Tom Brady and Peyton Manning dominated ESPN’s NFL Nation survey of which quarterback players would most want if their respective teams needed a touchdown to win the Super Bowl with two minutes left in the game.
Brady (128) and Manning (86) combined to capture roughly two-thirds of the vote among the 320 players polled by ESPN’s NFL Nation.
Five of Roethlisberger’s votes came from teammates, a sign of how much his play at the end of close games is valued in the Steelers’ locker room.
Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to wins 33 times, including the postseason, in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter. His most famous rally came in Super Bowl XLV five years ago when Roethlisberger marched the Steelers 78 yards in eight plays for the touchdown that beat the upstart Arizona Cardinals, 27-23.
Roethlisberger capped the drive with a 6-yard pass that Santonio Holmes snared with a tip-toe catch before getting pushed out of bounds. That play delivered the Steelers’ record sixth Super Bowl title and remains frozen in time for Pittsburgh fans.
Had I been granted a vote I would have thought long and hard before giving it to Brady over Roethlisberger, and I think you could flip a coin between the two quarterbacks who have won a combined five Super Bowls.
Roethlisberger’s improvisational skills and his burning desire to win have long made him one of the best quarterbacks when the game is on the line. He has delivered every time? Of course not. But neither has Brady, who has been outdueled late in the Patriots’ last two Super Bowl losses by Eli Manning.
The only other quarterback to receive more than one vote? Matt McGloin, who picked up two of them.
Draw your own conclusions there.