New Stats to Prove Ben Roethlisberger Is Better Than Peyton Manning.

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IFebruary 13, 2010

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 9:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to pass down the field during the game against the Indianapolis Colts on November 9, 2008 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

SO...who is better, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger?

The 2009 NFL season has been over for less than a week, and I think I have already read 412 different articles debating this question. Colts fans are quick to throw stats such as regular season winning percentage in Steelers' faces, while Steeler Nation is quick to point to Manning's 9-9 playoff record, and 1-1 Super Bowl record.

Both sides have a great argument. Here are the stats that you will be able to find in just about every article. Out of fairness, we are only comparing the first six years of their careers.


Manning: 167 Tds.

Roethlisberger: 127 Tds.

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Manning: 110 Ints.

Roethlisberger: 81 Ints.

Completion Percentage:

Manning: 62.90 %

Roethlisberger: 63.3%

Passer Rating:

Manning: 88.08

Roethlisberger: 91.7


Manning: 24,885 yards

Roethlisberger: 19,302 yards


Manning: 2,128 Completions

Roethlisberger:1,526 Completions


Manning: 3383 Attempts

Roethlisberger: 2411 Attempts

Playoff Record:

Manning- 2 wins 4 losses

Roethlisberger- 8 wins 2 losses

Thanks to Fritzie J. McBritches; I got those stats from his article, P. Manning Vs Roethlisberger: Who's Better?

By these stats, it is pretty clear that Ben Roethlisberger is the Superior QB to play the position at this point of his young career. This is where Colts fans start jumping up and down screaming that the Steelers were the better team at that point, and Roethlisberger was simply along for the ride.

Were the Steelers REALLY the better TEAM at that point?

Overall Record (Not Playoffs):

Pittsburgh: 65-31

Indianapolis: 64-32

Offense Rank (Average):

Pittsburgh: 14th

Indianapolis: Eighth (Colts' offense was ranked 19th in Manning's rookie season. Take that out, they would have been ranked third)

Defensive Rank (Average):

Pittsburgh: Third

Indianapolis: 17th

It is CLEAR that in these time periods, the Steelers were the better defensive team, while the Colts were the better offensive team. Both by large margins.

Is that directly related to the players? Lets take a look at how the Colts and Steelers spend their money.

Colts.  Offense — $53.65 million, Defense — $28.75 million

Here are the top salaries of the Colts from this past year.

Peyton Manning (QB)—$18.7 million

Bob Sanders (S)—$8.75 million

Robert Mathis (DE)—$6.8 million

Reggie Wayne (WR)—$6.6 million

Ryan Diem (OL)—$6.3 million

Dwight Freeney (DE)—$5.75 million

Jeff Saturday (C)—$5.2 million

Raheem Brock (DT)—$4.72 million

Gary Brackett (LB)—$2.73 million

Dallas Clark (TE)—$2.5 million

Adam Vinatieri (K)—$2.35 million

Steelers. Offense — $37.4 million, Defense — $37.8 million

Ben Roethlisberger (QB)—$8 million

Troy Polamalu (S)—$6.8 million

Hines Ward (WR)—$6.7 million

Max Starks (OL)—$6.6 million

Casey Hampton (DT)—$6.4 million

Ike Taylor (CB)—$5.75 million

Aaron Smith (DE)—$4.75 million

James Farrior (LB)—$4.5 million

Willie Parker (RB)—$4.1 million

Brett Keisel (DE)—$4 million

Ryan Clark (S)—$2.2 million

This makes it clear the Colts spend most of their money on the offensive side of the ball, which would obviously put more talent on the offense. The Steelers evenly distribute the wealth on BOTH sides of the ball.

The Colts spent $53.65 million on offense, where the Steelers spent $37.4 million. That is a $17 million difference. Paying an average of just under $6 million per player, the Steelers could have an additional three Pro Bowlers on the offensive side of the ball. How much better could Roethlisberger's stats be with three Pro Bowl caliber offensive linemen?

It would be enough to close the gap, if not surpass the difference in stats between himself and Manning.