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fordfixer
10-14-2009, 12:16 AM
Big Ben's numbers place him in MVP race

By Mark Kaboly, Daily News Sports Editor
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 47850.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_647850.html)


Ben Roethlisberger has the Super Bowl victories two of them in his first five years, to be exact.

He has the won-loss record 54-22 as a starter and 8-2 in the postseason.

He has the accolades Pro Bowl representative, Rookie of the Year, team captain and 18 fourth-quarter comeback victories.

But one thing missing from Roethlisberger's impressive resume is a Most Valuable Player award. In his first five seasons, he didn't earn so much as one vote in the annual Associated Press MVP balloting.

The knock on the Steelers' franchise quarterback, the blemish that kept him from being mentioned among the best signal-callers in the NFL, was that he just didn't have the numbers.

Now, he does.

Through nearly a third of the season, Roethlisberger is in the top seven of every major NFL passing category.

He has thrown for 1,470 yards, which is second behind Peyton Manning and well ahead of other top quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, and he is on pace for 26 touchdown passes and a 102.6 quarterback rating.

"He is having a phenomenal year right now," receiver Hines Ward said.

And an unusual one for him.

Roethlisberger has never finished higher than 13th in the league in passing yards and has been routinely in the bottom half of nearly every passing statistic since bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2004.

"I have never been a big stat guy," Roethlisberger said. "Stats for me are winning and losing and, to me, that is what defines a great quarterback and a great leader."

Despite that, Roethlisberger is compiling the stats quickly.

Roethlisberger, who already owns eight Steelers passing records, is on pace to break five more (yards, attempts, completions, single season 300-yard passing games and completion percentage). If he continues his pace, his 73.8 completion percentage would shatter former Cincinnati quarterback and Roethlisberger's current quarterback coach Ken Anderson's NFL record of 70.55 set in 1982.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians figures it is about time Roethlisberger gets to join in the fun and toss the ball all over the field.

"He has sat in this offense and handed the ball off 40 times a game and was able to win," Arians said. "It is a lot more fun when you are throwing it and having success."

Arians hasn't been hesitant about letting his quarterback throw at any given point in a game, whether it is the first series or late in the game when the Steelers are trying to run out the clock.

"That's (Roethlisberger) growing into the offense," backup quarterback Charlie Batch said. "Bruce has been able expand the offense around him."

Batch said the biggest change in the offensive scheme is the number of pass protections that Arians has added to his game plan. Not long ago, Roethlisberger wasn't able to handle such a responsibility.

"When you come in and all of a sudden you have 10 or 12 different protections, then that is something you have to credit Ben to be able to handle it," Batch said.

Arians is comfortable enough to turn over the no-huddle offense to Roethlisberger and let him call his own plays in that package. He allows Roethlisberger to make checks at the line when necessary and, most importantly, is at ease letting his quarterback try to kill the clock late in games with the pass rather than the traditional Steelers staple of running the ball to exhaust time.

"I understand what is going on," Roethlisberger said. "I feel very comfortable and confident out there, and it shows."

Roethlisberger has thrown at least 30 passes in every game this year, has surpassed 300 yards twice and has put together 123-plus passer rating games the past two weeks, both of which were wins.

The only quarterback in the league who can come close to matching that is Manning. Still, Roethlisberger isn't considered in an elite class just yet.

Tight end Heath Miller doesn't understand why.

"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be up there with (Manning)," Miller said. "He has everything to prove it and is playing like it week in and week out."

The rest of the league apparently thinks Roethlisberger stats in hand or not is actually getting too much hype.

A recent Sports Illustrated poll asked 239 current players who the most overrated player in the league.

Roethlisberger came in at a stunning No. 5.

"That really doesn't make much sense at all," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He has won two Super Bowls and he is been in the league, what, five years?. In my opinion, that says a lot."

Coach Mike Tomlin has noticed something different from Roethlisberger this year. It has nothing to do with statistics, but more with leadership.

"This guy has developed into a veteran quality leader of this team," Tomlin said. "His sole motivation is winning."

But what about those numbers he is posting?

"Numbers mean only one thing and that is Pro Bowls." Arians said. "And we are about Super Bowls."

Ben by the numbers

Completions

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 133

2. Tom Brady, New England - 127

2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 127

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 117

5. Matt Schaub, Houston - 115

6. Kerry Collins, Tennessee - 106

6. Kurt Warner, Arizona - 106

QB Rating

1. P. Manning, Indianapolis - 114.1

2. E.Manning, NY Giants - 111.7

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 108.4

4. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 104.1

5. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle - 103.1

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta - 102.9

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 102.6

Completion Percentage

1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 73.8

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 73.5

3. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 69.1

4. Chad Pennington, Miami - 68.9

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 67.4

6. Jason Campbell, Washington - 66.7

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta - 66.7

Touchdowns

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 12

2. Eli Manning, NY Giants - 10

2. Matt Schaub, Houston - 10

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans - 9

4. Brett Favre, Minnesota - 9

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 9

7. Jay Cutler, Chicago - 8

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh 8

Yards

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis - 1,645

2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh - 1,470

3. Matt Schaub, Houston - 1,418

4. Tom Brady, New England - 1,344

5. Tony Romo, Dallas - 1,341

6. Joe Flacco, Baltimore - 1,289

7. Philip Rivers, San Diego - 1,245

Scarletfire1970
10-14-2009, 06:10 AM
Keep dreaming. One of the Mannings will be getting the MVP this year no matter what Ben does. In fact, nobody is even talking about Ben's great statistical start outside of Pittsburgh. It's all about the Mannings, Brady, Flacco, Ryan, Cutler, McNabb, Brees, Orten, and to some extent, Palmer. In fact he wasn't even up for that Air player of the week award. It was the Manning boys and Orten.

JTP53609
10-14-2009, 07:26 AM
that would be too much of a positive to mention Big Ben for MVP, for some reason it is more typical to bash the "game manager" that he is, 2 super bowls are not what matters, its all about how good you look when playing........and as we all know santonio won the super bowl last year for us, nothing to do with big ben, thats why he did not get sbmvp....(no knock on santonio, but come on, how does #7 not get mvp)

RuthlessBurgher
10-14-2009, 10:28 AM
that would be too much of a positive to mention Big Ben for MVP, for some reason it is more typical to bash the "game manager" that he is, 2 super bowls are not what matters, its all about how good you look when playing........and as we all know santonio won the super bowl last year for us, nothing to do with big ben, thats why he did not get sbmvp....(no knock on santonio, but come on, how does #7 not get mvp)

I would have voted for Tone. When injury limited Hines to only 2 catches, and Nate only had 1, Tone picked up the slack with 9. His 131 receiving yards were more than half of the Steeler passing totals, and he had the only passing TD. He caught all but one ball on the final drive. Tone stepped up big time, and deserved that award.

JTP53609
10-14-2009, 11:03 AM
that would be too much of a positive to mention Big Ben for MVP, for some reason it is more typical to bash the "game manager" that he is, 2 super bowls are not what matters, its all about how good you look when playing........and as we all know santonio won the super bowl last year for us, nothing to do with big ben, thats why he did not get sbmvp....(no knock on santonio, but come on, how does #7 not get mvp)

I would have voted for Tone. When injury limited Hines to only 2 catches, and Nate only had 1, Tone picked up the slack with 9. His 131 receiving yards were more than half of the Steeler passing totals, and he had the only passing TD. He caught all but one ball on the final drive. Tone stepped up big time, and deserved that award.


got loads of respect so i respectfuly disagree, santonio was outstanding, no denying that, but i think ben should of got the mvp, not just because of the final drive but the entire game he was making something out of nothing...either way, one of them should of won it, im just waiting for Ben to get some kind of individual award, maybe team MVP for once...

RuthlessBurgher
10-14-2009, 11:28 AM
that would be too much of a positive to mention Big Ben for MVP, for some reason it is more typical to bash the "game manager" that he is, 2 super bowls are not what matters, its all about how good you look when playing........and as we all know santonio won the super bowl last year for us, nothing to do with big ben, thats why he did not get sbmvp....(no knock on santonio, but come on, how does #7 not get mvp)

I would have voted for Tone. When injury limited Hines to only 2 catches, and Nate only had 1, Tone picked up the slack with 9. His 131 receiving yards were more than half of the Steeler passing totals, and he had the only passing TD. He caught all but one ball on the final drive. Tone stepped up big time, and deserved that award.


got loads of respect so i respectfuly disagree, santonio was outstanding, no denying that, but i think ben should of got the mvp, not just because of the final drive but the entire game he was making something out of nothing...either way, one of them should of won it, im just waiting for Ben to get some kind of individual award, maybe team MVP for once...

Ben is undoubtedly team MVP up to this point this season.

stlrz d
10-14-2009, 11:32 AM
He had MVP numbers in 2007...if not for Thom Bwady.

flippy
10-14-2009, 03:18 PM
I'll take another SuperBowl please.

SteelCrazy
10-14-2009, 03:30 PM
I'll take another SuperBowl please.


I'm with flippy on this one, plus, up to this point Peyton deserves it. He is #1 or 2 in every catergory that Ben is in..........Ben is in the race, but that is all for now, in it not winning it.

Scarletfire1970
10-14-2009, 04:31 PM
Like I said, Ben is way down on the list for most voters. In fact he probably isn't on the list at all.

flippy
10-14-2009, 05:35 PM
The 2 guys on 1st and 10 this morning both said Indy and Peyton look great and they're the best team in football, but they'll likely lose to the Steelers in the playoffs.

NWNewell
10-14-2009, 06:05 PM
The 2 guys on 1st and 10 this morning both said Indy and Peyton look great and they're the best team in football, but they'll likely lose to the Steelers in the playoffs.

:wft If that is not a contradiction in terms, I don't know what is. Got to love analysts.

TallyStiller
10-14-2009, 06:35 PM
Ben is going to have to put up MVP type numbers for us to get to January this year. The defense is going to miss Smitty WAY more than it missed Troy. We'll need to outscore a few people if we're going to win until he comes back.

Thing about great teams is, they can beat you in all sorts of ways. Remember the '78 and '79 Steelers... the offense picked it up, with T Bradshaw setting all kinds of team records and leading the league in passing in '78 while the defense started to show a few signs of age. In '79, John Stallworth and LC stepped up when Mean Joe and Swannie were hurt.

Guys pick up other guys on great teams, and now, with the defense struggling a bit, it's Ben's time to shine. Give the MVP to Peyton, or Brees, or whoever, but give us the Lombardi. This team can elevate to the level of true greatness if Ben can do it.

Scarletfire1970
10-14-2009, 07:25 PM
If we can't stop the run with Aaron Smith, I don't know what Ben and the offense can do because they won't be seeing the ball much as the other team can play ball control and have our defense out there most of the game.

RuthlessBurgher
10-14-2009, 08:10 PM
The 2 guys on 1st and 10 this morning both said Indy and Peyton look great and they're the best team in football, but they'll likely lose to the Steelers in the playoffs.

:wft If that is not a contradiction in terms, I don't know what is. Got to love analysts.

Sounds like they know what they are talking about to me. The Colts look like the best team now, in the regular season. But that doesn't mean that they won't throw up on their shoes come playoff time when it really matters. Sounds like the Colts to me. And just like the Steelers may not look like world-beaters early in the season, they are the opposite...they rise to the occasion when the pressure turns on come January.

NWNewell
10-14-2009, 09:13 PM
The 2 guys on 1st and 10 this morning both said Indy and Peyton look great and they're the best team in football, but they'll likely lose to the Steelers in the playoffs.

:wft If that is not a contradiction in terms, I don't know what is. Got to love analysts.

Sounds like they know what they are talking about to me. The Colts look like the best team now, in the regular season. But that doesn't mean that they won't throw up on their shoes come playoff time when it really matters. Sounds like the Colts to me. And just like the Steelers may not look like world-beaters early in the season, they are the opposite...they rise to the occasion when the pressure turns on come January.

I understand what they are saying.... but if you are correct in assuming that a team will play very well yet loose to another specifically designated team when it matters, then can you really say that team is the best team in football?

I say no. To be the best, you have to win... when it matters most.