Ben Roethlisberger is in the same league as Peyton Manning
There it is.
The first sentence may have rubbed people the wrong way, but there's nothing that can be said to dispute it. Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
It's only fair that I give you my list of the top five quarterbacks in the league before going any further:
Being on the list of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL means that you need to be considered as an elite quarterback. It's really that simple.
Simple wouldn't be any fun though, so let's go ahead and complicate Roethlisberger's position on this list a bit by giving four examples that demonstrate how he has what it takes to be among the elite.
Roethlisberger's second Super Bowl win
Ben Roethlisberger has been to the Super Bowl three times in only eight seasons. He has won two of the three games.
Talk about efficient.
The man is only 30 years old and has won the world's biggest game 25 percent of his career.
His second Super Bowl win was against an explosive Arizona Cardinals team. The Steelers had to put together a solid final drive to win that game. You might remember Roethlisberger's great touchdown throw to Santonio Holmes with less than a minute for the win.
Winning one Super Bowl gives a quarterback bragging rights, but winning that second trophy means that lightning had to strike twice. Roethlisberger is only four years removed from winning it all and he was in the big game two years ago.
He has the potential get to another championship before his career is over and winning that would put him at three, a feat that few quarterbacks can say they've achieved.
He's ended up on the ground a lot, but he always finds a way to get up
The NFL has gotten nothing but faster and harder hitting in the past ten years. Players are bigger, faster and stronger which tends to lead toward more big hits.
Ben Roethlisberger's playing style would lead people to believe that he spends a large amount of time on the sideline, but that's not close to the case.
He has played in at least 12 games in each of his seasons, plus playing through any injuries that have resulted from the few missed games.
There couldn't be a better example of his toughness than how he's playing through a partially torn rotator cuff this year.
Having a quarterback that can get up after taking big shot after big shot helps to motivate his teammates and that's a trait that few have at the quarterback position.
His toughness is up there with the best of them and helps make a case for Roethlisberger's name being put into the elite quarterback discussion.
He doesn't throw too many touchdowns yet he still finds a way to win games
Ben Roethlisberger has proven to the world that throwing touchdown passes isn't the only way to win games.
Instead, he wins games by sheer determination and consistency.
He has only had one season in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and it's clearly the worst statistical season that he's had in his career.
Other than one rough season, he's been the model for consistency. He hasn't thrown more than 15 interceptions in a season. His career passing percentage is at 63 percent and he has a career quarterback rating of 92.0.
The inverse of not making his mistakes is that he doesn't put up throwing numbers that would warrant as one of the best quarterback in the league discussion. He hasn't thrown less than 17 touchdowns, but also hasn't thrown more than 32 touchdowns in a season.
The problem is that people see these numbers and automatically write him off as a regular player and nothing special. That doesn't work because he is the perfect example of how you manage a game and get the win.
That's practically the definition of the quarterback position.
Nowadays it's "cool" to put up big numbers and flashy plays—both areas of the game that Roethlisberger doesn't specialize in. He focuses on getting the win and he does anything necessary for that to happen.
Being a consistent player means more than putting up big numbers, and it's another reason as to why Roethlisberger is an elite quarterback.
He put the ball in a place where only Holmes could catch it for the come-from-behind Super Bowl win
Many people are unaware of this fact, but Roethlisberger's middle name is, "Clutch."
It's pretty incredible how that doesn't get talked about right?
Okay, his middle name is actually Todd (surprisingly boring), but would it really be too big of a surprise if we all of the sudden heard about a name change?
All jokes aside, the man gets it done in the final moments and when the game is on the line.
He has 17 fourth quarter comebacks and 23 game-winning drives in his 105 career regular season games. Those numbers are mind boggling.
To put it in perspective with somebody that people do consider as one of the top quarterbacks in the league, Tom Brady has 18 fourth quarter comebacks and he's played in two more full seasons than Roethlisberger.
His clutch factor is yet another major reason for Ben Roethlisberger being an elite quarterback.
Whether you like him or not, he's a great player.