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals, when he led the Steelers 78 yards down the field for the game-winning touchdown in the final minutes of their 27-23 win.

Despite that memorable drive, Roethlisberger has been shaky at times in his three Super Bowl appearances as he thrown for more interceptions than touchdown passes.

But what some critics need to look at, are the games in which the Steelers won to get to their Super Bowls.

In the 2005 playoffs, “Big Ben” completed 49 of 72 passes for 680 yards and threw seven touchdowns in the Steelers’ three victories against the Bengals, Colts, and Broncos to make it to Super Bowl XL.

While Roethlisberger complied the worst quarterback rating for a winning quarterback in that Super Bowl against the Seahawks, he did throw a 37-yard pass on 3rd-and-28, which set up the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game, then made the key block on Hines Ward’s 43-yard touchdown catch off a wide receiver lateral pass which ultimately gave Pittsburgh the victory.

Then, there is the AFC Championship Game from this past January, where Big Ben only completed 10 of 19 passes for 133 yards and was picked off twice.

But it was Roethlisberger who made the game-winning play as he scrambled around before he hit Antonio Brown for a 14-yard gain and a first down, which allowed the Steelers to run out the clock.

With all that said, he gets a ranking of #41 and is behind six other quarterbacks?

I will give you Brady, Manning, Brees, and even Rodgers, but Roethlisberger is a better quarterback than the other two quarterbacks who appear higher on the list, Philip Rivers and Michael Vick.

While Rivers has provided similar stats to Roethlisberger though his career (63.7% completion percentage, 19, 661 yards, 136 touchdown passes, and a rating of 97.6), the San Diego Chargers quarterback should not be higher than Roethlisberger because of their playoff records.

Again, Roethlisberger is 10-3 in his playoff career, while Rivers is just 3-3, and has not made it to a Super Bowl.

This does not mean Rivers is a bad quarterback, it just means that he needs to win a Super Bowl before he is considered as a better quarterback than Big Ben.

And then is Vick, who only last year had a completion percentage of more than 60% and a quarterback rating of over 100 in a season, for the first time in his career.

Overall, Vick has only completed 55.3% of his passes and has a rating of 80.2 in his career with the Falcons and the Eagles.

But I guess Vick is considered by the players as a better quarterback because of his ability to run the ball in spectacular fashion.

But let’s see how does in his second season as teams to see if he really is an elite quarterback.

In the end, Roethlisberger may never get the respect he deserves for what he does on the field and how well he plays the game.

I guess he’ll just have to keep winning to prove fans otherwise.

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