Ben Roethlisberger Deserves MVP Consideration
Value is the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. Thus, the Most Valuable Player award judges who brings the most value to their team when he plays, and how much the team will drop without him playing.
Somehow in 11 years as a professional quarterback with two Super Bowl victories, Ben Roethlisberger has never won an MVP award. Now, in his 12th season, Roethlisberger deserves as much consideration as any player in the league for the prestigious award.
While Roethlisberger has only played in eight games, the Steelers have the fifth most passing yards (3,342) and the third most yards per attempt (8.4) in the league.
Among 40 quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs this year, Roethlisberger ranks fourth in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) and third on a per drop back basis. He's also first in Success Rate, which measures the percentage of passes thrown by a player that contributes positively towards NEP. And, of course, he's far outperformed his backups.
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Seeing his affect on Antonio Brown is even more amazing. Brown is one of the best receivers in the game, but he's certainly not immune to a drop-off without Roethlisberger.
Based on our power rankings, the Steelers boast the fifth best schedule-adjusted Passing NEP (89.25). In the eight games Roethlisberger has played in, the team has posted an 86.83 Adjusted Passing NEP. This means that, in four games without Roethlisberger, the passing offense was nearly completely shut down.
When Roethlisberger can't play, Brown and the passing offense's production is almost nonexistent. Can you say MVP?
Ben vs. the Competition
Since 2000, 12 quarterbacks have won the MVP award. And, this year, five quarterbacks are earning MVP consideration. Let's measure how Roethlisberger stacks up with them to see how worthy of a candidate he is for MVP this year.
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Among the 17 MVPs and MVP candidates above, Roethlisberger has the eighth highest Passing NEP per drop back average. He's on similar paces with both Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer this year in terms of efficiency, and he's ahead of Tom Brady and Cam Newton.
Newton, of course, is succeeding in an offense that has no weapons around him, and he adds a running element of his own, which none of the other quarterbacks offer. Brady is playing impressively despite watching his team get injured all around him week by week, with Rob Gronkowski being his last teammate to get injured.
But in comparison to Palmer and Dalton -- two quarterbacks with strong weapons -- Roethlisberger is playing just as well.
And as mentioned earlier, in addition to his impressive per play efficiency, Roethlisberger leads the league in Success Rate. This is incredibly impressive because he leads the league in yards per attempt, and is second in air yards per attempt -- with Roethlisberger constantly stretching the field, he shouldn't be succeeding at nearly this high of a level. But he is, and that speaks volumes to his quality of play this year.
With someone like Carson Palmer getting widespread MVP consideration, Roethlisberger deserves to be fully entrenched in the conversation.