Ben Roethlisberger severely underrated on 'Top 100'
Gregg Rosenthal

Whatever the reason, Ben Roethlisberger is severely underrated. I'm writing about it because Roethlisberger was ranked No. 61 on the latest "Top 100 Players of 2013" show, but it's not just about this show. It's about how Big Ben is viewed by a large swath of the football populace.

Roethlisberger, now 31 years old, has spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's a career that probably will end with Roethlisberger as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, yet he's rarely talked about as one of the best quarterbacks of his era. This despite the fact that he throws perhaps the best deep ball in the NFL. He's one of the most difficult quarterbacks to get down on the ground.

"Ben Roethlisberger is the Pittsburgh Steelers," his former offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, said on Thursday's Top 100 reaction show.*

It's not like Roethlisberger's numbers are poor.

Roethlisberger is sixth in NFL history in passing yards per attempt, finishing in the top three in a season six times. Only Aaron Rodgers has a higher career average among active NFL players. It feels like Roethlisberger is coming off a down year because the Steelers lost so many close games, but he still threw 26 touchdown passes with just eight interceptions. In a down year.

A lot of folks knock Roethlisberger because the Steelers carried him in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks, but they forget he led the league in yards per attempt and touchdowns per throw that year. He's not Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but that's not the point. He gives the Steelers a chance to win the title every year. He has been near the top of the quarterback game every season since 2005. He's just hitting the sweet spot of his career, where the mental side of his game is catching up to his physical abilities.

And yet Roethlisberger barely rated in the Top 100 over Chris Johnson and Stephen Tulloch. Eleven quarterbacks are ranked ahead of Roethlisberger. Please.

History will look back at Roethlisberger as one of the greats, but for some reason, we can't see that now.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

The man is an injury away from potentially being the MVP last season, throws 26 TDs to 8 INTs while missing 3.5 games and playing the last 4 on a bum shoulder, and ELEVEN QBs are ranked above him?

Bruce Arians: Don't rank Andrew Luck over Big Ben
Dan Hanzus

NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2013" list promises to befuddle fans week after week. Thursday was no different, when Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was unveiled as No. 61 overall.

This is all kinds of crazy, as Gregg Rosenthal artfully explained earlier. There are 11 yet-to-be-named quarterbacks ahead of Roethlisberger on the countdown.

Bruce Arians, the Arizona Cardinals coach who was a member of the Steelers coaching staff during Roethlisberger's first eight seasons with the team, agreed the quarterback deserves to be higher, joking "that just shows you how much the players know." (He probably wasn't joking.)

Andrew Luck has yet to show up on the countdown, but it's a safe bet he'll come out ahead of Roethlisberger. Arians coached Luck last season in Indianapolis, and he gave an honest assessment when he was told Luck likely will be ranked ahead of Big Ben.

"That surprises me. Andrew is going to be a fantastic quarterback, had an unbelievable year as a rookie, obviously broke all the records," Arians said on the "Top 100" reaction show. "They're two tremendous athletes. Neither gets the credit for their athleticism, they're two strong guys.

"Andrew belongs on the list, but he's not at that stage yet. He's got to put a couple rings on his finger and a bunch more wins."

You couldn't find a better judge than Arians in matters involving Roethlisberger and Luck. This counts as hard proof the players got (another) one wrong.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.