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 Post subject: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Esteemed poster Still Lit brought up an article I wrote back in 2007 after Ben had completed his first four seasons in the league. The theme of that article was that we were witnessing a historically great All-Time QB, but the league and media weren't quite acknowledging how rare his accomplishments were. In that article I compared what Ben had done over his first four seasons as compared to every HOF QB who played his career in the modern era (1980's on). Here we stand 10 years after my initial article asking the same question. Before I dig back into this subject matter, here is where Ben stands All Time as of today:

Record 123-60. (8th All Time)
67.2 win% (11th All Time)
3804 completions (6th All Time)
64.1 Comp% (11th All Time)
46,814 yards (10th All Time)
301 TD's (9th All Time)
94.1 QB Rating (9th All Time)
13 playoff wins (5th All Time)
3 SB Apperances (4th All Time)
2 SB wins (5th All Time)
45,011 yards of total offense (10th all time)

Ben ranks Top 11 in every single one of those categories. If you project his career out for 3 more years with the exact same stats as he had last year, Ben ends up Top 10 in every category and Top 6 in most.

The "Big 9" QB's I originally used for comparison sakes were: Montana, Marino, Young, Moon, Elway, Kelly, Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. To that list I'll now add Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning to get us to a group of 15 of the best QBs of the past 35 years. I left out younger QBs like Aaron Rodgers from this project. As we sit near the end of Ben's career, most fans feel he still doesn't get mentioned enough as being an All Time great. Hell, he hardly gets mentioned with the best QBs of the day.

So what would be a fair methodology to rank a group of QB's accomplishments over their career? To me, you have to look at three major categories:
1. Compilation Stats: Did they play a long time and add up a bunch of numbers? (Yards, Completions, TD passes)
2. Efficiency Stats: Where they deadly efficiency? (Completion %, QB rating, Yards per attempt)
3. Wins: A great QB leads his team to wins. (Total wins, win percentage, playoff wins, and SB wins)

Now, if we take all of that and rank the QBs by where they sit all time in each of those categories we should get a complete picture of what they've really accomplished over their career. Average out the totals and it should rank their careers in a somewhat complete and objective manner. I had no idea how this would shake out (aside from Brady/Manning being above everyone else.) Here is the list:

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All of the players on this list had great careers. Roethlisberger is the only one who ranked in the top 11 of every single category. Some lacked in one area or another. Marino, Brees, and Rivers put up great numbers, but weren't great winners. Eli Manning was a great winner and compiled a lot of stats, but his efficiencies were relatively awful. Warner and Young were great, but didn't play long enough. Moon compiled a ton of stats, but his ability to lead teams to wins and post high efficiency numbers just weren't there. The only issue I have with the methodology of these rankings is that it doesnt weight they categories at all. Is total yardage as important as SB wins? Surely it's not, but adding weights to the calculations would create a bit of a hornets nest.

What this list tells me is that Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger were historically great QBs. Each led their franchises to wins and Super Bowls. Additionally, they were deadly efficient passers and played long enough to compile historically great numbers. These were complete players and had completely great careers with very few peers in the history of the game. The fact that they represented the AFC in 14 of the past 16 Super Bowls is all you need to know. Just imagine the damage any of them could have done if they had not been playing against each other in all of those playoff seasons! All were knocked out of the playoffs at least twice by the other two. The big question is, will history and the sports media remember Ben Roethlisberger as the third wheel in this All Time Great QB triumvate? I know I will, but I have my doubts he ever gets his due nationally. Partly because he has a bad reputation in regards to his character, partly because he was the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and partly because he will go down as the third best of the group. Any way you slice it, Ben has had one of the 10 best careers of any QB in NFL history. I would argue his career as closer to Top 5 when all is said and done.... That is if you value wins, rings, and efficiencies and not just fantasy football numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:24 pm 
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8-)

You didn't need to do all that research!

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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:26 pm 
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Very interesting, informative post.

If Ben can win another SB or two, I would rank him number 2 all time behind Tom Brady. I'll always say that Tom Brady was a system QB, as evidenced by his backups numbers, even when playing nearly a full season. Cassell or whoever went 11-5 and they missed the playoffs. Any decent QB plugged into that system at the same time Brady was would be in the same position he is today. Had Brady been drafted by the Browns, Bengals, Bears, Vikings, etc. he would be without a SB victory and likely wouldn't still be playing. Ben would have made those teams better than Brady could have because of his escape ability and skill set.

Where a player is drafted makes or breaks their career. It's amazing to think about really.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:55 pm 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
8-)

You didn't need to do all that research!




But nicely done anyway SP. Thanks for posting.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:55 pm 
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I would agree Ben is easily top-10 and arguably top-5.

Brady plays in an unreal system masterminded by Belicheat. Manning was completely carried by his defense to both his rings - and I don't mean in just the SB, I mean carried by his defense thru the entire playoffs.

If I was building/starting a franchise today and drafting any QB in history, in no particular order my short list is:
Montana, Elway, Ben, Rogers....and maybe Steve Young. I feel like I could win with those guys regardless of what system I run or who I put around them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:46 pm 
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Awesome work, Perch.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 7:51 am 
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Ben and Eli Manning are at the same level of pretty greatness, HOF careers both. Steeler fans seem to get offended by this for some reason, not sure why. Eli slayed the dragon twice.....


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:06 am 
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superk wrote:
Ben and Eli Manning are at the same level of pretty greatness, HOF careers both. Steeler fans seem to get offended by this for some reason, not sure why. Eli slayed the dragon twice.....


Ben is a clearly a more accurate and efficient QB than Eli. The only real comparison between them are the overall career numbers since Eli is never hurt and the two SB wins. I put less emphasis on the SB wins since so much goes into that as the organization you play for, your surrounding team, etc. It's a piece of the puzzle, not the be all end all. No one can convince me Joe Flacco or Trent Dilfer are better QBs than Marino, Rivers, Romo, and countless others. If I'm starting a team from scratch I'm definitely taking Rivers over Eli. Ben and Ruvers are just better players, flat out, but Eli has the two SB runs and he's a lock for the HOF.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:09 am 
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superk wrote:
Ben and Eli Manning are at the same level of pretty greatness, HOF careers both. Steeler fans seem to get offended by this for some reason, not sure why. Eli slayed the dragon twice.....


If you think Ben and Eli are on the same level, you don't know football..

Eli didn't win those SB's on his arm. Shit, they won the one SB on a lucky catch on a helmet! Those defenses shut the Patriots down. The Steelers defense was a wet paper bag last season in NE.


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 Post subject: Re: Ben Roethlisberger - A Historical Perspective (part 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:27 am 
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so Eli won those 2 SB MVP awards with his legs?


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