Monday, February 02, 2009

Does second Super Bowl win put Big Ben among top 10 QBs of all time?

If rings are the true indicator of success, then yes, yes it does. With yesterday's Super Bowl win -- his second in four years -- Roethlisberger became one of only 10 quarterbacks to win two or more Super Bowls as a starter. Pretty remarkable since he's only 26.

Though unlike those others on the list -- all Hall of Fame-caliber QBs -- Big Ben seems more like a product of a good team than a good quarterback. His greatest strength may be that he doesn't lose games, not that he wins them. Insert any number of gunslingers into the Steelers' QB position and he too could have two championships. Roethlisberger certainly wasn't the reason Pittsburgh won the extra large Super Bowl over Seattle; his 22.6 passer rating is the worst ever for a victor. And while he was solid yesterday -- exceptional, even, during the last drive -- he wasn't the difference maker; take away Harrison's return (push him OUT OF BOUNDS!) and Arizona wins the game.

But Manning and Favre don't have two rings. Marino doesn't have any. And the guy he just beat has only one. So does Big Ben's second put him ahead of those guys on the all-time best list? Championship success vs. an extraordinary command of the game. Which matters more?

Your arguments, please.


george1964 said...

Arguably, the same could be said of Terry Bradshaw - with that incredible defence and weapons like Swann, Stallworth and Harris, his job was similar to Big Ben's. The NY Times did a comparison yesterday of Warner to all two-time SB-winning QBs, and Bradshaw comes up as the weakest of a great group. I'm guessing Ben would rank lower than Bradshaw right now, but with years ahead to build up stats and maybe win another ring, he would certainly belong in any conversation about the best. But it seems awfully early to do that just yet.

Anonymous said...

Not yet. He has been on great teams that have won two Super Bowls but not because of him. I am not even sure he would be in the top five in the league right now if you could pick a QB and start a team from scratch.

The titles are important as they show an ability to win the biggest game of the year, but they are not the only criteria. Was Ted Williams any less of a player because he never won the World Series? Marino is easily a top 10 QB in spite of having never won the Super Bowl.

Two Super Bowls is a great accomplishment, obviously, but he has years to either build on that or show that those two championships were more about the teams he was on as opposed to his ability.

Alejandro said...

Nothing screams debate like a top ten QB list. Here´s my list of super bowl - and only SB - QB (so that excludes Baugh, Graham and the best years of Unitas).

1. Montana
2. Star
3. Brady
4. Staubach
5. Bradshaw
6. Aikman
7. Plunkett
8. Young
9. Simms
10. Warner

Two comments:

1. Elway. That was a tougth one because he has two SB rings and one MVP. But the thruth of the matter is that he looked like absolute garbage in three other SB. You don´t make the list of greatest SB QB when your team gets anihilated 55-10.

2. Favre. One ring, one loss and he put good numbers in those games. I guess you could drop one of the "one game wonders" like Simms or Young or even Warner. Call it a bias against him for hanging around too long.

Take care

Justin C. Cliburn said...

No. The QBs you highlighted were, are, and will always be better QBs than Roethlisberger.

GMoney said...

Ben wasn't a difference maker on that final drive? Any other QB takes sacks there. You all have to take into account one thing about this year's Super Bowl champions: that is one of the worst offensive lines of all time (with no running game) and Ben willed them to a title. NO OTHER QB IN THE LEAGUE COULD HAVE DONE THAT BEHIND THOSE SCRUBS.

Just because he isn't a great fantasy QB, doesn't mean he is not elite.

Anonymous said...

i would have to argue that game command is more important than championship success, for the big reason that offence isnt the whole game. if you have a bad/mediocre offence/QB but an amazing defence, you can still win games (um, steelers anyone?)

wheras many great QBs throughout history (such as the many QBs mentioned already) have either not won a SB, or done badly in them, but that doesnt make them a bad QB.

in roethlisberger's case, hes a good enough QB with a great ability to not get sacked combined with an amazing defence that can make do with very little offencive production.

im not trying to say that he isnt a good QB (he would certainly help the niners), but i wouldnt go so far as to say that hes the best, even if he is one of the winingest (in SBs with his years of experiance)


Bokolis said...

For me, Unitas is tops...47 consecutive games with a those days?! Montana rates second for never having won in the cold and for having been shattered by both Jim Burt and Leonard Marshall.

Marino = The A-Rod/Bonds of the NFL
Brady = Jeter, overrated and over-hated, but a winner who pulls the highest quality tail
Roethlisberger = Paul O'Neill last night, Miguel Cairo three years ago.
Elway = Kobe

Their supporting casts were too good to give Aikman and Bradshaw a fair shake.

Considering that Bradshaw twice beat Staubach, Bradshaw certainly rates higher than Staubach.

HM said...

I can't agree with Brashaw/Staubach. All other things weren't equal on those teams. I guess Roger would have been the better QB if he could have applied a ton of stick'em to the ball and then thrown it to Jackie Smith? Or maybe he could have been the better Qb if he squeezed more TD grabs out of Percy Howard in Super Bowl X?

The current Pittsburgh squad, in my opinion, is the worst team in my memory to ever win 2 titles so close together (at least in basketball, baseball or football -- I can't speak to hockey). I guess a fair comparison might be the 1987-1991 Minnesota Twins who won two titles -- had some really good guys, but weren't particularly great as a club.

So, is Ben a top 10 QB? Is Kent Hrbek one of the 10 best greatest first basemen of all-time? You can make the argument for each guy, but it is a really, really bad one.

Ben has the advantage of being young -- you never know where his career might lead. But as of right now? Uh, no.

THN said...

Where is Jim Plunkett? Two rings!

Barry Duffman said...

Of all time? Are you high? He's only been in the league 5 years. He had about as much to do with winning SB XL as I did. Last night was a different story, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Quarterbacks get way too much credit and blame because they have the ball every play.

Anonymous said...

No way. If not for the refs, he might be 0-2 in Super Bowls right now and we're talking about him in the same tones as Jim Kelly and Elway before Dan Reeves got canned in Denver.

Big Ben is a good quarterback, but he's not an all-time great because his team was good enough to win two Super Bowls, any more than Dan Marino isn't great because the Dolphins' putrid defense couldn't get him into Super Bowls.

Chuck Schick said...

pù shi

Although Ben is better than that no-talent overrated Eli Manning, that's for sure.

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