Is Ben Roethlisberger a Great Quarterback?
John Cole passes on a Cold, Hard Football Facts essay arguing that Ben Roethlisberger is, despite the naysayers, an elite QB. The essence of the argument is that, hey, he wins a lot of games so he must be good.
Big Ben’s resume now includes a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes of a Super Bowl … and he pulled it off following an ordinary average game to that point, and at a time when it appeared that everything was falling apart around him.[…]Big Ben also did it behind what might have been the worst offensive line ever to win a Super Bowl. The Steelers ranked a dreadful 28th on our Offensive Hog Index this year, and the weakness showed up like a gushing old wound in the Super Bowl.[…]We said it long ago and it was obvious tonight: Big Ben is an elite NFL quarterback. Start measuring his goofy 26-year-old face and oversized cranium for a bronze bust.
Big Ben’s performance last Sunday was the best I’ve ever seen him. He was a combination of the best parts of Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb.
OTOH, simply being the QB1 on a winning team doesn’t necessarily make one a great QB. Some pretty mediocre QBs (Jim McMahon, Doug Williams, Jeff Hostetler, Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer, and Brad Johnson come to mind ) have won Super Bowls.
The Steelers are a great organization that has traditionally relied on defense and a running game. Roethlisberger was awful in his first SB but the team beat a Seahawks team that kept tripping over its feet. He would have lost his second — despite a terrific performance — if not for a history making 100 yard interception return by James Harrison and some interesting officiating.
He’s certainly among the top ten quarterbacks in the League today; maybe the top five. But let’s not put him in Canton just yet.
Speaking of Canton, I’m a bit surprised that it has now become conventional wisdom that Kurt Warner is bound for the Hall of Fame. He’s basically had three terrific years, including outstanding performances in three Super Bowls. But has there ever been a journeyman quarterback — one who has lost starting jobs on three teams — to get voted into the Hall?