Breaking Down The Ben Roethlisberger Incomplete Passes Against The Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has taken a lot of heat for his performance in the 27-24 loss Sunday in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys.

Nobody is arguing that the interception he threw on the second play in overtime was a horrible throw and it most certainly cost the Steelers the game. Several, however, are saying that Roethlisberger played a really poor game outside of that final throw and that simply isn\’t the case.

I like to deal in facts unlike others you will read. If you have read the post here for a long period of time you know that I am very objective when it comes to the Steelers.

It was indeed not the best game of Roethlisberger\’s career, but it certainly was not as bad as many want to make it seem. The Steelers quarterback was 24-of-40 passing on the day for 339 yards and a touchdown. In the second half and overtime he was 11-of-15 for 163 yards with a touchdown and of course the fatal interception.

Roethlisberger had 16 incompletions on the day and below is a breakdown of all of them.

The first three incomplete passes, while not perfect, were balls that I feel could have been caught when going through the tape frame by frame. Especially the one that Emmanuel Sanders had and dropped at the Cowboys 42 yard-line after he was hit.

The fourth incompletion was a bit of an ill-advised throw and it was almost picked off after the linebacker that dropped back into coverage deflected it.

The back shoulder throw to Mike Wallace, incompletion No. 6, was a tad high but hauled in just the same. Wallace juggled the ball and failed to get both feet down.

Incompletion No. 8 was a tad low, but a ball that Antonio Brown clearly dropped a yard short of the sticks.

The screen to Wallace and the two throws to Chris Rainey were certainly bad throws, as was the short dump-off to Jonathan Dwyer that landed short and wide.

The out route to Brown is too tough to call until I can see the All-22 view of the play. This ball actually looks catchable and looks like it might have went off his hands.

While I did not include the pictures, Roethlisberger did have to throw the ball away twice. Once was when he was under heavy pressure and outside the tackle box and the other was the busted running play that Dwyer missed his assignment on.

In total I feel that Roethlisberger was victimized by his receivers on at least 5 of the 16 incompletions. Maybe even 6. Two incompletions were balls that were thrown away for obvious reasons. That leaves 7 other throws that I would term bad and of course the interception, which I am sure he would love to have back.

In closing I think that Roethlisberger, if helped more by his receivers, would have been around 75% on the day instead of the 60% rate, which by the way is still not bad, that he ended with. He did lose the game, but just as easily could have won it with a little help.

QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
114:1624PIT 26Deep middle intended for Mike WallaceLittle behind Wallace, but likely should have been caught.
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
113:37110PIT 33Short right intended for Antonio BrownQuick slant, good coverage, but could have been caught
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
113:29210PIT 33Deep middle intended for Emmanuel SandersSanders drops it after hit
QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
113:25310PIT 33Short right intended for Mike WallaceSlant to Wallace tipped by dropping linebacker
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
15:1026DAL 44Deep right intended for Mike WallaceDeep ball to Wallace thrown to wrong side.
QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
15:0136DAL 44Short right intended for Mike WallaceBack shoulder a tad high, but should have gotten feet down
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
210:25110PIT 34Ben Roethlisberger pass incompleteThrown away
QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
27:3426DAL 29Short left intended for Antonio BrownTad low but dropped by Brown
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
26:1822DAL 14Short left intended for Antonio BrownBusted play and thrown away
QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
26:1232DAL 14Short right intended for Mike WallaceBad short throw on Wallace screen
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
22:0024PIT 33Short left intended for Chris RaineyWheel route tightly covered. Basically thrown away
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
20:52110DAL 30Short left intended for Chris RaineyThrown behind out in the flat
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
311:4935DAL 45Short right intended for Jonathan DwyerPoor throw at feet. Not primary option
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
415:00110DAL 36Ben Roethlisberger pass incompleteThrown away heavy pressure
QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
41:47110PIT 20Short left intended for Antonio BrownOut route and hard to tell if defended or dropped
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QTRTIMEDWNDISTLOSPLAYDESCRIPTION
514:2923PIT 27Short right intended for Mike Wallace interceptedBad throw nothing on it and behind Wallace
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I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    The one to Dwyer early in the 3rd Q really irked me. The Steelers had momentum going in to the 3rd Q and the defense built on that by starting the half with a 3 and out. They had good field position and it was an easy throw that would have moved the sticks. Instead, Dallas gets the ball back and scores and they’re fighting uphill again.

  • Tom

    Great break down, Thank You!

  • TJimmy

    Maybe the team needs a better wide recievers coach. The young money crew has been humbled this season, and maybe they will realize the biblical principle that humbleness is the path to success…e.g. Heath Miller