Stephen A. Smith Believes Ben Roethlisberger Is Still a Top-Five Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger / Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-0 with a decent chance to finish the season undefeated. They've won those games on the strength of an extremely stingy, turnover-creating defense and a cast of talented YAC producers on offense. Ben Roethlisberger has been good enough after missing all but two games last season with an elbow ailment, and the Steelers are poised for a postseason appearance that could transform into a deep playoff run.

There. I have acknowledged they are a good team, because of course they are. But what they do not have is a top-five quarterback. Stephen A. Smith appeared on ESPN to argue the opposite and that, in fact, Big Ben is one of the five best quarterbacks to step on the field so far this year.

This is simply not the case. There is no way to spin this and come out with a reasonable and logical argument that Ben Roethlisberger is a top-five quarterback in the horrid year of 2020.

Smith's argument is that Roethlisberger has not completed less than 63 percent of his passes in any game except one this season, he's thrown for more than 300 yards a few times, and the Steelers have 10 wins. These are all irrefutable facts. They do, in fact, indicate Roethlisberger is a good quarterback. I do not deny this. It does not mean he's a top-five quarterback.

Big Ben does not rank in the top five of any significant statistical quarterback measure other than touchdowns. His 24 touchdowns this season are good for fifth in the NFL. Otherwise, Roethlisberger is ranked 18th in completion percentage, 15th in total yards, sixth in touchdown percentage, seventh in interceptions percentage, 26th in yards per attempt, 31st in yards per completion, 17th in yards per game, and 24th in net yards gained per passing attempt. He is also, as Steelers fans in your life will adamantly remind you after hearing about such stats, No. 1 in wins.

Again: Big Ben is still a good quarterback, and that's a noteworthy accomplishment for a member of the 2004 draft class coming off surgery on his throwing elbow. But the five best quarterbacks in football this year have been, in no particular order: Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen. Sure, if it's an important game, you might take Roethlisberger over Allen or Murray, but by every other measure, he can't hold a candle to what those guys have been doing.

Roethlisberger has done a great job in 2020, but he's far from top-five anymore. That's fine. I'm sure he doesn't care considering the current record. But to say he's top-five is simply ridiculous.