Peyton Manning had a great game last night: 27/42, 462 yards and an NFL record-tying seven touchdowns. Denver 49, Baltimore 27.
Statistically, Manning will wind up as the NFL’s best-ever QB.
But, in a big game, give me Ben Roethlisberger over Manning.
Manning is a one-man Atlanta Braves, Bobby Cox era: He’s had mega-resources and a ton of chances, but only one Super Bowl ring. He’s a great quarterback, but hasn’t maximized his opportunities.
Manning’s absolute canonization by football fans shows how fantasy-league culture has warped our perception: Both Manning and Brett Favre are remembered far more for stats than for blown chances.
Remember the 2005 playoffs? Ben beat Peyton at Indianapolis.
Remember last year’s postseason? Manning served up an interception in overtime to give Baltimore victory.
I’m not saying Manning isn’t good. His numbers speak for themselves. But so do his many failures under pressure.
I’m not saying Roethlisberger is better than Manning. I’d just want Ben as my quarterback in a pressure situation. Manning is 9-11 in the playoffs. He’s been one-and-done eight times. Roethlisberger is 10-4 in the playoffs. He’s been one-and-done just twice.
If you put Roethlisberger on Denver, the Broncos might win fewer regular-season games. But they would win the Super Bowl.
If you put Manning on the Steelers, he’d hand off to Isaac Redman.
Last night’s lid-lifter showcased the vertical, quick-strike nature of today’s NFL. What the Steelers won’t do. Score fast, then score again.
When I broached the Manning-Roethlisberger comparison on Twitter, most of Yinzer Nation were effusive in their support…of Manning. Only Pittsburgh rallies around the other quarterback.
For Manning, last night was just another great regular-season game. Nothing more.