I'll go with Ben Roethlisberger. The offense around him is outstanding, especially receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell; with those two fully coming into their own last season, Roethlisberger put up career numbers, posting personal bests in pass attempts (608), completion rate (67.1 percent) and yards (4,952) and matching a personal high in touchdown passes (32). He's too big and too strong to break down anytime soon, especially with the young offensive line in front of him. With players like Brown and Bell helping to carry the load, he's got at least four or five more years left in him.
Russell Wilson will be a good quarterback in the NFL for a long time, but I'm just not sure the
Seahawks' offense can generate enough points to win more than maybe one
Super Bowl over the next four or five years. I think Roethlisberger has similar odds -- the
Steelers' defense is, obviously, not as good as the
Seahawks' -- but he also has a one-ring advantage on Wilson, and I just don't see Wilson outpacing
Russell Wilson will finish his career with more Super Bowl rings than Ben Roethlisberger. The diminutive playmaker is not only the consummate winner, but he is the leader of a team that's poised to rule the NFC for the next five years. The Seahawks have a dominant defense, with Pro Bowlers at every level, and the team has begun surrounding the young quarterback with enough weapons to allow him to take on a bigger role as the focal point of the offense.
With the majority of Seattle's core players just entering their primes and coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, I believe Wilson will have more title chances than Big Ben -- and claim a few more rings. Reasonable minds can differ on this one. What we do know with certainty is that only one team can win a Super Bowl each year, which means a lot of great quarterbacks on contenders go their entire careers without one. In 1985, the football cognoscenti would have taken it as heresy to suggest Dan Marino wouldn't win a fistful of rings. Ditto Brett Favre in 1997. Marino finished his career without a ring, while Favre remained stuck on one.
There's a good chance neither Russell Wilson nor Ben Roethlisberger will hoist the Lombardi Trophy again. For that reason, my vote is that Big Ben will finish his career with the higher total. Russell Wilson has the edge in years left to play, but he's a complementary quarterback. He's not someone who will carry a team with his passing ability to a Super Bowl title; consider that, in his three pro seasons thus far, Wilson has never ranked higher than 15th in total passing yards, and last year finished 16th in touchdown passes (20) and 20th in completion rate (63.1 percent). I think that factor will keep him behind Ben Roethlisberger, making Big Ben's 2-1 advantage insurmountable. With Russell Wilson and the Seahawks deadlocked in a contract stare-down, I'm going with a tie -- two each. Roethlisberger already has two. Thus, I'm banking on the Seahawks either finding a way to win one more over the next two years (including the final year of Wilson's contract, plus one more presumably played under the franchise tag), or they figure out a resolution to Wilson's contract situation. The answer likely comes down to whether or not you think the Steelers will win a Super Bowl in the next two or three years, because if Ben Roethlisberger gets a third Lombardi, the odds are stacked against Russell Wilson. Only Tom Brady, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw have three or more rings, and -- with the exception of Brady -- all won them in a relatively tight window.
Why? Because the stars must align for a quarterback to get even one Super Bowl victory. Things have to break just right, with regard to other players' health, the quality of the competition, coaching stability and just plain good luck. So let's not put the cart before the horse: Who says Wilson even gets to two? For all we know, his best chance to get his second ring might've come and gone -- landing in the hands of Malcolm Butler last February. Going with Ben Roethlisberger here. For starters, he already has two. And while Russell Wilson has one and is on a great team, history indicates he doesn't even have a 50-50 shot to match Big Ben, much less surpass him. Aside from Roethlisberger, there have been just 10 quarterbacks in NFL history to win two or more Super Bowls as starters: Joe Montana (four), Tom Brady (four), Terry Bradshaw (four), Troy Aikman (three), Bart Starr (two), Bob Griese (two), Roger Staubach (two), Jim Plunkett (two), John Elway (two) and Eli Manning (two). There are nearly twice as many quarterbacks who have won it only once.
Granted, Wilson is a young player surrounded by a fantastic group. But how much of that nucleus will be able to stay together, given the potential financial demands of a new contract for Wilson? Moreover, have you seen the talent Roethlisberger is playing with on offense? You can argue it's the best young core in the league.