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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

YEAR COMP ATT COMP % YDS TD INT SACKS DBS SACKS+INT S-I/DB %
2012 36 66 54.50% 203 18 0 1 67 1 1.5%
2011 27 56 48.20% 221 15 3 7 63 10 15.9%
2010 29 58 50.00% 209 9 1 2 60 3 5.0%
2009 33 63 52.40% 252 16 3 8 71 11 15.5%
2008 23 48 47.90% 178 11 0 5 53 5 9.4%
2007 42 72 58.30% 324 23 2 6 78 8 10.3%
2006 32 64 50.00% 214 11 5 6 70 11 15.7%
2005 27 41 65.90% 193 13 0 2 43 2 4.7%
2004 15 32 46.90% 91 10 0 2 34 2 5.9%

2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYER COMP ATT COMP % YDS TD INT SACKS DBS SACKS+INT S-I/DB %
Ben Roethlisberger 36 66 54.50% 203 18 0 1 67 1 1.5%
Drew Brees 60 96 62.50% 437 31 0 2 98 2 2.0%
Eli Manning 37 82 45.10% 274 18 1 1 83 2 2.4%
Josh Freeman 38 68 55.90% 301 20 1 1 69 2 2.9%
Blaine Gabbert 16 31 51.60% 69 6 0 1 32 1 3.1%
Russell Wilson 34 59 57.60% 252 18 0 2 61 2 3.3%
Cam Newton 20 57 35.10% 161 8 2 0 57 2 3.5%
Jay Cutler 25 47 53.20% 189 11 0 2 49 2 4.1%
Carson Palmer 33 63 52.40% 192 13 1 2 65 3 4.6%
Andrew Luck 35 69 50.70% 247 15 2 2 71 4 5.6%
Peyton Manning 47 82 57.30% 351 27 2 3 85 5 5.9%
Tom Brady 49 80 61.30% 370 24 1 4 84 5 6.0%
Jake Locker 11 28 39.30% 75 5 0 2 30 2 6.7%
Nick Foles 11 27 40.70% 75 4 0 2 29 2 6.9%
Christian Ponder 41 69 59.40% 246 17 2 3 72 5 6.9%
Aaron Rodgers 41 66 62.10% 261 24 0 5 71 5 7.0%
Matt Ryan 55 87 63.20% 360 25 2 5 92 7 7.6%
Philip Rivers 40 61 65.60% 268 18 2 3 64 5 7.8%
Kevin Kolb 13 24 54.20% 82 6 1 1 25 2 8.0%
Brandon Weeden 19 46 41.30% 141 5 2 2 48 4 8.3%
Matt Hasselbeck 12 22 54.50% 90 5 0 2 24 2 8.3%
John Skelton 8 20 40.00% 66 1 0 2 22 2 9.1%
Matthew Stafford 39 83 47.00% 297 15 4 4 87 8 9.2%
Robert Griffin III 24 39 61.50% 111 10 0 4 43 4 9.3%
Sam Bradford 33 60 55.00% 210 13 3 3 63 6 9.5%
Colin Kaepernick 14 29 48.30% 84 5 1 2 31 3 9.7%
Andy Dalton 38 70 54.30% 260 20 0 8 78 8 10.3%
Ryan Fitzpatrick 30 53 56.60% 206 14 2 4 57 6 10.5%
Matt Schaub 28 49 57.10% 174 14 1 5 54 6 11.1%
Joe Flacco 22 50 44.00% 204 11 3 3 53 6 11.3%
Ryan Tannehill 21 44 47.70% 153 8 1 5 49 6 12.2%
Tony Romo 34 73 46.60% 239 14 2 8 81 10 12.3%
Mark Sanchez 19 46 41.30% 157 10 4 2 48 6 12.5%
Chad Henne 18 38 47.40% 116 7 3 2 40 5 12.5%
Matt Cassel 9 17 52.90% 57 3 0 3 20 3 15.0%
Alex Smith 12 17 70.60% 86 8 1 2 19 3 15.8%
Michael Vick 20 44 45.50% 140 9 2 6 50 8 16.0%
Brady Quinn 5 16 31.30% 8 2 2 1 17 3 17.6%

2010-2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYER COMP ATT COMP % YDS TD INT SACKS DBS SACKS+INT S-I/DB %
Jon Kitna 25 48 52.10% 169 14 0 1 49 1 2.0%
Russell Wilson 34 59 57.60% 252 18 0 2 61 2 3.3%
Peyton Manning 93 163 57.10% 687 53 2 4 167 6 3.6%
Kerry Collins 25 50 50.00% 161 11 0 2 52 2 3.8%
Drew Brees 183 294 62.20% 1231 84 7 6 300 13 4.3%
Kyle Orton 48 105 45.70% 312 20 1 4 109 5 4.6%
Jason Campbell 32 62 51.60% 250 14 1 2 64 3 4.7%
John Skelton 27 60 45.00% 178 11 0 3 63 3 4.8%
Blaine Gabbert 38 80 47.50% 236 15 2 2 82 4 4.9%
Matt Ryan 143 251 57.00% 973 65 4 9 260 13 5.0%
Andrew Luck 35 69 50.70% 247 15 2 2 71 4 5.6%
Matt Hasselbeck 76 135 56.30% 542 27 2 6 141 8 5.7%
Josh Freeman 107 183 58.50% 751 48 6 5 188 11 5.9%
Eli Manning 109 218 50.00% 765 50 9 5 223 14 6.3%
Carson Palmer 84 160 52.50% 513 38 7 4 164 11 6.7%
Jay Cutler 72 140 51.40% 532 34 3 7 147 10 6.8%
Donovan McNabb 37 68 54.40% 212 11 0 5 73 5 6.8%
Tom Brady 154 255 60.40% 1120 80 4 15 270 19 7.0%
Jake Locker 14 38 36.80% 92 7 0 3 41 3 7.3%
Ben Roethlisberger 92 180 51.10% 633 42 4 10 190 14 7.4%
Mark Sanchez 92 190 48.40% 683 39 8 7 197 15 7.6%
Alex Smith 66 119 55.50% 416 25 2 8 127 10 7.9%
Rex Grossman 48 85 56.50% 300 19 4 3 88 7 8.0%
Andy Dalton 72 135 53.30% 513 35 0 12 147 12 8.2%
Cam Newton 46 116 39.70% 350 21 5 5 121 10 8.3%
Brandon Weeden 19 46 41.30% 141 5 2 2 48 4 8.3%
Matt Schaub 90 163 55.20% 610 40 3 12 175 15 8.6%
Philip Rivers 107 198 54.00% 762 50 7 11 209 18 8.6%
David Garrard 27 42 64.30% 204 16 0 4 46 4 8.7%
Aaron Rodgers 141 221 63.80% 899 72 2 19 240 21 8.8%
Ryan Fitzpatrick 103 192 53.60% 715 48 6 12 204 18 8.8%
Christian Ponder 62 96 64.60% 398 25 3 6 102 9 8.8%
Matthew Stafford 101 203 49.80% 777 50 7 12 215 19 8.8%
Tony Romo 91 164 55.50% 598 40 2 14 178 16 9.0%
Chad Henne 52 105 49.50% 365 21 6 4 109 10 9.2%
Colt McCoy 33 61 54.10% 204 13 2 4 65 6 9.2%
Robert Griffin III 24 39 61.50% 111 10 0 4 43 4 9.3%
Matt Moore 32 62 51.60% 228 16 4 2 64 6 9.4%
Kevin Kolb 40 68 58.80% 239 14 2 6 74 8 10.8%
Joe Flacco 68 154 44.20% 578 36 3 16 170 19 11.2%
Michael Vick 90 173 52.00% 532 35 7 14 187 21 11.2%
Sam Bradford 83 179 46.40% 541 29 8 14 193 22 11.4%
Tarvaris Jackson 31 55 56.40% 206 11 1 6 61 7 11.5%
Matt Cassel 49 93 52.70% 335 28 1 11 104 12 11.5%
Shaun Hill 27 49 55.10% 206 10 3 3 52 6 11.5%
Ryan Tannehill 21 44 47.70% 153 8 1 5 49 6 12.2%

2004-2012 Quarterback Stats Inside Red Zone

PLAYER COMP ATT COMP % YDS TD INT SACKS DBS SACKS+INT S-I/DB %
Peyton Manning 369 625 59.00% 2536 181 13 11 636 24 3.8%
Drew Brees 448 723 62.00% 3078 194 17 11 734 28 3.8%
Kyle Orton 139 287 48.40% 947 59 4 9 296 13 4.4%
Kerry Collins 136 272 50.00% 947 45 4 9 281 13 4.6%
Matt Ryan 199 365 54.50% 1374 88 8 13 378 21 5.6%
Alex Smith 128 243 52.70% 784 46 3 12 255 15 5.9%
Philip Rivers 250 456 54.80% 1802 118 9 19 475 28 5.9%
Carson Palmer 304 541 56.20% 2006 123 15 19 560 34 6.1%
Tom Brady 384 641 59.90% 2684 188 8 33 674 41 6.1%
Eli Manning 310 603 51.40% 2107 132 19 20 623 39 6.3%
Matt Hasselbeck 236 450 52.40% 1677 102 12 20 470 32 6.8%
Josh Freeman 121 213 56.80% 850 55 9 6 219 15 6.8%
Jason Campbell 143 261 54.80% 995 60 5 14 275 19 6.9%
Donovan McNabb 222 400 55.50% 1344 91 7 23 423 30 7.1%
Kurt Warner 202 330 61.20% 1262 84 8 17 347 25 7.2%
Jake Delhomme 136 256 53.10% 994 67 6 14 270 20 7.4%
Matt Schaub 202 356 56.70% 1407 82 8 21 377 29 7.7%
Ryan Fitzpatrick 146 274 53.30% 998 60 8 15 289 23 8.0%
Brett Favre 259 468 55.30% 1701 105 15 26 494 41 8.3%
Mark Sanchez 109 229 47.60% 809 47 9 11 240 20 8.3%
Jay Cutler 192 370 51.90% 1349 91 13 20 390 33 8.5%
Matthew Stafford 118 241 49.00% 878 57 8 14 255 22 8.6%
Aaron Rodgers 231 371 62.30% 1478 109 3 34 405 37 9.1%
Ben Roethlisberger 264 500 52.80% 1885 126 14 39 539 53 9.8%
Marc Bulger 140 257 54.50% 1019 56 10 17 274 27 9.9%
Tony Romo 217 385 56.40% 1448 100 12 29 414 41 9.9%
Matt Cassel 121 246 49.20% 870 57 3 24 270 27 10.0%
Joe Flacco 108 239 45.20% 829 54 7 22 261 29 11.1%
David Garrard 128 252 50.80% 921 59 8 26 278 34 12.2%
Michael Vick 162 313 51.80% 1023 72 13 33 346 46 13.3%

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About Dave Bryan

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

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