I honestly don’t know what the actual criteria is for a player to make it onto the list of Top 100 Players of 2013. Some say that it is strictly based on the previous year’s performance, others think that a player’s body of work over their career determines the ranking. Regardless of what the requirements are, the NFL players who did the voting for this year’s list got it totally wrong when they ranked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at No. 61.
In 2011 and 2012, Roethlisberger was ranked 41st and 30th respectively. Now, for some strange reason, Big Ben dropped 31 spots from last year. This is beyond ridiculous.
As mentioned earlier, I don’t know if a player’s accomplishments from the previous season are looked at, or if his entire career is taken into perspective. Either way, Roethlisberger’s 2012 season should definitely put him higher, and furthermore, his Hall of Fame career should do the same.
There is no doubt that Big Ben has proved to be one of the elite quarterbacks since entering the league in 2004. Roethlisberger has been to two Pro Bowls and has won two Super Bowls, making him one of three current starting quarterbacks to have multiple championships.
Just looking at last season, Big Ben without a doubt proved that he is better than his No. 61 ranking indicates. On the top 100 list, there are a total of 14 quarterbacks, and 11 of them are ranked ahead of Roethlisberger. There are even three rookie quarterbacks that are predicted to be in front of the 10-year veteran in the rankings.
Of the three rookie signal callers that many assume will be on the list, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck stands out the most to me. Luck did have a better win-loss record than Roethlisberger in 2012, and he also threw for more yards and did make the postseason (because the Colts were healthier than the Steelers all season long). However, Big Ben threw three more touchdowns, 10 fewer interceptions, and had a drastically higher quarterback rating than Luck.
Roethlisberger did miss three games due to injury, but he still managed to put up excellent numbers. Big Ben tallied 3,265 yards in the air, threw 26 touchdowns versus eight interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 97.0 (seventh best in the NFL). Roethlisberger was the glue that kept the injury-riddled Steelers together for the majority of the season, and kept them in the playoff hunt.
Unfortunately, Pittsburgh didn’t make the postseason, but whether you look at this past season or at the entire career, Big Ben is the player that determines how far the Steelers will make it year after year. It’s the play of Roethlisberger that continually makes Pittsburgh championship contenders.
It’s funny to actually see how all of these players are contradicting themselves. I’ve heard many NFL players say that Roethlisberger is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, yet when it comes time to prove how great he is, they put him in the middle of the bunch of starting quarterbacks.
Looking at the players ranked from 61-100, there have been a few questionable calls. Now, I’m the wrong person to get a player’s point of view from, and I do believe that it’s fair that the players get to vote on each other. However, even as a person from the outside looking in, it’s painfully obvious that the NFL players got this one wrong.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google