2021 Offseason Questions: Who Had Better 2020 Between Big Ben And Philip Rivers?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Who had the better 2020 season: Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers?

Now that Philip Rivers has announced his retirement, I think it would be an interesting conversation to have as to who is the better quarterback between the two right now—or at least, in 2020. Both had successful seasons, taking their teams to the playoffs, though would only make it to the first round.

Rivers played 16 games, completing 369 of 543 passes for 4169 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt, but only threw 24 touchdowns, versus 11 interceptions. He was more accurate and more efficient than Roethlisberger, but with a lower touchdown rate and higher interception rate.

As for Roethlisberger, after missing most of the 2019 season, playing in 15 games, he completed 399 of 608 pass attempts for 3803 yards, averaging only 6.3 yards per attempt, but with 33 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions.

Obviously you can’t go by just the numbers whenever you’re comparing two people, unless they make it glaringly obvious who is the better player, and it’s also worth noting that they were among the most well-protected quarterbacks in the league.

So who had the best 2020 season among the two remaining quarterbacks from the 2004 draft class? This will be Rivers’ last season, but Roethlisberger is likely to play for at least one more. But if they were both to return, which would you rather have for the 2021 season?

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