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Friday, September 28, 2012
Poll results: Best QB in the division

By Jamison Hensley

Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton are having strong starts to the season. But, based on our SportsNation poll, Ben Roethlisberger still reigns supreme in this division.

Of the 10,115 votes, 47 percent say Roethlisberger is the best quarterback in the AFC North. Flacco (29 percent) and Dalton (24 percent) were close when it came to second place.

What everyone can agree on is that there's been improved quarterback play in the division this year. Three of the top 10 quarterbacks in QBR come from the AFC North: Roethlisberger (third, 80.4), Dalton (fifth, 73.1) and Flacco (10th, 69.7). Only the AFC South (Andrew Luck, Jake Locker and Matt Schaub) has as many quarterbacks in the top 10 as the AFC North.

Here's what readers had to say about how they voted:

Heather from Carlisle, Pa.: One of the reasons I think Roethlisberger is playing the best right now is his ability to extend plays. Big Ben eludes tackles left and right and is able to extend the play for positive yardage -- just look at the Mike Wallace touchdown against Oakland. He also threw for almost 400 yards that game. He's big and strong and it's hard for defenders to bring him down. Also, he has so many weapons to throw to, that it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up one of the top passers this season.

Tanner from Tulsa, Okla.: Joe Flacco is the best quarterback in the division. He is the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first four seasons, and is extremely durable (until the replacement refs miss a roughing-the-passer call that leads to him tearing his ACL next week). Impressive playoff wins against the Patriots, Chiefs, and Dolphins; also outplayed Brady in last year's AFC Championship game, delivering the would-be game winning catch if Lee Evans would have protected that ball. Confident and still getting better everyday, Flacco is the best QB in the AFC North.

Eric from Lexington, Ky.: Some might argue A. J. Green helps Andy Dalton's numbers. But I like how Dalton has spread the ball around. Dalton has grown but won't be considered better than Roethlisberger or Flacco until his team finishes higher.

Kevin from Chesapeake, Va.: If anyone doesn't think Roethlisberger is better than the rest the AFC North has to offer is delusional! He is putting up numbers with no running game to speak of and no offensive line to protect him. Put Flacco and Dalton; Brees, Rogers or Brady for that matter, behind that offensive line and see how well they play! This poll is ridiculous!

Mitchell, from Waco, N.C.: Joe Flacco, is by far the better QB. My reason stays with youth. Flacco is an up and definitely coming icon for the league. However, Big Ben is getting old and is injury prone at this point in his career. Moreover, Joe's confidence rises with each passing game and will eventually dominate his division just like Peyton Manning did in the AFC South. Flacco has already established his abilities in his first four years which keeps getting stronger.

Noah from Pittsburgh, Pa.: Roethlisberger is unquestionably the class of the AFC North. In his first season with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Ben is moving the ball down the field effortlessly, even with the total absence of a running game. He has never looked this confident and comfortable in the offense, and that's saying something considering he's led the Steelers to three Super Bowls in the past six years.