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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Measuring Roethlisberger vs. Manning

Kerry Byrne of the lays out an intriguing argument measuring Ben Roethlisberger vs. Peyton Manning on

It comes on the heels of teammate James Harrison calling Roethlisberger out for not being Manning.

But the statistics aren't all that far off when looked at closely - particularly over the past few years.

And more importantly, Roethlisberger has an edge in the biggest stat over Manning - Super Bowl wins, 2-1.

Check it out at


Eric T said...

Dale, I believe Kerry Byrne is from, not

Also, while a lot of their stats look similar, the huge disparity in sacks cannot be ignored when comparing the two QBs. Those yards add up and end up helping/hurting the offense.


"Roethlisberger has an edge in the biggest stat over Manning - Super Bowl wins, 2-1."

I am sure Manning would have loved to have the Steeler's defense help him get to more SB.

Ben is a top 3-5 QB, but he is not on Manning's level.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, FO writers wouldn't have produced such a bad article full of cherry picked stats.

Anonymous said...

Trent Dilfer has more rings than Dan Marino. Can't stand that argument.

Still, Ben is a first ballot hall-of-famer at the rate he's going and underrated by the stats people (i.e., baseball fans) most of the time.

If you asked all 32 defensive coordinators who was better, Manning or Roethlisberger, how many would say Roethlisberger? He's a totally unique talent but Manning is probably the best regular season QB ever.

Mark said...

Eric T, take another look at the article. Byrne pointed out that Ben's stats for 3 of the past 4 years are *better* than Peyton's, for variables that correlate with winning (rating, YPA). Byrne then mentioned sacks when saying that Ben shouldn't be considered better than Peyton.

The point is, why do *you* say Manning is that much better a player? What stats are you using to support that argument? (Not saying you are wrong, but the article is about re-examining first impressions.)

Anonymous said...

"I am sure Manning would have loved to have the Steeler's defense help him get to more SB.

Ben is a top 3-5 QB, but he is not on Manning's level."

just like I'm sure Ben would love to have Peyton's offensive line in front of him

I do think Manning's a better overall qb (even if he's not a winner like ben), but the argument of defense or not is way outdated by now

Steve-O said...

These arguments are circular and you can never win but with that in mind here are my thoughts:

1."Ben's wins" should be credited to an awesome defense.

That is somewhat true but the front office loaded the defense at the expense of the offensive line and wide receivers AND Ben is still a highly successful QB. I would also point out that we had an awesome defense in the 90's but no rings to show for it.

2. If Manning had the Steelers Defense, he'd have multiple Superbowl rings.

If Manning had the Steelers defense, he wouldn't have the wide receivers and offensive line that protected him so well over the last few years. The Colts front office spent a bundle on his last contract and invested heavily in surrounding him with talent. without that talent his sack numbers would be up and we all know that in the playoffs Manning doesn't handle the sack pressure as well as he does in the regular season. He gets frustrated and barks at teammates. Unlike Ben who dusts himself off and goes back to the huddle.

Warren Moon, Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly and few lesser known QBs all cranked out HOF numbers that outshine Ben but I'll take a guy who can win the big one any day of the week and twice on football Sunday!

Dale Lolley said...

You're right, Eric. My bad. Got my football sites mixed up. But they both have good stuff.

And I took the article as a statement that the Manning vs. Roethlisberger difference isn't as great as we all may think. I would argue the same. Both are great quarterbacks.

Eric T said...


I would look at something similar to YPA that incorporates yards loss in sacks taken in its attempts.

That sacks are a double edge sword with Ben. I don't mind them too much during a game because holding the ball can lead to busted/big plays. I am concerned with his ability to withstand the constant hits as his career progresses. At some point a more cautious Ben will be better than a nicked up Ben.

One of the legion of Anonymous posters:

"just like I'm sure Ben would love to have Peyton's offensive line in front of him"

The Colts OL has been pretty below average since T. Glenn retired (though still better than Steelers). Its the why they spent their 1st 2 picks on tackles in the draft.

Dale Lolley said...

It depends on how you judge offensive lines. The Colts can't run the ball at all. They don't give up a lot of sacks because Manning gets rid of the ball so quickly. Many of his throws are within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Tough to get sacks there.

Anonymous said...

To be fair this comparison should be between mannings first 7 seasons (98-04) and roethlisbergers (04-10). If you just compare just 04-10 then you are comparing QBs at different stages of their careers. Ben is just entering now the part of his career that Manning winding down from. I havn't run the numbers but I would bet Ben would compare even more favorably in the first 7 seasons scenario.

marc said...

if you were picking a QB to play one game, which one would it be?

i say manning.

Eric T said...


Manning does get the ball out quickly, but it has less to do with how far he throws it and more to do with his ability to make pre & post snap reads quickly. He usually knows where he is going by the time he hits his 5th step in his drop. Unlike Ben, he will check it down immediately if everything is covered, which prevents sacks, but also potentially big plays.

Anonymous said...

Big Ben Vs. Peyton - First 7 seasons - Using stats from article (and a few extra)

Pass rating
Ben - 92.5
Peyton - 92.3

Ben - 8.0
Peyton - 7.6

TD to INT ratio
Ben - 1.7-1
Peyton - 1.8-1

Bonus stats.

YPA adjusted for sacks and sack yards lost

Ben - 6.7
Peyton - 7.1


Ben - 3.1
Peyton - 3.1

TD %

Ben - 5.1
Peyton - 5.6

Completion %
Ben - 63.1
Peyton - 63.5

It should also be noted that Peyton played in and started all 112 games in his first 7 seasons. Ben Played in 99 games and started 98 games in his first 7 seasons.


Anonymous said...

I think its pretty clear to see them on the field that Manning is better than Ben. People point out all the talent around Manning but honestly I think he makes those guys look alot better than they are.

The one edge I will give Ben is that he is not rattled in big moments. Obviously pretty important.

Anonymous said...

Given the cirmcumstances like where they play (dome vs outside), the type of players they have on offense (WR, OL and RB), the type of OC they have played for, each teams philosophy (steelers - defense and running for TOP control vs Colts pass & score as much as possible), I think what Ben has accomplished is more impressive. Especially, given these first 7 years stats.

And it does matter how may playoff games and championships you win. The Dilfer has more SBs than Marino arguement is getting old too. Its one thing for a guy like Marino to not win a championship and its a different thing for Peyton to only win 1. Marino, by all accounts, played as well as anyone could expect from the QB position but the Dolphins could never put together the complimentry offensive players or defense to get Marino over the hump and win a super bowl. There is no reason to think Marino, had he had the chance, performed fantastic in more playoff games and SBs. The Colts have been in the playoffs 11 times during Peytons career and were favorites most of those years. 1 Sb win resulted. Peyton has had alot of chances with alot of good teams, but has not played up to his regular season standards in the playoffs and has made crucial mistakes at bad times in the playoffs. Steelers have been to the playoffs 5 times in his 7 years and have won 2 SBs. So when Ben gets to the playoffs/SB he has generally seized the moment and performed well, especially in moments when it mattered. Manning has no impossiblely-small-window throw-to-a-triple-covered-WR-in the-waning-moments-of-the-SB-to basically-win-the-game type of moment on his resume.

Its about, if your team is lucky enough to help get you there, how do you perform in the playoffs. Ben, overall, has performed valiantly in the playoffs and that certainly adds to his resume.

datruth4life said...

Dale, when do you think the light will go on for Ben to realize that he doesn't have to take so many sacks and hits to be a great QB? Just throw it away. U can't make something happen EVERY play.

Also, just taking into account the law of averages, the Steelers are due to put a strong line in front of Ben some day soon because not all of their recent OL picks can end up as busts to below average lineman, right? Here's hoping that the selection of Pouncey has started a renaissance.

Dale Lolley said...

Ben knows all about the sacks. But as he says himself, you take the good with the bad with him.

I would also add this stat: In the playoffs, Roethlisberger is 10-3. Of QBs with at least 10 postseason starts, that ranks third all-time in winning percentage behind Bart Starr and Jim Plunkett.
Manning is 9-10 in the playoffs.
Now, one would assume that when you're in the playoffs, you're playing a good team - one certainly capable of beating you - and Roethlisberger has outperformed Manning in that situation.

Again, I'm not saying Ben is as good as Manning. I'm saying that it's not as far a gap as some would have you believe.

adamg said...

It's tough to compare because both are different style QBs. Manning is a student of the game and will take what the defense gives him. Ben is more of the fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants QB. While, I'd like Ben to be more a student of the game and be smarter with the football, he is what he is, a QB where good comes with the bad, too.

Mark said...

Has anyone done a breakdown of when Ben gets sacked? If it is third down, there is not much difference between a sack and throwing the ball away, since both mean a punt. (Or harder to judge, how about the times when Peyton gets rid of the ball quickly, when waiting a little longer might have resulted in a first down?)

I still blame Arians for some of the sacks. I can remember a game where the TV camera was behind the QB. 3rd and short, shotgun/empty backfield, and *all* the receivers ran at least 15 yards straight downfield before they even looked back. (Sack) Who draws up and calls that kind of a play, in that situation?

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Dale Lolley said...

Yes Mark, because all the receivers always run the correct routes.
The Steelers still do some read options. If the underneath is all covered, the receivers are expected to adjust.
It's also on the QB to call a hot if he sees blitzers.

datruth4life said...

Dale, I just read Gerry Dulac's twitter post saying that either Colon or Flozell will be gone because the Steelers are that high on OT Chris Scott drafted this past year. Do you think the Steelers will cut Flozell and resign Willie Colon at RT with Chris Scott backing him up? Just Steelers could get under the cap by releasing Flozell, Randle-El, Battle, and redoing Aaron Smith's contract.

Eric T said...

Datruth: Regarding the cap, there are new exception amounts the Steelers can apply to veterans I believe. From what I heard its 3.5 million this year, plus potentially 1.5 million borrowed against next years cap. THat should ease the pain in releasing players.

Dale Lolley said...

I think if they had their druthers, they'd stick with Colon. Adams is, after all, at a point where he has, maybe, one year left.

marc said...

espn's clayton has jonathan joseph ranked higher than taylor as free agent CB.

is that the consensus around the league? if so, would that help the steelers keep taylor since he wouldn't be offered quite as much money?

Dale Lolley said...

Joseph is a good deal younger than Taylor. With Joseph, who is a pretty good player, you're getting a guy who still has some upside. So I could see how teams would have him higher.