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View Full Version : Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger makes the plays when it really matters


SH-Rock
01-28-2011, 09:28 PM
By Sam Farmer
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-farmer-nfl-20110128-9,0,3454798.column

You could never root for him? That's understandable.

But if you think Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is anything less than an elite NFL quarterback, you're wrong.

Roethlisberger might not have the gaudy statistics of New England's Tom Brady or Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and, in fact, some of his numbers are cover-your-eyes bad but there's no debating his most important statistic:


He wins.

Look at last Sunday's victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship game. Roethlisberger completed 10 of 19 passes for 133 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. In terms of the box score, he was thoroughly outplayed by the Jets' Mark Sanchez, who completed 20 of 33 for 233 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

But what happened on the critical plays? On third-and-12, Roethlisberger kept a touchdown drive alive with a 12-yard run. Later, on third-and-four, he ran for five. And with two minutes to go, and the Steelers protecting a five-point lead, Roethlisberger completed a 14-yard pass to Antonio Brown to convert a third-and-six. Game over. Let the kneel downs begin.

It was a typical Roethlisberger game he didn't make all the plays, but he made the ones that counted.

"There ought to be a stat for 'What did you do when you needed a pass completion to win the game,' " Hall of Fame coach John Madden said in a phone interview. "That's where Ben's stats would show up, when you make the play when you need to. A lot of guys get stats when they don't need them. Ben doesn't."

Think about Super Bowl XLIII, when Roethlisberger directed a do-or-die drive in the final minute, and, with 35 seconds to play, threw a pass where only Santonio Holmes could reach it. Touchdown. Game over.

If that drive were directed by Brady or Manning, it would go down as one of the greatest in Super Bowl history. It would have a nickname the way other historic moments do. As it was, more people talked about the feet of Holmes than the touch of Roethlisberger, and it was the receiver who was named the game's most valuable player.

That's not to say Roethlisberger doesn't catch more than his share of breaks. The Steelers kept him despite the accusations of sexual assault that resulted in his suspension. Many fans are ambivalent about him, cheering the player but wanting nothing to do with the person.

Strictly as a player, however, Roethlisberger hasn't gotten the respect he deserves. There are many theories for that. He's a lumbering (but effective) runner. He frequently holds on to the ball too long. He plays for a franchise traditionally known for its defense and power-running game.

"Bottom line, if you ask football people, they're going to put Ben Roethlisberger up there with [Manning and Brady] almost unanimously," said Bill Polian, Colts president. "No one would leave him out. And others who have made the Pro Bowl, for example, wouldn't even get consideration if you took a poll of all 32 general managers."

Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings, and there will always be people who say he didn't deserve the first one. He had a lousy game in Super Bowl XL against Seattle, finishing with a 22.6 rating, the worst for a winning Super Bowl quarterback.

What a lot of people forget, though, are the key plays Roethlisberger made along the way to put the Steelers in that position.

Can the Steelers win without him? Well, they were 3-1 when he was suspended at the start of the season. Then again, the Patriots won 11 games in 2008 without an injured Brady.

That's not to suggest Roethlisberger outplayed Brady this season. No quarterback did. But there's one statistic both Brady and Manning would happily swap with the Pittsburgh quarterback.

Roethlisberger is 10-2 in postseason games, a .833 win percentage. Brady is 14-5 (.737), and Manning is 9-10 (.474).

So, as you watch the Steelers make a run at Super Bowl victory No. 7, know that they wouldn't be in this position without the player who wears the same number.

quiggle
01-28-2011, 09:33 PM
so if the Steelers win SuperBowl XLV, does this lock Roethlisberger for the Hall of Fame?

OX1947
01-28-2011, 09:47 PM
so if the Steelers win SuperBowl XLV, does this lock Roethlisberger for the Hall of Fame?

I've been saying this since the last regular season game against the Ravens. I can not see a 3 time Super Bowl QB, with an 11-2 playoff record and 70% regular season winning percentage not go to the hall. First ballet also. And if he wins SB MVP, guaranteed first ballet hall of famer...

El Nino
01-28-2011, 09:56 PM
so if the Steelers win SuperBowl XLV, does this lock Roethlisberger for the Hall of Fame?

honestly i think he's already HOF status, win or lose. but #3 would seal the deal, and to think this guy is still only 28, he's not even half way finished yet.

fer522
01-28-2011, 10:24 PM
hopefully they won't try to keep him out
but with 3 rings (or more) is gonna be hard to not vote him in

austinfrench76
01-28-2011, 11:10 PM
IMO he has already locked up the HOF. just my opinion.

caseyviator
01-29-2011, 11:35 AM
i agree he is a first ballot hall of famer now win or lose next sunday.

i think its interesting that all 32 gms think hes a elite qb and yet sum average fans and thats what we all are dont think he is
too funny

pete74
01-29-2011, 12:08 PM
i love ben but i dont understand why people keep saying he did good last week even though his numbers are horrible. maybe someone can explain this to me? our defense kept us in the game, if we had tennesse's defense then the game would of been so far out of reach that the few completions ben made would of been meaningless.

i thimk he played pretty bad but lucky for us our defense played well and mendenhall played awesome. i think these reporters put to much on our QB. we win as a team. im sick of hearing about ben's 3rd super bowl ring, its the teams and without mendenhall and our defense we wouldnt be there. yes ben is a big piece but so are about 8 other guys

LVSteelersfan
01-29-2011, 01:16 PM
How come no one bothers to mention the TD run that Ben had in that game? That was critical and he read it perfectly. I agree the second pick was stupid. He should have been trying to hit an underneath route. But what QB doesn't do that sort of thing? Even the great Manning and Brady have thrown bad interceptions to "LOSE" in the playoffs. Ben kept us in it and did not give the ball back to them when it counted. I will take him as a QB over those other two every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Kanata-Steeler
01-29-2011, 02:11 PM
The Steelers "D" have always been there when it matters', so it doesn't matter, does it ?
:)

Third Rail
01-29-2011, 04:15 PM
I wish someone other than me would come to the conclusion that BOTH the offense and the defense made some major f*** ups in the second half of that game last week. Agreed, the offense played poorly for whatever reason... Ben made some bad throws, Mendy didn't have many good runs and of course there was the safety. But the defense also let the Jets rack up the other 17 points. Granted, 17 points aren't that much, but it was enough to make us play down to the wire. Yes, the goal-line stand was awesome, but I would have much preferred if they stopped the Jets before they even got into our own territory, or at least at around the 35 so that a field goal is tough to make.

I don't know why everyone always has a free reign to trash Ben on these boards (and people were doing this LONG before any of the allegations were made) but if you don't act like the defense are God's gift to the NFL on every single down, people treat you like your some sort of Steelers blasphemer.

plenewken
01-29-2011, 04:28 PM
I don't know why everyone always has a free reign to trash Ben on these boards (and people were doing this LONG before any of the allegations were made) but if you don't act like the defense are God's gift to the NFL on every single down, people treat you like your some sort of Steelers blasphemer.

Maybe it's because fans expect more from Ben who counts for $12.5M against the salary cap than from Gay who counts for $1.1M?

pete74
01-29-2011, 07:05 PM
i sure didnt bash him. i said he had a bad game which i stan by 100% and cant see how some of you think he played so well. everyone has good and bad games, i dont care who you are. all im saying is we won as a team

Third Rail
01-30-2011, 02:16 AM
I would agree that he had a fairly bad game. Still, like the article suggests, he made plays when it mattered, as did the defense. And if you win, that's all that matters. I was just trying to point out that neither side was perfect in the second half... Ben made some bad throws, and the defense let them get dangerously close to tying the score or pulling ahead.

As for the salary issue... the QB typically has the highest salary on the board, unless you've got a "game manager" type like Kyle Orton or David Garrard. But there are plenty of other guys on the roster that make a nice chunk of change:

Polamalu: $8.3M
Harrison: $6.3M
Taylor: $6.5M
Aaron Smith: $6.6M
Hampton: $6.5M
Starks: $6.4M
Ward: $4.6M
Miller: $4.7M

Now make no mistake, I think most of these guys are worth every penny. But considering that none of their positions are as essential as the quarterback position, I don't think it's ridiculous what Ben makes in comparison.

zulater
01-30-2011, 02:26 AM
i sure didnt bash him. i said he had a bad game which i stan by 100% and cant see how some of you think he played so well. everyone has good and bad games, i dont care who you are. all im saying is we won as a team

Yeah and Ben was part of that. Those critical third conversions had a lot to do with a positive result. Ben was certainly more than incidental to them.

Ben had bad passing stats, but overall he contributed considerably to the win with his overall play. He made timely plays when they mattered most.

plenewken
01-30-2011, 08:18 AM
I would agree that he had a fairly bad game. Still, like the article suggests, he made plays when it mattered, as did the defense. And if you win, that's all that matters. I was just trying to point out that neither side was perfect in the second half... Ben made some bad throws, and the defense let them get dangerously close to tying the score or pulling ahead.

As for the salary issue... the QB typically has the highest salary on the board, unless you've got a "game manager" type like Kyle Orton or David Garrard. But there are plenty of other guys on the roster that make a nice chunk of change:

Polamalu: $8.3M
Harrison: $6.3M
Taylor: $6.5M
Aaron Smith: $6.6M
Hampton: $6.5M
Starks: $6.4M
Ward: $4.6M
Miller: $4.7M

Now make no mistake, I think most of these guys are worth every penny. But considering that none of their positions are as essential as the quarterback position, I don't think it's ridiculous what Ben makes in comparison.

I'm not saying he makes too much, I'm saying people expect more from him and they should. He's the "franchise" QB. Have you ever heard of a "franchise" safety, or a "franchise" kicker?

I think Ben played OK against the Jets. Good at times and sloppy at times. The good happened when it counted most so we won.

I expect a great performance from him in the SB, something that didn't happen in the 2 previous and something that a "franchise" QB paid $12.5M per year should accomplish.

jon0807
01-30-2011, 04:53 PM
I think Ben is already a Hall of Famer, but he would be almost guaranteed to get in on his first ballot if the Steelers can pull it off Sunday. And while Ben was not Superman last week, he played well enough that he did not hurt the team, which is sometimes all a QB needs to do in this league. He can't play like that against Green Bay, but I believe that he will get things together. I found this article that talks about how the Steelers match-up well against the Packers, including how Ben matches up. Here it is:

http://www.thebestsportsblog.com/steelers-packers-2011-super-bowl-preview.html

quiggle
01-30-2011, 04:53 PM
what makes Ben one of the more savvy athletes is being able to adjust when other areas are not working, he might have a bad throwing game but then he makes up for it by running the ball instead like against the Jets last week. like in baseball or basketball something might not work for a player on the offensive end but they'll switch to doing better on defense.

Third Rail
01-31-2011, 02:15 AM
I'm not saying he makes too much, I'm saying people expect more from him and they should. He's the "franchise" QB. Have you ever heard of a "franchise" safety, or a "franchise" kicker?

I think Ben played OK against the Jets. Good at times and sloppy at times. The good happened when it counted most so we won.

I expect a great performance from him in the SB, something that didn't happen in the 2 previous and something that a "franchise" QB paid $12.5M per year should accomplish.

You didn't think he played well in Super Bowl XLIII? Seriously?

plenewken
01-31-2011, 06:55 AM
You didn't think he played well in Super Bowl XLIII? Seriously?

He played much better than in Superbowl XL, but it wasn't what I consider a great performance. Warner had better stats.