The offseason is tough for NFL media outlets, including the site you are currently reading. With the only news typically coming to light being negative news, people rely on things like rankings to help get them through the dog days of summer.
But even though some lean on different types of rankings to keep the needle moving, it doesn’t excuse those writing said rankings for really bad takes. This was certainly the case with the latest NFL.com article ranking the 59 starting quarterbacks from the 2020 regular season.
Before going any further, know I am biased. This is a Steelers website, and I am a fan of Ben Roethlisberger just like many of you reading this article. However, it is difficult for me to understand how a quarterback who threw 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in the regular season can somehow rank 20th in these rankings.
To be fair, see their reasoning behind Roethlisberger ranking where he does:
20. Ben Roethlisberger
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 20 | Blair: 20 | Filice: 21 | Parr: 19
2020 stats: 16 games | 66.0 pct | 4,304 pass yds | 6.4 ypa | 37 pass TD | 14 INT | 11 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble lost
Parr: Steelers receivers let Big Ben down far too often: His 48 dropped passes in the regular season were 15 more than any other QB was troubled with, per Next Gen Stats. A disappearing running game didn’t help either. Roethlisberger played some of the best football of his career in the first half of the season, but the bottom dropped out down the stretch.
What is truly head scratching is how the article almost contradicts itself, talking about how Roethlisberger was let down too often. So, suddenly a quarterback is responsible for dropped passes?
To really drive home the ridiculous nature of these rankings, let’s take a look at who they had ranked ahead of Roethlisberger:
19. Drew Brees
18. Joe Burrow
17. Philip Rivers
16. Dak Prescott
15. Kirk Cousins
14. Matt Ryan
13. Matthew Stafford
12. Derek Carr
11. Baker Mayfield
10. Kyler Murray
9. Justin Herbert
8. Ryan Tannehill
7. Lamar Jackson
6. Russell Wilson
5. Josh Allen
4. Deshaun Watson
3. Patrick Mahomes
2. Tom Brady
1. Aaron Rodgers
I’m not here to suggest Roethlisberger deserves to be in the Top 5. I’m also not here to suggest he should be in the Top 10. But when you see two rookies, Burrow and Herbert, and a quarterback who barely played in 2020, Prescott, ahead of Roethlisberger is immediately makes me wonder what they were watching I wasn’t.
Chalk this up to the latest hate intended for Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Some say such a bias is poppycock, but when you see things like this for the NFL’s official website, it makes you wonder.
Lucky for Steelers fans, this type of article only motivates Roethlisberger, if he even takes time to ready it. The Steelers, and mainly Roethlisberger thrive with a chip on their shoulder, and they have plenty of those to motivate them into the 2021 regular season.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.