Over the past decade, The “Best Quarterback in the NFL” talk has been narrowed down to a two-dog race.  Brady and Manning have dominated the conversations, with one having better regular season numbers and one having a more impressive playoff resume.  There is, however, one quarterback who has remained lurking in the shadows (and not just in Georgia bathrooms.)

Brady and Manning have had company in the “Best QB” debate from time to time.  Phillip Rivers’ name pops up periodically until the Chargers’ annual stretch of underachievement shows up. Drew Brees’ name got hot following the Saints’ fairy-tale style Super Bowl run last year, but his numbers came back down to earth in 2010.  There is one name that is rarely mentioned in this group of quarterbacks that needs to get a whole lot more attention: Ben Roethlisberger.

For the sake of this argument, let’s put aside all the things that we think about Big Ben as a person, and all the dirty things that he is alleged to have done.  Let’s look at the man between the lines.  The man with more rings than Peyton and only one ring less than Brady.  Over the course of Ben’s career, he has made remarkable play after remarkable play, leading the Steelers to sustained success in the 7 years he has been in the NFL.

Roethlisberger has been one of the most efficient passers in NFL history. He currently ranks 8th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.5), 5th in yards per attempt (8.04), and 12th in completion percentage (63.07%) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1500 career attempts. He has the 4th highest career winning percentage (.704) as a starter in the regular season among quarterbacks with a minimum of 90 starts.  His Steelers have not had one losing season in the years that he has been at the helm, and he has orchestrated 25 game tying or game winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime. That’s not a typo, that’s 25!

I know it’s hard to overlook the things that we dislike about Ben Roethlisberger the person but when you break down the numbers, he’s right up there with the best.  However you want to rank them 1-3, you have to put Ben right up in there with Peyton and Brady.