Several quarterbacks have been mentioned as possible NFL MVP candidates, but none of them are the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger's Steeler teammates believe the nine-year veteran out of Miami (Ohio) should be given consideration:
"He should be a candidate," backup quarterback Byron Leftwich told (the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed) Bouchette. "The fact he was not listed [as one of five candidates by ESPN] is ridiculous. He's one of the elite; '7′ can play the game of football, and he's playing at a very high level."
Roethlisberger has put up impressive numbers this season. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,203 yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. If it holds up, his 101.1 passer rating would be the second-best of Roethlisberger's career. His completion percentage is on pace to be a career-high. Both of those numbers rank fifth in the NFL this season.
It's not just his offensive teammates that believe Roethlisberger should receive more recognition. Pittsburgh's defensive players agree:
"He's a big reason why we've been in games and why we feel we can win any game," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "That's why we feel we can go to the Super Bowl every year, because we have a championship-type quarterback."
Roethlisberger will have an opportunity to make his MVP case in front of a national audience when the Steelers take on the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night. Kickoff from Heinz Field is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.