This year has felt a little like a roller coaster when it comes to how Ben has played – yet in reality, it’s probably one of his best seasons.Â I’m the first to yell and scream that the O-line is a mess and that Ben holds the ball too long but post-season, those issues seem to have disappeared.Â The O-line looks strong and Ben has been able to do what he needs to do.Â His greatest weakness – not throwing the ball quickly – is also his greatest strength.Â While he holds onto the ball, he’s also able to extend the play so that receivers have the time to make something happen.
The Steelers hurry-up offense and their play within the two minute warning is amazing.Â Ben is a leader and is able to move the ball down the field, first down after first down.
Since his rookie year, he’s evolved as a QB.Â His reaction to defenders after the snap is quick and accurate.Â Because he moves out of the pocket often, though, he risks the sack, but he gets the ball where it needs to go when it needs to get there.Â Ben can adlib on a play, if what he called won’t work, he’s able to extend long enough until something does happen.
In contrast, Warner is a seasoned QB.Â His strength is picking up the blitz or what the defense is going to do.Â He gets the ball off quickly and with receivers like Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston, he’s able to get the ball downfield.Â His weakness is his reaction to pressure. He’s a playbook kind of QB, he follows a play exactly.
And because Warner can pick up the blitz or adjust priot to the snap on a play, I don’t expect LeBeau to focus on complex blitz packages but just apply straight pressure with Woodley and Harrison on the sides.Â I expect Harrison to be held A LOT during the Super Bowl – question is whether it will get called or not.
Overall, I think we have two good quarterbacks playing in Super Bowl XLIII.Â But I think Ben’s experience, athleticism and strength will trump Warners experience.
This season, Ben has completed 281-469 passes for 3,301 yards and 17 touchdowns.Â He’s also thrown 15 interceptions and been sacked 46 times.Â That’s tough, but he’s taken it.Â Even when most QB’sÂ are sacked for a 5-7 yard loss, you can count on Ben to give up 14 or more! But then he moves on to complete for a first down…it’s not pretty, but it’s winning.
And while Warner has completed 401-598 passes for 4,583 yards, which on the surface is better than Ben’s statistics, he hasn’t met a defense quite like the Steelers this season.
I expect the pressure to make him less accurate and anxious to get the ball out which leads to mistakes.Â While I don’t think this is going to be an easy game by any means, I still believe that the Steelers are the best team in the NFL.Â They had what many analysts said was the most difficult schedule of the season, and they prevailed.
This game goes to Ben and the Steelers Defense.Â I believe Ben will end up MVP of the Super Bowl.
What does everyone else think?Â Warner or Ben?