This week, Steelers Today was asked to be the guest blogger on the AOL NFL Fanhouse. When that article is posted on their site, you will be able to see it here.
In the meantime, one of their questions got me thinking. They asked me who I’d rather have quarterbacking my team, Ben Roethlisberger or Eli Manning. I answered unequivocally and without hesitation, “Big Ben”. Heck, if Eli’s last name weren’t Manning, I don’t think he would have been drafted as high as he was. But that’s just my opinion.
Based on their question, I decided to expound upon my answer and list my top 10 reasons why Ben Roethlisberger is better than Eli Manning. Enjoy:
#10) “Big Ben” has a cooler nickname. In fact, I don’t think Eli even has a nickname. “Little Peyton” maybe? Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#9) Big Ben is bigger. Eli Manning is 6’4″, and weighs 225 lbs. Big Ben is 6’5″ and 241 lbs. This is his slimmed down size. He used to play at about 255 lbs., but he made the conscious decision to play at a lighter weight. Advantage Roethlisberger.
#8) Big Ben is Stronger. Ben Roethlisberger has one of the strongest arms of any quarterback in the NFL. Apparently some scouts have a test they have quarterbacks do wherein the QB has to throw the ball while on his knees. One NFL scout wrote that he saw Ben Roethlisberger throw the ball farther than he had seen just about any other QB throw the ball while on his knees. Sure, NFL quarterbacks don’t often throw the ball from their knees, but it was an interesting observation nonetheless.
Big Ben’s strength also lets him maintain his balance and complete passes while defenders are draped all over him. Just look at the pass that he completed to Hines Ward this year against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There were two defenders trying to drag Roethlisberger to the ground, but he still completed the pass. Eli Manning just isn’t strong enough to do that. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#7) Big Ben is faster. Not only is Roethlisberger bigger and stronger than Eli Manning, he’s also faster. Roethlisberger uses his speed to scramble and escape defenders. He can either buy time to find his receivers, or he can take off and gain yardage running.
Ben’s superior speed gives him a big advantage versus Eli Manning in gaining rushing yards. In 2007, Ben Roethlisberger rushed for 204 yards. Eli Manning has rushed for 213 total yards during his entire career. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#6) Roethlisberger has more wins. The ultimate measure of a QB is not how many 300 yard passing performances he has. The true measure of a quarterback is how often he wins. Dan Marino threw for more yards, but Joe Montana has more rings. Dan Fouts threw for more yards, but Terry Bradshaw has more wins. Peyton Manning has thrown for more yards, but Tom Brady has more rings. Which QB in each pair is remembered as being the best? See my point? No matter what era you look at, wins are what matter. When it all comes down to it, winning is the ultimate measure of a QB. It’s like Al Davis once said; “Just win, baby!”
Both Quarterbacks have one super bowl ring in their young careers, so there is no difference in that area. However, when we look at total wins, Ben Roethlisberger has a significant advantage. Ben Roethlisberger has accumulated 45 NFL wins, and a winning percentage of 72.6%. Eli Manning has accumulated 36 NFL wins, and a winning percentage of 57.1%. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#5) Big Ben dates hotter chicks. Eli Manning recently married his college sweetheart, Abby McGrew.
Roethlisberger is still a bachelor, but he has had very public relationships with golfer Natalie Gulbis and actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler (aka Meadow Soprano).
I commend Manning for his commitment to his long-time girlfriend, but I don’t think there’s much doubt that this round goes to Big Ben. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#4) Roethlisberger has been to more Pro Bowls. Eli Manning has never been named to a Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, Big Ben made the Pro Bowl last year, and is on his way to making it again this year. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#3) Roethlisberger has thrown fewer interceptions. Eli Manning has thrown 68 career interceptions. Big Ben has thrown only 57. If not for that terrible 2006 season in which Roethlisberger practically led the league in interceptions with 23, the difference would be far more glaring. Coach Bill Cowher allowed Big Ben to come back much too quickly in 2006 following a motorcycle accident and an emergency appendectomy, and Ben’s performance suffered because of it. Outside of that one terrible season, Roethlisberger has never thrown more than 11 interceptions in a season. Contrarily, Manning has exceeded 15 interceptions on 3 separate occasions. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#2) Roethlisberger has thrown for more yardage. This statistic is most surprising, since Roethlisberger has always played in a run-oriented offense in which he was often thought of as a mere caretaker. Big Ben has thrown for 12,836 yards versus 12,774 yards for Eli Manning. This disparity is most surprising since Manning has over 400 more pass attempts than Roethlisberger. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
#1) Big Ben has a higher career QB rating. Ben Roethlisberger has a career quarterback rating of 93.0. Eli Manning’s career QB rating is 74.9. The two quarterbacks entered the NFL during the same season, and Big Ben has had a better QB rating in each season except for the aforementioned 2006 season in which Roethlisberger threw more than twice as many interceptions as he has averaged for his career. In that season, their QB ratings were practically identical, though Manning edged Roethlisberger slightly (Manning=77.0 vs. Roethlisberger=75.4). In fact, Roethlisberger’s WORST single season QB rating (75.4) is higher than Manning’s career average (74.9). Last year, Roethlisberger’s QB rating was a full 30 points higher than Eli Manning’s (104.1 versus 73.9). Despite Eli winning the Superbowl, Roethlisberger had a far better season. Advantage: Roethlisberger.
So, as you can see, when we do a head-to-head comparison of Eli Manning versus Ben Roethlisberger, Big Ben wins in a knockout. If Giants fans are honest, I’m sure that they’d admit that the Steelers got the better deal in Roethlisberger. Particularly when you consider that the Giants also traded away a draft pick that ended up being Shawn Merriman in order to get Eli. There is little doubt in my mind that if the Giants could take a mulligan on their 2004 draft, they’d choose Ben Roethlisberger over Eli Manning.
(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. Thanks.)