Ben Roethlisberger Eclipses 4000-Yard Mark In Win Over Packers

By Matthew Marczi

Though he didn’t have his most prolific game of the season in the victory over the Green Bay Packers, Ben Roethlisberger managed to surpass 4000 passing yards in a season for just the third time in his career—a mark that appears to be taken as a given now for elite quarterbacks.

Roethlisberger previously reached the 4000-yard threshold in 2011 and in 2009, with his career-high coming in 2009 at 4328 yards. His 167 passing yards against Green Bay brings him to a total of 4082 yards through the air on the season, which is now the second-highest total of his career, with one more game to add to it.

He will need 247 yards in the season finale in order to break his own franchise record. He averages 272 yards through the air per game this season, and has thrown for over 250 yards in a game seven times this year, so there is certainly a strong chance that he can extend his own franchise mark.

This will also be just the second time in his career that Roethlisberger has played a full 16-game season, having previously done so when the Pittsburgh Steelers won their last Super Bowl in the 2008-2009 season, when he was sacked 46 times.

Once on pace this season to blow past the 50 sacks he took in 2009, the protection has improved and the quick passing has limited the sacks he’s taken in recent weeks, and he currently has 41 through 15 games, which is helping to keep him from missing time.

The missed time has twice kept him from hitting that 4000-yard marker in the past five years—he’s reached it in the other three.

Last season, Roethlisberger was forced to sit out three games with an injury, limiting him to 3265 yards in 13 games. That would have given him 4018 yards pro-rated over a full season, not including the half-game he missed in the game  that knocked him out.

In 2010, he began the season with a four-game suspension, yet he finished with 3200 yards. Maintaining that yards-per-game average, he would have finished the year with 4267 yards.

With his two touchdown passes against the Packers, Roethlisberger now has 27 on the year, which is the second-most he’s ever thrown. He had 32 touchdown passes in 2007, but it’s unlikely that he finishes the year with a five-touchdown game.

He has twice before thrown 26 touchdowns in a season—most recently last season. Averaging two touchdowns per game, the three games he missed that year could have seen him tie his career-high.

Also worth noting is that he already passed his career-highs in passing attempts and completions earlier this season. He now has 356 completions on 553 attempts this season, which are franchise records.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Nolrog

    OL has definitely improved over the year. That has been one of the bright spots of this year (along with Worilds, Cam and Brown.)

  • Lamarr56

    Ben is having one of his best years ever. Him and Haley are really starting to gel, and I hope they can keep building chemistry in the offense.

  • steeltown

    It’s amazing that NOW with guys like Beachum, Cody Wallace and some contributions from Mike Adams the OLine is doing a much better job. I cant tell who I like more Velasco or Wallace!

  • Virdin Barzey

    Where are fire Haley folks? Can you come out of the closets hiding? Yes the line has been better but its the offense that has made them better. Ben is getting rid of the ball a lot quicker and going thru his reads quicker so that the defense can’t tee off on the line.

    Where the line has made great improvement is run blocking. LeVeon has a bit to do with that as well but they are making holes for him. Make no mistake, the offense is starting to look dangerous. Not quite there yet but headed in the right direction.

  • Chad H

    I like Wallace he is nasty!

  • Chad H

    I came out a couple weeks ago and apologized to him. Haley will be coaching for the Steelers next year and the 3rd year under his system will be great. Still have to give props to Arians for what he is doing in AZ.

  • steeltown

    I think he’ll be cheaper too.. and of course, not coming off injury

  • Jones

    I’m really glad to see Ben have a good year & stay healthy! Has anyone noticed that his deep passes seem consistently off target/overthrown, though?

    I wonder if it’s age, or lack of practicing those plays as much with an offense geared more towards the shorter passes…

  • Alan Felicia

    Wallace does have a little “mean streak” going for him! I think he was in a couple of squermishes during the game. If it helps Wallace play and be effective, I’m for it.

  • Brandon James

    The only problem I have is our offense is putrid when we have a lead. Playing from behind or tied is our forte. That will have to change

  • Douglas Andrews

    Agreed not many wanted to give Haley a chance with his offense. I think Ben finally has bought into it and we see the difference. He been available for all 16 games and the O line doesn’t have to try and block for 6,7,8 seconds which is unheard of for some of the best O Lines. Haley’s offense works and the numbers back it up.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Steelers are gonna have to make some sound decisions on some players so they can keep Worilds. The money savings with Wallace over Velasco might be one way . I like Velasco but even coming off the injury I think he’s gonna bolt for a possible starters job . He’s possible looking at only a swing job here.

  • Bill Molinaro

    I don’t believe this is Ben’s best year! I do believe the Haley/Big Ben pairing is working out. However, I am worried about Ben; he has missed quite a few open receivers this year. Someone pointed out that he was below is average on third down conversion rate this season: I believe the missed receivers is one of the reasons. A good example was the miss on an open Antonio Brown in the corner of the end zone and a pass at the feet of an open Brown on another occasion. The OL is at present giving him sufficient time to throw so it appears it’s on Ben.

  • Alan Felicia

    Funny how many fans forget that last season before Roethlisberger’s injury (week 10 versus KC), this same offense was running very efficient with many in the media (especially the NFL Network) putting Roethlisberger’s name in the MVP discussion.
    IMHO, this offense had to adjust to several issues including not only a new blocking scheme but also losing their line leader in Pouncey Week 1, having to wait for Bell to get healthy until Week 4, and, most important, not having Heath Miller (Roethlisberger’s security blanket and team MVP last year) the first 4 weeks.

  • Alan Felicia

    Worilds will sign somewhere else in the off season b/c some team (Jets, Redskins, Arizona, Cleveland) will overpay and give him a $9M-$10M payday.

  • James Kling

    I hope we keep both Wallace and Velasco.

  • James Kling

    He’s always fighting for “the ball”…

  • Alan Felicia

    I remember Roethlisberger being quoted saying that he tries to over throw balls to Wallace. Makes sense since Wallace is one of the fastest (or the fastest) player in the NFL.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I see what you’re saying, but I credit a lot of that to the loss of weapons. Heath has not been the same this year (he is still healing). Wallace is gone, meaning the double team over the top is gone. That pretty much just leaves Brown who can get separation quickly.

    This effects Ben’s reads and his accuracy to some degree. His receivers are not as wide open. He has to lead them more and hope they get open. Notwithstanding, his completion percentage this year is 64% compared to his career average of 63%.

    Also, as far as yesterday’s game, I think his hand was dinged up (hitting that helmet on the follow through). Combined with the wind, I’ll give him a pass. I’d rather have him miss long than miss short for the INT (like AJ Hawk).

  • steeltown

    True, they should both be relatively cheap, especially considering Velasco is coming off major injury

  • Matt Manzo

    Wallace’s tattoos make him look cooler, too! But seriously, I’m amazed that he’s stepped in like he has!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Keeping my fingers crossed that they tag him and work out a long term deal. Might mean we have to let go of some veterans but there is absolutely ZERO depth behind Woodley who came seem to stay healthy and J Jones. If they let him get to FA then your right he’s as good as gone for the amount you stated.

  • pittsburghjoe

    HIs contract must be extended this off season.