Cowboys’ Woes Begin Week 5

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Only 1 Rookie QB Ever Led His Team to a Championship!

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Only 1 Rookie QB Ever Led His Team to a Championship!



Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004

Regular-season stats: 66.4 percent completion rate, 2,621 yards, 17 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions, 14 games played (13 starts).

If not for a Pittsburgh native  (Dan Marino), Roethlisberger’s rookie campaign would rate as the best ever by a quarterback in the NFL. After relieving Tommy Maddox in Week 2, the kid from Miami of Ohio went 13-0 as a starter. The 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft compiled a noteworthy passer rating of 98.1 — but more importantly, he showed the football world that a big, strong “pocket” passer could make street-ball plays outside of the pocket.

Before the Cowboys took on the Steelers that year, legendary head coach Bill Parcells said Roethlisberger was the most impressive rookie quarterback since Dan Marino (the aforementioned Pittsburgh native) — and that was only in Week 6.

Bill Cowher and Co. only asked their rookie phenom to do so much, smartly building a run game around Big Ben that required him to drop back less than 30 times per game, much like the Falcons and Seahawks later did with Ryan and Wilson, respectively. Roethlisberger — who won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award — became the first rookie quarterback since the merger to lead his team to the conference championship game. (Roethlisberger excerpt courtesy of  Elliot Harrison, NFL Media analyst.)

The key word here was “DEFENSE”.

In 2004 the Steelers were ranked 1st in total defense (258.4 YPG),  4th against the pass (177.2 YPG) and first against the run ( 81.2 YPG). To go along with that, the Steelers were 2nd in the NFL running the football: averaging 154 yards per game. These numbers make it perfectly clear why Ben Roethlisberger is the only quarterback in the Super Bowl era to ever lead his team to a conference championship game.

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  • BigDIndiana

    Hope he doesn’t rush himself back too soon, as Dez appeared to do last year. Hopefully not before the buy. Worst case he gets a 3-3 record. And I’m ecstatic Chaz Green didn’t get Dak killed Sunday 🙂

    • Dez and Tony both came back to soon last year. Green survived cuz Chicago doesn’t have a Peppers anymore lol.