Ben Roethlisberger: Where Does He Rank Among the Best NFL QBs Following Loss?

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2011

Ben Roethlisberger: Where Does He Rank Among the Best NFL QBs Following Loss?

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    Ben Roethlisberger came just a bit short of his third Super Bowl victory, something that would have shot him into the discussion on who the NFL's best quarterback is.

    With a loss, the question is where he ranks among the top quarterbacks in the NFL. With that in mind, we've broken down the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL, and you can find out where Big Ben falls on that list. If you have any thoughts or comments, make sure to leave them below.

    Where do you think Roethlisberger ranks among NFL quarterbacks?

No. 15: Matt Schaub

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    Matt Schaub has put up some gaudy numbers in Houston, but I'm still not a huge fan of the former Atlanta backup.

    Schaub has the tendency to choke in big games and is starting to get out of the reputation of being an injury-prone player. He's done some nice things in Houston, but there are no playoff trips to show for it and no breakthrough season.

    It's easy to put up big numbers when you're always playing from behind.

No. 14: Josh Freeman

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    This season was a breakout year for Josh Freeman and things are looking up in Tampa Bay.

    Freeman helped lead a team back from the bottom of the NFL and almost into the playoffs. He's shown off a clutch gene in him that made for some thrilling comebacks and finishes for Tampa Bay and its fans. Now all he has to do is consistently beat some of the best teams in football, and his star will rise even higher.

    It's safe to say that Freeman is Tampa Bay's franchise quarterback.

No. 13: Jay Cutler

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    Jay Cutler may have come under fire after the NFC Championship Game, but it doesn't change who he is as a quarterback.

    Sure, he makes a lot of mistakes and has a tendency to pout, but Cutler has a huge arm and can make a ton of huge plays. If Brett Favre can become a legend in the NFL while throwing a ton of interceptions, then so can Cutler.

    There's a lot of potential there; he just has to channel it into greatness.

No. 12: Joe Flacco

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    Joe Flacco has a couple signature playoff wins to his resume, but I'm still not sold.

    The quarterback hasn't made a step forward and struggled in some big games this year. Sure, his wideouts let him down in the biggest game of the year, but I'm not sure that Flacco can lead a team to the Super Bowl.

    I could be wrong, but he needs to start performing more consistently.

No. 11: Mark Sanchez

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    It may not always be pretty, but Mark Sanchez gets the job done.

    There's no denying his success in the playoffs, having reached two AFC Championship games in his first two seasons. Not only that, but we saw Sanchez take steps forward in his maturity, especially in the playoff game against Indianapolis.

    There aren't many quarterbacks who would have the guts to make that throw to Braylon Edwards late in the game.

No. 10: Tony Romo

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    Tony Romo has only won a playoff game once in his career, but he's still done a great job under center for Dallas.

    It will be interesting to see the direction his career takes now that Jason Garrett is the head man in Dallas. Romo has grown so much as a quarterback, and now it's just a matter if he can get a couple of deep playoff runs under his belt.

    If he does, I think we can start talking about him as one of the best in the game.

No. 9: Eli Manning

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    Eli Manning may struggle at times, but the man has a Super Bowl ring.

    He's responsible for one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history and we'll never forget how he escaped the clutches of the New England defensive line and chucked it downfield to David Tyree, who caught it on his helmet.

    Manning still has room to grow, but he's got plenty of time to get there.

No. 8: Michael Vick

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    Michael Vick is back and the entire NFL is on notice.

    Vick came out of nowhere this year to take the league by storm and was in the MVP race with Tom Brady for most of the season. He put the Eagles on his back and led them to the playoffs where they lost to the eventual champion Green Bay Packers.

    If Vick can build on this year, he's going to be even scarier.

No. 7: Matt Ryan

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    Matt Ryan got a lot of praise this year, but it's time to slow down the hype train.

    Ryan threw a pick-six against the Packers that sucked the game away from Atlanta, turning a 21-14 halftime deficit into 28-14 in the NFC Divisional round. That play changed the whole game and the Falcons never recovered from that throw. Ryan's still got a lot of room to grow.

    When he does though, the Falcons will reach multiple Super Bowls.

No. 6: Philip Rivers

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    This may feel low for Philip Rivers, but it's more than deserved when you think about it.

    Rivers has been masterful since taking over for Drew Brees in San Diego and has had two monster seasons in a row. The Chargers live and die by his arm. The numbers he put up with a no-name cast at the wide receiver position are almost mind-boggling.

    Not only that, but he's a tough player who can get the job done. If only he had a real head coach.

No. 5: Aaron Rodgers

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    There's no doubt that Aaron Rodgers is in the discussion as an elite quarterback after last night.

    Rodgers was masterful last night and never got down when his players dropped four passes that should have been caught. He was on the money all night long and put the Packers on his back down the stretch and made them champions.

    You can't say enough about the job that he did with Green Bay this year.

No. 4: Ben Roethlisberger

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    Despite the loss last night, there is no reason to look at Ben Roethlisberger any differently than we did before the game.

    Roethlisberger hasn't played exactly well in the Super Bowls, but he's not a Dan Marino-type of quarterback. Big Ben makes plays late in games, but sometimes you just come up a little bit short and that's what we saw last night.

    There isn't one person who watched that game who didn't think Roetlhisberger was going to rip Green Bay's heart out with 1:59 left on the clock.

No. 3: Drew Brees

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    Just because Drew Brees didn't make another Super Bowl this year doesn't mean we should sleep on his accomplishments.

    Let's be honest, Brees is the New Orleans Saints' offense. He does so much for that team on a weekly basis and is so valuable to that franchise. Brees is a master of spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved in the offense, which makes each player a threat on every play.

    I think we'll see a couple more Super Bowl runs for Brees in the future.

No. 2: Peyton Manning

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    It was tempting to put Drew Brees over Peyton Manning, but I just couldn't do it.

    Manning was so clutch this year for the Indianapolis Colts. Player after player went down around him and yet, he still found a way to keep the Colts on the winning path, got them into the playoffs and almost beat the New York Jets.

    If that isn't an accomplishment and a showcase of his true talent, I don't know what is.

No. 1: Tom Brady

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    You knew it had to be Tom Brady at the top of the list.

    The man is the MVP and he put up amazing stats with a group of wide receivers that most quarterbacks wouldn't have won with. Brady did this just a couple years removed from major knee surgery and it's been amazing to watch him pick defenses apart.

    He played terrible against the Jets, but he's still the best quarterback in the league.