Ben Roethlisberger Had Lowest Red Zone Sack-Interception Per Drop Back Ratio In 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has certainly taken a lot of sacks over the course of his career, and he currently sits ranked 23rd all-time with 344 of them, according to Pro Football Reference. 39 of those career sacks that Roethlisberger has taken have come inside the red zone and when you couple that with the 14 career interceptions he has thrown inside the opposition\’s 20 yard-line, his 9.8% sack-interception per drop back number ranks him 7th worst since 2004 when compared to the other quarterbacks that have at least 219 drop backs during that same span of time.

In 2012, however, you might be surprised to know that Roethlisberger only took one sack, and he didn\’t throw an interception inside the red zone in the 13 games that he played in. In fact, Roethlisberger\’s 1.5% sack-interception per drop back number was the lowest in the league last season when compared against 38 other quarterbacks who had at least 17 or more red zone drop backs. That number was quite the turnaround from the career high 15.9% sack-interception per drop back number in the red zone that he posted in 2011. Was that poor season a combination of a decimated offensive line and a bad wheel? It very well could have been.

When you look at Roethlisberger over the last three seasons, his 7.4% sack-interception per drop back ratio is very respectable, and in fact, it is just slightly higher than that of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (7.0%).

When Todd Haley was hired to be the new offensive coordinator in 2012, one of his main goals was to prevent Roethlisberger from being sacked so many times, and it worked to the tune of the veteran signal caller only being sacked once per every 16 drop backs, which was by far the best ratio of the quarterback\’s career. The offense managed to pull this off without having a solid running game and did so behind an offensive line that once again remained mangled due to injuries.

Despite all the injuries and lack of success running the football last season, the Steelers offense saw their red zone percentage jump to 55.1% in 2012, and that was the best it has been since 2008 when the offense also posted a 55.1% red zone success number. On top of that, the Steelers goal to go percentage in 2012 of 83.33% was the highest it has been since 2005.

While I don\’t expect Roethlisberger to post a repeat of his 1.5% sack-interception per drop back number in 2013, I do believe that a number of 5% like he posted in 2010 is certainly within his realm as the Steelers running game can\’t go anywhere but up from last year, and the offensive line can\’t be any more mangled than it has been the last two-plus seasons.

Haley and Roethlisberger certainly need to build upon the foundation that was laid offensively in 2012, and I believe that they will as long as the quarterback can remain injury free.

ALL OF THE STATS BELOW ARE SORTABLE BY CLICKING ON HEADER OF EACH COLUMN

Ben Roethlisberger Career Stats Inside Red Zone

YEARCOMPATTCOMP %YDSTDINTSACKSDBSSACKS+INTS-I/DB %
2012366654.50%20318016711.5%
2011275648.20%2211537631015.9%
2010295850.00%2099126035.0%
2009336352.40%2521638711115.5%
2008234847.90%17811055359.4%
2007427258.30%324232678810.3%
2006326450.00%2141156701115.7%
2005274165.90%19313024324.7%
2004153246.90%9110023425.9%

2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYERCOMPATTCOMP %YDSTDINTSACKSDBSSACKS+INTS-I/DB %
Ben Roethlisberger366654.50%20318016711.5%
Drew Brees609662.50%43731029822.0%
Eli Manning378245.10%27418118322.4%
Josh Freeman386855.90%30120116922.9%
Blaine Gabbert163151.60%696013213.1%
Russell Wilson345957.60%25218026123.3%
Cam Newton205735.10%1618205723.5%
Jay Cutler254753.20%18911024924.1%
Carson Palmer336352.40%19213126534.6%
Andrew Luck356950.70%24715227145.6%
Peyton Manning478257.30%35127238555.9%
Tom Brady498061.30%37024148456.0%
Jake Locker112839.30%755023026.7%
Nick Foles112740.70%754022926.9%
Christian Ponder416959.40%24617237256.9%
Aaron Rodgers416662.10%26124057157.0%
Matt Ryan558763.20%36025259277.6%
Philip Rivers406165.60%26818236457.8%
Kevin Kolb132454.20%826112528.0%
Brandon Weeden194641.30%1415224848.3%
Matt Hasselbeck122254.50%905022428.3%
John Skelton82040.00%661022229.1%
Matthew Stafford398347.00%29715448789.2%
Robert Griffin III243961.50%11110044349.3%
Sam Bradford336055.00%21013336369.5%
Colin Kaepernick142948.30%845123139.7%
Andy Dalton387054.30%260200878810.3%
Ryan Fitzpatrick305356.60%206142457610.5%
Matt Schaub284957.10%174141554611.1%
Joe Flacco225044.00%204113353611.3%
Ryan Tannehill214447.70%15381549612.2%
Tony Romo347346.60%2391428811012.3%
Mark Sanchez194641.30%157104248612.5%
Chad Henne183847.40%11673240512.5%
Matt Cassel91752.90%5730320315.0%
Alex Smith121770.60%8681219315.8%
Michael Vick204445.50%14092650816.0%
Brady Quinn51631.30%822117317.6%

2010-2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYERCOMPATTCOMP %YDSTDINTSACKSDBSSACKS+INTS-I/DB %
Jon Kitna254852.10%16914014912.0%
Russell Wilson345957.60%25218026123.3%
Peyton Manning9316357.10%687532416763.6%
Kerry Collins255050.00%16111025223.8%
Drew Brees18329462.20%12318476300134.3%
Kyle Orton4810545.70%312201410954.6%
Jason Campbell326251.60%25014126434.7%
John Skelton276045.00%17811036334.8%
Blaine Gabbert388047.50%23615228244.9%
Matt Ryan14325157.00%9736549260135.0%
Andrew Luck356950.70%24715227145.6%
Matt Hasselbeck7613556.30%542272614185.7%
Josh Freeman10718358.50%7514865188115.9%
Eli Manning10921850.00%7655095223146.3%
Carson Palmer8416052.50%5133874164116.7%
Jay Cutler7214051.40%5323437147106.8%
Donovan McNabb376854.40%21211057356.8%
Tom Brady15425560.40%112080415270197.0%
Jake Locker143836.80%927034137.3%
Ben Roethlisberger9218051.10%63342410190147.4%
Mark Sanchez9219048.40%6833987197157.6%
Alex Smith6611955.50%4162528127107.9%
Rex Grossman488556.50%30019438878.0%
Andy Dalton7213553.30%51335012147128.2%
Cam Newton4611639.70%3502155121108.3%
Brandon Weeden194641.30%1415224848.3%
Matt Schaub9016355.20%61040312175158.6%
Philip Rivers10719854.00%76250711209188.6%
David Garrard274264.30%20416044648.7%
Aaron Rodgers14122163.80%89972219240218.8%
Ryan Fitzpatrick10319253.60%71548612204188.8%
Christian Ponder629664.60%398253610298.8%
Matthew Stafford10120349.80%77750712215198.8%
Tony Romo9116455.50%59840214178169.0%
Chad Henne5210549.50%3652164109109.2%
Colt McCoy336154.10%20413246569.2%
Robert Griffin III243961.50%11110044349.3%
Matt Moore326251.60%22816426469.4%
Kevin Kolb406858.80%239142674810.8%
Joe Flacco6815444.20%578363161701911.2%
Michael Vick9017352.00%532357141872111.2%
Sam Bradford8317946.40%541298141932211.4%
Tarvaris Jackson315556.40%206111661711.5%
Matt Cassel499352.70%335281111041211.5%
Shaun Hill274955.10%206103352611.5%
Ryan Tannehill214447.70%15381549612.2%

2004-2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYERCOMPATTCOMP %YDSTDINTSACKSDBSSACKS+INTS-I/DB %
Peyton Manning36962559.00%25361811311636243.8%
Drew Brees44872362.00%30781941711734283.8%
Kyle Orton13928748.40%9475949296134.4%
Kerry Collins13627250.00%9474549281134.6%
Matt Ryan19936554.50%137488813378215.6%
Alex Smith12824352.70%78446312255155.9%
Philip Rivers25045654.80%1802118919475285.9%
Carson Palmer30454156.20%20061231519560346.1%
Tom Brady38464159.90%2684188833674416.1%
Eli Manning31060351.40%21071321920623396.3%
Matt Hasselbeck23645052.40%16771021220470326.8%
Josh Freeman12121356.80%8505596219156.8%
Jason Campbell14326154.80%99560514275196.9%
Donovan McNabb22240055.50%134491723423307.1%
Kurt Warner20233061.20%126284817347257.2%
Jake Delhomme13625653.10%99467614270207.4%
Matt Schaub20235656.70%140782821377297.7%
Ryan Fitzpatrick14627453.30%99860815289238.0%
Brett Favre25946855.30%17011051526494418.3%
Mark Sanchez10922947.60%80947911240208.3%
Jay Cutler19237051.90%1349911320390338.5%
Matthew Stafford11824149.00%87857814255228.6%
Aaron Rodgers23137162.30%1478109334405379.1%
Ben Roethlisberger26450052.80%18851261439539539.8%
Marc Bulger14025754.50%1019561017274279.9%
Tony Romo21738556.40%14481001229414419.9%
Matt Cassel12124649.20%870573242702710.0%
Joe Flacco10823945.20%829547222612911.1%
David Garrard12825250.80%921598262783412.2%
Michael Vick16231351.80%10237213333464613.3%

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Nice Bryan

  • Brendon Glad

    I thought Haley did a good job of calling plays down there. I liked that he threw on first and goal at a way higher percentage than Arians. I thought that was the key to some improved red-zone stats by Ben. Kept the defense a little more off-guard.
    I’ve never understood what running the ball on first down from the 5-9 yard line accomplishes. At least not as often as Arians did. To me it just squeezes down the passing lanes even further for 2nd and 3rd downs after you gain the 2-3-4 yards.
    Much better to mix it up down there…which Haley did well in my opinion.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Speaking of the red zone, I’m going to take this opportunity to complain about the play calling during the Ravens home game last year. On 3rd and 2 at the 4-yard line (The Steelers could get a FIRST DOWN without getting in the end zone), you RUN, RUN, RUN! Run on 3rd AND 4th if you have to!! We had Leftwich under center, FFS! We weren’t going to get that field position back!! Fade to Wallace and then kick a FG?!?

    Gah!! WTF?!? :(

    (This has been today’s edition of “Armchair OC Complains About Play Long Gone.” We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming. :)

  • Bob Graff

    When you look at all of your stats it’s just proves that they really mean very little. In my opinion the two most important stats for an offense are points per game and wins.Both of which were pretty bad last year. You can cut up a turd many different ways but at the end of the day you still have a turd.

  • steeltown

    Ha! Indeed