Beef the Series: Big Ben vs Matt Ryan

Andrew and Eric fight over the rights to hump female hippos QB rankings
Photo Credit: nilsrinaldi

Beef the Series is back and we’re kicking off the season with a battle of the Quarterbacks. Episode one: Ben Roethlisberger versus Matt Ryan. What’s beef you may ask? Well in the immortal words of the Notorious B.I.G., “Beef is when I see you. Guaranteed to be in I.C.U.”. The Sons of Roto composite QB rankings are out and there is some beef brewing between Eric Yeomans and Andrew in regards to the rankings of Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan. There is only one way to settle this: Beef the Series. Both Eric and Andrew will present their cases and a reader’s poll will decided the outcome. Things get heated after the break.

Eric’s Ranks: Ben Roethlisberger (No. 8), Matt Ryan (No. 11)
Andrew’s Ranks: Matt Ryan (No. 8), Ben Roethlisberger (No. 15)
Ben Roethlisberger ADP: Y! (52), ESPN (56), MDC (73)
Matt Ryan ADP: Y! (58), ESPN (62), MDC (103)
Vegas Odds: Roethlisberger -205, Ryan +165

Andrew is the instigator:

I like to cook my burgers over an open flame (eat it George Foreman) so raking this berger over coals will come naturally for me. I have two main arguments against Roethlisberger. The first is that his foot presents clear and present danger and the second is that he is overrated. As our very own Physical Therapist, Don Brown, surmised, “The fact that Big Ben has a known fracture that’s not fully healed (and never was) is a cause for concern, and if the fibrous tissue holding the fracture site together is disrupted or aggravated Ben will require surgical fixation to resolve the issue” [Don’s DDNTL]. As for Big Ben being overrated, the guy has played seven seasons and has bested 20 (total) touchdowns twice. He averages only 3,215 yards passing per season. I don’t care how many Super Bowls he’s been to or how much Al Michaels loves the guy, he is not a starting fantasy QB in my not-so-humble opinion. On top of all this he still has to go to court for the rape allegations. Something tells me there will be more charges brought against him when he flops this season and angry managers are calling for his bloated head.

The case for Matt Ryan is simple. He has exceptional pedigree (3rd overall pick in ’08), is young and improving and the Falcons made a conscience effort to improve their pass game by trading up to draft Julio Jones (6th overall pick). With each passing season Ryan has increased his TD total while decreasing the number of interceptions he’s thrown (28 TD to 9 INT in ’10). The Falcons are letting him take over the offense, he threw the ball 571 times last season (120 more than the previous).  As Ryan continues to improve and has the weapons at his disposal are better than ever I expect him to make the leap to elite status, joining the Bradys, Rivers and Romos of the league. 

Eric retaliates:

Mr. Million Dollar Sleeper definitely knows his wrestling story lines, so it’s not surprising that he puts me against my Falcons QB, Matt Ryan, and into the corner of the league heel, Ben Roethlisberger. But this one shouldn’t even come close, as Roethlisberger will end up giving Ryan some sweet chin music, and show all that his foot is more than fine enough to kick ass and quarterback on.

Over the first 15 weeks of 2009 (Week 16 doesn’t count as a real week, everybody knows that), Roethlisberger outpaced quarterback juggernauts such as Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, and Andrew’s favorite Croc-wearing quarterback, Brett Favre, to finish as the 4th highest quarterback per game. Then last year, after missing his first four games because Roger Goodell is jealous of his smooth game with the ladies, Roethlisberger again managed to finish in the upper-echelon of quarterbacks with a 7th place per game finish. With Pittsburgh moving to a more pass-heavy attack, with arguably the most skilled vertical weapons Roethlisberger’s had, there’s no question that he belongs in that top tier.

Now let’s see how Ryan faired over that same span. Well in 2009, he finished an atrocious 20th per game, behind such greats as Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer. And last year he still only finished 14th per game, with about the same amount of production as MDS all-star, David Garrard. With the addition of Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers, there’s no doubt that Ryan takes the next step, evidence of my 11th overall rating. But with Michael Turner still around to handle the redzone work, and Jason Snelling brought back to take over once Turner eventually breaks down, Ryan will again play the elite game manager role, and owners will be a year early on the break out season.