Ben Roethlisberger 'oddly underrated as an MVP candidate'

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com Around the League editor Gregg Rosenthal named Ben Roethlisberger a 'sleeper MVP candidate' in 2013. If Roethlisberger plays, the Steelers can win. If not, winning is far more difficult. So yes, he's an MVP-level player.

NFL.com Around the League editor Gregg Rosenthal released his "Quarterback Index," which seems like a fancy name for a simple ranking list of the players at the position.

In that, however, he placed Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger No. 5 overall, and dubbed him a "sleeper MVP candidate" for the 2013 season.

Roethlisberger was performing at the level of an MVP last season, including arguably his best career statistical performance in a loss at Oakland last year (36-for-49, 384 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions). He was injured in Week 10, and never came back fully to form in a rough four-game slide to finish 8-8 on the year.

A healthy Roethlisberger will lead the Steelers in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans. Which version of Big Ben will be on the field? The one who was justifiably a top-three player at his position in Weeks 1-9, or the one who didn't appear to come back physically or mentally from a grotesque injury in Weeks 14-17?

It's the question of the Steelers' season. If Roethlisberger can lead this offense, the Steelers will avoid the slow start that doomed them last season. If he can stay healthy over 16 games, the Steelers will have a good shot at the playoffs.

This is pretty much the way it usually is in Pittsburgh. Get Roethlisberger on the field, the team can win. If he's not, odds seem more likely the team is at or below the .500 mark.

In other words, he's an MVP-level player.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker