Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger enters his seventeenth season in the NFL with a record of 144-71-1. That places him seventh on the career wins list, but only two of the quarterbacks ahead of him are still active.
Tom Brady is No. 1 with 219 victories and Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) is fourth with 163 wins. Meanwhile, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning—both retired—are tied for second on the list with 186 victories each.
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John Elway and Dan Marino
If Roethlisberger’s surgically-repaired elbow allows him to play this year it’s likely that he will vault himself into the top 5 on the all-time wins list. Both John Elway (148 victories) and Dan Marino (147) are within striking distance, and if Roethlisberger and the Steelers start 4-0, he’ll have a chance to pass Elway—the quarterback that inspired him to wear #7—with a win in week 5, at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s worth noting too, that Roethlisberger is not a so-called “compiler.” His winning percentage of .669 is fourth among the top 30 quarterbacks on the all-time wins list, behind Brady at .774, Joe Montana at .713 and Peyton Manning at .702.
Roethlisberger’s career has been more than fans and the organization could have hoped for when the Steelers drafted him eleventh overall in 2004.
In fact, it’s easy to argue that he’s had the best career of any player in his draft class, which explains why he was chosen No. 1 overall in a recent 2004 NFL Draft Do-Over. Yet a lot had to go right for the Steelers to have the chance to draft Big Ben, as the following 2004 draft feature illustrates.
Ben Roethlisberger: No. 3 in Career Sacks
At the same time, with Roethlisberger 38-years-old and coming off a season-ending elbow surgery, the Steelers have to be thinking about the future at the position. Never mind that many NFL analysts believe that Roethlisberger is poised for a huge season in 2020.
Fact is: Roethlisberger is also near the top of another NFL all-time list: most times sacked. Specifically, he’s the third-most sacked QB of all-time with 503 sacks, and if he plays a full season in 2020, he’ll likely become the most sacked quarterback in NFL history, as current leaders John Elway (516 sacks) and Brett Favre (525) are both retired. However, it’s also possible that Tom Brady will vault ahead of Roethlisberger now that Brady (500 career sacks) is playing in Bruce Arians’ offense in Tampa Bay.
Keep in mind that Roethlisberger was sacked so often when Arians was the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh that Arians lost his job. It’s also why some have questioned whether Brady can remain healthy in Arians’ sack-friendly offense.
As for finding a replacement for Roethlisberger, that’s an evolving story that hasn’t been written yet, but there are clues as to what might happen in the next year or two.