There is no question in my mind that Tom Brady is a better overall quarterback than Ben Roethlisberger. But is Peyton Manning better than Big Ben? I’ll take Big Ben every time.
I am not arguing that Roethlisberger is a better pure quarterback than Manning because he is not even close. Manning is a pure pocket passer that is equally linked to Tom Brady. He actually may be better than Tom in that regard. One thing that Tom has over Peyton is the fact that he is a winner and his three Super Bowl’s suggest that.
That is where I draw the line for the Roethlisberger comparison to Manning. He is a winner, point blank. I listened to the Dan Patrick show today and heard some discouraging stuff from Dan. I want to say that I have great respect for Dan Patrick and what he does, but I simply disagree with his stance on top level quarterbacks. He says that Big Ben is not in the top few quarterbacks in the NFL. He argues that Manning “has won more games” than Roethlisberger. A person on that show said, “Roethlisberger has lost fewer games than Manning,” which is most likely true. I am not sure if I can say that Manning has won more games than Roethlisberger, he may or may not have done so. He probably has because he has been in the league longer, but what games are we talking about, Regular season or Playoffs? Manning has been less than stellar in the playoffs on a team that consistently (other than this year) is a one or two seed.
Ben Roethlisberger is NEVER mentioned in the top three QB’s in the league. He is rarely mentioned in the top five. Most “experts” top 5 QB’s are Brady, Manning, Brees, Rivers and Rodgers. Take Brady out of that equation and Roethlisberger has the same amount of Super Bowl’s combined as players 2-5.
If Dan Marino is consistently being evaluated as not being a top-tier NFL QB because he has never won a ring shouldn’t the argument be the same for people that have won multiple SB’s? Shouldn’t you have more credibility if you are a multiple winner? I believe so.
Peyton Manning or Tom Brady could not have lasted with an offensive line like the Steelers have had throughout the years. Roethlisberger consistently gets beat up every game. I’ll agree that Ben holds on to ball way too long on occasion, but the offensive line is not on the same level as Manning or Brady’s. On the other side of the argument is that maybe we don’t see the offensive line struggles in New England or Indianapolis because they don’t want to get hit, they want to get rid of the ball and throw it away more often. Watching Manning in the playoffs consistently duck when about to get hit is telling me that he is soft. Maybe that is why when the pressure is turned up in the post-season, Peyton crumbles to the ground. Brady is not far behind Manning, but he isn’t as scared to get hit.
Playoff Record as Starting Quarterback:
Tom Brady: 4,407 yards, 30 TDs, 16 INTs, 70 Yards rushing, 2 TDs, 14-5 career record and 3-1 Super Bowl record.
Peyton Manning: 5389 yards, 29 TDs, 19 INTs, 27 Yards rushing, 3 TDs, 9-10 career record and 1-1 Super Bowl record.
Ben Roethlisberger: 2598 yards, 17 TDs, 14 INTs, 157 Yards rushing, 3 TDs, 10-2 career record and 2-0 Super Bowl record.
Looking at these career post-season statistics, it is easy to go with Brady and Manning for statistical performance. Let me remind you that Manning came in to the league in 1998 and Brady in 2000, four years before Big Ben came into the league.
I laugh when people argue that Roethlisberger’s first Super Bowl “shouldn’t count” or it is “tainted” just because he didn’t play well. You are right, he stunk it up in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks, but the Steelers wouldn’t have been in that situation if it wasn’t for Roethlisberger. He carried them during the post season in victories over Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver, all of which were on the road. 7 TDs and 1 INT, including 2 rushing TDs were calculated during the post-season for Roethlisberger.
How about when Roethlisberger won the SB in 2008 with no offensive line or rushing attack? Willie Parker led the Steelers in rushing that year with a LOUSY 791 yards rushing, 5 TDs.
The defense will keep Roethlisberger in games and there is no doubt about that. I can’t argue about Roethlisberger’s defense being crucial for much of Roethlisberger’s success. It also helps when guys like Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall rush for big games in the playoffs. There has been times when Roethlisberger may be having a so-so type of performance, but those players step up in the big games. There are also times when Roethlisberger will lead his team for the game-winning drive in the 4th quarter. People overlook the drive to win the Super Bowl a few years back, but go back and look at where that drive started. That may have been the greatest drive in the biggest game you will ever see, yet it is over looked. If that was Manning or Brady could we say the same?
I believe that we pay too much attention to stat lines that really don’t mean anything. The only statistic that really matters is wins and losses, and in the end Ben Roethlisberger is a winner.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.