Steelers: Big Ben for MVP?

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The awards are in for Week 2, and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took home a big won.

After putting on quite a passing display against the San Francisco 49ers, Roethlisberger was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week:

Roethlisberger completed 21 of 27 passes and threw three touchdowns and zero interceptions. His final passer rating for the day came out to an impressive 155.8.

Eat your heart out, Tom Brady.

Big Ben has lead some talented teams to the Super Bowl, but he’s never had such a powerful array of weapons at his disposal like he does in 2015. Now may be the time to ask if Roethlisberger has a legitimate shot of winning this year’s MVP award.

It’s more than just traditional passing statistics that are looking good for Roethlisberger so far. The experts say that Big Ben has been as efficient as any offensive player in the NFL through two weeks.

According to Nick Wagoner at ESPN, Pro Football Focus has St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald as the highest rated player in the league right now (+18.0), but Roethlisberger comes in second at +13.0:

If that trend continues over the next several months, Roethlisberger’s MVP chances will look excellent.

He may have a leg up on the competition thanks to the newfound aggressiveness from Todd Haley – apparently the plan is for Pittsburgh to go for two-point conversions more and more as the season goes on.

Last season Aaron Rodgers earned the honor after getting 31 of 50 first-place votes. In 2013, Peyton Manning won the award with 49 votes. Manning set a number of new NFL passing records that year, including 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards. That may be the model for Roethlisberger to follow. At his current pace, Big Ben will break that yardage mark by a wide margin with 5,760.

Roethlisberger appears to be in the right place to get the honor. Since 1986 every MVP has either played the running back or quarterback positions. If Roethlisberger hangs in and wins the race, he’ll become the first Steeler to win the award since Terry Bradshaw in 1978.

We will keep an eye on Big Ben’s MVP candidacy as the season develops.

Next: Steelers vs. Rams: Tomlin Tuesday

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