Manning, No. 31 in this year's player ranking, is behind Aaron Rodgers (1), Drew Brees (2), Tom Brady (4) and Ben Roethlisberger (30). Now, there's one question I think is fair to ask with regard to how the top five QBs are stacked up: Has Manning overtaken Roethlisberger?
Last season, Manning passed for more yards and threw more touchdowns than his Pittsburgh Steelers counterpart, compiling 4,933 yards and 29 TDs against 16 interceptions. Roethlisberger recorded 4,077 passing yards, 21 TDs and 14 interceptions. Manning completed 61 percent of his passes, while Roethlisberger connected on 63.2 percent of his attempts.
Over the past three seasons, Roethlisberger has completed 901 out of 1,408 passes (64 percent) for 11,605 yards, with 64 TDs and 31 interceptions. During that same span, Manning had 1,015 completions in 1,637 attempts (62 percent) for 12,956 yards, 87 TDs and 55 interceptions.
Roethlisberger clearly does a much better job at taking care of the football, throwing 24 less picks than Manning since the 2009-10 campaign, but the New York Giants QB has a huge edge in passing yards and putting points on the board.
Manning and Roethlisberger being ranked back-to-back denotes how close they are in the minds of their peers. (For your information, NFL fans ranked Manning 11th and Roethlisberger 40th on their Top 100 Players of 2012 list.)
So, what's the tiebreaker? ... To me it's Manning winning a Super Bowl (and the game's MVP honors) nearly five months ago. They each have great traits--e.g., Roesthlisberger's elusiveness and ability to scramble in third-and-long situations; Manning's knack for making big plays in big moments--but my vote, in this instance, would go to the quarterback who helped his team win the 2011-12 season's final game.