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Repost – Ben Roethlisberger is the best QB in the NFL

February 01, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Not everyone under appreciates Ben Roethlisberger.After watching Ben Roethlisberger take the Steelers back from a 14 point deficit and a disastrous first half of play at home to beat the Ravens 31-24 it got me thinking about Big Ben. Is Ben Roethlisberger the most clutch QB in the NFL? If so, is he the most under appreciated QB in the NFL?

Without doing any scientific research the game got me thinking of all of the Ben Roethlisberger 4th quarter comebacks I have watched over the last six years. I am not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan at all, but it just seems as if I am watching Roethlisberger pull off clutch plays every season in dramatic fashion. Well after going back and actually doing some research not only was I right, but Ben Roethlisberger is the most clutch quarterback over seven seasons in the NFL.

The irony here is that you would never know it. The NFL media for obvious reasons have not given Big Ben his due for a long time. I say obvious because most of us know about Ben’s offseason charades which include accusations of sexual assaults (yes plural) and driving carelessly on a motorcycle. Type in “Ben Roethlisberger rape” into Google and you get over 82,000 results as opposed to “Ben Roethlisberger fourth quarter comebacks” which returns slightly over 30,000. On top of that, numerous reports came out after Ben’s incident last offseason in the bathroom as to Ben’s contentious relationship with the media and Steelers fans. The guy was quite frankly reported to be a big jerk and that just isn’t going to fly against the power of the pen or the keyboard.

But has it gotten to the point where the NFL media are just being petty? Troy Aikman said during the Packers vs. Falcons divisional playoff game, “If I were starting a franchise tomorrow, Aaron Rodgers would be my first choice as quarterback.” John Clayton from ESPN (ranked Ben fourth Brady, Manning, and Brees) when taking a look at his top ten. Whether it is Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, hell even Donovan McNabb when media and analysts talk about elite NFL quarterbacks rarely do you ever hear Ben Roethlisberger included in the conversation and that is quite frankly a disgrace.

If being a great NFL quarterback means being a great leader then Ben Roethlisberger is arguably the best in the NFL with Brady up for debate. Is there no better leader than putting your team on your back and not only bringing taking them out of a deficit but put them in position to win on top of that? Talk about the ultimate sports pressure. The Steelers are always given credit for their defense, but if there defense was so great than Big Ben wouldn’t need a comeback altogether. The clutch play of Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter is not only magical, but it is the type of quarteback play that makes legends and believe me when I tell you that decades after he is retired, Big Ben will be a legend.

On a list compiled by the NFL stats website pro-football-reference.com, Roethlisberger ranked 10th all time for NFL fourth-quarter comebacks. Their math differs with other stat sites in that they go back and use different metrics to rank their comebacks. The list was compiled in August 2009. Wikipedia.org and PFR.com lists Roethlisberger with 26 “Comebacks/game-winning drives in the fourth quarter/overtime,” after his win in the divisional playoffs this season. Keep in mind the difference between a fourth quarter comeback and and game-winning drive and that is even more impressive. That is 26 times Ben Roethlisberger led his team to a  4th quarter TD that won the game and that my friends is clutch.

Official Ben Roethlisberger NFL Jerseys

Big Ben comes out on top of Pro-Football-Reference.com‘s list of fourth quarter comeback wins over the first seven seasons of a career. That’s right on top! His go-ahead TD drive against the Ravens officially gives him 19 which is one more than Peyton Manning to lead the list. Behind Manning are John Elway with 17 and Tom Brady with 16. Only Tom Brady has more Super Bowl wins with three on his list. The only other starting QB in the top 15 is Eli Manning. When is the last time you heard anyone refer to Ben Roethlisberger with the same kind of reverence that is used when speaking of Tom Brady, John Elway, and Peyton Manning? Heck, if you didn’t watch football or read the list you would probably have no idea of just how good Roethlisberger is.

This is nothing new for a guy that wasn’t even drafted in the top ten. Big Ben set a NFL rookie record in 2004 with five comeback wins in the fourth quarter, and six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter/overtime (including one playoff game). Like the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, Roethlisberger has been doing this since his rookie year. Look how long it took Peyton Manning, or John Elway to win a big game and you can see that this guy has been terrific since his first snap. If you look at his stats since his rookie year and didn’t know his name, you would think I was talking about Brady or Peyton Manning but nope, Big Ben is never in that same kind of conversation.

At the end of the day I think in 2011 it boils down to Big Ben and Tom Brady. While Brady gets weekly accolades about his postseason play, it is actually Roethlisberger that has been far superior over the last five seasons in the playoffs. Since 2005, Tom Brady is 5-5 in the postseason, 0-3 in his last three including losing a Super Bowl in which his team were heavily favored. Ben Roethlisberger is 8-1 with two Super Bowl wins including one of the greatest fourth-quarter comebacks against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl history to win Super Bowl XLIII . If that isn’t the definition of clutch I don’t know what is.

If you don’t think there is any kind of media bias against Roethlisberger, just check out the NFL Network’s Top 100 players list they did earlier this  year.  The list is comprised on players voted on by a committee of former and current players along with the media. So where does someone with Roethlisberger’s impressive record of postseason wins and fourth quarter comeback victories rank on the list? How about nowhere? Roethlisberger isn’t even on the list! If winning games in the postseason including two Super Bowls and pulling off clutch wins in the fourth quarter on a consistent basis can’t get you ranked ahead of Kurt Warner than something is wrong with that list.

Whether Roethlisberger wins the Super Bowl this year or not, he needs to start being recognized as the great NFL quarterback that he is. Is it fair to rank him ahead of Tom Brady? Well Brady has one more Super Bowl win and was one of the best clutch QBs of all time, but what has he done in the last five years? Big Ben has only gone 8-1 in the postseason and won two Super Bowls, in addition to bringing his team back on a consistent basis. Ironically a Super Bowl XLV win or even appearance this year would probably get some instant respect but by the time September rolls around it will be all Brady and Manning with a sprinkle of Brees and Rodgers once again. A Super Bowl win should not only put him right at the top of the list of current QBs, but put him near the top of the all-time list.

So allow me to disagree with Troy Aikman and tell you that if I was starting a franchise tomorrow and could take any quarterback in the NFL I’d take the guy who is calm under pressure, clutch in the highest pressure situations, and gives me the best chance to win my games no matter what the deficit is. That quarterback isn’t Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Drew Brees…that guy is Ben Roethlisberger, the best quarterback in the NFL today.

Update: Big Ben is going back to the Super Bowl. Yes, he is that good.

Update #2: The Wall Street Journal breaks down Ben’s most recent postseason stats.

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The Neutral Zone – The Only ’09 Fantasy Cheat Sheet You’ll Need – Quarterbacks

August 10, 2009 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady This is the first of a five-part series this week. Over the next 5 days, I will provide you with the ultimate draft cheat sheet. All of the sheets were developed by myself and a few members of the South Jersey Fantasy Football League, collectively. Special thanks to Ricardo Martinez and Will McCafferty for their input. Printing these articles and encouraged.

Monday – Quarterbacks
Tuesday – Running backs

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read once again. The feedback from my story last week on Michael Vick was terrific. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to write about my passion and share my opinion with others.

With that said, this is my favorite time of the year. Baseball is getting down to the point where every game makes a difference, Tiger Woods is winning every tournament he enters, the Flyers and Sixers are preparing for camp, and NFL training camp is on with pre-season games already underway. My number one reason for this time of year, however, is Fantasy Football.

I’ve been the commissioner of the South Jersey Fantasy Football League for 6 years now. It’s a nice size league with a bunch of really passionate people. One of the most fun days of the year is the Sunday before the first regular season game. On that day, we all pack into my residence for the Fantasy Draft. It’s quite the sight to see. Everyone has their laptops fired up, magazines and cheat sheets are spread over the entire house, and the trash talk is already underway.

Preparing for your fantasy draft is always nerve-racking. If you’re not preparing for your fantasy draft then you’re not serious about winning. There’s an art to it. It’s not about just showing up and looking at your lists for the first time. All of these websites and magazines that claim to have the “most comprehensive draft kit” don’t make your job any easier. I, however, will make your job a whole lot easier. If you wanted that perfect cheat sheet that just can’t possibly be wrong, look no further.

Drew Brees is coming off a year in which he fell 15 yards short of Dan Marino’s single-season passing record. He also chipped in 34 touchdowns. Don’t look for the new “Greatest Show on Turf” to slow down this year. Even at the age of 38, Kurt Warner is still a machine. He plays in warm Arizona and has more targets than any other quarterback in the league. Look for him to come close to the 4,500 yard/30 touchdown season that he had in 2008.

Finally, Tom Brady is ranked 6th. Tom Brady is there because he’s won three Super Bowl’s and two Super Bowl MVP awards. If any other guy in the league blew out every ligament in his knee, they wouldn’t even be in the top 20 this year.

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans
2. Kurt Warner, Arizona
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
4. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
5. Philip Rivers, San Diego
6. Tom Brady, New England
7. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia
8. Tony Romo, Dallas
9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta
10. Jay Cutler, Chicago
11. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati
12. Matt Schaub, Houston
13. Matt Cassel, Kansas City
14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle
16. Kyle Orton, Denver
17. Trent Edwards, Buffalo
18. Eli Manning, New York Giants
19. Chad Pennington, Miami
20. Jake Delhomme, Carolina
21. Jason Campbell, Washington
22. Sage Rosenfels, Minnesota
23. Shaun Hill, San Francisco
24. David Garrard, Jacksonville
25. Kerry Collins, Tennessee
26. Joe Flacco, Baltimore
27. Marc Bulger, St. Louis
28. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
29. Brady Quinn, Cleveland
30. Daunte Culpepper, Detroit
31. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland
32. Luke McCown, Tampa Bay

Rising Star - Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers looked terrific last year. He was very surprising in terms of fantasy points. He passed for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. His value is even higher because he ran for over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns. No quarterback in the NFL ran for more touchdowns last year. His receiving core is stacked with Donald Lee, Greg Jennings, and Donald Driver. With a year under his belt, Rodgers will only continue to improve. Apologies to: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell and anyone else named Matt

Sleeper - Mark Sanchez. I know I have Sanchez ranked 28th, but this is a guy that is being overlooked. Sanchez will and probably should start for the Jets. Sanchez was lauded in college for his intelligence and his ability to read defenses. Mark my words; Sanchez will have a better career than Matthew Stafford. Luckily for Sanchez, he’s going on a team that barely missed the playoffs last season.

He also has a good group of targets in Jericho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, and tight end Dustin Keller. He’s in a great situation to win now. Don’t be shocked if he puts up better numbers than Delhomme, Garrard, Collins, or Flacco. Apologies to: Trent Edwards, Kyle Orton, and Shaun Hill

Toughest Debate - McNabb over Romo. I’m an Eagles fan. The guys on my team helping to compile these lists are Cowboys and Dolphins fans, respectively. Obviously I listed McNabb over Romo and my Cowboys helper chose Romo over McNabb. It was a hard choice to put McNabb over Romo but my reasoning is this. McNabb has DeSean Jackson (who thus far has been labeled as “uncoverable”, even by Asante Samuel, in training camp) Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis and Hank Baskett. Romo lost Terrell Owens. He now must rely on Jason Witten (a stud), Roy Williams (who did squat after he was traded to the Cowboys last year) and Patrick Crayton.

Crayton has always been surrounded by great receivers such as Owens, Roy Williams, Terry Glenn, and Keyshawn Johnson. He has never been a starter like he will be this year. Without the multiple weapons that defenses will hone in on, Crayton has a lot to prove.

The days of lining up in the slot in single coverage against a team’s third best corner or safety are over. The Eagles also pass the ball a lot more. McNabb will put up more fantasy points than Romo. Apologies to: Eli Manning ranked over anyone higher than 25th, and deciding who would actually start in Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Detroit, and Oakland.

Brett Clendaniel is 25 and married to an awesome girl named Tashia. Brett has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Brett currently works for QBC-TV2 of South Jersey and 1240AM WSNJ. Sports are his passion and Philly teams are what he religiously follows. Brett is also a big fan of the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Bengals. Brett also have great passion for professional wrestling and mixed-martial arts. Brett loves to talk about any of them all the time. “I am flattered to be asked to share my opinions with all of the loyal readers of the Camel Clutch Blog! I hope you enjoy my articles.” Please e-mail him any time with questions, comments, or feedback of any type at [email protected].

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