Top 10 quarterbacks in Steelers history

11 of 11

Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ben Roethlisberger.

The question now remains, should it be Bradshaw or “Big Ben?”

For this writer’s opinion the choice is simple. Sure, Bradshaw has those four Super Bowl wins without a loss, but Roethlisberger has two of his own including a third appearance that resulted in a loss to Green Bay. But there area several facts to consider in the comparison.

First to mull over are the stats. Terry Bradshaw’s career spanned 14 seasons. Roethlisberger is in his 11th with more to come. When the next three games have been played, he will surpass Bradshaw’s career game total by one with 169 if he remains healthy.

Then come the real meat and potatoes of the career marks. Having played in just about the same number of games, Roethlisberger has thrown for a total of 41,400 yards. Impressively, that’s 13,411 more than No. 12. You want touchdown throws? Big Ben comes in to his next game with 262. The Blonde Bomber had 212.

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The quarterback rating is not even a fair comparison. Roethlisberger currently sports a 93.9 rating mark while Bradshaw finished a mediocre 70.9.

The one stat that Bradshaw does lead in is sacks where he went down a career number of 307 times and Roethlisberger not yet done with his career is sitting at an eye-opening 431 times.

Who’s the more accurate passer? If you base that on completion percentage, Big Ben has the advantage there by a large margin, 63.9 to 51.9. Also speaking about weapons, Bradshaw had future hall-of-famers Lynn Swann, John Stallworth as well as Bennie Cunningham.

Roethlisberger has had some good receivers but nothing like he has this season. One could make the argument that 2015 has been the first season in which Roethlisberger has been surrounded by comparable talent to Bradshaw.

In retrospect, Bradshaw benefitted by being a member of some very great teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense of the 1970s was one of the greatest units ever. Their domination of the NFL arguably has never been matched.

Ben Roethlisberger has had some great teams but they were probably not as great as what Bradshaw had at his disposal. The bottom line is that until the last two seasons, Big Ben has had less to work with than did The Blonde Bomber.

One parallel that can be made between the two quarterbacks is their toughness, their grittiness, and their will to win. Roethlisberger has been beaten up many times and has either toughed it out or fought like hell to return earlier than expected.

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Will the Pittsburgh Steelers ever land another quarterback that this list’s No. 1 and 2. That will be a very long time coming. For now, “Big Ben” Roethlisberger stands as the Pittsburgh Steelers greatest quarterback ever.