Statistically, No-Huddle Has No Real Bearing On Roethlisberger

In the 37-27 win Sunday over the Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger used the no-huddle plenty. In fact, 34 of the 73 total offensive plays ran in the game were run out of the no-huddle.

For the game, Roethlisberger was 14-of-24 passing for 229 yards and two touchdowns while using the no-huddle, according to our game charting. He was not sacked while using it and he did not turn the ball over.

The offense also ran the ball out of the no-huddle, but wasn’t very successful doing it as the 10 runs, which included one Roethlisberger scramble, resulted in just 22 yards. I should note that all but six of those 34 plays were run out of the shotgun and that five of those plays under center were runs.

So how has Roethlisberger performed for the season using the no huddle? According to our charting, he is 47-of-78 (60.4%) passing for 615 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. That computes to an old school passer rating of 91.6. Roethlisberger has, however, been sacked five times while using the no-huddle.

If you were to take out his no-huddle stats from his season stats, Roethlisberger is 200-of-305 passing (65.6%) for 2,286 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions when not using the no-huddle. That computes to a  91.2 old school passer rating.

As you can see, Roethlisberger has a higher completion percentage when not using the no-huddle and his passer rating is virtually the same whether he uses it or not.

The no-huddle certainly has its benefits from a tempo standpoint as it often times can prevent defenses from making personnel changes. In addition to that, it can tire out a defense. Personally, I think it’s great way to start a game and in addition, it can be used to jumpstart the offense when playing from behind. Will we see more of it moving forward? We’ll see this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Ben needs to talk to haley about doing no huddle more because u can c it’s effective.

  • steeltown

    I like when Ben (or QBs in general) use the no huddle, it only makes sense for a QB to implement if he is able.

    Funny, NFL website has an article about how Ben is thriving in the no huddle and there’s no question it should be used more because of it. That’s why I love this site. We know the no huddle can be effective and we know the Steelers won this past week, but we also know that appearances can be deceiving and that Ben has been just as effective or more effective when not using the no huddle, thanks Bryan

  • mem359

    And Dave points out in the article that the Steelers are *just* as effective passing when not using the no-huddle. That was unexpected. (As steeltown said, thanks Bryan.)

    I think the key is, is there a difference when running out of the no huddle? Or if the red zone percentage is similar? I would hope that someone in the coaching staff has already crunched the numbers, instead of just relying on “gut” feelings. (Maybe they think there is a certain huddle/no-huddle mix which is most effective.)

  • Eric

    No huddle is working. Keep it.

  • chris ward

    Props to the coaching staff for making the decision to start the game off with the no-huddle. Steelers finally got off to a fast start in the first quarter and had a nice tempo going in the no-huddle.

  • srdan

    There were many things that “worked that we have gone away from. Like the wildcat, moye and adams at TE (to an extent, he had 10 snaps last game). I don’t want the no huddle to fall into this.

    But on the bright side, all these wrinkles are things that DCs have to prepare for every week. They don’t want to be caught with their pants down.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Umm, how much of that no huddle is against prevent D in trash time? Those stats should be subtracted out.


    It finally happened……… Ed Bouchette stole your stats to use in one of his articles. I knew he read your stuff!

  • treeher

    Well, yes and no. I think the analysis has to go one level deeper, to a situational analysis and impact on the game. I think that’s why we all think Ben’s no huddle is so effective … it has a larger impact on the game. For example, he can garner statistics in conventional mode, but they may be comprised of a bunch of drives that stall and do not produce results. His work in no huddle impacts the game in many ways. For example, in no huddle, his pass-to-touchdown ratio is 8.5. Conventional, his ratio is only 6.5. (Yes, I recognize there are running TDs there, but I think this makes my point).

  • steeltown

    That’s why I mentioned using it in different situations

  • Virdin Barzey

    No huddle or not the point that has not been made is that Ben clearly needs to get rid of the ball quicker. We’ve only been saying it for years. That’s why he was so successful on Sunday. It doesn’t give the d-line a chance to sack you while helping your o-line out tremendously.

    Ben always wanted to run the no-huddle since Arians but what him and a lot of folks in Steeler Nation and beyond fail to realize is that its great when its working. When it doesn’t, you trot your defense back out on the field without catching a breather. No thanks.

    Run the no-huddle situationally and stop all the madness

  • HiVul

    In my opinion you need a larger sample size before you draw any conclusions. 78 pass attempts is about 2 games I suppose.

  • patrick Mayfield

    It would be interesting to look into a couple things on this.

    Success of the no huddle on a game by game basis. I would presume that versus a more veteran team with defensive field generals, it would be less effective.

    Success of the running game w/o no huddle in the same game. One thing the no huddle gets you is to lock the defense into a personnel package. If you can run with some success, then you might be able to catch the defense in base when you go to no-huddle. If they can contain the run in nickel, you lose much of the mis-match. I think this last game they were running the no huddle a lot out of 11 personnel. If you can figure out a way to run well in 11 personnel then you have a good stepping off point for the no-huddle. Personally, I’d love to have them run it out of the 21 grouping and use the multiple-use aspects of Will Johnson to get some mis-matches, line him up out wide, on the line etc.

  • charles

    All the no huddle talk reminds one of a few years back when everyone was clamoring for the hurry up offense to be played all game. Statistical analysis revealed more offensive penalty, more sacks. Even Bill Walsh, when he scripted the first 30 plays regardless of down or distance, found better performance when taking his time.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Sorry, but I would throw away the stats on this one. If Ben or the guys upstairs or Haley see an obvious mismatch, they should communicate that and instantly go to it. Sometimes it could help the run. Other times it might help the pass. I don’t think you should put a number on it.

    At the beginning of the year it was being used in panic situations where the team was always behind. This past week it was used proactively, as a plan to kick start the offense immediately at the beginning of the game.


    Well said, and spot on.

  • HopalongCassidy

    I like the no huddle but I think it works better when you hurry-up rather than take a lot of time at the line.

  • Brandon James

    Actually its been confirmed that Bens Release is well under 3 seconds on average this season thus far.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I think you are confusing No huddle with the Hurry up or two minute offense. They are not the same thing. No huddle just takes away the time for the defense to make substitutions. They not not snapping hte ball quicker.

  • AndyR34

    You didn’t even read the article…did you. Either that or you didn’t understand anything about it! Again…thanks Dave B. for working this out for us.

  • AndyR34

    I think you didn’t read or understand…he was pointing out the clamoring was similar…not the offensive schemes. And he did make the case that taking your time can lead to better long-term performance. This is why nobody, but nobody…uses the hurry-up or the no huddle for the whole game.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    I think you missed the point. I was replying to the Comment by Charles up above and he mentioned non of the stuff you are talking about. Try again Andy.

  • AndyR34

    My bad…I thought I was replying to him as well.

  • Dwayne Ferguson

    Fair enough.

  • charles

    I was not confusing no huddle, hurry up or any other offensive philosophy.
    Also as a challenge, half the play count was no huddle, the other half normal, without review tell me which was the most successful.