Athlon took time this past week to rank the top ten rookie seasons in the NFL of all time. Ben Roethlisberger's 2004 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers made the cut:
Before the multiple Super Bowls and rape accusations, Big Ben was just a wide-eyed kid trying to avoid being yelled at (and subsequently spit on) by Bill Cowher’s lispy jaw. And he did a damn fine job, completing 66.4 percent of his passes for a 98.1 passer rating, while going 13–0 as a starter, with six game-winning drives and five fourth-quarter comebacks as a rook.
When you consider his amazing undefeated streak as a starter that year, it's little surprise that Roethlisberger made the list. You could even argue that Big Ben could have been a bit higher up based on that. Roethlisberger threw for 2,621 yards and 17 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in his rookie year, numbers topped by other rookie quarterbacks over the years. But the Steelers' 15-1 regular season record was the best in franchise history and that means his 2004 rookie year was really one for the ages.