From yahoo sports:
At the risk of being a heretic (or worse, completely agreeing with good friend Dutch Wydo), there is a case to be made that Ben Roethlisberger(notes) is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning(notes).
Certainly in the playoffs.
Before you send that email calling me crazy or mocking me only days after I wrote that Manning is the fourth-best quarterback of all time, let’s put this in perspective. It is impossible to truly measure Roethlisberger against Manning or Tom Brady(notes) just yet.
Roethlisberger has played six years. His regular-season stats (only two seasons with more than 18 touchdown passes) pale in comparison to those of Manning, Brady and many other quarterbacks. In short, so much of his career is yet to be played that it’s silly to rank him even among the top 25 quarterbacks of all time.
Bottom line, it would take serious guts to draft Roethlisberger ahead of Manning at this point of their respective careers.
Furthermore, there isn’t a defensive coordinator in the league who won’t tell you that the challenge of facing Manning is much tougher from a game-plan aspect than facing Roethlisberger.
“There’s nothing you can do against Peyton that he hasn’t seen,” said Detroit defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who has spent the past 15 years in the NFL in that role with four teams and is one of the most respected defensive minds in the league. “He can figure out anything you’re trying to do and find the perfect play to get you. You constantly have to change what you do and hope that he just makes some mistake along the way.
“With Roethlisberger, he’s a completely different kind of player. He’s unique because he’s so big and so tough that you hit him and he just shakes it off and keeps looking downfield. He’s great, but figuring out how to defend isn’t the hard part. The hard part is executing the plan.”
Roethlisberger has also been backed by one of the great defenses of this decade. But mentioning the Steelers’ defense means that you must also credit the Colts for surrounding Manning with great offensive weapons and amazing consistency on the coaching staff.
The bottom line is this: Roethlisberger is currently 8-2 in the playoffs, has two Super Bowl rings – including his great final drive against Arizona – and a quarterback rating of 87.2 in the playoffs. That includes his bad performance in the Super Bowl win against Seattle, a bad first half in a playoff loss to Jacksonville and a typically bad playoff game against New England in the 2004 playoffs when he was a rookie.
For Manning, he is now 9-9 in the playoffs over his 12-year career, has one Super Bowl win, is coming off a bad finish against New Orleans and has a quarterback rating of 95.5 in the playoffs. If you break down the stats further, you’ll note that the Colts have asked Manning to do a lot more (38.4 attempts per game) than the Steelers have of Roethlisberger (28.8 attempts).
But the bottom line is that Roethlisberger has succeeded (he was great in the 2008 playoffs and also in the 2005 playoffs before the Super Bowl against Seattle) and Manning has struggled.