Better QB: Roethlisberger or Eli Manning?

October, 31, 2012
10/31/12
1:05
PM ET
AP Photo/US PresswireEli Manning (left) and Ben Roethlisberger (right) are two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
BEN ROETHLISBERGER IS A BETTER QUARTERBACK RIGHT NOW

Although Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have the same number of wins over the past two seasons, Roethlisberger is better than Manning in many important situations, including under pressure, on third down and in the red zone.

Over the past two seasons, when Roethlisberger has been under duress or hit while throwing, he has an NFL-high (among 40 qualified quarterbacks) 55.9 completion percentage and eight touchdowns, tied with Michael Vick for the most in the league.

Roethlisberger has also excelled on third down. He leads all qualified quarterbacks with a 97.3 Total QBR on third down this season, much higher than Manning’s 52.2. Roethlisberger has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions on third down.

Roethlisberger is also much better than Manning in the red zone. Roethlisberger has a top-3 Total QBR of 94.4 in the red zone, compared to Manning’s 46.8, 17th among qualified quarterbacks.

Finally, Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season against four or fewer pass rushers, the most frequent situation a quarterback faces. He has completed 72.1 percent of his passes and averaged 8.1 yards per attempt against such pressure, both highest among qualified quarterbacks.
--Bobby Greenhalgh

ELI MANNING IS A BETTER QUARTERBACK RIGHT NOW

Manning’s success in the fourth quarter and on the road makes him a better quarterback than Roethlisberger.

Manning has thrown 20 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter over the past two seasons, more than any other player in the league. He has continued to improve with his fourth-quarter performance over the past three seasons, increasing his Total QBR from 34.6 in 2010 to 84.9 this season, which ranks fourth among qualified quarterbacks.

Manning has also shown the ability to win on the road. Including last postseason, when Manning led the Giants to two road wins, he is 10-4 away from MetLife Stadium and has a Total QBR of 68.5 on the road.

Roethlisberger has not found the same success on the road since the start of the 2011 season, winning six of his 13 road games (including the playoffs) and posting a Total QBR of 61.1 away from Heinz Field.

Throwing the deep ball is another area of strength for Manning, partly due to his two primary targets, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Manning has thrown 14 touchdowns on throws more than 20 yards downfield over the past two seasons, the third-most in the league, and nine of those 14 touchdowns have been caught by Cruz or Nicks.

Manning leads the NFL in yards (1,994), attempts (120) and completions (52) on throws of more than 20 yards in the last two seasons.
--Evan Kaplan

Also: Check out AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley's post on the Eli-Roethlisberger debate.

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