Ben Roethlisberger is not nearly the same caliber a passer as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but had the Steelers' quarterback emerged victorious on Sunday night, he'd be mentioned in the same breath as the two future Hall of Famers for as long as he lives.
As it turns out, of course, he didn't, as Big Ben threw two picks in the 31-25 Packers victory in Dallas.
Yet, while the comparison may have seemed a bit over-the-top a week ago, a good game out of Roethlisberger would have rightfully put him in the conversation. Consider the stats of Roethlisberger, Manning and Brady, the only three active quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl starts to their name.
|Player||Completions||Attempts||Completion %||Yards||Yards per game||TD||INT||Rating|
While the numbers show that Roethlisberger now lags behind Brady and Manning in completion percentage, yards per game and quarterback rating, they also show that an impressive performance would have thrust him into a competition much closer than we might have realized. For the sake of discussion, let's imagine that Roethlisberger played the same game that his opponent, Aaron Rodgers, played on Sunday night: 24-for-39, 304 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Adding those stats to Roethlisberger's numbers from 2005 and 2008, he'd have a rating of 84.62. Not to mention, he'd remain unbeaten in the big game, something neither Brady or Manning can claim anymore.
That, though, is imagination, and Sunday's loss will go down as a major missed opportunity for Roethlisberger.