Ben Roethlisberger Ranked Seventh Among Clutch QBs

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s game has never been accused of being pretty, nor has it ever been overly cerebral, particularly in his early years.

Although his ability to read and manipulate defenses has improved, there’s little argument that much of his success over the years can be attributed to his size helping him extend and create plays.

It’s why you don’t see his name on the Pro Bowl roster every year. He may never lead the league in passing yards or touchdowns thrown. But there’s no denying that through the years his defining attribute has been finding ways to win games.

This was especially true earlier in his career. He helped lead the Steelers to a 15-1 season as a rookie. His heady tackle after a shocking Jerome Bettis fumble against the Indianapolis Colts in 2005 helped preserve the organization’s first Super Bowl in decades.

In both Super Bowl years, in fact, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to five fourth-quarter comebacks.

Yet there have only been four of those in the past three seasons, and the Steelers have only won 28 games in that span.

Some have wondered lately if Roethlisberger has lost some of that late-game magic that helped make him one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Perhaps that’s why NFL scribe Bucky Brooks ranks him seventh on his list of the most ‘clutch’ quarterback in the game right now—behind Tony Romo.

Of course, Romo has 11 fourth-quarter comebacks over the last three seasons. Still, among active quarterbacks, Roethlisberger trails only Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Eli Manning in fourth-quarter comebacks, with 23 in his career.

Here is what Brooks wrote about Roethlisberger on the list:

There’s no doubt Big Ben deserves a spot on this list, given his penchant for clutch play throughout his career. The 11th-year pro has directed 23 fourth-quarter comebacks during his tenure and single-handedly carried an offense that’s struggled with pass protection in recent years. Roethlisberger’s numbers in two-minute situations (98.9 passer rating and 5:1 TD-to-INT ratio in 2013) speak for themselves, but it’s his innate ability to extend plays without turning the ball over that really stands out. Big Ben has mastered the art of avoiding and escaping rushers while keeping his eyes downfield, making him nearly impossible to defend in late-game situations, when defensive coaches are prone to lean on soft zone coverage (i.e., the prevent defense).

The Steelers’ defense isn’t quite as strong as it used to be, even with the new pieces that have been added through free agency and the draft. The offense has gotten younger and less experienced, and they will need Roethlisberger’s veteran guidance—and late-game heroics—more than ever.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Wing t

    Ben, Brady or manning have represented the afc 11 out of the last 13 times in the Super Bowl. Being clutch or 4th quarter comebacks don’t mean that much to me it’s getting the team to the Super Bowl and having a chance to win it.

  • Steelers12328882

    LOL how many 4th quarter game winning Super Bowl TD passes does Romo have?

  • Lil Smitty

    Romo has been playing in the NFC least. That division hasn’t had a high ranking D in the past few years. Comebacks are easier against Washington D than Balt. Or Cincinnati. Include Cleveland although comebacks usually aren’t necessary in those games.

  • Biggie

    Roethlisberger 10-4 in playoffs with 2 SBs, one he won on clutch drive with game winning throw, Romo 1-3 in playoffs. Enough said.

  • JohnB

    Big Ben is the definition of Clutch…I’d accept this if it was 7th among all QBs in past and present…but that far down is a joke. Andrew luck has been playing for 2 years!! “Roethlisberger set a NFL rookie record in 2004 with five comeback wins in the fourth quarter, and six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter/overtime (including one playoff game). Roethlisberger has the most comeback wins (19) and game-winning drives (25) through the first seven seasons of a player’s career. He is the only quarterback to reach 20 comeback wins before the age of 30” – Wikipedia. Give me a break.

  • patrick Mayfield

    Too much credit on the QB in this argument IMO. Ben was more clutch when he had more clutch receivers, a young Heath and a lights-out defense to give him the ball right back.

  • Ike Evans

    Ben is 1 in clutch….only other qbs on that list are brady and eli (good eli not bad eli)


    I rank Romo as LAST…if only because of how many games he has actually Lost late! Go Steelers!

  • Steve

    Ben has won 2 Super Bowls and has led his team throughout his time with the Steelers. It is a shame to even mention Tony Romo in the top QB’s, who has done nothing in his career. Bucky Brooks what you been smoking, your a joke.

  • Jason White

    Romo is a bum when it comes to clutch QB play. More often than not he will be the reason the Cowboys blow the game in the 4th quarter. Peyton gets called the most cerebral QB in the game but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the biggest choke artists in big games. When it comes to Peyton he just doesn’t have any balls. He gets scared under pressure and forces throws instead of just taking a sack and living to play the next down. Tom Brady is similiar to Peyton but not as bad. He is more clutch in big games but he still tap dances like Bing Crosby when he gets scared.

  • wdhammer

    another Dallas kiss azzz