Ben Roethlisberger Since The Ankle Injury

I wanted to do some in-depth research tonight on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger since he suffered his left high ankle sprain late in the first half against the Cleveland Browns in week 14 and found quite a few things that stuck out to me in the research. Below you will see a table of every pass that Roethlisberger has thrown from the second half of the Browns game on. This table includes the down and distance of the play, the targeted receiver, whether or not the pass was complete and both the yardage gained and yardage that the ball traveled in the air to the intended receiver.

First the basic and obvious stuff. Roethlisberger had a 95.1 passer rating and 64.3% completion ratio up until the play he was injured. From the second half of that Browns game and on he has a 69.9 passer rating & 59.6% completion ratio. He had a healthy 8.03 yards per attempt up until the ankle injury, but has dropped off to a 7.59 yards per attempt. Not a bad number though still as several quarterbacks in the league would like to own a YPA number like that, but it is a drop nonetheless. He has thrown 4 interceptions compared to just 1 touchdown during this span, but 3 of those came in the horrible game against the San Francisco 49ers as the ankle injury really limited what he could do in that game.

As far as the lack of production to Mike Wallace, especially the deep balls, Roethlisberger is 0 for 7 on passes to Wallace thrown 12 or more yards from the line of scrimmage since suffering the ankle injury. What about all passes thrown 12 or more yards from line of scrimmage since the injury? Those numbers show that Roethlisberger is 10 of 28 passing with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions on balls thrown 12 or more yards past the line. He is 3 of 12 passing with 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on balls thrown 20 or more yards past the line.

On a positive note, Roethlisberger had a 51% 3rd down conversion ratio passing prior to injuring the ankle. In the 10 quarters since he has a 61% conversion ration on 3rd downs.

Let\’s put the stats aside now. When you watch the tape you can clearly see Roethlisberger has been concerned about stepping into his throws, especially in the game against the 49ers. It was all arm for the most part and his accuracy has been off. Also with his mobility limited he has not been able to extend some plays that he would have normally prior to the injury. This has always been a staple of his game and what sets him apart from most of the other quarterbacks in the league.

The Steelers have also just recently got Emmanuel Sanders back on the field and there was also the chore of feeding the elephant sitting in the room in the final game against the Browns. I am of course talking about Hines Ward, who was targeted 7 times this past Sunday. Heading into the AFC wild card against the Denver Broncos, they will face a secondary that features veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, but will likely be without the services of safety Brian Dawkins, who has been sidelined with a neck injury. Should the Broncos defense decide to stay with man coverage against the likes of Wallace, Sanders and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger should have plenty of chances to spread the ball around assuming he gets some time, much like a few of the better quarterbacks in the league have done against them this season. The accuracy of the throws Sunday will be key, but I have a feeling Roethlisberger has a pretty good game. A pretty good game should be enough in this game.

1-10-PIT 19NOWallace01CLE
2-6-PIT 34YESCotchery2214CLE
2-17-CLV 40YESMiller4-2CLE
3-13-CLV 36NOBrown013CLE
1-10-PIT 22YESJohnson163CLE
1-10-PIT 38YESJohnson64CLE
2-20-PIT 49NOBrown021CLE
3-20-PIT 49YESBrown2721CLE
2-10-CLV 24YESWallace224CLE
2-3-CLV 31YESWallace20CLE
3-11-CLV 39INTMiller024CLE
2-9-PIT 21TDBrown7913CLE
2-9-PIT 31YESMendenhall7-2SF
3-2-PIT 38YESMiller32SF
2-9-PIT 42YESWallace366SF
2-7-SF 19INTWallace019SF
2-6-PIT 24NOWallace031SF
3-6-PIT 24YESBrown71SF
1-10-PIT 42NOBrown06SF
2-10-PIT 42INTMiller024SF
1-5-PIT 25YESMendenhall130SF
3-1-PIT 47YESMiller55SF
1-25-PIT 37NORedman03SF
1-10-PIT 42YESWallace76SF
1-10-SF 47NOMendenhall0-5SF
2-10-SF 47NOBrown012SF
3-10-SF 47NOWallace047SF
1-10-PIT 26YESBrown193SF
1-10-PIT 45YESWallace77SF
2-3-SF 48NOWallace03SF
3-3-SF 48YESBrown53SF
1-10-SF 43YESMoore71SF
2-3-SF 36YESMoore-2-6SF
3-5-SF 38YESBrown2423SF
2-11-PIT 26NOBrown016SF
3-11-PIT 26NOWallace015SF
1-10-PIT 10YESMiller3915SF
2-11-PIT 48YESMiller1111SF
3-2-SF 33NOBrown016SF
1-10-PIT 20YESBrown41SF
1-10-PIT 34YESCotchery3612SF
2-10-SF 30NOMiller05SF
3-10-SF 30NOCotchery025SF
1-10-PIT 8NOMiller04SF
2-10-PIT 8YESMendenhall54SF
3-10-PIT 8YESCotchery2019SF
1-10-PIT 14YESCotchery77SF
3-9-PIT 15NOBrown012SF
1-17-PIT 7YESWallace136SF
3-11-PIT 13YESCotchery2116SF
1-10-PIT 34YESMiller249SF
1-10-SF 42NOMiller04SF
2-10-SF 42INTWallace040SF
1-10-PIT 12YESCotchery97SF
2-1-PIT 21NOWallace06SF
1-10-PIT 34NOWard0-2CLE
2-6-PIT 43YESWard50CLE
1-10-CLV 39NOWallace04CLE
3-3-CLV 32NOCotchery02CLE
4-3-CLV 32NORedman07CLE
1-10-PIT 20YESMendenhall73CLE
1-10-PIT 31NOMiller0-1CLE
3-3-PIT 38YESRedman94CLE
3-22-PIT 48NOBrown022CLE
2-5-CLV 37YESJohnson66CLE
2-17-CLV 38YESBrown2-2CLE
3-15-CLV 36YESSanders145CLE
1-10-CLV 19NOBrown019CLE
2-10-CLV 19YESRedman50CLE
1-10-PIT 18YESCotchery75CLE
2-9-PIT 30YESRedman41CLE
1-10-PIT 28YESCotchery119CLE
1-10-PIT 39YESWard76CLE
2-3-PIT 46YESBrown4028CLE
1-10-CLV 14NOWallace02CLE
2-10-CLV 14NORedman0-4CLE
3-10-CLV 14YESBrown1312CLE
1-1-CLV 1NOBrown01CLE
2-1-CLV 1NOWard01CLE
2-5-PIT 49NOWallace02CLE
3-5-PIT 49YESMiller1211CLE
2-5-CLV 34NOWallace034CLE
3-5-CLV 34YESBrown1111CLE
1-10-CLV 23YESWallace11-3CLE
2-9-CLV 11NOCotchery011CLE
3-9-CLV 11NOSanders05CLE
1-10-CLV 43YESWard9-2CLE
2-9-CLV 23YESBrown1110CLE
1-10-CLV 12NOWallace012CLE
2-7-PIT 24YESWard65CLE
1-10-PIT 41YESWard-3-2CLE
2-13-PIT 38YESBrown130CLE
3-7-PIT 29YESCotchery109CLE
3-3-PIT 18YESMiller1111CLE
3-2-PIT 37NOBrown05CLE
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