Sunday, February 6, 2011

Maybe the Big Ben Love Fest Needs to Stop

Some of the hype going into Super Bowl XLV was what would Ben Roethlisberger's place in history be if he and his Pittsburgh Steelers won a third Super Bowl title. It is a great debate before the game. It may be an even better one now.

I think we need to calm down on him. He doesn't belong in the Montana-Brady-Aikman-Bradshaw debate.

It isn't that the Steelers lost this Super Bowl. Great players lose sometimes. Tom Brady did. So did Brett Favre and John Elway. Kurt Warner lost two of his three appearances, but was outstanding in each game.

Great players lose sometimes.

But for Big Ben, it isn't like this team's Super Bowl performances have been due to him. In two of the three Super Bowls, he really didn't play well.

In Super Bowl XL, the young Roethlisberger was not very good. Big Ben completed just 9 of 21 passes for 123 yards. He threw zero TDs, but threw two interceptions. His 22.6 QB rating is the worst of any Super Bowl winning quarterback.

In Super Bowl XLV, he didn't look that sharp. He did complete 25 of 40 passes for 263 yds. But he threw two interceptions ... with one being returned for a touchdown.

In Super Bowl XLIII, Big Ben was awesome in the big moments. He was an efficient 21 of 30 for 256 yards. He threw one TD and one pick. But that TD was magical: the game winner to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds remaining.

Trust me, I'm not dogging Roethlisberger. Anyone who gets to and wins Super Bowls deserves their props. But Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady should be insulted if you place Big Ben in their company right now.

The "right now" is key. He is still relatively young and he plays for a franchise that has it together enough that they could return to the Super Bowl for several years to come. Check back in a few years and we can revisit this.

For right now, Big Ben isn't in that class.

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