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Sunday, February 6, 2011
Big Ben falls far short of QB legends

By Tim MacMahon


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Had the Steelers marched 87 yards in less than two minutes, they would have had to make room for a fifth face on the Super Bowl quarterbacks’ Mount Rushmore.

But Ben Roethlisberger and Co. didn’t come close on that drive. That’s fitting, because Roethlisberger doesn’t belong in the company of Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady, who remain the only quarterbacks with three or more Super Bowl rings.

Roethlisberger didn’t perform up to the standards of that exclusive club in the Steelers’ Super Bowl XLV loss to the Packers. He numbers weren’t bad – 263 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-40 passing with two interceptions – but he missed on several throws, including one that should have been an easy touchdown to Mike Wallace.

“Personally, I feel like I let a lot of people down,” said Roethlisberger, offering a blunt, accurate assessment of his play.

Big Ben would have been the ugly duckling in a group with four of the best quarterbacks of all time anyway. He may well end up being inducted in the Hall of Fame, but his Super Bowl performances pale in comparison to the quarterbacks with three-plus rings.

The Steelers won despite Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XL, when he threw for no touchdowns, two interceptions and had a pitiful passer rating of 22.6. He had a spectacular game-winning series in Super Bowl XLIII, but that was his only touchdown pass of the game.

Roethlisberger has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions in his three Super Bowl appearances. That ratio looks ridiculous compared to Montana (11-to-0), Bradshaw (9-to-4), Aikman (5-to-1) and Brady (7-to-1).

Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl passer rating is 70.9. That’s quite a long shot from the legends – Montana’s 127.8, Bradshaw’s 112.8, Aikman’s 111.9 and Brady’s 95.1.

Aikman said this week that Roethlisberger is a quarterback who can’t be judged by his statistics. The numbers make it clear, however, that Roethlisberger is a few rungs below the four quarterbacks who have more rings than him.