This past Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants met in a regular season, week 13 match-up. Heading into the contest, the majority of discussions were either about the match-up at quarterback between Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, or the match-up at wide receiver between Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr. The Steelers ended up winning the game by a score of 24-14, but the main difference was the Giants inability to run the football. The Steelers ran for 117 yards on 30 carries while the Giants were only able to muster 56 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Ben Roethlisberger Continues to Outshine Eli Manning
Roethlisberger benefited from a much more productive rushing offense as he continued to out-play Manning, like he has for the majority of their careers. Both quarterbacks were selected in the 2004 NFL Draft, with Manning being selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers before being traded to the Giants, and Roethlisberger being taken 11th by the Steelers. Both benefitted from strong defenses early in their careers, but both have also emerged as the clear leaders of their respective teams. Also, both quarterbacks have only had two head coaches for their entire careers, with one of those coaches being there for the majority of the time. Manning played with Tom Coughlin for the first 12 years of his career before Ben McAdoo took over, while Roethlisberger has played with Mike Tomlin for the last nine years of his career after starting out playing for Bill Cowher.
When it comes to career statistics, Manning actually has the better numbers. Roethlisberger has 46,029 passing yards and 297 touchdown passes compared to 47,284 passing yards and 316 touchdown passes for Manning. The category that really stands out though is their career interceptions. Roethlisberger has 155 career interceptions while Manning has 211 interceptions. In their game on Sunday, Manning made a crucial mistake when he threw an interception to Lawrence Timmons. Manning drove his teammates down the field and looked to cap off the drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Larry Donnell, however, the pass was underthrown and Timmons returned the interception 58 yards, giving Roethlisberger and the Steelers great field position.
Another category that stands out when comparing and contrasting their career statistics, is their quarterback rating. Manning has a career quarterback rating of 83.8, while Roethlisberger has a quarterback rating of 94.3.
Perhaps the most important category to compare the two in, is winning. Both have won two Super Bowls, with Manning going 2-0 and Roethlisberger going 2-1. Manning was the MVP of both of his Super Bowl victories, but both quarterbacks benefitted a lot from their defenses. Roethlisberger has never had a losing season, while Manning has had four losing seasons. Roethlisberger is eighth all-time in regular season wins and has a career record of 119-60 (.665). Manning is 12th all-time in regular season wins and has a career record of 105-89 (.541). Roethlisberger has been to the playoffs eight times in his first 12 years, while Manning has only made it to the playoffs five times.
Both quarterbacks will continue to benefit from their star wide receivers, Brown and Beckham, Jr. Ladarius Green has emerged as a vital target for Roethlisberger and Martavis Bryant will be back from his suspension next season (assuming that the Steelers decide to keep him on their roster). Manning has rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard beginning to emerge as a valuable weapon for the Giants offense. Both the Steelers and the Giants should be playoff teams this season, as Manning and Roethlisberger will both be looking to become only the fifth quarterback in NFL history to win at least three Super Bowls (Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Troy Aikman).