Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Because of the famous draft-day trade in 2004, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers will always be compared. Manning has the Super Bowl ring, but Rivers has put up better numbers. And don't forget that Ben Roethlisberger was also in that '04 first round.
With that in mind, our friends from ESPN's Stats & Information put together a nice statistical breakdown of how the three quarterbacks have performed this season. Obviously, Manning's in a bad place right now but his numbers aren't as bad as you might imagine. Look how lethal Roethlisberger is on play-action passes. He's nearly flawless, while Rivers and Manning have been pretty pedestrian. For the play-action game to work, you need to make a commitment to the running game. That's something the Steelers and Giants haven't always done this season.
Manning was on a roll with the deep ball through the first five games, but that part of his game has fallen off the map in recent weeks. His dropoff coincides with his foot injury, although he's refused to use that as an excuse. To me, it just looks like he's playing poorly right now.