Can a Brother Get an Amen?

Cold Hard Football facts breaks it down for the Big Ben haters:

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to be haunted by doubters who simply don’t get his game. We assume those doubts will end after his performance in Super Bowl XLIII.

Big Ben’s game is this: he pulls plays out of his ass time and again and wins far more often than not. He’s 51-20 in regular-season play and now boasts an 8-2 mark in the playoffs, second only to Tom Brady among active quarterbacks (Arizona’s Kurt Warner fell to 8-3 with the loss).

If a player pulls plays out of his ass every now and then as a rookie and wins a lot of games, then maybe it’s a little luck. If a player pulls plays out of his ass pretty much every week for five seasons and wins a pair of Super Bowls in the process then he’s pretty 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.

***

The game-winning TD to Holmes was a feathery thing of beauty, over the heads of three defenders and into the outstretched hands of the receiver, who was barely able to tip-tap both feet in bounds with nano-centimeters to spare.

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.

“But, but, but, he doesn’t drop back and pass purty every play like ___.”

Wank on, haters and non-believers.






106 replies
  1. 1
    Galen West says:

    AMEN. preach it, brother. he is like the little brother that even though he is as good as or better than the big brother, is always compared to the big brother. Big Ben belongs in the same discussion as Brady.

  2. 2
    Dave L says:

    Yeah, the O-line point is key. In fact, the more you look at it the more amazing it becomes — the Steelers running game sucked all year, Ben gets sacked all the time (yes, he’s a big guy, but it still hurts), and yet he somehow managed to get the job done. Amazing performance.

    So, can the Steelers do something about that line?

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    Well, I’m convinced.

    On the other hand, I didn’t watch the superbowl, have no interest in American football, and know jack shit about the world of professional athletic competitions.

    So my opinion probably doesn’t count for much.

    .

  4. 4
    GeneW says:

    But he wears his cap on backwards

  5. 5
    robertdsc says:

    Here’s how I see it:

    He sucked massive balls in XL. He was clutch in XLIII. Balance.

    Because of that balance, he’s weak in my book. Even though he has two rings, he’s no John Elway. I’m sorry.

    Separately, I don’t buy any argument you’ve made, John, about his receiving corps. He’s made it work with what he has. I can live with that But I cannot give him any credit or edge for that because by that argument, Tom Brady should be God since he’s had even less to work with and has 3 rings.

    Oh, and by the way, even with the sucky XL, Ben’s a mile better than choking bitch Peyton Manning. And that’s fine by me.

    Congrats again on the win. :)

  6. 6
    SGEW says:

    The game-winning TD to Holmes was a feathery thing of beauty, over the heads of three defenders and into the outstretched hands of the receiver, who was barely able to tip-tap both feet in bounds with nano-centimeters to spare.

    Someone worked on that line all night, methinks.

  7. 7
    Hunter Gathers says:

    AMEN!
    There is only one stat that you need to focus on when it comes to quarterbacks – WINS. I’ll take Big Ben over either pretty boy Peyton Manning and his over-rated little brother anyday of the week. And Roethlisberger isn’t surrounded with A-list offensive talent like the Manning Bros. Screw a 100 point quarterback rating and KISS THE RINGS, BITCHES.

  8. 8
    Cassidy the Racist White Man says:

    Man, all this Ben love. I bet he’s happy to not have Steeler’s fans calling him Worthlessberger anymore. Can I get a fair weather report?

  9. 9
    jon says:

    He’s a great quarterback, no doubt. Why there are doubters I don’t really know. I guess if you don’t shave you just don’t get much respect from the reporters and superfans who go to sleep each night after looking at their Joe Montana posters and tiring themselves out manually.

    I enjoyed the Bowl game (easy for the casual fan to do,) but I think some of the fouls could have been changed somewhat. There was a 15 yard facemask, and it should have been a 15 yard facemask. But that roughing the passer and the roughing the holder sure weren’t worth 15 each (the holder one was a first down and half the distance, but still.) The NFL needs the equivalent of the 5 yard facemask penalty for those kind of fouls. Maybe too many will then get called, but I really couldn’t see a scenario where the players would have gotten seriously hurt in either instance.

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    @Cassidy the Racist White Man: You will have to show me the massive uprising of Steelers fans against Ben. I missed it.

    Not to mention, I don’t think I have ever said that, much less thought it. I think maybe some of the angst is again among the fantasy football nuts.

  11. 11
    Laura W says:

    @SGEW: You’re funny.
    Time very well spent, no?

  12. 12
    Jamey says:

    Had me till Elway, RobertDSC. Guy was totally overrated, even despite his gaudy resume. Put up big numbers in a system designed to put up big numbers. So did the likes of Neil Lomax and Rich Gannon. Last minute drives against the Browns cemented his legacy, but, really, he never got anywhere until he had a back like T. Davis to do all the heavy lifting.

    For every Elway play worthy of a John Facenda voice over, I can cite at least two bone-headed Elway mistakes. Yet for some reason, he’s Jesus in cleats.

    Say this for Roethlisberger: As maligned as his Will-Ferrell-looking-ass might be for dumbassery, Ben’s accomplished everything to date without an elite running game (declining Bettis, and Parker’s just not a top-ten back). Plus, I don’t think there’s a tougher guy in the game.

  13. 13
    John Harrold says:

    When someone says: nano-centimeters are they talking about picometers? 1 nano-centimeter is 10 picometers, right?

  14. 14
    DrDave says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    And Roethlisberger isn’t surrounded with A-list offensive talent like the Manning Bros.

    Eli has a better O-line and running backs but Big Ben has better receivers than Eli does. By a mile. (It may have been less than a mile when Plexiglass was playing but we got very little out of Burress this year.)

  15. 15
    robertdsc says:

    Jamey, I used Elway as a 2-ring contemporary, but if we’re gonna go by the XLIII win by itself, I’d put Doug Williams’ or Steve Young’s single-game efforts higher.

    Back to Elway, he did lead his team to 5 SBs. That’s pretty good in my book.

    Ben’s accomplished everything to date without an elite running game

    True, but again, using this kind of argument, Tom Brady’s better because he’s had significantly less. Separately, this argument makes Peyton Manning look even more foolish because he’s had all that talent and only 1 ring to show for it.

  16. 16
    Punchy says:

    Journalistic fellatio at its finest.

  17. 17
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    "There is only one stat that you need to focus on when it comes to quarterbacks – WINS."

    Why don’t people understand how much better Trent Dilfer was than Marino? Kiss the rings.

  18. 18
    p.a. says:

    Ben’s accomplished everything to date without an elite running game (declining Bettis, and Parker’s just not a top-ten back). Plus, I don’t think there’s a tougher guy in the game.

    Damn straight. And I’m not even a Steelers fan. If he had bought a Ferrari instead of that bike he might be ahead of Brady now. Does anyone remember Ben’s great line after the accident about his facial reconstruction surgery? Something along the line of ‘I was hoping they gave me Tom Brady’s face’. heh.

  19. 19

    […] 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. […]

  20. 20
    Dave says:

    The only line that matters:
     
    "second only to Tom Brady among active quarterbacks"
     
    And yes, I am doing this intentionally to tweak John because anyone who complains as much as he did after his team WON THE SUPER BOWL deserves a little tweaking.

  21. 21
    Xanthippas says:

    As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I can tell you that right now having Roethlisberger-who I presume vacations in Cabo after he wins Super Bows-as QB sounds not that bad at all.

  22. 22

    They left out the most important part; they’ve got the NFL’s backing because the league is worried about the economy. Unless, I suppose, you actually find it credible that an offense who ranks in the bottom half of the league in every statistical category and a QB with a 59.9% completion rating, a QB rating of 80, and a TD:INT ratio of 1.133 really does manage to become magical in every single two minute drive. In that case, I’ve got a bridge…

  23. 23

    Steelers fans…. (shakes head)

    Just enjoy your parade, and stop trying to serve us all the Steelers’ kool aide. The defense won the Super Bowl for Pittsburgh. Hello, 100 yard interception run back for a touchdown sound familiar? All Big Ben did was not screw up. That doesn’t make him elite. He is Dante Culpepper in black and yellow. He is tough to tackle and has a strong arm. That makes him a good quarterback not elite.

  24. 24

    Is anybody objecting to Big Ben because he isn’t a drop back passer? Those of us who aren’t ready to classify him amongst the great quarterbacks are doing so because he isn’t a very good quarterback. Look at the man statistically as compared to his contemporaries.

    But suppose we abandon the statistical comparisons and focus on wins – then yes, he is a 2-time Super Bowl champion. The second victory he definitely played a significant role in; the first victory came despite his poor performance, not because of it. (It hasn’t hurt Roethlisberger that he frequently plays on a team with the best, or near best, defense in the league.) If all we’re measuring is victories, so be it, but then you’ll be forced to admit that Tom Brady is the better quarterback, something that Steelers fans are rarely willing to acknowledge.

    So there’s no doubting that the man is a winner, but if that’s your comparison, there are better quarterbacks walking the planet. If you’re interested in statistics, then there are many better quarterbacks walking the planet.

    None of this, incidentally, has anything to do with the fact that Roethlisberger didn’t deserve the MVP award. Holmes, Fitzgerald, and Warner all played better games.

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    DrDave

    You make a good point. But no one that I can ever think of has the weapons at his disposal that Peyton Manning has week in, week out. Well, before Harrison became mortal.

  26. 26
    The Other Steve says:

    He’s just incredibly lucky.

  27. 27
    dana says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    What, the NFL decided that the Steelers made a better Cinderella story than the 9-7 Cardinals, and so in the last two minutes ensured the Steelers received a holding penalty?

    For the economy?!?

  28. 28

    What, the NFL decided that the Steelers made a better Cinderella story than the 9-7 Cardinals, and so in the last two minutes ensured the Steelers received a holding penalty?

    For the economy?!?

    There’s about a billion times more Steelers fans than Cardinals fans, and the fans buy the Superbowl champion merchandise. You run the math.

  29. 29
    Dennis Doubleday says:

    Not to mention that one of his seasons was a lost one owing to the near-fatal motorcycle accident. That makes the 5 year record all the more awesome.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    Is anybody objecting to Big Ben because he isn’t a drop back passer? Those of us who aren’t ready to classify him amongst the great quarterbacks are doing so because he isn’t a very good quarterback. Look at the man statistically as compared to his contemporaries.

    Proving my point, exactly. All you care about are fantasy football statistics.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is utility to statistics, and they can help paint part of the picture, but they do not paint the whole story. Statistically, did Ben have a great season? No. He did, however, have a good year. Statistically, did he have the best Super Bowl ever? No. Did he have a good Super Bowl? Of course.

    And did he do everything he could to win the Super Bowl, and more important, did he take care of the ball, control his offense, and lead the game winning drive?

    Yes.

    Holmes, Fitzgerald, and Warner all played better games.

    I guess at this point it would be fruitless to tell you that the entire reason Warner does not have a second Super Bowl ring and Ben does is because of Warner’s mistake. Somehow, though, that is overlooked because all that matters is passing yards, apparently.

    I give up. I’ll watch the Super Bowl parade today, you can pore over Warner’s excellent stats. One you might pay keen attention to- 1 and 2 in the only game that matters.

    ‘BUT BUT BUT HE THREW FOR 1200 YARDS IN THE SUPER BOWL!’

  31. 31

    Can we finally decide whether or not football is an uber-team sport or if the quarterback is a magical fairy already? The disconnect is reaching a critical mass.

  32. 32
    Dork says:

    When someone says: nano-centimeters are they talking about picometers? 1 nano-centimeter is 10 picometers, right?

    I have to agree that this is just shitty writing. There is a unit for this (picometer, yup). Nobody says shit like "gimmie 8 deci-milliliters" or "I just won 5 mico-megadollars!".

    At least he didnt mix standards, and go all "nano-inch" on us. That might lead me to kick his ass.

    /snob

  33. 33
    dana says:

    Brien Jackson:

    Still doesn’t explain the utility of the penalty. It isn’t actually a movie script where they move them back ten yards to heighten the tension….

    Anyhow. I don’t think Ben is an elite quarterback because he doesn’t have the stats yet, and he’s a better game manager than a gun. (I hope someone buys him an O-line in the off-season. Which would help.)

    But if we compare the last two Super bowls, we have almost the same ending, the same last minute desperate touchdown drive, and well, the Steelers are champs and the Patriots were 18-1… I know which I’d take.

  34. 34

    But if we compare the last two Super bowls, we have almost the same ending, the same last minute desperate touchdown drive,

    That’s another thing; 2 straight Superbowls with 2 lead changes inside of 3:00 left? C’mon man!

  35. 35
    Jay Severin Has A Small Pens says:

    Really? There are people who don’t think Big Ben is a good quarterback?

    Those are the same people who would be jamming sports radio talk shows in their town if Big Ben was cut by the Steelers.

    I’m a Pats fan and the ONLY reason I rooted for the Steelers in the playoffs was because of Big Ben.

    But seriously….

    Top quarterbacks in no particular order…

    P Manning
    T Brady
    P Rivers
    Big Ben
    Drew Brees
    K Warner
    J Cutler
    E Manning

    Most of the other teams are already looking for replacements for their quarterbacks or waiting to see if the one-season will carry over into another.

  36. 36
    John Cole says:

    If all we’re measuring is victories, so be it, but then you’ll be forced to admit that Tom Brady is the better quarterback,

    Is anyone even arguing that? Is there anyone who even questions whether Tom Brady is the best QB in the NFL? I hate him, but I hate him because HE IS SO GOOD.

    Earlier on in 2003-2004 when people were making those claims I would have argued it, but right now? Come on. Clearly he is the best in the NFL.

  37. 37

    But no one that I can ever think of has the weapons at his disposal that Peyton Manning has week in, week out. Well, before Harrison became mortal.

    THe problem with that is that it only focuses on offense and so far as that goes I suppose it’s hard to argue with. But on the flip side of that, Cato June is the best linebacker the Colts have ever had during Manning’s tenure, a washed up Corey Simon the best DT, and Nick Harper their best corner. Realistically, their defense has been 2 good pass rushers and an injury prone safety with a penchant for being out of position.

  38. 38
    dobrojutro says:

    @Brien Jackson

    So Roger Goodell sits with illuminati pouring over economic data and sends his referee minion to ensure economic prosperity? You bought that bridge years ago.

    Take the effing conspiracy elsewhere. As in Cleveland. You’re spoofing, right?

  39. 39
    Edmund Dantes says:

    No. Stop blaming Peyton’s losses on the defense. If you go back and look at it, almost everytime the Colts have shit the bed the Defense has performed at or above their Regular Season levels.

    Time and again, it’s the offense (and Peyton in particular) that underperformed their regular season totals.

  40. 40

    So Roger Goodell sits with illuminati pouring over economic data and sends his referee minion to ensure economic prosperity? You bought that bridge years ago.

    I don’t get what’s so crazy about this. The NFL is a business, and like any other major business, at the end of the day their business is making money. Football is just the means by which they make money. So yeah, I don’t see why exactly it’s hard to believe that the NFL does their damndest to maximize the bottom line. We’ve basically stopped arguing over whether the NBA does this, and have just kind of accepted that star players are going to get theirs and the team that’s down in a marquee playoff series is going to get better calls. I think the debate over whether referees conciously try to keep NCAA basketball games close in March is more or less over too. Why, exactly, is the NFL any different?

    At the very least it’s more believeable then what you see on an NFL field week in and week out.

  41. 41
    comrade rawshark says:

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com is a great football website also. Check it out.

  42. 42

    No. Stop blaming Peyton’s losses on the defense. If you go back and look at it, almost everytime the Colts have shit the bed the Defense has performed at or above their Regular Season levels.

    Time and again, it’s the offense (and Peyton in particular) that underperformed their regular season totals.

    I didn’t watch as many of their games as I normally do, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t give up 300+ yards to the other teams running back on average through the season.

    Although I don’t really argue that the offense chokes as well, but I tend to put more of that on the receivers than on Manning. Unless they’re playing New England.

  43. 43
    Shygetz says:

    Big Ben is good, not great. He has a great defense to make up for his mistakes and lack of prolific production–first in the league in yard defense, first in the league in scoring defense (and, if you’re a reflexive stat-hater, then just watch ’em play–they’re amazing). He has a decent running game that he can rely on for first downs; they’re not homerun hitters, but they’re great at the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust style that Pittsburgh loves. He has three good receivers…not great, but Holmes and Miller are good, and Ward is really good. Big Ben is strong in the pocket, cool under pressure, and not afraid to run when he needs to. He also makes bad decisions with the ball and holds on to it too long. Big Ben didn’t lose you the Super Bowl, but anyone who wants to enshrine him better be absolutely fellating the Steeler defense, ’cause that’s what’s winning you games. Big Ben’s best attribute is failing to lose them.

  44. 44
    Shygetz says:

    @Edmund Dantes: That’s part of the point. In Ben’s case, if he underperforms his regular season’s totals, he has his great D to step up and bail him out. Peyton never had that. The best he had was a good pass rush, so if the Colt’s O could put the opponent down early, the pass rush could prevent the comeback. They could never stop the run, which kills ’em any time the O isn’t working like a f*cking machine.

    I thought Peyton winning a Super Bowl would put the whole "Peyton always chokes at big games" crap to rest. Guess I was wrong.

  45. 45
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Doesn’t Ben lead the league in game-winning drives in the past 4 years? That’s pretty good.

  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    He has a decent running game that he can rely on for first downs; they’re not homerun hitters, but they’re great at the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust style that Pittsburgh loves.

    Not this year. Hell, there was a reason when Ben’s TD was called back in the 1q of the SB, they went for three (beyond the fact that you go for the sure points).

    Go through that game alone and count how many chances they had sniffing the goal zone and could not get three yards.

    Big Ben’s best attribute is failing to lose them.

    This, in the year that he orchestrated I believe six game-winning 4th quarter drives, is silly talk. That wasn’t Ben out there “not losing” on the last drive. That was him “winning.”

    By the way- how many teams in the NFL would kill to have ben’s “‘pedestrian” performances? I am betting it is more than just us fans blinded by black and gold.

  47. 47
    Dave says:

    @John Cole:

    By the way- how many teams in the NFL would kill to have ben’s “’pedestrian” performances? I am betting it is more than just us fans blinded by black and gold.

    Any team not named the Patriots, Colts, Giants, Chargers or Falcons would kill to have Ben as their QB. And anyone who says different is a liar. And I say this as someone who hates the Steelers.

  48. 48
    John PM says:

    Big Ben’s game is this: he pulls plays out of his ass time and again and wins far more often than not.

    I think this is the key statement. Watching that last drive by Pittsburgh, I thought that Ben should have been sacked two or three times. Most other quarterbacks would have been, and the game would have been over. Ben’s ability to escape and then find an open receiver was amazing, especially considering how big he is. Having watched Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton the last four years, I did not realize that quarterbacks could actually be mobile. In his ability to get away and create plays, Ben reminded me of Brett Favre. Will Ben ever be as good as Favre? Probably not. However, he now has more Super Bowl rings than Favre, which is no small thing. I predict that Ben has five more good seasons and one more Super Bowl ring in his future, then he can start preparing his speech for induction into Canton, along with most of the Steelers defense

  49. 49

    Time and again, it’s the offense (and Peyton in particular) that underperformed their regular season totals.

    Peyton is wicked awesome when he plays indoors, but outside in December/January, he reverts to his mortal self.

  50. 50
    John PM says:

    By the way- how many teams in the NFL would kill to have ben’s “’pedestrian” performances? I am betting it is more than just us fans blinded by black and gold.

    I would like to think that the Bears would, but then I remember that they used Kordel Stewart for a season.

  51. 51

    By the way- how many teams in the NFL would kill to have ben’s “’pedestrian” performances? I am betting it is more than just us fans blinded by black and gold.

    The same number of teams that would kill to have Donovan McNabb. That doesn’t make Ben an elite quarterback, it makes him a good one.

  52. 52
    rishathra says:

    The best part of Roethlisberger winning a second Super Bowl ring is that now that other QB selected ahead of him by the Giants should have sufficient motivation to win his second. (If his own inadequate O-line can get its collective butt in gear, that is.)

    Ben did just fine, and he and the Steelers deserve big props and congratulations for their season and championship.

  53. 53
    dobrojutro says:

    I don’t get what’s so crazy about this. The NFL is a business, and like any other major business, at the end of the day their business is making money. Football is just the means by which they make money. So yeah, I don’t see why exactly it’s hard to believe that the NFL does their damndest to maximize the bottom line. We’ve basically stopped arguing over whether the NBA does this, and have just kind of accepted that star players are going to get theirs and the team that’s down in a marquee playoff series is going to get better calls. I think the debate over whether referees conciously try to keep NCAA basketball games close in March is more or less over too. Why, exactly, is the NFL any different?

    What’s more likely, that the leagues are involved in massive consipiracies to ‘keep things close’ (even giving the game to Steelers to energize their fan base to buy more merch), or there are sometimes close games between evenly matched teams? Would the league not suffer economically if your merry band of truthers broke the story? Found that correlation between hard times and point spreads?

    I missed the debate about March madness. So it’s fixed too. And the NBA finals. Yes of course. I see now.

  54. 54
    docrailgun says:

    I like Big Ben, he’s a fine QB.

    What I’m hating on is that the super-duper-uber-best ever Defense in the whole universe didn’t do crap in that game. Arizona killed themselves with penalties, and STILL almost won the game.

  55. 55
    MBunge says:

    Big Ben is a very good quarterback but he fails the "what would he be like on a crappy team" test. Put him on those Philadelphia teams where McNabb had no one to throw to or those Dolphin teams where Marino had no one to carry the ball and I doubt Ben does as good a job as those guys.

    Mike

  56. 56

    What’s more likely, that the leagues are involved in massive consipiracies to ‘keep things close’ (even giving the game to Steelers to energize their fan base to buy more merch), or there are sometimes close games between evenly matched teams? Would the league not suffer economically if your merry band of truthers broke the story? Found that correlation between hard times and point spreads?

    Well, for starters, it’s a $25,000 fine to criticize the refs, much less accuse the league of manipulating outcomes. And even then, every now and then you do get people who point out how ridiculous officiating is, and they’re either ignored, called crazy, or the sports talking heads intone seriously about how you just shouldn’t do that.

    Also, everyone more or less knows it about the NBA and college basketball anyway.

  57. 57

    I missed the debate about March madness. So it’s fixed too.

    I was pretty sure everyone had figured out the down the stretch officiating is designed to keep the games close when possible. Skip Bayless, God help me, is usually all over that one.

    And yeah, the debate over NBA officiating was over years ago.

  58. 58
    comrade rawshark says:

    @John Cole:

    John Cole
    Hell, there was a reason when Ben’s TD was called back in the 1q of the SB, they went for three (beyond the fact that you go for the sure points).
    ….
    Go through that game alone and count how many chances they had sniffing the goal zone and could not get three yards.

    I disagree. When you are inside the 1 yard line you never kick the field goal. You try for the TD. If you don’t get it you pinned the other team inside the 1 (and with that D that’s a very good thing). If you kick the field goal you’re telling your team (and the other one) you don’t think they can get 1 yard. As a Cards fan I was ecstatic when I saw the FG unit come out. I knew we had Tomlin worried(I’m not sold on him yet, I see him as a Gruden-type right now, he won a SB with someone elses team).

    What do you think of him taking 3 points off the scoreboard when Wilson ran over the holder? The only positive I can see is that the Cards would have loved to have that time back.

  59. 59
    p.a. says:

    The defense won the Super Bowl for Pittsburgh. Hello, 100 yard interception run back for a touchdown sound familiar? All Big Ben did was not screw up. That doesn’t make him elite. He is Dante Culpepper in black and yellow.

    WTF??!! I didn’t know Culpepper has 2 SB rings! What are you, a Browns fan? Or just trying to set Cole off? Is Roethlisbergermanfredjanson supposed to apologize for playing on a team with a great D? Christ on a cross, did you see that last drive? Hell, I’m a Patriots fan and I’d take Ben over any other QB in the league except Brady. And I’ll qualify that by saying let’s see TomTerrific play after the knee rehab.

    p.s. re:Peyton (gack) Manning. CHFF points out that the gag artiste has consistently had his worst games of the year in the playoffs. Year after year. Even his SB year he played like crap except for the 2nd half against NE. And if not for 2 Reche Caldwell drops (on passes that hit him between the numbers, btw) he would have lost that game. There are some backup QB’s in the league who could have led the Bears to a SuperBowl win that year over the Dolts and Manning. How lucky to get Grossman as the opposing QB.

  60. 60
    dobrojutro says:

    Also, everyone more or less knows it about the NBA and college basketball anyway.

    Yes, everyone knows, also. Good argument. btw, couldn’t the corrupt refs have thrown a defensive interference flag on Larry Brown after O’Donnell threw pickoff #2 in SB 30?

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    I disagree. When you are inside the 1 yard line you never kick the field goal.

    First drive of the Super Bowl? You kick the field goal. You take the points and you do not leave the field giving the other team a big boost. Later in the game I would have gone for it.

    What do you think of him taking 3 points off the scoreboard when Wilson ran over the holder? The only positive I can see is that the Cards would have loved to have that time back.

    Leading the game 17-7, deep in the 3rd quarter, your choice is to keep it at 20-7 and lead by two scores, or get three more downs on the goal line to make it a three score game? Are you kidding me? You take the three fresh downs every single time.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    @dobrojutro: I would have preferred they threw a brick at O’Donnell, to be honest.

  63. 63

    Yes, everyone knows, also. Good argument

    Exactly who, that is a major follower of the NBA, even bothers to contend that there isn’t preferential treatment for star players/bias towards extending playoff series, especially involving marquee match-ups?

  64. 64
    Common Sense says:

    Wait, wait…

    There are still people who believe the NBA isn’t fixed?

    After Donaghy? After Lakers/Celtics re-re-re-redux?

    Jesus, my half retarded uncle is a huge wrestling fan, and even he doesn’t believe the NBA is for real.

  65. 65
    comrade rawshark says:

    First drive of the Super Bowl? You kick the field goal. You take the points and you do not leave the field giving the other team a big boost.

    But kicking the field goal gives the other team a boost too. They know you don’t think you can get a yard when you need it. Now the Cards know you have no confidence in your line or runners and they know you will quit after 3 tries. It’s not like it was 4th and 5 on the 19. Ben didn’t break the plane, that means the ball is within a foot of the goal line. You can’t surge a foot? Shouldn’t win IMO.

    Leading the game 17-7, deep in the 3rd quarter, your choice is to keep it at 20-7 and lead by two scores, or get three more downs on the goal line to make it a three score game? Are you kidding me? You take the three fresh downs every single time.

    Ben was nearly intercepted on the second set of downs, it would have probably gone for 6 also. If that happened what’s your answer? Do you still think it’s worth the risk?

    Frankly I think Pitts timidity at the goal line contributed a lot to AZ’s comeback. Pitt just kept on showing that their offense does not need to be respected as much as the D and that this game is far from over. I mean damn, they punted back to Pitt with less than 4 minutes to play, in Pitt territory, because they KNEW they’d get the ball back. They had that confidence due to earlier play and playcalling.

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    Pitt just kept on showing that their offense does not need to be respected as much as the D and that this game is far from over. I mean damn, they punted back to Pitt with less than 4 minutes to play, in Pitt territory, because they KNEW they’d get the ball back. They had that confidence due to earlier play and playcalling.

    We have had a terrible line all year. We have gone through numerous running backs. This has been the way it was all season. Look at our red zone stats all season.

    Which is why I am simply flabbergasted to hear people claim Ben is just a “mediocre” quarterback. He really was the offense this season. Yes, Holmes had a great Super Bowl, and had some moments throughout the season. But our offense was lackluster all season, and any other quarterback probably would not have made the playoffs, let alone the SB. Thank god for Ben and our defense.

  67. 67
    DrDave says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Hunter:

    You are right about Peyton. Harrison, Wayne, and the cast of thousands the Colts have had on offense during the Manning Era should have equated to well more than one SB victory.

    I would be happy to have Roethlisberger as my QB. He comes prepared to play, he’s a lunch box of guy, he hangs tough and he gets it done. And he’s not a douche-bag which counts more than style points in my book.

  68. 68
    dobrojutro says:

    E

    xactly who, that is a major follower of the NBA, even bothers to contend that there isn’t preferential treatment for star players/bias towards extending playoff series, especially involving marquee match-ups?

    That’s very different than the refs keeping it close between teams. How about this. There is a billion-dollar Vegas industry evaluating points spreads for NCAA. Thousands of bets and years of data. If the spreads during the tourney differ in a statistically significant way from spreads during the regular season, I might start to buy your argument.

  69. 69

    WTF??!! I didn’t know Culpepper has 2 SB rings! What are you, a Browns fan? Or just trying to set Cole off? Is Roethlisbergermanfredjanson supposed to apologize for playing on a team with a great D? Christ on a cross, did you see that last drive? Hell, I’m a Patriots fan and I’d take Ben over any other QB in the league except Brady. And I’ll qualify that by saying let’s see TomTerrific play after the knee rehab.

    Jim Plunkett has two Super Bowl rings. I guess he is better than Dan Marino and Dan Fouts and Brett Farve and Jim Kelly and Steve Young and Fran Tarkenton and Warren Moon and he is just as good as John Elway. Is that how the quarterback rating equation works?

  70. 70

    Dude’s right about the O-line. The Steelers’ offensive backfield was like an episode of the Benny Hill show.

  71. 71
    Ecks says:

    Why is wins the metric of choice for QB’s? They have no influence over the game when the D is on the field. None, zero, zip. If you have a D that allows 60 points a game you won’t win anything, and if you have a D that doesn’t allow anything, your kicker is a nuclear weapon.

    So why not judge them on the things they CAN control: Points scored and turnovers, and add a light weighting for yardage*.

    And yeah, I realize that there is SOME interaction between O and D due to time of possession, but it is generally roughly equal between the two teams, and some teams like to play fast or slow as style options… (mizzou last 2 years never kept the ball long, but they whipped it down the field every time)

    FOOTNOTE (apparently you can’t start a line with an asterisk on this this or it just bolds it) The same QB will score less points if their D is always leaving them lousy field position, so you have to give some allowance for this.

  72. 72

    @ John Cole

    This is why I just don’t find the NFL credible. Even you’ll admit that the Steelers offense isn’t particularly good, their line sucks, etc. But the idea that Roethlisberger is a particularly good quarterback is nonsense. He’s 21st in the league in completion %, 24th in QB rating, and eyeballing the TD-INT numbers it looks like there’s about 20 other QB’s with a better ratio.

    And I’m supposed to believe that an offense like that, with a QB as inefficient as that, is pure magic in the 2 minute drill damn near every time? C’mon dude, the WWE is more believeable than that.

  73. 73
    dwhite10701 says:

    You know, even without acknowledging the winning, Ben is still an elite QB. His career passer rating is top 10 all-time. His career yards per attempt average is higher than Brady’s or Manning’s. He holds the Steelers record for passer rating, completion percentage, yards per attempt. When you add all the winning, there’s no way you can say he’s not an elite QB.

    I ask all the Ben doubters: by what statistical measure is Ben not an elite QB? By what intangible measure (the biggest of which is wins) is Ben not an elite QB?

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    I ask all the Ben doubters: by what statistical measure is Ben not an elite QB? By what intangible measure (the biggest of which is wins) is Ben not an elite QB?

    The haters break down into three groups:

    1.) Those who value fantasy football stats over winning (ZOMG WARNER HAD 350 yard HE SHOULD BE MVP! LOOK AT HIS QB RATING!).

    2.) Those who prefer style points and think the game is still about simple drop back passing.

    3.) Those who just hate the Steelers no matter what (there is a sub-group who just like to tweak me).

    I don’t get it. Ben had a terrible first Super Bowl, this time around he did everything you would want from a quarterback, and he did it with a shaky O-line, no running game, one receiver (the other couldn’t run), and a defense that decided to wait for the most important game of the year to shit the bed. Additionally, he had to scramble the entire game against a much better than advertised Cardinal defense, improvising virtually every play. On top of all that, the winning drive he orchestrated started with a 1st and 20, had to go for 80 yards, and ended with him having to throw TWO perfect passes, because the MVP dropped the first damned one.

    And he has done that all damned year with by far the hardest schedule in the NFL. How many other teams beat the Ravens three times?

    Yeah. I hope President Obama is this average and pedestrian.

  75. 75
    dobrojutro says:

    And I’m supposed to believe that an offense like that, with a QB as inefficient as that, is pure magic in the 2 minute drill damn near every time? C’mon dude, the WWE is more believeable than that.

    Ben’s stats, this year, make the last drive unlikely, ergo, pro football is fixed.

    I’m convinced. Ican haz tinhat now?

  76. 76
    Bill H says:

    Big Ben is the most fun quarterback since John Elway. Every time he "pulled a play out of his ass," as you so eloquently put it, I would turn to my wife and comment, "That is vintage Ben, that is just what he does." He is the man. Someday he will switch the ball to his left hand and throw an interception from his own end zone, and then win the game.

  77. 77
    Common Sense says:

    I gotta say that I actually agree with John WRT Rothlesberger for Super Bowl MVP. However mediocre he may have been over the course of the season, that is not what determines the Super Bowl MVP. It’s also an imperfect judge of who will continue their success in the future.

    Still, I detest the "He just wins" line. Wins are a ridiculous standard to judge a quarterback by, no matter how much John wants to knock fantasy geek stats. Even more ridiculous is judging them by wins in the playoffs. It’s the same delusion that leads people to believe Beltran was worth the money because he stepped up one playoff year.

    Tennessee fans used the "he just wins!" excuse for Vince Young, who manages an even worse TD/INT ratio than Ben. When Vince loses his mind and Collins steps in, the Titans have the best season in their Tennessee history. Granted they have a much better offense around their QB (with the exception of wideout), but don’t try to tell me that a quarterback’s won/loss ratio is in any way indicative of their value as an individual contributor.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    You know what, let me just turn this over to Wilbon:

    Of course, Warner will receive mountains of praise for getting the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, as should be the case, seeing as the Cardinals have been about as awful as you can get in American sports.

    But in terms of results, Warner’s got nothing on Roethlisberger, who just might be taking Tom Brady’s place on the big stage in January and February. Okay, 16 for 33 for 255 yards and one touchdown might not sound like much in the current climate of 70 percent completion rates and 400-yard totals. But Roethlisberger, remember, was going up against the Ravens’ defense. The first thing he did was avoid being picked off. Second, he found Santonio Holmes for a 65-yard touchdown on a broken play, the kind that would have people writing love songs about Brady.

    “As long as I’ve watched football, I’ve never seen anybody extend plays the way Ben does,” his backup, Byron Leftwich said. Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs said he believes such plays are drawn up that way because Roethlisberger is so big (6 feet 5, 241 pounds) and agile the coaches and linemen presume Big Ben can shake or level the first defender. Told of Suggs’s comments, Leftwich laughed and said: “No, no, no. That touchdown pass to [Holmes] wasn’t drawn up. It was total ad-lib. Ben was that way in college.”

    Roethlisberger is big, he’s strong, and has taken more punishment than any quarterback in the league the last couple of years, perhaps save Leftwich. He’s been carted from the field after hits. He’s been carted from the street after a motorcycle accident. He’s proven to be nearly indestructible. Oh, and he wins more than anybody out there, even though the talent around him is, well, pretty good. Eli Manning might miss Plaxico Burress, but Big Ben doesn’t.

    He’s 15-4 as a starting quarterback vs. teams in the NFC, which ought to be of great interest to the Cardinals. He’s got 24 touchdown passes to only 14 interceptions in those games, with a passer rating of 90.7. He was the difference between the two teams in the AFC championship game, as he is in most games the Steelers have played in his five seasons.

    You want to know what quarterbacks in modern history (since 1950) have been better than Roethlisberger through five seasons? None. Nobody. Not Joe Willie Namath, not Joe Montana, nobody. Big Ben is the only quarterback to win 51 games his first five seasons. That’s three victories better than Otto Graham, Dan Marino, Tom Brady and John Elway. If I had to win a game to save my own life I’d take Roethlisberger over everybody who played in the NFL this season, and that includes everybody named Manning. It’s difficult to understand why the praise is so grudging.

    “It’s unfair,” Leftwich said of the reluctant praise. “Not that it matters to Ben. But the Steelers are seen as a running team. When he first got here it was Bus [Jerome Bettis], then Willie Parker. They didn’t throw it a lot. But he wins. They don’t throw it 35, 40 times. Ben’s capable of doing that if they ask, but they don’t. It’s run-run-run-run-pass. So what? He wins. I’ll take him any day. He can win 10-7 or 37-34.”

    Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb do more with less than any other quarterbacks in the NFL. We were reminded of that in the final minute of the first half here on Sunday when Roethlisberger heaved a perfect pass to Limas Sweed, who dropped it as he was going uncovered into the end zone. The ballgame should have been over right then and there at 20-7. Sweed should have been fined for staying on the ground for a minute because he was embarrassed after dropping so beautiful a pass.

    What he said.

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    I gotta say that I actually agree with John WRT Rothlesberger for Super Bowl MVP.

    My chief thought is that with identical stats, had Brady or either Manning orchestrated that drive to win the SB, they would have won MVP.

    My other thought is that I find it absolutely insane that people would trot out “Warner should be MVP before Ben because he had a better game,” which is just nonsense.

    In my book, if the difference in the game is a terrible interception you threw that got run back 100 yards for a touchdown, you don’t win the MVP. Period. It doesn’t matter to me if you do everything right your whole life, pay your taxes, raise your kids, go to church, work for charity- you murder your wife, I am not calling you a “good guy.”

    Warner’s mistake was the difference in the game. Unless your argument is he was the MVP for the Steelers, he doesn’t get the nod. Period. Stats be damned.

  80. 80
    comrade rawshark says:

    Which is why I am simply flabbergasted to hear people claim Ben is just a “mediocre” quarterback.

    He should have got MVP, not Holmes.

    You are right about Peyton. Harrison, Wayne, and the cast of thousands the Colts have had on offense during the Manning Era should have equated to well more than one SB victory.

    Better coaching might work. You can be the best QB ever and it won’t matter if the other teams coach gameplans you right out of the game and forces you to play a way other than how you’re comfortable. Belichek did it everytime, Dungy had no answer. The only time they beat us was when we took a huge early lead and let up and even then it was close. If you have a pocket passer, make him scramble, you have a scrambler keep him in the pocket. Make them uncomfortable, worried, frantic. Watch the coordinators. Are they calm? Or are they flailing away with big arm movements signalling in plays with an exaperated look on their faces. Get a book on everybody. What are their first moves when faced with adversity? Counter those. These games are too important to leave to talent and chance.

  81. 81
    BDeevDad says:

    The NYT did a graphic of tweets related to the game over the course of the game by location. Looking at the player name tweets, Warner is mentioned a hell of a lot more than Roethlisberger, even during the last two minutes and even around Pittsburgh.

  82. 82
    robertdsc says:

    Peyton is wicked awesome when he plays indoors, but outside in December/January, he reverts to his mortal self.

    When he couldn’t respond to the machinations of Billy Volek, it was a home playoff game AFTER he had already won his ring. For me, the ring is the exception that proves the rule. He’s a choking bitch who wilts under pressure.

    It’s difficult to understand why the praise is so grudging.

    Sucking it up in XL sticks in people’s minds. Pulling a Brady in XLIII will do much to reverse that.

  83. 83
    BDeevDad says:

    When he couldn’t respond to the machinations of Billy Volek, it was a home playoff game AFTER he had already won his ring.

    Hell, explain his record against the Charger’s over the past four years, not just the one game.

  84. 84
    passerby says:

    That Rothlisberger’s Winnerhood continues to be questioned is curious.

    I’ll bring this in out of left field:

    Maybe it’s because his demeanor, his presence off the field and on the side lines, lacks sparkle. He has no eclat and sometimes has a "deer-in-the-headlights" look about him. I know this may appear to be a superficial aspect but ask any politician or Hollywood studio producer about the value of being telegenic–unquantifiable but real.

    He’s proven himself as a winner but why this is not acknowleged is a head scratcher.

  85. 85
    solarjetman says:

    I’m not going to deny that Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. He is a great quarterback. His career numbers are solid (and are quite good outside of his post-motorcycle-accident season) and other than Super Bowl XL he has played quite well in the playoffs. Because of his bad Super Bowl that year, most people forget how well he played in the 2005 AFC Championship game, but I’m a Bronco fan so I remember it more vividly than I would like. The Steelers faced 9 third downs in the first half of that game (the halftime score was 24-3 Pittsburgh). Here is how those 3rd downs went:

    3rd and 3 at PIT 44 (8:08) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward to DEN 49 for 7 yards (J.Lynch).

    3rd and 7 at DEN 46 (6:20) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to N.Washington pushed ob at DEN 33 for 13 yards (D.Foxworth).

    3rd and 6 at DEN 29 (4:20) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass incomplete to N.Washington (D.Foxworth).

    3rd and 8 at DEN 12 (15:00) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to C.Wilson for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

    3rd and 10 at DEN 45 (7:04) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward to DEN 24 for 21 yards (A.Wilson).

    3rd and 9 at DEN 23 (4:50) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to A.Randle El to DEN 13 for 10 yards (N.Ferguson).

    3rd and 8 at DEN 11 (2:14) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to V.Haynes to DEN 3 for 8 yards (J.Lynch, S.Brandon).

    3rd and 6 at PIT 30 (13:31) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to H.Ward to PIT 37 for 7 yards (N.Ferguson).

    3rd and 3 at PIT 44 (11:56) (Shotgun) B.Roethlisberger pass to A.Randle El to DEN 42 for 14 yards (D.Foxworth).

    That’s 9 third downs, 7 of which needed more than 6 yards, and Roethlisberger passed on all 9 of them, converting 8. He destroyed the Broncos that day. I don’t think there has ever been a better playoff performance on 3rd and long.

    All that said, this idea that we should judge a quarterback by wins alone is ridiculous. I thought Kyle Orton disproved that once and for all in 2005, when he stunk out loud (throwing for 5 YPA and more INTS than TDs) and the Bears went 11-5 anyway because of their defense, despite scoring only 260 points all season long. But apparently people still want to prove their manly disdain for statistics by saying "the only stat I care about is WINS." All it proves is laziness. Is Joe Flacco a better quarterback than Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler, because the Ravens won more games than the Chargers and Broncos (both of which had crappy defenses and gave up 100 and 200 more points than the Ravens)? Is Kyle Orton a better quarterback than Drew Brees because the Bears won more games than the Saints?

    If we judge quarterbacks by their wins alone, we will consistently overrate quarterbacks with great defenses and consistently underrate quarterbacks with crappy defenses. If we do so, we’re saying that the Titans and Ravens went 13-3 and 11-5 because of Kerry Collins and Joe Flacco, which is absurd and insulting to their defenses. Ben Roethlisberger made the Steelers a Super Bowl champion, but it’s not like they would have gone 0-16 with Byron Leftwich at quarterback.

  86. 86
    John Cole says:

    @solarjetman: And the week before, he beat football jesus himself, Peyton Manning, overcoming the worst call ever (the Polamalu int overturn) and Bettis trying to fumble it away with Ben making the game saving tackle.

    But reliable sources claim he is mediocre.

  87. 87
    solarjetman says:

    He WAS mediocre in 2006, and in Super Bowl XL. He threw 23 interceptions – a Favre-esque performance. Maybe people just remembered that a little too long. But a 2 minute TD drive to win a Super Bowl that starts off at 1st and 20 from the 12 yard line stamps his ticket to Canton. I don’t think he’s in danger of being called mediocre anymore by serious (i.e. not Skip Bayless) observers.

    I was mostly railing against the "just wins" argument, and making sure he gets credit for owning the Broncos and helping to end Jake Plummer’s career.

  88. 88

    But a 2 minute TD drive to win a Super Bowl that starts off at 1st and 20 from the 12 yard line stamps his ticket to Canton. I don’t think he’s in danger of being called mediocre anymore by serious (i.e. not Skip Bayless) observers.

    Huh? The guy’s had one good year (last year). This year was below average by league standards, 2006 was awful, and he didn’t have 300 pass attempts his first 2 seasons.

  89. 89
    theo says:

    Looking at the player name tweets, Warner is mentioned a hell of a lot more than Roethlisberger

    Roethlisberger’s votes are split between that, "Ben," "R" and a bunch of other abbreviations.

    No way everyone’s going to type his full name. The comparison’s totally skewed.

  90. 90
    John Cole says:

    @theo: You know when Warner’s name came up a lot, too? At the end of the second quarter. Clearly that must be good news for him.

  91. 91
    solarjetman says:

    @Brien Jackson: His 2004 and 2005 statistics are quite good; his attempts were down because he missed games due to injury. It was probably an overstatement for me to imply that he should be in the Hall of Fame at this point, but since HoF voters so heavily weight Super Bowl performance he probably will be.

  92. 92

    " His 2004 and 2005 statistics are quite good; his attempts were down because he missed games due to injury."

    He started 14 games in 2004 and 12 in 2005. Extrapolating out, that comes to 337 attempts in 2004 and 357 in 2005. Which is better, but still pretty anemic. 22 QB’s, for example, threw at least 400 passes this season, and 27 threw more than 350. With the exception of last year, his 3 years with over 400 passes have been below average for the league.

  93. 93
    Jim says:

    @ Brien Jackson

    I’ve tried to read everything you’ve written about how the NFL would make more money if the Steelers won, so of course they Steelers won, and they did it with what you call an improbable drive from the Steelers offense (ignoring for a moment the simple fact that they had done the same thing multiple times against better defenses all season).

    How exactly are you claiming this improbable event was manufactured by the NFL? The only penalty called went against the Steelers so it wasn’t intervention by the refs. Are you saying the Cardinals stopped playing well after a call from the league office and allowed the 88 yard drive? Because if you are, let me be the first to say, that’s insane.

  94. 94
    solarjetman says:

    @Brien Jackson: Are you seriously arguing that number of attempts is an indicator of how good a quarterback is?

  95. 95

    No, my point vis-a-vis attempts was that it’s hard to use statistics from a small sample set, so his 2004 and 2005 stats are hard to use as a comparative tool because they’re based on such a relatively small sample.

  96. 96

    I’ve tried to read everything you’ve written about how the NFL would make more money if the Steelers won, so of course they Steelers won, and they did it with what you call an improbable drive from the Steelers offense (ignoring for a moment the simple fact that they had done the same thing multiple times against better defenses all season).

    Yeah, that’s part of my point. It’s just not believeable that a below average offense with a below average quarterback, at least for this season, suddenly becomes pure magic in the 2 minute drill.

  97. 97
    Jim says:

    @Brien Jackson

    So given two choices:

    A) Ben R played better in the no huddle offense this season than when the team was trying to run the ball ineffectively, putting him in a ton of 3 and long situations.

    B) The NFL convinced teams to roll over at the end of games to hand wins to the Steelers.

    Which are you saying makes the most sense? Occam’s razor, it’s not just for shaving anymore.

    And if money was the object why not Dallas vs NYJ, Romo vs Farve, or Dallas v Pitt, or….

  98. 98

    It’s not the Steelers explicitly by any means; it’s the nature of games in general, it’s offense in particular, it’s stars, etc. All of which goes back to the larger point; the NFL is not in the football business, the NFL is in the marketing business.

  99. 99
    comrade rawshark says:

    It’s just not believeable that a below average offense with a below average quarterback, at least for this season, suddenly becomes pure magic in the 2 minute drill.

    It’s all about execution. On that play they executed. Most times this year they didn’t. Last year two bad teams nearly beat an undefeated juggernaut because on that day they stood up and played above their usual game ( I think Jonathan Ogden only ‘showed up’ for one game last year). In certain situations you can will yourself to achieve. How? I don’t know but it happens a lot.

  100. 100
    Jim says:

    One last try, are you claiming the NFL gets teams to roll over in the last 2 mins of games so stars like Ben can win. Yes or no?

    I understand you’re saying the NFL is fixed, hence the 2 min drill drives are fixed. I’m asking how. Specifically I’m asking how in this Superbowl when the refs threw only 1 flag on the last drive, and it gave Pitt a 1st and 20 at their own 12. Did the Cardinals throw the game, yes or no.

  101. 101

    One last try, are you claiming the NFL gets teams to roll over in the last 2 mins of games so stars like Ben can win. Yes or no?

    Of course not.

  102. 102
    Jim says:

    So how did the NFL "make" Ben play well on the Superbowl winning drive?

  103. 103
    pattonbt says:

    Modern day rules to be ‘elite’ quarterback in NFL (fair or unfair dont care) – wins (regular season, playoff, super bowl), numbers and career consistency length:

    Ridiculous numbers but marginal wins (regular season or playoff) – Dan Fouts, Warren Moon

    Ridiculous numbers with consistent regular season success, limited playoff success but no Super Bowl wins – Dan Marino

    Good long term career, good regular season winning, good playoff success (consistent), good numbers, no Super Bowl – Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton

    Good long term career, good to great numbers, good playoff success and one to two Super Bowl wins – Brett Favre, John Elway, Steve Young, P Manning

    More than two Super Bowl wins everything else be damned – Montana, Bradshaw, Brady, Aikman

    Right now Ben is at the stage Terrell Davis was. Great start to his career, two super bowl rings, lots of wins (but not the same gaudy numbers that Terrell put up). If he finishes out a long career with Pittsburgh, makes the playoffs on and off throughout with no more Super Bowl wins he’ll still probably make the hall. But, if his career is cut short (injury or suckitude) then probably not.

    Hes a lunchbox quarterback who wins. It aint pretty, but Im sure most NFL cities would happily trade for Ben’s success than what they currently have. So he’s elite. I think he will end up in the Favre / Elway group.

  104. 104
    Cavalier Lawyer says:

    I think Warner belongs somewhere on the "Good long term career, good to great numbers, good playoff success and one to two Super Bowl wins" list. I understand the argument that Warner’s career trajectory has been parabolic and inconsistent, but he still has two league MVP’s, a Superbowl MVP, and has led his team to three Superbowls.

    Big Ben running down the Colts player after Bettis’s fumble was as epic a play as there has ever been. Warner would be celebrating his second Superbowl if he had the toughness to take down Harrison after his Interception.

  105. 105
    kth says:

    I’ll take Big Ben over either pretty boy Peyton Manning and his over-rated little brother anyday of the week.

    Wow is that silly in Peyton’s case (Eli isn’t an elite QB, but no one really claims that he is). A GM that offered to trade Peyton Manning for Ben Roethlisberger would be fired as an absolute certainty. A GM passed up a chance to deal Roethlisberger to get Manning would almost as certainly be fired.

    The Super Bowl thing is greatly overrated as well: by the reasoning in the parent post, Mark Rypien, Jim McMahon, Jeff Hostetler, and Trent Dilfer are all greater QBs than Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, and Warren Moon.

  106. 106
    comrade rawshark says:

    Big Ben running down the Colts player after Bettis’s fumble was as epic a play as there has ever been.

    And if the guy had cut in the other direction…..Ben wouldn’t have come near him.

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  1. […] 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. […]

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