Updated: Nov 21, 2020
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger, who has thrown 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions this year is somehow not a top 10 quarterback in the league, according to Chris Simms of NBC Sports. Roethlisberger is on pace to have 39 touchdown passes this season, which would be a career-high and he's also on pace to have a career-low seven interceptions when starting 13 games or more.
Roethlisberger's presence in the offense makes a drastic difference compared to last year when the Steelers had Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges as the signal-callers. Rudolph and Hodges combined for 18 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions after Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 of the 2019 season.
The Steelers are the lone unbeaten in the league this year and are the first team in franchise history to start a season 9-0. A great part of that success has to do with Roethlisberger being back. Five players on the Steelers have three touchdown receptions or more through 9 games -- Chase Claypool (7), JuJu Smith-Schuster (5), Diontae Johnson (4), James Washington (3) and Eric Ebron (3). No other wide receivers group in the league has five players with three touchdowns or more. However, apparently to Simms, Roethlisberger is not a top 10 worthy quarterback in the league.
You can see Simms' top 10 quarterback list below.
Roethlisberger without a doubt should be at least top five. I can understand Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray being over him, but I would have Roethlisberger at No. 5 over Josh Allen. Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow are impressive rookies but I don't think they are top 10 quarterbacks in the league, just yet. Tom Brady isn't on the list either and you can even make the argument that Derek Carr should be on it. Even Lamar Jackson has digressed this season after being the league MVP last year. Jackson is still one of the most electrifying players in the league and I believe he's a top 10 quarterback but he hasn't had a better season than Roethlisberger.
The stats back it up too. Roethlisberger has completed 223 of 334 passes (66.8%) for 2,672 yards, 22 touchdowns, four interceptions and has a quarterback rating of (103.0). Jackson has completed 158 of 247 passes (64.0%), 14 touchdown passes, five interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 98.8. Now Jackson is a weapon in the run game as well, but Roethlisberger's overall play has been better and he led the Steelers to a 10-point comeback to beat the Ravens, 28-24, in Week 8. A game in which Jackson was responsible for four turnovers, throwing two interceptions (one being a pick-six) and fumbled twice in the red zone.
Pro Football Focus also had the Baltimore Ravens at No. 3 in their Week 10 power rankings and the Steelers at No. 4 for some inexplicable reason.
I could see the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1 overall just because they are the defending Super Bowl champions and hold an 8-1 record. Even the New Orleans Saints at No. 2 is a stretch. But the Ravens at No. 3 just doesn't make sense especially after they lost to the then-3-5 Patriots this past Sunday night. Plus, as mentioned before, the Steelers beat the Ravens at Baltimore in their first meeting.
To round out the disrespect the Steelers have been receiving this week from media outlets. ESPN made a top 10 rookie list and Claypool wasn't on it. Claypool leads all rookies this year in touchdowns with a total of nine (seven receiving and two rushing). Claypool’s nine touchdowns this season ranks first among wide receivers in their first nine career games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Claypool not being listed as a top 10 rookie is just straight blasphemy.