Super Bowl 2011: Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, the Best of the Best

D. PritchardContributor IJanuary 27, 2011

Big Ben on the run.
Big Ben on the run.Al Bello/Getty Images

With all the talk this week and next about the quarterbacks for both Super Bowl teams, a unique question presents itself: Who is the best?

Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are arguably two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

When the question arises about who the best quarterback is in the NFL, the first names who come to mind are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and rightfully so. Complete with passing records, MVP awards and championships, it is hard to argue against them.

However, if you were building a franchise today and had to pick a quarterback, Roethlisberger and Rodgers would top the list.

Roethlisberger, in his seventh year in the NFL, is playing in his third Super Bowl, which seems unprecedented.

Much has been made of his stats (mainly because he suggested they were not that great), but in all reality they are not at all shabby. Over his seven-year career, he has averaged over 3,200 yards a season, and although his career quarterback rating is 92.5 (regular season), he has 26 fourth quarter comebacks on his résumé. Oh, did I mention he has won two Super Bowls?

I hear arguments all the time suggesting why players were or are good. Dan Fouts was surrounded by great receivers, Joe Montana had Bill Walsh and great receivers, Tom Brady had Bill Belichick, Emmitt Smith had an unbelievable offensive line and Roethlisberger was blessed with great defenses.

This is all true; however, at some point it’s okay to give the player a little credit. After all, regardless of whom they had or what was going on around them, they were the ones who had to perform.

If you think Roethlisberger is simply a game manager, listen to NFL players around the league when they explain what it is like to defend Big Ben.

The same is absolutely true for Aaron Rodgers. Unlike Roethlisberger, however, Rodgers spent the first three years of his career in Brett Favre’s shadow, waiting his turn to show the NFL what he could do. In 2008, he landed that chance and has not disappointed.

Averaging nearly 4,000 yards a season in each of his three years as a starter, Rodgers has led his team to the Super Bowl in just his third year as the starter.  

Through all the stats and all the comebacks, however, Rodgers and Roethlisberger have done what none of their peers were able to do: lead their teams to the Super Bowl. It's the ultimate game as a professional, the ultimate prize, and regardless who wins or who loses, these two quarterbacks are definitely winners.