Ron Jaworski Ranks Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Sixth On His 2014 Big Board

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski has now released his annual preseason quarterback rankings and this year he has Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ranked sixth overall behind Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck.

Jaworski writes:

Pittsburgh’s 8-8 record may not be what fans expect from the Steelers, but after reviewing the tape, I thought Big Ben had one of his best seasons in 2013. We all know he has a unique skill set, with the ability to be a pocket passer but also extend the play when it’s necessary. He’s a little like a dancing bear with how light he is on his feet. Ultimately, there are two sets of numbers that stand out to me for Roethlisberger. The first is that he has 156 career starts and has won 67 percent of them. That’s astonishing. The second is that veteran quarterbacks understand the necessity of coming away with touchdowns and not field goals in the red zone. In the last two seasons, Roethlisberger has 27 TDs and zero INTs inside the 20-yard line.

It’s really hard to ague with Jaworski’s assessment of Roethlisberger, but I do believe that the Steelers quarterback has thrown 37 touchdown passes inside the 20-yard line over the course of the last two seasons and not 27. Roethlisberger gets cheated enough, so let’s not short him ten touchdown passes.

As far as Jaworski having Luck rated ahead of Roethlisberger, let’s look at those red zone passing numbers again over the course of the last two seasons. According to Pro Football Reference, Luck has only completed 48.9% of his passes thrown inside the red zone during his first two seasons in the league and also had four of them intercepted.

While Luck certainly has a bright future ahead of him, he’s only won one playoff game so far and completed just 57.0% of his passes in his first two seasons in the league. I still think it’s premature to rank him ahead of both Roethlisberger and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Last year at this same time, Jaworski had Roethlisberger ranked seventh overall, so at least he’s jumped up one spot. However, that jump should have been two spotsand I’m sure that most of you reading this will agree with me.

  • steeltown

    Completely agree with you Bryan, Jaworski is spot on with his assessment of Ben, but ranking Luck ahead of him at this point in his career is just silly.

  • cencalsteeler

    Yes, I agree with the article. Luck does have a bright future ahead of him, but Jaws got a little ahead of himself there. He needs to prove a lot more to me on the field before ranking him ahead of Ben. It’s like ranking Manziel ahead of Hoyer with him never stepping foot on the field and being battle tested yet. Too premature, Jaws.

  • Chris Maxwell

    They all overate Luck, the two Probowls that he made should have been Ben spot. Every statistical there was Ben outplayed him, but hey I guess ESPN media is the bible so what do I know.

  • RW

    We all know Ben is a top 5 QB. Who cares what the ‘experts’ think?

  • Ryan

    Dont agree with puttin him behind Luck. I can see an argument for the other guys but its WAY too early to him behind Luck. WAY too early.

  • Willoughby Spitt

    Good article, Dave. I like the fact that you added Ben’s earned ten TDs. Luck can’t f&%k with Ben as BR went 15-1, made it to the AFC Championship game AND won OROTY in ’04, Ben’s ROOKIE season if my memory serves me correctly.

  • Paddy

    Jaworski old slow and done

  • steelerdre

    This is not a knock on Luck but he should not be ranked ahead of Roethlisberger…he’s only been in the league two year and has one playoff win to his name. I predict and even better year for Roethlisberger given this his third year in Haley’s offense.

  • Lil Smitty

    Luck shouldn’t be there ahead of Ben. I am not a statistics guy, so the numbers that Brees, Rodgers, Manning , and others put up don’t impress me that much. The rules are tilted to their type of game. I think Ben can evolve to that style, but he is also so much more with his toughness. I realize that this comment should have been posted with HOF discussions,but how many of these elite quarterbacks could have survived playing 20, 30, or more years ago and still have success.

  • IckyD

    Most of the media still punish Ben for past lies about him. If you look at it without bias Ben has been consistently the best QB in the league besides Tom Brady* in every category outside the gaudy yards/att/comp/overall TDs stats dominated by QBs who throw much, much more than he does.

    Without Mendenhall’s fumble in SB45 Rodgers’d be a lot lower on that list. I have my own ideas on why that game ended the way it did but just getting there and staying in it to the last down made Ben’s point: he’s an elite QB- hands down.

  • IckyD

    Except shorting him 10 TD’s..

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    It don’t mean a thing if you aunts gotta ring. BR has 2…

  • JohnB

    PS: I HATE Jaws.

  • Chad H

    I just looked it up and Ben out performed Luck in almost all stats. Ben is top 5 period but he is a Steeler and lack of respect is common by analysists so who cares.

  • Luck is a future great. Funny how they want to give him that spot already. I’m a fan of Luck and I like his game. Stuff like this makes me wish he’d have a terrible year though, just to prove a point. People are so quick to jump on a bandwagon. Everyone always wants the next big thing before they’re finished with what’s in front of them. It’s definitely an insult to Ben’s career to rank Luck ahead of him at this point. Anything they can do to take away from Pittsburgh, they will do it. And shorting him 10 TD passes in the red zone? Just ignorant.

  • Virdin Barzey

    I agree with this article…..and add that Jaws is a clown.

  • stellarsfan

    And only followed that up by winning the Superbowl in his second season

  • joed32

    Tired of lists and ratings and ready for some football.

  • steeltown

    Yea, his stats were off but his assessment was accurate

  • Steel PAul

    I have to disagree with those who bash Jaws. I see him as perhaps THE QB expert on all NFL shows for several years now. No one breaks down QB’s like he does.

    I agree with all but having Luck ahead of Ben.

  • Craig

    Steel- I agree w/ you 100%.

  • Craig

    I think it’s difficult to judge BR because he is in a transition w/ a new Off. coordinator scheme. Personally I think he has lacked or been over-rated in the past because of the style he played but I expect him to jump leaps and bounds as a field general this season- primarily due to him not having to play behind a pretty banged up front line, as in the past two seasons, but also because he will have a solid run game. Judgment on his performance is all in how he uses his weapons and is in his own hands. I’m not a fan of his but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rank in the top 3 QB’s by the end of the season, barring injuries.