Drink Like a Champion!
Just got done looking at ESPN's player rankings (insider article).
Player A: 1580 Comp 2395 Att 17391 Yards 101 TD 62 INT 90.6 QB Rating
Player B: 1189 Comp 1905 Att 14974 Yards 101 TD 69 INT 89.4 QB Rating
Career stats right there. Which player would you rather have? Both QB's led their teams to the playoffs last year. One of these QB's was ran out of town in a previous stop. One of these QB's was listed as the THIRD BEST QB in ALL OF THE NFL. Player A is Chad Pennington. Player B is Ben Roethlisberger. By the way, ESPN ranks Pennington as the 23rd ranked QB in the NFL. What is the difference?
It got me thinking, is Ben Roethlisberger good? Does my hate cloud my judgement? We all know the back stories. First of all he had the toe gate in his rookie year. Then came the fever gate before a NBC game. After all whats the big deal with a decimal point right? Let us not forget about the "broken ribs" during this years Super Bowl. Don't forget against our Browns last year, Big Ben laying on the ground for 15 minutes and getting the full Mike Utley treatment, for a concussion. Losing is always easier when you have a built in excuse, and that is Steve Young saying that, not me. And don't forget this.
Screw a helmet, I got my backwards hat!
I will be the first to admit that Roethlisberger is amongst the best in the NFL at keeping a play going. Is this reason alone to be lumped in with the best QB's in the NFL? His passing numbers should be astounding, correct?
Player A: 230 Comp 420 Att 2608 Yards 18 TD 12 INT 76.0 QB Rating
Player B: 281 Comp 469 Att 3301 Yards 17 TD 15 INT 80.1 QB Rating
Player C: 272 Comp 465 Att 2972 Yards 18 TD 12 INT 79.6 QB Rating
Who would you take? Two of these players were replaced by their teams. One has a 100 million dollar contract. Player A is Tyler Thigpen. Player B is Ben Roethlisberger. Player C is Kyle Orton. Tell me again why Roethlisberger is considered a great QB?
And just for fun, Player D: 343 Comp 522 Att 3472 Yards 22 TD 22 INT 81.0 QB Rating (Brett Favre, even with him tanking the last Six weeks last year.)
Please don't think that I am cherry picking stats from a "down year" from Big Ben. In 2007, Roethlisberger has a great year. 3154 Yards, 32 TDs and a 101 QB rating. Not only was it a great year, but it was easily Ben's best year. FAR AND AWAY his best year. I am not saying Brady Anderson in 96' far and away, but maybe Luis Gonzalez in 01' area. If you separate his other seasons, it is pretty telling.
69 TDs combined. 17 TD a year on average. 58 INTs combined. 14.5 a year on average.
Those were his exact numbers THIS YEAR. So 2008 wasn't a down year for Ben, it was a NORMAL year.
It's not like the guy is throwing to garbage. he has a First round RB (Mendenhall), and first round WR (Santonio Holmes), a Pro Bowl WR (Hines Ward), and a first round TE (Heath Miller). Add in a first round QB, and no other team in the NFL has those credentials at those positions. So it is not like Ben is surrounded by a less than stellar team.
When you look at his game-by-game stats, it becomes even more clear. I looked at games in which Ben more than 25 times a game. Not a very high number. That is 400 Attempts over a full season. 22 QB's threw more than that last season. I think that 25 attempts shows that Ben had to do some work for the Steelers to win.
2004: 2-0 (Once in the playoffs) 497 Pass Yards, 2 TD's, 4 INT's (Avg. 248 Yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)
2005: 3-3 (Once in the playoffs) 1412 Pass Yards, 11 TD's, 6 INT's (Avg. 235 Yards, 1.83 TD's, 1 INT)
2006: 3-7 (No Playoffs) 2489 Pass Yards, 9 TD's, 22 INT's (Avg. 248.9 Yards, .9 TD's, 2.2 INT)
2007: 4-5 (Once in the playoffs) 2134 Pass Yards, 19 TD's, 12 INT's (Avg. 237 Yards, 2.1 TD, 1.3 INT)
2008: 10-3 (Three times in the playoffs) 3195 Pass Yards, 16 TD's, 12 INT's (Avg. 245 Yards, 1.23 TD, .92 INT)
Career: 22-18 9,727 Pass Yards, 57 TD's, 56 INT's. (Avg. 243 Yards, 1.4 TD, 1.4 INT)
What this tells me is that Big Ben is a game manager. He is a grown up version of Joe Flacco. A better marketed version of David Garrard. When the game is on Big Ben's shoulders, he is average. Surrounded by a top ten defense, and powerful running game, Big Ben can win a SuperBowl. Without all that, he looks to be a Chad Pennington like QB, except he costs about 100 million dollars more. So I was right, after taking all emotion out of the numbers, Ben looks normal. Very run of the mill.
So the next time ESPN or a Steelers fan is lumping Big Ben in with the NFL's great QB's, politely correct them, and send them on thier way.