What's the difference between these two QBs? Well, the obvious answer is one has hair extensions and one doesn't. One is married to a supermodel, and the other isn't. One has three Super Bowl rings and the other only two (for now).
Those are all fine and dandy, but today's Jets-Patriots game showed the most important difference between Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger. When one of them is pressured, he throws the ball away or falls to the ground, while the other one moves around and makes things happen allowing his team to win.
I don't know if it is only since his knee injury or if I just never noticed it before, but Tom Brady is a different QB when you knock him around a little. After getting sacked and hit by the Jets a few times, it was obvious Brady was throwing the ball away early, or worse, going down early.
This is a stark contrast to Ben Roethlisberger, who stands back there, shakes off defenders like mosquitoes and creates plays on the fly.
He may be the MVP this year, but I don't care. If you take away his great coach and offensive line, Tom Brady can't hold a candle to Big Ben.
Yes, Brady is a classic drop-back passer, but he is a statue. Hit him a few times and you mess with his whole game. Ben is at his best when he is flushed from the pocket. That is when he improvises and he is most dangerous.
Some call it street ball, some call it worse. But playing behind a patchwork line that wasn't that great to begin with, Ben takes his team on his shoulders and makes it happen week in and week out, year in and year out. In spite of this, he is not mentioned when listing the elite QBs in this league.
If I were building a team around a QB, which one would I take? It's not even close. If I had a great offensive line and the rest of the team was set and I needed someone to stand back there and throw, Brady would do. But if you want to build your team around a leader who makes it happen, Ben is the man.
He has brought the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game in four of his seven years in the league. He has the highest winning percentage of any QB in playoff history. If the Steelers win this year, he will have as many rings as Brady, and he already has more than Manning.
Yet Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and, yes, Tom Brady are considered the elites. It is time he gets his due. Ben Roethlisberger is at the top of the list in NFL QBs today. The rest of the league should acknowledge it!
By Alan Shimel