While the world is content about talking up the next great quarterback, they should realize that two greats will be facing each other this Sunday, as Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have many parallels between their careers.
Both quarterbacks were drafted in 2004. Manning was originally selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers, before demanding a trade to New York. The Giants selected Philip Rivers fourth overall, and sent Rivers to Manning in a trade.
The situation surrounding Manning overshadowed the next quarterback taken in the draft, Roethlisberger, who was selected 11th overall by the Steelers.
Eli and Ben are both two-time Super Bowl Champions, while Roethlisberger has appeared in three Super Bowl games overall.
The two quarterbacks have each been selected to four Pro Bowls.
Manning is the only one who has been named Super Bowl MVP, however; a feat he accomplished twice.
Both QBs have only ever played for two head coaches in their careers as well.
Roethlisberger started under Bill Cowher, and continued on with Steelers current head coach Mike Tomlin, while Eli Manning had been with former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin up until this season, when former offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo took over the team.
Yet the similarities don't end there.
Each quarterback has won over 100 games in their careers.
Neither QB has ever finished a game in a tie.
Ben holds the regular season edge with a 119-60-0 mark, while Eli has a 105-89-0 record. In the postseason, Eli has lost 3 less games (8-3) but Ben has won 3 more games as well (11-6) on count of Roethlisberger appearing in the playoffs eight times to Manning's 5.
Manning has thrown for 47,089 passing yards in his career while Ben isn't far behind with 45,740. The disparity is due to Eli's health, having played in every Giants game since 2005, for a total of 196 appearances to Ben's 181.
Ben holds the edge in completion percentage with a 64.1% mark while Eli falls just shy of 60% (59.6%). The pair's touchdown numbers are similar as well, with Eli having thrown 314 TDs to Ben's 295.
The major difference in the two's passing game? Interceptions.
Roethlisberger has thrown 154 picks in regular season games on 5796 attempts to Manning's 209 giveaways on 6640 tries, leaving Eli with a higher interception percentage per attempt than Ben.
Manning also holds a tie for an NFL record for the longest pass (99 yards) but Ben is no stranger to the deep ball, with a 95-yard completion on his resume.
Lifetime, Roethlisberger has the better QB rating as well, with a 94.3 rating to Manning's 83.9.
What an odd link, but the former 2000 NFL draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers played with Roethlisberger in Ben's rookie season (2004) catching 32 passes for 629 yards and 5 touchdowns, before leaving to join the New York Giants, where the WR would catch 33 TDs with Eli Manning over a 4 year period, before missing 2 seasons due to a personal conduct suspension.
Burress would resurface in 2011 with the Jets, before ending his career back in Pittsburgh: catching his final 3 career receptions, and a touchdown, from Ben Roethlisberger.
As expected with their pedigrees, each quarterback owns a number of their team's records, as well as NFL records.
Manning NFL Records
- Most 4th-quarter touchdown passes in a season (15 in 2011)
- Tied NFL Record longest pass completion and touchdown (99 yards in 2011)
- Tied NFL Record most game-winning drives in a season (8 in 2011)
- Most road wins in a single regular season and postseason by a starting quarterback (10)
- Most passing yards in a single postseason (1,219 yards in 2011)
Manning Franchise Records
- Most passing attempts (season): 618 (2015)
- Most completions (season): 387 (2015)
- Most passing yards (season): 4,933 (2011)
- Most passing yards (career) 44,394 (as of the 2016)
- Longest completed pass: 99 yards (2011)
- Most interceptions thrown (season): 27 (2013)
- Most 4th-quarter touchdown passes, season: 15 (NFL record)
- Most consecutive starts by a quarterback: 194 (183 regular season + 11 playoff games)
- Most consecutive pass completions, game: 21 (2011)
- Most comeback wins in the 4th quarter (season): 5 (2007, 2011), tied
- Most game-winning drives in the 4th quarter/overtime (season): 6 (2007, 2011)
- Most touchdown passes: 309 (As of 2016)
- Most interceptions: 209 (As of 2016)
Roethlisberger NFL Records
- Most regular season wins in a season, rookie QB – 13 (2004)
- Longest regular season win streak to start a career for a NFL QB – 15 games (won all 13 starts in the 2004 season, won first 2 games of the 2005 season)
- Most wins as a starting quarterback in first five NFL seasons (reg. season only) – 51 (from 2004 to 2008)
- Highest completion percentage, rookie season – 66.4% (2004)
- Highest single-game completion percentage, rookie season (min. 20 attempts) – 84.0% (completed 21/25 passes at Dallas on 10/17/2004)
- Most games with a completion percentage of 70.0% or higher, rookie season (min. 10 attempts) – 6 (2004)
- Most games with a completion percentage of 80.0% or higher, single season (min. 10 attempts) – 4 (2007)
- (Tie) Most touchdown passes, Monday Night Football game – 5 (11/5/2007 vs. Baltimore Ravens)
- First QB to start two Conference Championship games in first two seasons in the NFL (2004 & 2005)
- Youngest starting QB ever to win the Super Bowl (2005; second-youngest QB to play in the Super Bowl, behind Dan Marino)
- Second quarterback in NFL history, along with Peyton Manning, to register three perfect passing games during the regular season, and the only quarterback to ever register two perfect passing games in one regular season.
- Lowest passer rating for a Super Bowl winning QB – 22.6 (Completed 9 of 21 passes for zero touchdowns with two interceptions)
Roethlisberger Franchise Records
- 119–59 (.669) record as starting QB (includes a 10–5 playoff record)
- Highest passer rating (Min. 100 attempts) – 94.0
- Highest completion percentage (Min. 100 attempts) — 63.9%
- Highest yards per attempt (Min. 100 attempts) – 7.93
- Longest pass completion – 95-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace on 10/23/2011 against the Arizona Cardinals
- Most pass completions – 3,298
- Most times sacked – 429
- Most 200+ yard passing games – 124 (includes nine playoff games)
- Most 300+ yard passing games – 41 (includes one playoff game)
- Most consecutive games with 300+ yards passing – 3 (from October 23, 2011 through November 6, 2011, from October 26, 2014 to November 9, 2014 and from November 30, 2014 to December 14, 2014)
- Most 400+ yard passing games – 7
- Most 500+ yard Passing games – 2
- Most 3000-yard passing seasons – 9 (2006–2014)
- Most consecutive 3000-yard passing seasons – 9 (2006–2014)
- Most 4000-Yard Passing Seasons – 4 (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014)
- Most consecutive 4000-yard passing seasons – 2 (2013–2014)
- Most 3+ TD passing games – 31 (includes one playoff game)
- Most 4+ TD passing games – 9
- Most 5+ TD passing games – 4
- Most 6+ TD passing games – 2
- Most consecutive games with a TD pass – 30 (from September 9, 2012 through September 7, 2014)
- Most 4th quarter comeback wins – 23
- Most games with a passer rating over 100.0 (regular season; min. 10 attempts) – 66
- Most games with a perfect passer rating – 3
- Most games with 40+ pass attempts – 34
- Most games with 20+ completions – 80
- Most games with 30+ completions – 11
- Most games with completion percentage of at least 60% – 109
- Most games with completion percentage of at least 70% – 46
- Biggest contract in Steelers history (eight years, $102 million)
Roethlisberger Season Records (Franchise)
- Highest completion percentage – 67.1% (2014)
- Most touchdown passes – 32 (2007, 2014)
- Highest touchdown pass percentage – 7.92% (2007)
- Highest yards per attempt – 8.90 (2005)
- Highest passer rating – 104.1 (2007)
- Most passing yards – 4,952 (2014)
- Most 200+ yard passing games – 15 (2014)
- Most 300+ yard passing games – 9 (2014)
- Most 400+ yard passing games – 2 (2009, 2014)
- Most 500+ yard passing games – 1 (2009, 2014)
- Most 3+ TD passing games – 5 (2007, 2009)
- (Tie) Most 4+ TD passing games – 3 (2007)
- Most pass completions – 408 (2014)
- Lowest interception percentage – 1.29% (2010; 5 INTs on 389 attempts)
- Fewest interceptions (Min. 10 attempts/game) – 5 (2010)
Roethlisberger Single-Game Records (Franchise)
- Most passing yards – 522 (Completed 40 of 49 passes for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns on October 26, 2014 against the Indianapolis Colts)
- Most pass completions – 40 (Completed 40 of 49 passes for 522 yards on October 26, 2014 against the Indianapolis Colts)
- (Tie) Most consecutive passes completed, single game – 15 (Completed 15 straight on November 26, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Bubby Brister also completed 15 straight on October 1, 1989 against the Detroit Lions.)
- Highest completion %, game (min. 20 attempts) – 85.7% (Completed 18 out of 21 attempts on November 26, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football)
- Most touchdown passes, game – 6 (Threw six TD passes against the Indianapolis Colts on October 26, 2014 and again the following week on November 2, 2014 against the Baltimore Ravens)
Ben and Eli are not names regularly discussed among the league's elite. You can even say they are disrespected in that manner. However, when the dust is settled, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning will go down as two of the game's all-time greats, and without a doubt, are two future Hall of Famers.
Two Hall of Famers who will face off against one another this Sunday.