Ben Roethlisberger: One of the Most-Disliked QBs Is Also One of the Best

Andrew LeanContributor INovember 9, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 06:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the game on November 6, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

We are truly experiencing what ESPN has called “The Year of the Quarterback.”

Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are all on pace to break Dan Marino’s 27-year-old record of 5,084 passing yards, while Philip Rivers has a legitimate shot at it as well.

Rodgers also has a chance to surpass Brady’s single-season record of 50 passing touchdowns and Peyton Manning’s 121.1 passer-rating record.

However, lost in all the hoopla is the remarkable season that Ben Roethlisberger is putting together.

He's always flown a bit under the radar in terms of his ability, but it doesn't help that he's also one of the most disliked players in the NFL, according to Forbes.

Averaging nearly 300 yards per game, Roethlisberger is on pace for 4,679 passing yards, which would be a career high and a franchise record for the Steelers.

Since his disastrous Week 1 trip to Baltimore (three interceptions, two lost fumbles), Roethlisberger has tossed 14 touchdowns and only five interceptions, posting a 100.2 passer rating in the last eight games. That ranks third in the league during that stretch.

He has also reeled off a Brees-like streak of throwing for 330 yards or more in his last three games.

Roethlisberger surpassed 25,000 passing yards this week, which has him at 58th on the all-time list. It took him 3,109 pass attempts to reach the milestone. Only Kurt Warner achieved 25,000 passing yards in fewer attempts (3,076).

If he stays on his current pace, he could be within 1,000 yards of Hall of Famer and franchise leader Terry Bradshaw by the end of the season.

The amazing stats don’t even tell the whole story about Roethlisberger’s talent.

Here’s his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Mike Wallace from this week’s game against the Ravens.

1. It gave Pittsburgh their first lead, with less than five minutes remaining, in perhaps the most intense rivalry in the NFL.

2. How many other quarterbacks could make that throw while on the run?

Rodgers is the only other one that comes to mind.

Ben Roethlisberger is making it clear, once again, that he is one of the best in the business.