The LA Chargers host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football in Week 11 and for most of the week leading up to the game, we had no idea if the Steelers would start Mason Rudolph or Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers were preparing for Rudolph to start as Big Ben was placed on the covid-19 list late last week. The timeline was not in Big Ben's favor but he beat the timeline, passed the NFL's covid protocols and appears to be on track to play, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
While this is good news for the Steelers as they don't have to play Mason Rudolph two weeks in a row, it is nothing that the LA Chargers should be worried about. Yes, Big Ben is better than Rudolph (most quarterbacks are) and he is a veteran who will one day be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, him starting does not change one simple fact.
Ben Roethlisberger is the worst quarterback that the LA Chargers have played thus far this season
The Chargers have played some pretty good quarterbacks this season and some quarterbacks who are not that great. However, even the ones that are not that great have still been better than Ben Roethlisberger, who is legitimately one of the worst quarterbacks in the league.
The quarterbacks who are undoubtedly better than Big Ben this season are easy to spot. Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kirk Cousins, Mac Jones and even Derek Carr are all undoubtedly better than Ben Roethlisberger.
The "questionable" ones are Taylor Heinicke, Baker Mayfield and Jalen Hurts. Both Baker and Hurts have had their struggles this season and Heinicke was a backup that came in during the Chargers game in Week 1.
However, all three have been better than Ben this season. Tej Seth of Pro Football Focus tweeted out the quarterback composite scores heading into Week 11 that take into account accuracy rate over expected, PFF grade and EPA per play.
Jalen Hurts ranks 11th, Baker Mayfield ranks 21st and Taylor Heinicke ranks 26th. Where does Big Ben rank? One spot lower than Heinicke at 27th. For what it's worth, Justin Herbert ranks fifth.
When you look at the rest of the Chargers' 2021 schedule it is clear that Big Ben is probably the worst quarterback that the Chargers will face all season barring a backup starting. The only quarterbacks that rank lower than Ben Roethlisberger are Sam Darnold, Jared Goff, Trevor Lawrence, Davis Mills, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson.
The Chargers do play the Texans later in the year but Tyrod Taylor is back from injury, so they are not projected to face Davis Mills.
The LA Chargers have to take advantage of this and get out to an early lead. Show that they have the massive quarterback advantage even with Big Ben playing in this one. If they lose this game, against the worst quarterback they face all year, it will be a problem.