Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates after throwing a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Is Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger a Hall of Famer?


While there is little debate amongst those in the football world that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is a very good (or great) quarterback, there remains much discussion as to whether ‘Big Ben’ is Hall of Fame worthy.

Of course, Roethlisberger’s full career story has yet to be written, although Steelers fans certainly hope that the 32 year-old can add another Super Bowl or two to the Steelers trophy case.

But let’s assume for a moment that the Steelers DON’T win another Super Bowl during Roethlisberger’s tenure and that he plays another five seasons or so at his current level.

Would that be enough to get him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Or does he need another Super Bowl title to guarantee a bust in Canton?

When reflecting on Roethlisberger’s career and impact as a starting quarterback, it’s best to go back to the beginning.

The Steelers drafted the 6-5 quarterback out of Miami (Ohio) in 2004, with the intention of grooming him for a season or two behind then starter Tommy Maddox. Unfortunately for Maddox (but fortunately for the Steelers, it turns out), he was injured in Pittsburgh’s Week 2 loss against the Ravens in Baltimore and replaced by Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers would never look back, as the Big Ben era in Pittsburgh officially began. He would go on to shatter several rookie quarterback records in leading the team to a 15-1 record, including: most regular-season wins to start a career (13), highest regular season passer rating (98.1) and highest regular season completion percentage (66.4%).

Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) runs out of the tunnel for player introductions before playing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) runs out of the tunnel for player introductions before playing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Steelers fell short of the Super Bowl that season when they lost to the New England Patriots at home in the AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger took home NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, becoming the first quarterback to win the award in 34 years (Dennis Shaw, Buffalo Bills).

The following season, Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl (23), when he led the black and gold to their fifth title. He would lead the Steelers to another Super Bowl victory in 2008 and another Super Bowl appearance in 2010 (the Steelers third Super Bowl appearance in just six seasons).

Through his ten-year career in the NFL, Roethlisberger has managed to put together some impressive personal numbers to go along with his team’s success. His 95 career wins are good for 17th all time, and he should be nipping at former Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw’s heels for 10th place by the end of the upcoming season (107 wins). Roethlisberger’s career wins total ranks fourth amongst active QB’s, behind only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. His .669 regular season winning percentage is the sixth highest of all-time and he is even more impressive in the playoffs, boasting a .714 percentage.

It doesn’t stop there. Roethlisberger has been one of the most efficient signal callers in league history. He currently ranks 9th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.6), 9th in yards per attempt (7.85) and 12th in completion percentage (63.3%) amongst quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 starts. Big Ben is also the Steelers record holder for most career passing yards (34,105), most career passing touchdowns (219), most passing yards in a game (503), most passing touchdowns in a game (5), shared with Bradshaw and Mark Malone) and most touchdowns in a season (32).

When comparing Roethlisberger to quarterbacks currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he stacks up favorably. Former Oakland Raider Jim Plunkett is the only quarterback with multiple Super Bowl victories that isn’t enshrined in Canton. All quarterbacks with more than 100 wins are in the Hall of Fame – with the exception of Brady, Manning, Brees and Brett Favre – whom are all virtual locks for induction.

Another Super Bowl title (perhaps to go along with a Super Bowl MVP), would vault Roethlisberger to the front of the line, but is not necessary for Hall of Fame induction. The next steps in Roethlisberger strengthening his Hall of Fame resume appear to be reaching 100 career wins, 40,000 career passing yards and 250 career passing touchdowns – all of which should be easily obtainable for him as early as two seasons from now.

The question shouldn’t be whether or not Roethlisberger needs another Super Bowl title to get into the Hall of Fame – he should be a lock – but whether or not another Super Bowl would make him a first ballot inductee.

Ben Roethlisberger is a Hall of Famer, period.

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Tags: Ben Roethlisberger Hall Of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers

  • kc4life25

    As of now, I’ d say yes but not a first ballot. Put him on a team like the 08 or 10 team and he excells but as with most QB’s if the teams talent level drops so does thier’s. A great QB will carry a poor team (akaTom Brady) and this is one thing Big Ben has failed to do. The talent is still there and the line is almost solidified which may translate into a spectacular season for Ben.

    • PJ_CA

      Carry the team is exactly what he did the 2nd half of last season. Last year’s team had no business being within a missed call in San Diego from going to the playoffs – HE put them in that position. If he can reach the 40k yds/100 wins/250 TDs plateau, there is no reason he’s not a HoFer. I still think he’s underrated as a QB among his peers – I have yet to see an article or TV pundit mention him in the top 5 in the NFL. More rings than Rodgers, Brees, or P. Manning – yeah, he belongs in the conversation.

  • Bob

    No

  • Kick

    Everybody always knocks him for his performance in the Super Bowl in 05 but everyone forgets the marvelous plays he made to get them to the big show. Big Ben was the main reason they made it in 05.

    • c pernell

      exactly! he was good vs bengals, great vs colts when they gave us no chance, excellent vs broncos, shaking champ bailey with the pump fake half the game! he played well enough to win in the superbowl, better than hassleback! 08 season was even better. best ending drive in superbowl history! find one that is better! 5 passes from the 20yd line to cap it off with a pass over 3 defenders to holmes in corner end zone! big ben is the man!!

  • Roger The Alien

    Anyone who doesn’t think Ben is HoF material hasn’t been paying attention.

  • dgh001

    Comapre Ben with Steve Young. There numbers are almost exactly the same. Ben has 82 more completions, 197 more attempts, 981 more yards, 13 less touchdowns, 15 mor int, 35 more sacks, one less game started, one more win, two less losses, 1.17% better win percent, 15 more GWD, 9 more 4Qtr cmb, oh and another SB ring.

  • Tom Mccaffrey

    The only thing that may hurt Ben is the false allegations made regarding his personal life. Tom Mcca

    • bk

      One was false… the other was him being an idiot.. rapist? Maybe..maybe not.. either way it will be factored in by the media.. The same media that gives the Mannings a pass, Favre a pass, etc…

  • bk

    Borderline now… I think that without a stud LT and unproven (except 1) receivers this year will be tough.. If he survives… Another 8-8 or worse year and it will make it doubtful… Unless Tomlin goes I just don’t see them getting back to a SB… so that is out…
    As good as he has been, there has never been a year where he was the best… being compared to Brady, Manning, Brees, Rogers, etc doesnt help cuz he will never have those type of stats.

  • dgh001

    These discussions are just plain dumb. He is only 2/3 through a 15 year career. Once complete, his resume will be full then we can do the measures. These analysts are just converting O2 into CO2 and adding to global warming…
    The game has changed since the 70′s and 80′s the passing game has increased while the run game has declined. Many average QB have run up some gaudy numbers: Drew Bledsoe, Testaverde, Kerry Collins, Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason all have higher career stats than Unitas, Aikman and Kelly.
    Right now, statistically, Ben sits between 20th and 30th top QB for comps, att, yds, td. He has benefited by being on good teams with more wins, tied for 16th all time, he is top ten for winning percentage. He has helped with those wins by being in the top 20 all time for GWD and 4th Qtr Comebacks above where most QB with his number of years have. So today he is at best a borderline candidate, if he never throws another pass.
    Now if we take career averages for the next four years, from age 31-35 (before physically he might decline) he will average 14.3 games per year and will have stats in the neighborhood of 3850 comps, 6084 att, 47,750 yds, 307 td, 171 int, 540 sacks. With those numbers he is above Unitas, Kelly, Aikman, Fouts, Montana and a bunch of non Hall of Famers statistically. That will leave him behind only Farve, Peyton, Marino, Brees, Brady Elway, Moon and maybe Eli Manning. I can’t project how many wins or SB he might end up with, but with that crowd only Brady has more rings. Even with four years with 8-8 records he will be 6th or 7th all time for regular season wins.
    Four years of his average play, missing two games a year, he is top ten all time in nearly every category. Does Todd Haley improve his game, do the Steelers have more success on the field in the next four years.
    We have the fortune to watch a very special player for the next four to six years. We can litigate then.

    • Craig

      For someone who thinks discussions like this are dumb and just hot air, you sure laid down your own bit of stat chat. Good points, but aren’t you just doling out more CO2?

    • scott sinclair

      With all due respect, I would not call Esiason nor Bledsoe average QBs…..even Dave Kreig was a pretty decent QB for a time. Yes he was sacked a ton, and I believe he has the career record for fumbles by a QB but he did lead them to the playoffs,e even got them within a hair of the Superbowl. Testaverde’s career should have ended much earlier, except that Bill Parcells continually resurrected him, which is why his numbers are so gaudy.

  • scott sinclair

    Ummm….I wrote an article nearly similar to this one June 25th last year. I know it’s tough to find stuff to write about in the offseason, but next time go back over previously written stuff and maybe make sure this exact topic wasn’t already covered almost a year to the day

    • Craig

      Hey Scott, with all due respect your criticism is uncalled for. So what if it was a year ago? Did he plagiarize? Did he cover all of the same things? What does it matter if it’s been a year? He’s been able to include the talk of back to back 8-8 seasons – something you did not talk about in your piece because oh hey, it didn’t happen yet. Sorry that this writer does not read all of the articles every written for this site. It’s not required in the ‘getting to know you’ section. Maybe I should change that, to allow new staff to read things from Ben Roethlisberger HOF experts such as yourself – because obviously you feel there must be a certain ‘grace period’ before anything is ever written about again. This site gets new readers all the time – folks who have not yet read your wise words or even heard of Scott Sinclair. Maybe I should wait the next time I want to talk about Mike Tomlin because he gets ripped every other day. It’s blogging. It’s opinion. He’s free to speak his mind. We all are.

      Again, with all due respect, if you are going to come on here and take the time to just personally criticize someone for what they chose to talk about (something you yourself bitched and moaned about on this site before as to why you stopped writing), then kindly walk yourself to the door. Want to comment, how about comment on his points.

      Sorry guy. Maybe next time.

      • scott sinclair

        Craig, to answer one of your points….yeah, he covered a lot of the same talking points I did, even stating the same facts and stats. Before I came on as a staff writer last year, which I considered and still consider a privilege, I read a few months worth of posts to get an idea of the topics, writing styles, etc. One thing I tried not to do was re-dig up an argument made within the last few months by continuing to state the same talking points over and over, which is the case here. Ripping Tomlin is different because he’s bound to make the same or new mistakes during the season which leaves him open to ongoing criticism. Drudging up the Roethlisberger HOF debate, to which I was guilty of is different, because we can’t really judge it until his career is over. But some of the facts here were the same facts and stats I presented last year. My point is perhaps this debate needs to be dropped, or a fresh perspective needs to be written or that yes, maybe new staff should go back and see what’s been done.
        Secondly, I have made supportive comments towards some of the neewbies on here. The young man whose article on his re-draft of the Steelers 2014 draft got ripped apart, I knew what he was trying to do so I thought I’d give him some support because I know how tough it is to put your opinions out there, etc. But yeah, if I see something that’s pretty freaking close to something I wrote yeah, I’m going to comment.
        And in my opinion, I kept my comment above rather civil.. As I said I felt writing here was a privilege, however, your rather snooty attitude towards an ex-writer (and supporter) is shameful. I thought you were above comments like calling me a “HOF expert”, or using rather sly comments like “wise words”, or that I “bitched” and telling me to “kindly walk myself to the door”…I mean really Craig?? Is that how you treat former staff who thought they left under good terms??? Wow man, guess I won’t be reading nor supporting you or your new staff anymore.

  • emf

    can I ask a question…wasn’t this topic covered not too long ago?

    • Kimmy

      You mean how the NFL Network was debating this topic last week? Not like it’s ever going to be a closed discussion until Ben’s career is long over and he’s actually up for the Hall. Until then, it’s always good to keep discussions going with each season’s worth of accomplishments to add to his resume.

      • emf

        Well yes I saw that. No I mean on here… wasn’t this same argument made a while ago? I get there are new writers as well as readers but why have this same debate over and over? Yes, he is a HOFer case closed. Can we please not re-visit this subject again??
        Anyone else ready for pre-season to start for some fresh topics?
        By the way, I think Blount will be the impact off season addition!

        • Kimmy

          Yes this was talked about a while back but as you know the subject was just brought up again nationally so that’s a perfect time to talk about it again. Doesn’t look like there’s a shortage of people to keep the discussion going either so it’s definitely not a “case closed” debate.
          There are plenty of other things being discussed as well. I’m also looking forward to the new Steelers backfield this season!

  • John Saric

    I think I saw something similar a while back, but this one is written so much better!

    Kudos on the piece, I agree you are spot-on!

    Ben = HOF!!!

    • Robert Cerjanec

      Thank you John, I appreciate the kind words!

      I was not aware of any other piece, as this was my first article and I am still learning the site. As a supporter of what Ben has accomplished on the field, I was just hoping to present my opinion and elicit discussion amongst the Steeler faithful!

      Cheers!!