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Thread: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

      
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    Default Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    February 10, 2011

    Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    By LUIS DELOUREIRO


    Before Super Bowl XLV, many experts and pundits started speculating about Ben Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame credentials if the Steelers defeated the Packers. Some thought that a third Super Bowl title would mean very close to automatic enshrinement; others thought it was too soon to discuss the topic, given Roethlisberger’s limited body of work.

    But Roethlisberger failed to get his third ring, so the conversation is moot, right? The talkers at sports radio stations across the country were free to move on to the next meaningless debate – like whether the popcorn that Cameron Diaz was feeding Alex Rodriguez was buttered or chocolate-covered.

    But should they move on?

    I looked at Roethlisberger’s career – even with the loss in Super Bowl XLV – and there is a pretty compelling argument that Roethlisberger is all but in the Hall already.

    I compared Roethlisberger’s career with two quarterbacks who were recently enshrined in Canton as first-ballot Hall of Famers: Jim Kelly and Troy Aikman.

    Their career stats play out as follows:

    Category Roethlisberger Aikman Kelly

    Years 7 12 11
    SB Appearances 3 3 4
    SB Victories 2 3 0
    Games Started 98 165 160
    Playoff Record 10-3 (.769) 11-4 (.733) 9-8 (.529)
    Passing Yards 22,502 32,942 35,467
    Passing Yards/Game 229.6 199.7 221.7
    Passing Yards/Att. 8.0 7.0 7.4
    Passing TDs 144 165 237
    Passing TDs/Game 1.5 1.0 1.5
    INTs 86 141 175
    INTs/Game 0.9 0.9 1.1
    Overall Record 60-26 (.612) 94-71 (.570) 101-59 (.631)

    At the risk of oversimplification, I conducted my research under the premise that a player’s credentials are based on a combination of statistics and winning.

    Neither Kelly nor Aikman would have made the Hall based solely on statistics. Kelly is 16th in passing yards and 19th in passing touchdowns. Aikman is 26th in passing yards and 57th in passing touchdowns.

    Comparing Roethlisberger with Aikman and Kelly, we find that:

    • Roethlisberger has been to the same number of Super Bowls, three, as Aikman, and one fewer than Kelly.

    • He has won two Super Bowls – one fewer than Aikman and two more than Kelly.

    • Roethlisberger is 10-3 (a winning percentage of 76.9) in the playoffs – better than Aikman (11–4, 73.3%) and Kelly (9–8, 52.9%).

    • Roethlisberger’s winning percentage in the regular season is 61.2% – better than Aikman’s (57.0%) and comparable to Kelly’s (63.1%).

    Roethlisberger falls short only in regular-season longevity statistics – that is, the statistics that aggregate over time, like passing yards and passing touchdowns.

    However, the argument for longevity can be minimized if you break the careers of Aikman and Kelly into two parts. Aikman won his final Super Bowl in the seventh year of his career – the same number of years Roethlisberger has been active in the N.F.L. – and Kelly made his last Super Bowl in his eighth year in the league.

    Below are Aikman’s and Kelly’s statistics before and after each made his last Super Bowl.

    AIKMAN

    Category Before Last SB After Last SB
    Years 7 5
    SB Appearances 3 0
    SB Victories 3 0
    Games Started 98 67
    Playoff Record 10-1 (.909) 1-3 (.250)
    Passing Yards 19,607 13,335
    Passing Yards/Game 200.1 199.0
    Passing Yards/Att. 7.2 6.7
    Passing TDs 98 67
    Passing TDs/Game 1 1
    INTs 85 56
    INTs/Game 0.9 0.8
    Overall Record 60-38 (.612) 34-33 (.507)


    KELLY

    Category Before Last SB After Last SB
    Years 8 3
    SB Appearances 4 0
    SB Victories 0 0
    Games Started 118 42
    Playoff Record 8-6 (.571) 1-2 (.333)
    Passing Yards 26,413 9,054
    Passing Yards/Game 223.8 215.6
    Passing Yards/Att. 7.6 7.0
    Passing TDs 179 58
    Passing TDs/Game 1.52 1.38
    INTs 126 49
    INTs/Game 1.1 1.2
    Overall Record 76-42 (.644) 25-17 (.595)

    Both players were above-average quarterbacks – at best – in their later years. This is to be expected – players inevitably regress as they age – but the point I’m trying to make is that the years after their last Super Bowl had little or nothing to do with their first-ballot Hall of Fame status. Those later years did, however, get their career numbers to areas (for example, 30,000+ yards passing) that made the arguments for their enshrinement easier.

    Their first seven to eight years were very similar to the first seven years of Roethlisberger’s career. In fact, Roethlisberger’s first seven years compare favorably with Kelly and Aikman in terms of passing yards per game and passing yards per attempt – the statistic that most correlates with points scored. He is also either comparable or better than both players in terms of touchdowns and interceptions per game.

    This means that, barring severe drop-offs in production or injuries, Aikman and Kelly were in the Hall of Fame from the day they walked off the field in their last Super Bowl appearances.

    If Roethlisberger is even average for four to five more years – his resume will be very similar to both of these players.

    Looking At History

    One more point in Roethlisberger’s favor.

    Below is a list of the 11 quarterbacks who have started at least three Super Bowls in their careers.

    Player Total Wins

    John Elway 5 2
    Jim Kelly 4 0
    Joe Montana 4 4
    Roger Staubach 4 2
    Terry Bradshaw 4 4
    Tom Brady 4 3
    Ben Roethlisberger 3 2
    Bob Griese 3 2
    Fran Tarkenton 3 0
    Kurt Warner 3 1
    Troy Aikman 3 3

    Eight of those players – Elway, Kelly, Montana, Staubach, Bradshaw, Griese, Tarkenton and Aikman – are in the Hall of Fame.

    The other three (Brady, Warner and Roethlisberger) are not yet eligible. But the only question about Brady’s candidacy is what color to paint the walls in the Hall of Fame’s Tom Brady wing. That leaves Warner – who is an interesting case because he was actually cut by two teams during his career – and Roethlisberger.

    I think Warner will get in.

    Roethlisberger will as well.

    http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...-hall-of-fame/

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    one QB he left out the mix and is a shoe in...stats are already great but not SB's wins yet.....Manning.

    keep in mind...for some QB's it's not about SB's but stats....Brett.....Marino


    for some QB's it was about SB's and not stats......Bradshaw.....Griese

    for some...who knows........Fouts...Moon...Tark
    Last edited by bleedBnG58; Feb-10-2011 at 09:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    ... The story has yet to be written for Ben.....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... The story has yet to be written for Ben.....
    x 2

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... The story has yet to be written for Ben.....

    the story is being written as we speak, and the last chapter wasn't that great...

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    If Ben wins or makes it to one more superbowl I think he gets in. Staubach I think made it to 5 Superbowls but only won 2.

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    the story is being written as we speak, and the last chapter wasn't that great...
    My opinion differs in the sense that this season was somewhat out of the ordinary for the Steelers and Ben. Ben had perhaps the best season of his career behind perhaps the worst O-Line in the league. After the '05 season, the lines that have been "protecting" Ben have been getting progressively worse. Throughout Aikman and Kelly's career, they had stellar O-Lines while Ben overcomes and excells. When his career is finally over Ben without a doubt, should be in the HOF.
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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    My opinion differs in the sense that this season was somewhat out of the ordinary for the Steelers and Ben. Ben had perhaps the best season of his career behind perhaps the worst O-Line in the league. After the '05 season, the lines that have been "protecting" Ben have been getting progressively worse. Throughout Aikman and Kelly's career, they had stellar O-Lines while Ben overcomes and excells. When his career is finally over Ben without a doubt, should be in the HOF.

    I was mostly referring to Ben's off-field problems, especially the getting suspended for the first four games of the season...

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    Default Re: Ben Roethlisberger and the Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    I was mostly referring to Ben's off-field problems, especially the getting suspended for the first four games of the season...
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