Since coming into the league in 2004, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has always been regarded as a clutch third down quarterback. In fact, heading into this season, he had the 5th highest third down completion ratio dating back to 2004 when compared to other quarterbacks that have had 600 or more attempts over the course of those nine seasons. In addition, his 46.7% third down conversion ratio of all passing attempts ranks him third on that same list of 25 quarterbacks. This season, however, Roethlisberger has seen a dip in his third down production.
Heading into the Week 16 game against the Green Bay Packers, Roethlisberger has completed only 58.5% of all third down passes and that's his lowest percentage since 2009 when he completed just 56.8% of all third down attempts. In addition, only 69.6% of Roethlisberger's completed third down passes this season have resulted in a first down or a touchdown. In 2009, that number was 77.3% and you have to go all the way back to Roethlisberger's second year in the league to find a lower percentage.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that Roethlisberger is "losing it" when it comes to his statistical drop on third downs as so many variables are involved here, but it is something definitely to dig deeper into after the season is over. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley will only meet with the media one more time this season, assuming of course they don't make the playoffs, and it would be interesting to hear if he has any thoughts on Roethlisberger's dip as far as third downs go.
Ben Roethlisberger Career Third Down Passing Stats