by Mario "The Game" Granata
Pocket Presence highlights two quarterbacks from the past and the present, and how their stats and abilities compare. John Elway and Ben Roethelisberger have played at a time where other quarterbacks have the publicity, but they are truly great in their own right. See how they stack up with one another.
Growing up in the 1980’s, I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat for two of the greatest quarterbacks that were playing: Joe Montana and Dan Marino. As the years went by and these quarterbacks rode off into the sunset, with Marino capturing all the stats, and Montana capturing the rings, the odd man out in this scenario was always John Elway. In discussions with many NFL fans and analysts, many of them compare Marino to Peyton Manning and Montana to Tom Brady, once again echoing the fact that Manning will have the stats while Brady owns the rings, but who would you compare John Elway to? Well, my research has led me to a quarterback currently residing in the Steel city: Ben Roethlisberger. Now, some of you might think that I am crazy in my comparisons (and if you read a couple of my blogs already, you should know that my thought process is somewhat south of normal) but looking at the statistics, and the way that these two play the game, one can see that there is some truth to the insanity.
Both of these quarterbacks, Elway and Roethlisberger were both 1st round selections, in the hope that they would bring some stability to the quarterback position and stability they did. While Elway’s legendary arm was his trademark, the ability to extend plays far beyond their intended time, was what carried Big Ben to his greatest achievements. Taking a look at their first ten years in the league, one cannot ignore the comparisons between the two:
Although the comparisons do not stop during the regular season, as Elway and Roethlisberger also have very comparable stats in the playoffs as well. Both men led their teams to 3 Super Bowls in their first 10 seasons, and there stats reflect similarities as well.
Now, looking at these stats, it is hard to imagine that Big Ben has a 2-1 record in the big game, but then again Elway wasn’t blessed with the defensive presence that Roethlisberger has had in Pittsburgh. In the history of the NFL, Roethlisberger had the lowest passer rating (22.6) in his first Super Bowl against the Seahawks than any other Super Bowl winning quarterback. So, I guess its true that defense wins championships, right?
Looking ahead, we all know that John Elway was able to cap his illustrious career with back-to-back Super Bowl wins, and the book on Big Ben has yet to meet its final chapter, but if you are looking to compare Montana to Brady, and Manning to Marino, Elway to Roethlisberger shouldn’t be far behind.