Welcome to the “list article” season of the year. We’re starting off with a scorching hot take courtesy of NFL.com’s David Carr, who published his Top 10 quarterbacks late last week. One name not on the list? Ben Roethlisberger. Carr, anticipating the backlash, included a note at the end of his article for why #7 isn’t anywhere in the top ten.
“Why is Ben Roethlisberger off my list? Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer and there’s no doubt he can still help the Steelers. But, he’s got the most talented skill players in the league on his unit, and that pair — Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell — are making him look great 14 seasons in. I don’t think Big Ben could win a ton of games without them at this stage in his career.”
Whewww, coming in hot.
What QBs were ranked ahead of Big Ben? Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, and coming in at #10, Jimmy Garoppolo. You know, the guy with seven career starts and 12 touchdown passes.
The “supporting cast” argument is typically one of the worst to make in making any judgment of a player. To place the focus everywhere else instead of the guy your’e actually talking about, in this case Roethlisberger, especially without any comparison. It’s not like Roethlisberger was suddenly good when Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell showed up. He was pretty much already a Hall of Famer before either of those guys became household names.
Watching even just highlights of the Steelers last year showed Roethlisberger was just as responsible for the great plays as the others. Brown’s amazing sideline catch against the Green Bay Packers? A ridiculous throw by Roethlisberger, one of his best ever.
The heaves against Jacksonville, like the strike to Martavis Bryant at the end of the half? A dime by #7.
To put it all on the supporting cast basically “bailing” Roethlisberger out, that seems to be the argument Carr is making here, is totally wrong. It’s arbitrary, lazy, and doesn’t make a lick of sense to even a casual football fan. If you really wanted to leave Ben off the list, you could at least cite his terrible home/road splits and inconsistencies. But Carr disappointingly doesn’t even do that, opting to go for somehow even lower hanging fruit and calling it a day.
Training camp is only a month away. I’m going to try my best to keep that in mind.