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Old 10-13-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_647850.html#
By Mark Kaboly
Daily News Sports Editor
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ben Roethlisberger has the Super Bowl victories two of them in his first five years, to be exact.

He has the won-loss record 54-22 as a starter and 8-2 in the postseason.

He has the accolades Pro Bowl representative, Rookie of the Year, team captain and 18 fourth-quarter comeback victories.

But one thing missing from Roethlisberger's impressive resume is a Most Valuable Player award. In his first five seasons, he didn't earn so much as one vote in the annual Associated Press MVP balloting.

The knock on the Steelers' franchise quarterback, the blemish that kept him from being mentioned among the best signal-callers in the NFL, was that he just didn't have the numbers.

Now, he does.

Through nearly a third of the season, Roethlisberger is in the top seven of every major NFL passing category.

He has thrown for 1,470 yards, which is second behind Peyton Manning and well ahead of other top quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, and he is on pace for 26 touchdown passes and a 102.6 quarterback rating.

"He is having a phenomenal year right now," receiver Hines Ward said.

And an unusual one for him.

Roethlisberger has never finished higher than 13th in the league in passing yards and has been routinely in the bottom half of nearly every passing statistic since bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2004.

"I have never been a big stat guy," Roethlisberger said. "Stats for me are winning and losing and, to me, that is what defines a great quarterback and a great leader."

Despite that, Roethlisberger is compiling the stats quickly.

Roethlisberger, who already owns eight Steelers passing records, is on pace to break five more (yards, attempts, completions, single season 300-yard passing games and completion percentage). If he continues his pace, his 73.8 completion percentage would shatter former Cincinnati quarterback and Roethlisberger's current quarterback coach Ken Anderson's NFL record of 70.55 set in 1982.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians figures it is about time Roethlisberger gets to join in the fun and toss the ball all over the field.

"He has sat in this offense and handed the ball off 40 times a game and was able to win," Arians said. "It is a lot more fun when you are throwing it and having success."

Arians hasn't been hesitant about letting his quarterback throw at any given point in a game, whether it is the first series or late in the game when the Steelers are trying to run out the clock.

"That's (Roethlisberger) growing into the offense," backup quarterback Charlie Batch said. "Bruce has been able expand the offense around him."

Batch said the biggest change in the offensive scheme is the number of pass protections that Arians has added to his game plan. Not long ago, Roethlisberger wasn't able to handle such a responsibility.

"When you come in and all of a sudden you have 10 or 12 different protections, then that is something you have to credit Ben to be able to handle it," Batch said.

Arians is comfortable enough to turn over the no-huddle offense to Roethlisberger and let him call his own plays in that package. He allows Roethlisberger to make checks at the line when necessary and, most importantly, is at ease letting his quarterback try to kill the clock late in games with the pass rather than the traditional Steelers staple of running the ball to exhaust time.

"I understand what is going on," Roethlisberger said. "I feel very comfortable and confident out there, and it shows."

Roethlisberger has thrown at least 30 passes in every game this year, has surpassed 300 yards twice and has put together 123-plus passer rating games the past two weeks, both of which were wins.

The only quarterback in the league who can come close to matching that is Manning. Still, Roethlisberger isn't considered in an elite class just yet.

Tight end Heath Miller doesn't understand why.

"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be up there with (Manning)," Miller said. "He has everything to prove it and is playing like it week in and week out."

The rest of the league apparently thinks Roethlisberger stats in hand or not is actually getting too much hype.

A recent Sports Illustrated poll asked 239 current players who the most overrated player in the league.

Roethlisberger came in at a stunning No. 5.

"That really doesn't make much sense at all," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He has won two Super Bowls and he is been in the league, what, five years?. In my opinion, that says a lot."

Coach Mike Tomlin has noticed something different from Roethlisberger this year. It has nothing to do with statistics, but more with leadership.

"This guy has developed into a veteran quality leader of this team," Tomlin said. "His sole motivation is winning."

But what about those numbers he is posting?

"Numbers mean only one thing and that is Pro Bowls." Arians said. "And we are about Super Bowls."

Ben by the numbers

Completions

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 133

2. Tom Brady, New England - 127

2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 127

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 117

5. Matt Schaub, Houston - 115

6. Kerry Collins, Tennessee - 106

6. Kurt Warner, Arizona - 106

QB Rating

1. P. Manning, Indianapolis - 114.1

2. E.Manning, NY Giants - 111.7

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 108.4

4. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 104.1

5. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle - 103.1

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta - 102.9

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 102.6

Completion Percentage

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 73.8

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 73.5

3. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 69.1

4. Chad Pennington, Miami - 68.9

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 67.4

6. Jason Campbell, Washington - 66.7

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta - 66.7

Touchdowns

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 12

2. Eli Manning, NY Giants - 10

2. Matt Schaub, Houston - 10

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 9

4. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 9

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 9

7. Jay Cutler, Chicago - 8

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

Yards

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 1,645

2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 1,470

3. Matt Schaub, Houston - 1,418

4. Tom Brady, New England - 1,344

5. Tony Romo, Dallas - 1,341

6. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 1,289

7. Philip Rivers, San Diego - 1,245

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

he's also #3 in yards per game and #4 in yards per attempt

there's really not much the haters will be able to fault him for if he keeps this level of performance going
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

this article sounds an awful lot like a post i made yesterday (w/o all the fluff)-

Quote:
p. manning is at 73.5 for the year. the talking heads are saying how manning is having a spectacular year. that what he is doing is remarkable and he is off to the best start in his entire hall of fame career.

yet ben is right there with him (oh he who is considered one of the greatest of all time) and nothing.

ben has finally achieved "elite" status as far as wins and championships and clutch is concerned.

and now, even though he is putting up the stats to compare with his peers.... nothing.

ben wont even make the pro bowl this season. someone like matt schaub probably will.
unfortunately, ben doesnt have a shot in hell for mvp consideration.

hell, im just happy when he gets a flag for the abuse he constantly takes (even though you would never hear him bitch about it.)

i could be mistaken, but i am pretty sure palmer, manning, and brady have already secured the pro bowl bids, and darrell revis is already the MVP.

ben dont have a shot in hell for any accolades other than sb champ. (which is fine by me)
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

It just sucks that, when Ben had his 32 tds and 104+ passer rating, it was in the same year Brady had his monster year. Now, if things go exactly as they've been, he is going to be overshadowed by P Manning.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Palmer has worse stats this season than Ben did when he was chastised for not having the numbers, there is no way Palmer wins anything over Ben if these current trends continue.

Brady also has very lackluster numbers, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't make the Pro Bowl, although he might cry baby it and refuse to come even if he does.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

He will get a Super Bowl MVP before he gets a season MVP.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkweek View Post
Palmer has worse stats this season than Ben did when he was chastised for not having the numbers, there is no way Palmer wins anything over Ben if these current trends continue.

Brady also has very lackluster numbers, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't make the Pro Bowl, although he might cry baby it and refuse to come even if he does.
The thing that makes me a bit nervous about Palmer, is that he is playing a different game than typical. He's been clutch. That's new. Not great numbers, but making stuff happen. To me the Bungles have had a "slick" offense with CP, meaning big plays that are executed well, but the devil is in the details and this year it looks like Palmer et.al. may have figured that out. I don't think it'll last, but we'll see.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Let them continue to disrespect him. Who cares? As long as he keeps winning games for the Steelers, that is all that matters. People still slobber on and on and on at how good Tom Brady is. He looks like crap this year and will probably take at least another year to get anywhere near back to his normal self. If he ever does. Think Carson Palmer.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Ben will never get the national attention that he deserves, but that's not what really matters. Even though I'd love for Ben to win league MVP, I'd rather see him just continue winning games for us and he'll bring us more Superbowl victories and a Superbowl MVP before he gets league MVP.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

Carson Palmer in 2009 = Ben Roethlisberger in 2008

Numbers ain't pretty, but performance in pressure situations is.
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