A few weeks ago, an NFL Network writer listed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as something like the 15th-best player at his position in the NFL right now. Pro Football Focus took the “hold my beer” approach recently, publishing a quarterback rankings list that sees the 15-year veteran just 21st.
In a dead-heat tie with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
To be clear, the rankings are based exclusively on the site’s season-long overall grades only and is not meant to factor in more ‘subjective’ criteria (insofar as their grades are by any means ‘objective’). The site has Roethlisberger with an overall grade of 72.0 right now.
That is behind nearly dozens of other quarterbacks, at the top of the list being future opponent Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints with a grade of 94.2. Behind him is Patrick Mahomes, who torched the Steelers back in Week Two before it was obvious that he was the ‘real deal’.
Other notable names that are ahead of Roethlisberger in the site’s grades are Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom the Steelers beat, Andy Dalton, whom the Steelers beat, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, whom the Steelers beat, and Baker Mayfield, whom the Steelers beat. Flacco, the other quarterback whom the Steelers beat, as mentioned is tied with Roethlisberger.
At the moment, Roethlisberger’s 2560 passing yards ranks fifth in the NFL, and his 320 yards per game average is third. His 16 touchdown passes only ranks tied for 13th, but there are still those who have yet to have their bye week. His seven interceptions are tied for the eighth-most, however.
Over the course of the Steelers’ four-game winning streak, Roethlisberger has completed over 65 percent of his passes and thrown for 1146 yards with eight touchdowns passes, two interceptions, and one rushing touchdown. He even has a reception mixed in there.
And this is a period of the Steelers’ offense during which that have been paying greater attention to the running game than are most teams. While James Conner has consistently rushed for over 100 yards in every game, the passing attack has remained alive, as noted by Roethlisberger still averaging nearly 290 yards per game through the air.
While I would not claim that he is having his best season of his career—and to be fair, he has been getting better and better as the season has progressed, and is entering the period where last year he played his best football—lists like this remind you that you can’t simply look at numbers to ‘rank’ players.
If I had the opportunity to select any quarterback in the league right now for this season, you can bet that Roethlisberger would be in my top five list.