Polian: Roethlisberger up there with Peyton, Brady

Ben Roethlisberger is on the verge of capturing his third Super Bowl ring, an elite echelon of NFL quarterbacking. But is he among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks?

That conversation has been reserved for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for much of the past decade, with Drew Brees slowly working his way into the discussion. While Roethlisberger simply doesn’t match up statistically with Brady, Brees or Manning, when it comes to clutch play, few have a better track record.

Colts president Bill Polianbelieves when it comes to the opinions that matter most — among league football minds — Roethlisberger is on par with Brady and Manning.

“Bottom line, if you ask football people, they’re going to put Ben Roethlisberger up there with [Manning and Brady] almost unanimously,” Polian told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “No one would leave him out. And others who have made the Pro Bowl, for example, wouldn’t even get consideration if you took a poll of all 32 general managers.”

It’s an interesting topic in a great piece by Farmer, because you seldom hear Polian speak out with such conviction on players.

Versions of the same conversation has been taking place around NFL Network for several weeks, especially since Roethlisberger made a handful of key plays to lift the Steelers over the Jets in the AFC Championship Game, improving to 10-2 in the playoffs, the second-highest winning percentage in NFL history.

“I think he’s underrated, because he doesn’t have the statistics that Manning and Brady have on a year-to-year basis,” said analyst Torry Holt. “But at the end of the day, when it boils down to making plays and getting his football team over the edge,┬áRoethlisberger gets it done.”

Yes, Roethlisberger has played with historically great defenses, but it’s tough to argue he doesn’t get it done when it matters most. We heard from nearly 4,000 users when this question was posted on Facebook┬árecently, but here’s another crack at it: Where do you rank Roethlisberger among the NFL’s elite QBs?

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