When the Steelers play the Giants on Sunday, there will be something swirling at New York's MetLife Stadium that has nothing to do with a superstorm. It's the long-running debate over whether Ben Roethlisberger
or Eli Manning
is the best quarterback from the 2004 draft.
Roethlisberger and Manning are known for winning Super Bowls (they've combined to win four of the eight played since they entered the league). They're known for making big plays in big moments. They're known for being tough, albeit in different ways. And they have been forever linked since the day they were drafted in the first round eight years ago. Manning was selected first overall, and Roethlisberger was taken at No. 11. The margin between them is much, much closer now.
Choosing between Roethlisberger and Manning is difficult because there really isn't a right answer or a wrong one. It ultimately comes down to preference and perspective. In his preseason quarterback rankings, John Clayton put Roethlisberger at No. 4 and Manning at No. 5. In Ron Jaworski's rankings, Manning is No. 5 and Roethlisberger is No. 6.
"By any measure, in terms of how you would grade them -- wins, production, leading your team from behind, frightening the other team, forcing the other team to adjust to what they do -- they're virtually identical," said Bill Polian, an NFL analyst for ESPN Insider who spent 24 seasons as a general manager in the league.