Super Bowl 2011: Ben Roethlisberger Has Opportunity to Become Elite

Vincent MoraContributor IJanuary 27, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers won 24-19.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

When we ask people to name the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, we hear names such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers. You rarely get Big Ben in that response, but what more does this two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback have to do to get that respect?

Yes, Tom Brady has three Super Bowl titles, but Manning and Rivers have combined for one. Philip Rivers only has one, I repeat, one playoff victory and that came in 2008, the same year Big Ben won Super Bowl XLIII.

It is important to note that Big Ben took down none other than Philip Rivers in the divisional round to get to the conference championship.

With our numbers-obsessed society, Big Ben has been left out in the cold for far too long. He might not produce the same numbers in regards to yards and touchdowns, but he is a winner.

Ben has only thrown for more than 30 touchdowns only once in his career, Rivers has already done it twice. Ben has been the starter in Pittsburgh since 2004, Rivers became a starter in 2006.

Peyton Manning has been the starter in Indy since 1998, and yes he has had a Hall of Fame career, but the bottom-line is this, Manning only has one Super Bowl, that is one less than Big Ben at the moment and it might be doubled in the near future.

Ben's off-field behavior may also be at fault for diminishing his reputation as an elite quarterback, but we cannot deny his productivity. Big Ben might not be a model citizen, but he is a winning QUARTERBACK.

Just how can Big Ben help himself with winning the title? For one, a lot of the off-field problems will be over-shadowed by the Lombardi Trophy. Ben would now have three Super Bowl titles, matching the great Tom Brady.

Winning his third Super Bowl will begin to put him in the company of Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw who both have four Super Bowls.

It is time to give Ben Roethlisberger the respect that he deserves as an elite quarterback in the NFL.