Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has only been back for 4 games, but he has made an impact in so many ways, especially on 3rd downs. Through the first 4 games of the season, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch combined for 16 completions on 30 attempts on the 3rd downs for 174 yards. That included one touchdown and one interception and a YPA (yards per attempt) of 5.80. The QB rating for that stat line is 67.9. They also combined for just 8 1st downs converted out of those 30 attempts.
Roethlisberger on the other hand has been blistering it on 3rd downs in his 4 games back as he is 21 of 33 for 319 yards. He has 4 touchdowns with only 1 interception and a gaudy 9.67 YPA. His QB rating on that line is 123.2, a league best right now. Of course he only has about half the attempts that most of the starters around the league have through week 9 as the table below shows. Not showing in those number is the fact that Roethlisberger has converted 16 of those 33 3rd down throws into 1st downs. That is almost 50%.
If that is not enough, the first 4 games without Roethlisberger saw the Steelers convert only 10 of the 49 total opportunities they had for a 20% conversion rate. In the last 4 games since Big Ben has returned, the Steelers are 22 of 53 on all 3rd downs for a 42% conversion rate.
In the last table I have also included the career 3rd down passing numbers of Roethlisberger since coming into the league and if you are curious is carrer QB rating on 3rd downs including this season is 87.2. Not too shabby.
2010 NFL Quarterback 3rd Down Passing Stats Through Week 9
Ben Roethlisberger Career 3rd Down Passing Stats