Ben Roethlisberger is NFL's most clutch QB

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
1:19
PM ET
There always is a hot debate about who's the NFL's best quarterback. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning come to mind first, then it becomes a heated argument of who's next.

[+] EnlargeBen Roethlisberger
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesTwo-time Super Bowl-winning QB Ben Roethlisberger has a 9-2 career playoff record.
But with Super Bowl XLV just around the corner, who's currently the NFL's most clutch quarterback? It's hard to argue against Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There is no better quarterback on the big stage than Roethlisberger, who has a 9-2 career playoff record and is competing in his fourth AFC Championship Game in seven seasons Sunday. Manning has a sub-.500 record (9-10) in the playoffs, so he's out. Tom Brady has a good playoff record (14-5), but he has lost three postseason games in a row.

Meanwhile, Roethlisberger has won his past four playoff games, including last week's divisional-round victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He has a chance to play in his third Super Bowl since the 2005 season, which would equal the number of Super Bowl appearances by Manning (two) and Brady (one) combined over that same span.

Here is more food for thought: If Pittsburgh advances, Roethlisberger, Manning and Brady would be the only quarterbacks to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl since 2003. That's dominance from all three players. But Roethlisberger's playoff winning percentage (.818) is better than Brady's (.737) and Manning's (.473).

Roethlisberger, who owns two Super Bowl rings, doesn't get nearly the same credit because he's not a conventional quarterback. But after the New York Jets battered and confused Brady and Manning in back-to-back weeks, Roethlisberger can make another huge statement by doing what the other two quarterbacks couldn't -- beat the Jets -- to advance to his third Super Bowl.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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