Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Good is Big Ben?

This has been a hot topic among a lot of people of where Ben Roethlisberger ranks among the best of the best in terms of the QB's in the national football league. In my opinion I feel he is in the top three. I really think that it breaks down like this:

1) Tom Brady
2) Peyton Manning
3) Ben Roethlisberger
4) Drew Brees
5) Donovan McNabb

That is how I see them, in that order. Those are the best in the league.

How do you really quantify who is the best QB? Some people might say "look at how many wins a QB has." While that can be true the NFL is more of a team game so you can not really look at win/loss record as a measure of who the best QB is. I guess when looking at stats you really can not just take one stat and say "that is it." QB rating could be used but I think that is a little flawed in a way and really can't be judged in who the best is. Sure it is pretty accurate, but does not tell the whole story. I still feel you can put stock into it, just not all of it. You will see in the numbers below.

I am a big fan of YPA (yards per attempt). This can show off not only their average number of yards per reception but also takes into account completion percentage. It does not directly involve completion percentage, but the better your completion percentage the higher your YPA will be in most instances.

Another nice stat from YPA and QB rating is:

Just a quick study on team offense YPA...

In 2008 - 5 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2007 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs In
2006 - 6 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2005 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs
In 2004 - 7 of the top 10 in YPA made playoffs


And team passer rating...

In 2008 - 6 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2007 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2006 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2005 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs
In 2004 - 8 of the top 10 in passer rating made playoffs

I think a nice measurement is the combination of completion percentage, QB rating, YPA would be a nice way to see who the best QB is in the league. Let is take a look at the top 10 from each category since 2004. (Note * indicates participated in Super Bowl, ** indicates won Super Bowl


QB Rating

2004

1) Peyton Manning - 121.1
2) Daunte Culpepper - 110.9
3) Drew Brees - 104.8
*4) Donovan McNabb - 104.7
5) Ben Roethlisberger - 98.1
6) Brian Griese - 97.5
7) Trent Green - 95.2
8) Marc Bulger - 93.7
**9) Tom Brady - 92.6
10) Brett Farve - 92.4


2005

1) Peyton Manning - 104.1
2) Carson Palmer - 101.1
**3) Ben Roethlisberger - 98.6
*4) Matt Hasselbeck - 98.2
5) Marc Bulger - 94.4
6) Tom Brady - 92.3
7) Jake Plummer - 90.2
8) Trent Green - 90.1
9) Byron Leftwich - 89.3
10) Drew Brees - 89.2


2006

**1) Peyton Manning - 101.0
2) Damon Huard - 98.0
3) Drew Brees - 96.2
4) Deonovan McNabb - 95.5
5) Tony Romo - 95.1
6) Carson Palmer - 93.9
7) Marc Bulger - 92.9
8) Philip Rivers - 92.0
9) Tom Brady - 87.9
10) Mark Brunell - 86.5
21) Ben Roethlisberger


2007

*1) Tom Brady - 117.2
2) Ben Roethlisberger - 104.1
3) David Garrard - 102.2
4) Peyton Manning - 98.0
5) Tony Romo - 97.4
6) Brett Favre - 95.7
7) Jeff Garcia - 94.6
8) Matt Hasselbeck - 91.4
9) Donovan McNabb - 89.9
10) Kurt Warner - 89.8


2008

1) Philip Rivers - 105.5
2) Chad Pennington - 97.4
*3) Kurt Warner - 96.9
4) Drew Brees - 96.2
5) Peyton Manning - 95.0
6) Aaron Rodgers - 93.8
7) Matt Schaub - 92.7
8) Tony Romo - 91.4
9) Jeff Garcia - 90.2
10) Matt Cassel - 89.4
**24) Ben Roethlisberger


Now you look at these statistics you see that Peyton Manning led all QB's by being in the top 10 all five times followed by Drew Brees (4), Tony Romo (3), Donovan McNabb (3), Ben Roethlisberger (3), Tom Brady (3). Convenient that my all of my top five QB's are on this list numerous times.

Lets not take a look at YPA

2004

1) Peyton Manning
2) Ben Roethlisberger
3) Daunte Culpepper
*4) Donovan McNabb
5) Trent Green
6) Marc Bulger
7) Drew Brees
8) Jake Plummer
9) Brian Griese
**10) Tom Brady


2005

**1) Ben Roethlisberger
2) Peyton Manning
3) Marc Bulger
4) Trent Green
5) Jake Delhomme
6) Tom Brady
*7) Matt Hasselbeck
8) Carson Palmer
9) Jake Plummer
10) Drew Brees


2006

1) Tony Romo
2) Donovan McNabb
3) Drew Brees
**4) Peyton Manning
5) Carson Palmer
6) Damon Huard
7) Ben Roethlisberger
8) Philip Rivers
9) Marc Bulger
10) David Garrard


2007

*1) Tom Brady
2) Tony Romo
3) Peyton Manning
4) Ben Roethlisberger
5) Brett Farve
6) Matt Schaub
7) David Garrard
8) Kurt Warner
9) Jay Cutler
10) Jeff Garcia


2008

1) Philip Rivers
2) Matt Schaub
3) Drew Brees
4) Jake Delhomme
5) Matt Ryan
6) Chad Pennington
*7) Kurt Warner
8) Tony Romo
9) Aaron Rodgers
10) Jay Cutler

Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees lead the way with four appearances on the list and behind them are Donovan McNabb (3), Tom Brady (3), and Tony Romo (3). Once again look at the top players.

Look at the completion percentage and I bet you that it shows the same players year after year. Now I know you see McNabb and Brees behind Ben on my list and the only difference is one thing. Super Bowl rings. That is what it comes down to. Brady has three, Ben has two, Peyton has one and McNabb and Brees has none. Big deal there. That is what stats do not tell you.

You might ask why I don't have Tony Romo sprinkled in there somewhere. Win a playoff game then you can maybe talk. For real.

What do you guys think. Is there a different stat that would mean a lot for QB's? I thought this would be a good start and from what you see those are the top QB's. And for the record I made my QB ranking way before I wrote this post. You can ask anyone. That is how I rank them. Could I put Ben ahead of Peyton? Maybe. I think in the next few years he will pass him but I think it is good enough for now.

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