In the Super Bowl era the Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of, if not the best, teams in the NFL. Since 1966, the Steelers have won six Super Bowls, tied for most in the league and part of the reason for those six Lombardi trophies is their quarterback play thanks to Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger.
Yesterday, Garrett Podell of CBS Sports released a ranking of NFL team’s with the best quarterback talent in the Super Bowl era and Pittsburgh made the list. Although winning six Super Bowls with two quarterbacks, Pittsburgh was ranked seventh.
“The Steelers are tied for the second-most championships of any team quarterback group on this list with the New England Patriots, but Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger’s individual accomplishments pale in comparison to the other quarterbacks on this list with only two Super Bowl MVPs and one NFL MVP between the two of them,” wrote Podell.
Bradshaw and Roethlisberger combining for only one NFL M.V.P. clearly hurt their cause, but Podell also talked about how Bradshaw’s stat-line didn’t help either, throwing 212 touchdowns and 210 interceptions.
“Also holding the Steelers group back is that Bradshaw barely had more passing touchdowns than interceptions, with 212 passing touchdowns and 210 interceptions.”
To be fair to Podell this all makes sense. While we love our Pittsburgh quarterbacks, it is hard to rank them over quarterbacks like Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts or Brett Farve and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Another aspect that knocked both Bradshaw and Roethlisberger down is the defenses they played with. Both quarterbacks played with some of the best defenses of all time and the Steelers won on the strength of their defense for most of their Super Bowls. While Bradshaw and Roethlisberger had their moments in Super Bowls the 70s Steelers were known for their defense and the mid 2000s Steelers were as well.
Now Pittsburgh doesn’t win those Super Bowls without both quarterbacks, but that is why they are on the list and not higher. Both Bradshaw and Roethlisberger will be in the Hall-of-Fame together in only a few seasons, but given Bradshaw’s mediocre stat line and Roethlisberger’s no First Team All-Pro selections and no M.V.P. it does knock the Steelers down the list a bit.
However, while the Steelers don’t have the best quarterback room of the Super Bowl era, they do have the most Super Bowls, so there really isn’t too much to complain about. Both Bradshaw and Roethlisberger got it done when it mattered, winning six of a possible seven Super Bowls the team appeared in.