This week’s contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles could possibly have one of the best quarterback duels of Week 5. Philadelphia’s Michael Vick and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger are both cream of the crop as far as quarterbacks in the NFL. However, one question remains in this match-up. Who will have the better game?
Big Ben is averaging 301.3 passing yards per game, while Vick’s average passing yards per game is 286.5. The one glaring difference between the two signal callers is turnovers. Vick has thrown six interceptions in Philly’s first four games, while Roethlisberger has only thrown one pick thus far this season. In addition, Big Ben has thrown twice as many touchdown passes (8) as Vick has (4).
Both quarterbacks have distributed the ball fairly well, with Roethlisberger connecting with 11 different receivers and Vick throwing completions to nine targets. The two veterans haven’t showed much favoritism among their respective receiving corps. Philly and Pittsburgh both have four receivers with at least 10 receptions on the year.
Looking at the numbers of both quarterbacks, it’s hard to determine who will have the better game on Sunday afternoon. Both teams have a solid group of receivers, and both Roethlisberger and Vick are great with extending pass plays with their feet.
Delving deeper into this contest, we can focus on both teams’ defensive backs. Philadelphia has a tandem of cornerbacks, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, which may cause some frustration for Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. On the other hand, Pittsburgh has Troy Polamalu returning to the starting lineup, adding his ball-hawking skills to a defense that has been lacking takeaways.
One other intangible that I’ll mention is that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a record of 4-1 when coming off a bye week.
With that being said, I believe that this battle of the quarterbacks just may live up to the much-anticipated hype. It may also equal the attention of the Peyton Manning–Tom Brady quarterback duel that will happen this week as well.
If I had to choose, which I will, I would have to say that Big Ben will have the better game. Vick has turned the ball over too many times this season so far, and I think that having Pittsburgh add Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison to cause havoc will be a bit too much for Vick to handle on the road.
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