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SteelProven
05-26-2006, 02:15 PM
Passers get stats, QBs get results
Cold, Hard Football Facts for February 7, 2006

There?s a difference between a great passer and a great quarterback. We?ve seen this difference time and again throughout football history. But often football fans and ?pundits? confuse the two.

The Cold, Hard Football Facts normally cut through gridiron confusion like a Wusthof carving knife through our blue-ribbon brisket. But even we, the emotionless arbiters of all things pigskin, are guilty at times of confusing great passers with great quarterbacks, routinely measuring quarterbacks only by their passing statistics. These numbers make for handy-dandy and easy-to-digest comparisons. Better quarterbacks often put up better passing stats. But there is more to the position than tossing the ball all over the field.

Here?s the difference: A great passer is a guy who puts up great passing numbers. Winning is merely coincidental.

A great quarterback is a guy who gets his teammates to believe in him, who helps make the entire team better and who consistently puts his club in a position to win. Posting great passing stats is merely coincidental.

A great quarterback is, in other words, a great leader.

Pittsburgh?s Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. Try to argue otherwise. He's 27-4 (.871) as a starter in the NFL ? the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks ? after taking over a team that was 7-11 in its previous 18 games and going nowhere fast. And, at 23, he is the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl, following Sunday's 21-10 win over Seattle.

Two of his four losses came to then-defending champion New England. Roethlisberger's other two losses came against playoff-bound teams earlier this season (Indy and Cincy) in his first two weeks back on the field after knee surgery. The Colts were certainly no pushover. They were 10 games into a 13-game win streak.

Otherwise, Roethlisberger, who was a junior at mid-major Miami of Ohio just two years ago, has never lost an NFL game.

Yes, Pittsburgh has had a pretty good defense over the past two seasons. Yes, Pittsburgh has run the ball more than any team in football over the past two seasons, coddling Roethlisberger like no other QB in football (he has attempted more than 30 passes just once in his 31-game career and has averaged 24.5 attempts in his six playoff appearances). But there have been a lot of teams with great defenses and great ground games in NFL history.

Few of these teams have won 87.1 percent of their games over a two-year period. (Pittsburgh is 31-7 overall for the past two seasons and just the 10th team in NFL history to win 31 games over a two-year period.)

Pittsburgh's fortunes changed when Roethlisberger took the keys to the offense in Week Three of 2004, much the way New England's fortunes changed when Tom Brady took over the team in Week Three of the 2001 season.

So Roethlisberger is a great quarterback, a player who wins even when he can't pass the ball well. Super Bowl XL was a perfect case study. Roethlisberger posted a 22.6 passer rating, the lowest by a winning quarterback in Super Bowl history. That number clearly puts him in the Gimp category in our bloodbath of data, which rated all the great and not-so-great quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.

Among Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, nobody has come close to putting up such abysmal passing statistics.

Still, Roethlisberger has shown flashes of brilliance passing the ball during his two years in the league. His performances in Pittsburgh's three playoff wins this year were nothing less than impressive. He entered the Super Bowl with a 128.4 passer rating in those three games. But, as evidenced by the poor passing performance against Seattle, he has yet to establish himself as an elite passer.

However, his performance as a quarterback was more impressive. Here are some of Roethlisberger?s contributions to victory you won?t see by looking at his otherwise abysmal 22.6 passer rating:
He ran the ball five times for 27 yards.
Three of those five carries went for first downs, including one that set up Antwaan Randle El?s TD pass to Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward and another that gave Pittsburgh a key first down as they attempted to run out the clock in the fourth quarter.
A fourth carry went for a 1-yard TD and gave Pittsburgh a 7-3 second-quarter lead that it would not relinquish.
Roethlisberger completed just nine passes, but seven went for first downs.
Among his conversions was a 37-yard pass to Hines Ward on 3rd-and-28 that set up his own 1-yard TD run.
He was creative when necessary, tossing a shovel pass to Ward on a 3rd-and-6 play in the second quarter that went for 12 yards and a first down.
His TD run was his fourth conversion via pass or run on that game-changing drive alone.
Pittsburgh took over the ball on its own 20 with 6:15 to play in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger converted a pair of third downs ? once via a run and once via the pass ? as Pittsburgh held onto the ball for 4 minutes, 24 seconds at a point when the game was still in doubt.
11 of Roethlisberger?s 14 completions or rush attempts went for first downs.
The stat books show that Roethlisberger rushed seven times for 25 yards. But those numbers are misleading. Two of those carries were kneel-downs that went for -1 yard each ? one at the end of the first half with Pittsburgh sporting a lead and another, the most important of all, with Pittsburgh sporting a lead at the end of the game.
Roethlisberger proved in Super Bowl XL that he?s a not-ready-for-prime-time passer. But when it comes to quarterbacking, there are few in the NFL right now who can claim to be better.

Great passers get nifty stat lines. Great quarterbacks get results.

http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Article.php?Page=713

Livinginthe past
05-26-2006, 02:21 PM
Its spot on, that article.

Exactly the reason why I have Ben rated higher than alot of Steeler fans do - he is the 2nd best QB in the league at this time.

NM

Lyn
05-26-2006, 02:30 PM
you say 2nd?


<the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks>

What have I missed

BBC
05-26-2006, 02:36 PM
you say 2nd?


<the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks>

What have I missed

Three of the past five Super Bowls would by my guess...

Hammer67
05-26-2006, 02:38 PM
you say 2nd?



<the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks>

What have I missed

Well...Tom Brady does have more rings and better numbers in the big game. But at this point, it is becoming a toss up. What that article fails to emphasize is the fact that Roethlisberger came out of college a Junior. So, technically, he could have been a rookie last year. What other first & second year QB has had that success?

Baltimore has an awesome D and had Jamal Lewis but Kyle Boller still sucks.

Livinginthe past
05-26-2006, 04:29 PM
you say 2nd?


<the best winning percentage among active quarterbacks>

What have I missed

Yeah, what BBC said - he is missing another two rings in the first 5 years of his career.

Brady also has a fantastic number of 4th quarter come backs - which is a stat for all the Marino fans out there.

At this point Ben is still a distance behind, but only because he hasnt played the same amount of football as TB - lets see where they sit another 3 years time.

NM

Livinginthe past
05-26-2006, 04:31 PM
Well...Tom Brady does have more rings and better numbers in the big game. But at this point, it is becoming a toss up. What that article fails to emphasize is the fact that Roethlisberger came out of college a Junior. So, technically, he could have been a rookie last year. What other first & second year QB has had that success?

Baltimore has an awesome D and had Jamal Lewis but Kyle Boller still sucks.

I agree that if you look at their careers as a graph they are very close at the same point of their careers (although I think Ben gets a black mark for his poor passing in the SB) but Brady has simply been doing it for longer.

It would probably be fairer to compare Ben 2008 with Brady 2006 to see what each has achieved and where they rank.

NM

Black@Gold Forever32
05-26-2006, 04:37 PM
I love Big Ben. I was a fan of his during his Miami of Ohio days. He was the player I wanted the Steelers to draft in the 2004 NFL draft. He hasn't done anything to let me down. He has exceeded all my expectations of him so far. But no way he is the best QB in the NFL right now. I have to put Tom Brady as the number 1 QB. As much as I hate to say it. I can't stand Brady. But he has proven his greatness with his three Super Bowl rings. That alone puts him atop the list.

Where to put Ben. I give props LITP for putting Ben number 2. But I don't know if I would put Ben number 2 yet. Nothing against Ben but I think he needs to play some more years. He is still just in his third year and improving. But he already has a ring. I expect much more improvement from Ben this year. The sky is the limit for Big Ben.

Milkman
05-26-2006, 04:55 PM
A must read for "all" football fans...especially the ones who "think" they know football.

Livinginthe past
05-26-2006, 05:38 PM
I love Big Ben. I was a fan of his during his Miami of Ohio days. He was the player I wanted the Steelers to draft in the 2004 NFL draft. He hasn't done anything to let me down. He has exceeded all my expectations of him so far. But no way he is the best QB in the NFL right now. I have to put Tom Brady as the number 1 QB. As much as I hate to say it. I can't stand Brady. But he has proven his greatness with his three Super Bowl rings. That alone puts him atop the list.

Where to put Ben. I give props LITP for putting Ben number 2. But I don't know if I would put Ben number 2 yet. Nothing against Ben but I think he needs to play some more years. He is still just in his third year and improving. But he already has a ring. I expect much more improvement from Ben this year. The sky is the limit for Big Ben.

Who would you have in the No.2 position?

My only concern when ranking QB's is who I would like leading my team out in a playoff game or a SB.

There is a definite shortage of alite QB's in the game at the moment, which is why guys like Manning get elevated so high based upon regular season stats.

I can honestly say, that if I couldnt have Brady QB'ing my team in the post-season i would have Ben - hence why I rank him No.2

NM

tony hipchest
05-26-2006, 05:44 PM
other than one drive (the final one of the game), bradys numbers werent the greatest in his 1st sb.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-26-2006, 05:48 PM
Who would you have in the No.2 position?

My only concern when ranking QB's is who I would like leading my team out in a playoff game or a SB.

There is a definite shortage of alite QB's in the game at the moment, which is why guys like Manning get elevated so high based upon regular season stats.

I can honestly say, that if I couldnt have Brady QB'ing my team in the post-season i would have Ben - hence why I rank him No.2

NM

Well I won't argue that your wrong with putting Ben at number 2. Actually I see your point and you make a really good point. Trust me I don't want any other QB to lead my Steelers. Not saying Ben is better then Tom Brady. But I'm a big fan of Ben's and he is the perfect QB for our team. I just want to wait a few years before putting Ben that high. But like I said I can't say that your wrong.

Who I would put at number 2. Its tough it really is. I think when a QB does dominate like Peyton Manning does in the regular season that it has to count for something. Trust me I think Manning is vastly overrated by many fans especially Colts fans. But he has a strong case to be the number 2. I think D. McNabb should be in the conversation as well. McNabb is a very good QB and has played in a Super Bowl.

Trent Green has been a very good QB. Matt Hasselback has been coming on very strong the last few years.

If Ben has a very strong year and if the Steelers do happen to repeat yea I would put Ben number 2. The fact of the matter is he is only entering his third year. Thats the only thing keeping me from putting Ben that high. His experience and age.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-26-2006, 05:53 PM
other than one drive (the final one of the game), bradys numbers werent the greatest in his 1st sb.

Very good point and true. Tom Brady didn't have a legendary game his first Super Bowl. I think he had 170 yards and 1 TD with no picks. But his other two Super Bowls and with the things he has accomplished in his career is why I rank him number 1.

Our man Ben is off to a very good start in his career. If Ben wins more Super Bowls like Brady did I would have no problem putting Ben up there with Brady as best QB in the NFL.

3 to be 4
05-26-2006, 07:03 PM
theres a good arguement that Bens 2nd season was a whole lot better than Brady's in 2002 ( i know i know, that was Brady's 3rd technically, but Brady didnt play his first so humor me)
But Brady really upped his game in 2003, where the long pass was a big problem for him in 2002, he worked and worked and worked on it that entire offseason and became a really great QB during that 15 game winning streak. So for Ben to keep up "in the graph" he'd need to really step it up in 2006.
But i agree with LITP, who would be #2 if not Ben. id take him over Manning,McNabb,Delhomme. Id go with Palmer at #3 for his potential alone, whiny bitching aside.

dawson36
05-26-2006, 08:38 PM
i honestly think that last year ben had a better season then brady

3 to be 4
05-26-2006, 09:32 PM
other than one drive (the final one of the game), bradys numbers werent the greatest in his 1st sb.

other than that.......

there we go with numbers again. Brady did everything he was supposed to do in that game to allow the Patriots to have a chance to win against a more talented team. He managed the game. He made zero errors. Sounds like something anyone could have done, but most QB's wouldnt have handled it. And when he was unleashed at the end of both halfs, he was terrific. The numbers werent great, but like the gist of the thread says, the bottom line is the victory.