Ben Roethlisberger admires Tom Brady, so much so that a No. 12 jersey hangs in Roethlisberger’s home office.

Posted by admin on January 15, 2018 in New York Jets |

Now Big Ben needs to do something he’s rarely done: beat Brady.

Sunday, the Patriots come to Pittsburgh with the AFC’s top seed on the line. And a win would mean even more when it comes to Roethlisberger’s standing as an all-time great QB. He has accomplished greatness in his 14 years: three Super Bowl appearances and two Lombardi trophies, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, a passing yards title. But there are still a couple holes in his résumé. Roethlisberger has never been named league MVP, and he’s never topped Brady when it counts. All three of his AFC title runs did not go through the Pats (Ben is 0-2 against them in the playoffs), and Roethlisberger has only beaten a Brady-led team once since 2005.

All of that could change. Right now, Roethlisberger is playing as well as any quarterback in football. Last week, he threw for 506 yards while Brady, in his 250th career game, had his worst performance in terms of adjusted yards per attempt (3.79) since 2009. In fact, since his five-interception “Maybe I don’t have it anymore” debacle against the Jaguars, Roethlisberger has led the AFC in yards and touchdowns (only fellow 2004 draftee Philip Rivers has a better passer rating during that span). Big Ben will also have the advantage of a better supporting cast, with MVP caliber players at running back and receiver. Tom Brady, meanwhile, has a defense that ranks 30th in Football Outsiders’ efficiency metric.

A win Sunday could lift Roethlisberger into MVP favorite territory, allow the Steelers to host a potential AFC title game, and boost his chances of joining Brady as the fourth three-time Super Bowl winning QB. And if he can’t topple his New England nemesis now, when will he?

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