I hate the term “elite.” I have a tremendous dislike of that word as it applies to professional quarterbacks because I believe it to be applied subjectively. People apply it to those they like versus those they don’t and that’s where much of the subjectivity begins.
Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play well in the first half of last week’s troubling loss to the New Orleans Saints. He made some poor reads and some poor throws and in turn, the Steelers fell behind by too large of an amount for the comeback to be completed.
It didn’t take me to tell you he played poorly because he admitted it himself right after the game. As the week progressed, news of his hand injury seemed to be an obvious excuse for his poor throws but Roethlisberger contradicted reports from Bleacher Report who said his hand was broken.
It was not. No excuses, he played poorly.
So here was Roethlisberger faced with a literal must-win on the road in Cincinnati with the cloud of last week’s poor performance hanging over him. With help from his offensive line, Roethlisberger went 25 of 39 for 350 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Steelers to a 42-21 win over the Bengals.
Not too bad for a guy with a “broken” throwing hand huh?
I find it funny how quick people are to place Roethlisberger in the “elite” category and then just as quickly they erase him from their list. Never mind that in the last two weeks, Peyton Manning, the “elite of elite” quarterbacks, has been anything but. He has two touchdown passes and two interceptions and a completion percentage of well under 60% in his last two weeks.
I haven’t heard any calls for his “elite” status to be stripped…
Quarterbacks have great games and they have bad games too but the truest measure of any great QB is what he does in games that follow the bad ones. Roethlisberger went on the road Sunday and played well in a game where he had too.
Now, can he follow this up with another big game on the road? Why not?
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on game day on the Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game
photo courtesy rantsports.com