A Closer Look At Ben Roethlisberger’s Road Struggles: Part 1

In this two-part study, I first take a look at Ben Roethlisberger’s statistical performance at home vs on the road from 2014-2016; then, in part 2, I tried to find some possible explanations for the great disparity in his quality of play by looking at the opponents he faced.

Specifically in this first article, I wanted to see if Roethlisberger performed worse across the board when he was away from Heinz Field, rather than looking exclusively at his QB rating or TD/INT ratio (spoiler alert: he did). This article is a little stats and charts heavy because I wanted to get some of the raw numbers out there before discussing possible explanations.

In part 2, I chart opponents’ win percentages, various defense-specific rankings of home/away opponents, sacks, and weather conditions, in hopes of finding a possible explanation for Roethlisberger’s poor numbers.

QB Rating

Earlier this year, Mathew Marczi wrote about how, from 2014-2016, Roethlisberger has the BEST QB rating in the NFL when playing at home (111.5), while also having the fifth WORST rating of any QB when on the road (85.1). I charted his year-to-year home/away rating below:

TDs/INTs

The difference between Roethlisberger’s home and away TD/INT numbers is another stat that has been frequently discussed. It’s worth noting that his interceptions per year are fairly similar, even when considering that he played 2 more road games in 2016 than he did home games. However, this obviously makes his smaller TD pass numbers even more surprising. Below is a chart of his year-to-year performance in these categories.

  • 2014: 8 Home Games, 8 Away Games
  • 2015: 6 Home Games, 6 Away Games
  • 2016: 6 Home Games, 8 Away Games

Attempts and Completions Per Game

As you can see from the charts below, Roethlisberger averages roughly 3 fewer attempts and completions per game when on the road compared to when at home, which might be a partial contributing factor for his lower road TD numbers. However, this fact also makes his interception stats more surprising because, with fewer attempts per game, he probably should also have fewer INTs:

Yards/Attempt and Yards/Game

Lastly, the difference between Roethlisberger’s Home and Away Yards/Game imply that he is less aggressive throwing the ball downfield in road games. Given that he only averages about 3 fewer completions, it is surprising that he throws for nearly 66 fewer yards per game when on the road. His yards/attempt also support the conclusion that he is less aggressive in away games:

About the Author

Sean McKaveney

Sean McKaveney is currently a student at the UCLA School of Law and was formerly the starting Quarterback and Team Captain for Claremont McKenna College, a Top 10 Liberal Arts school in Los Angeles. Although he grew up in Southern California, Sean was raised as a diehard Steelers fan by his father, a Pittsburgh native. The Steelers are undefeated in games that Sean has attended.

  • Steve Johnson

    I wish he would focus more on his poor performance on the road in 2016 than talking about his teammates in the media.

  • Steeler fan in NE

    Yeah calling out bell for not being at camp is a little BS

  • RickM

    That’s a load. Tuitt is showing up at camp after surgery. Bell should be there on the sidelines as well given the money he wants. Roethlisberger has every right to suggest a twice-suspended RB looking for a major financial deal should be there to support his teammates.

  • RickM

    The fault primarily lies with Roethlisberger. We all know that. But the O-line needs to step it up a little on the road as well. They’ve allowed almost 50% more sacks on the road the last two years (22 road sacks versus 15 at home). I don’t know if the ‘road hurries’ count is up the same amount. Either way, Roethlisberger needs to get better and the O-line needs to duplicate the great protection they give him at Heinz Field.

  • Matt Priem

    I thought this was really noticeable last year, more than in years past, and it’s why I give some credence to the possibility of Big Ben retiring sooner than later. His road stats look just like you would expect from a guy who wishes he could spend more time with his family.

  • derp_diggler

    Nice work. This is a question I hope they find the answer for, because they are going to need to win on the road if they are to add to the Lombardi trophy total. I look forward to the second part of this article.

  • FATCAT716

    I do believe healthy weapons will help tremendously as well as a healthy line

  • derp_diggler

    Healthy weapons yes, but the right kind of weapons, specifically physical weapons that can impose their will on a defense. To me this was lacking, especially on the road where the crowd noise makes audibling down by the goal line difficult.

  • RickM

    The 2016 decline is absolutely red zone-related. We had the same personnel playing at home and on the road. Yet we had a 72% red zone success rate at home (2nd best in the league) and only a 36% success rate on the road (4th worst in the NFL). I think that’s the biggest discrepancy in the team’s history. Roethlisberger and Haley just have to figure out what happened in the red zone when away from Heinz Field.

  • VaDave

    Wow.. talk about a damning stat… I read an article somewhere this week that alluded to us being more run centric when we are on the road. This means that in practice, they are using more practice reps on rushing plays, which might be a reason or a contributing factor. You are what you practice. Thanks for your posts on this thread. Very informative.

  • Alan Tman

    ON an airplane they tell you to put your own air mask on before you can worry about anyone elses. This year besides TE Ben is the weakest part of the offense.

  • dany

    And if only it was that. If he was talking about minicamp, or worse training camp, then it would have some legs

  • RickM

    Thanks Dave. The ‘more run centric on the road’ theory is interesting. They should be able to easily watch all their plays within the 20 at home and on the road to see what the run/pass ratio was in each location. There’s never been this kind of discrepancy before so something should jump out at them in their 2016 RZ review.

  • RickM

    Lol, sure. We’re stacked everywhere on Offense, but ultimately we need a QB who can take advantage of this receiving group. Roethlisberger will handle that. You’re spoiled. If you would prefer guys like Flacco, Dalton, etc., they’re all yours.

  • lyke skywalker

    The discrepancy in numbers is pretty startling. Did not realize that away games were that bad, stat-wise.

    On the positive side, even small improvements could lead to better outcomes. There is room for improvement.

  • J Jones

    Getting paid a ton to be a diva-in-decline

  • J Jones

    I could accept him running his trap if he was an MVP candidate every yr, but on the road he plays like trash yet he talks as if hes Aaron Rodgers.

  • VaDave

    I don’t think its with the play calling, it’s about very limited practice reps. They have what, about 6 hours in pads a week? Out of that, they also have to get the defense reps in, not mention the STs rep in as well. All you have to do is look at our kickoff return team to notice they don’t work on it much. I honestly believe the allocation of these reps have a profound effect on what you see on the field. The next time we toss out a turd game on the road against an inferior opponent before an important game, remember you heard it hear first. Btw, that’s for calling this interesting. Most folks just say I’m nuts…

  • RickM

    Lol on the last statement. But if it’s the lack of practise snaps, why are we so successful at home? Maybe we’re not simulating road crowd noise enough in practises? It does get louder when we’re in the RZ on the road. And in 2 of the last 3 years we have a major discrepancy in RZ success at home versus on the road. In 2014 our success dropped from 61% to 40%. Not sure what is going on, but they need to fix it.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Thanks for laying it out so nicely for us Sean.

    I would be interested in taking a look at how big the drop off is for other top QB’s around the league. I might have to look into it at some point to see how they compare.

  • Matthew Marczi

    This only shows QBR, but it’s clear that Roethlisberger’s home/road discrepancy is not the norm.

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2017/01/big-bens-qb-rating-shows-biggest-home-road-split-past-3-seasons/

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Wow yeah, that isn’t even close.

  • VaDave

    Again, this just pure speculation, but it boils down to what they work on. On the road, in dealing with crowd noise, they have been reported as having a more conservative game plan. The crowd noise can also force the spacing of the OL closer so they can hear audibles and blocking changes. The arm pump Foster uses to start the snap count doesnt help much either. The opposing DL gets a pretty good jump when we do that. So you may have a heavier reliance on running the ball, coupled with shorter passing routes. One point about line splits, you lose a lot of good leverage as the gaps narrow, while it hurts the running game, it helps in pass protect I would assume.
    .
    As for the red zone failures in 2016, we had AB and Bell as legitimate threats. A good Red Zone D can neutralize two threats. As for the rest, do you think many defensive coordinators were kept up a night worried about Cobb Hamilton, Eli Rogers, & Jesse James?
    .
    There is one other item I’m sure is not going to go down well on this site, but Pouncey and DeCastro are not exactly road graders. Those counter traps they use between the 20s are not as effective inside the 20. What that means is, in order to run the ball succussfully, those two have to be able to root out guys like Brandon Williams, and frankly, they don’t have the sand in the pants. Since there isn’t a big threat from running the ball in, and on a short field, there isn’t a lot of space in the end zone uncovered.
    .
    You may not agree with that premice, we do agree whatever it is that is screwwed up needs fixed, or Boswell is going to set a record this year.

  • RickM

    I agree with some stuff, but respectfully disagree with a couple of others. AB and Bell were the only significant threats at home as well. And counter-traps are less effective inside the 20 at home as well…and yet we put up a great 72% success rate at Heinz Field.

    I totally agree with your entire first paragraph though. All of those points make a lot of sense. Kudos. They have to fix this. You can’t have 36% and 40% road success rates in the red zone in 2 of the last 3 years, and ever expect to be the #1 seed.

  • Dshoff

    Wow, really?

  • Dshoff

    I agree, I noticed the difference a lot more last year then other years. Maybe he can turn it around this year. I must admit I was amazed to hear that he was the fifth worst qb on the road last year. That’s not good.

  • PaeperCup

    It’s not about how he plays, Ben is the leader of this team. He’s the veteran, he’s the captain, he has more than deserved to say these things.

  • Dshoff

    I wondered that too, but I think the big point is that Ben has the 5th worst qb rating on the road.

  • J Jones

    I just dont recall the montanas, bradys and mannings of the world flapping their lips to the media as much as ben does.

  • RickM

    Yes, Heyward and Shazier – the leaders of the D – can call out the D for playing poorly, or say that McCullers has to be meaner, and no one says a word criticizing their leadership comments. But when Roethlisberger – the leader of the O – makes a comment that Bell should be at the OTA’s, he’s should “shut up”. It’s the typical double-standard that the Roethlisberger haters use.

  • capehouse

    LOLOLOL. You need to delete yourself.

  • John Phillips

    What, so Bell can get injured again? Shiite, let him sit out the preseason. Ben and Bell are like Santonio Holmes. They need to play only 12 regular season games so they’re good for the playoffs. Instead of be taken out by injuries, the coach needs to sit them. But Uncle Tom will play them till the wheels off.

  • John Phillips

    Yeah the OL sucked in that Iggles game.
    In the pats playoff loss, in the run game, they acted like Bell was still playing.

  • John Phillips

    With the ST teams it’s the coaching.

  • VaDave

    It’s kind of hard to coach whenyou don’t have access to the players.

  • J Jones

    Why uncle tom tho?? Wow

  • RickM

    To repeat what I said, Tuitt, who is also recovering from surgery, is on the sidelines. There is no threat to Bell if he is also on the sidelines getting to know his new teammates and being a good teammate. As for your racist comment about our Head Coach, maybe cheering for a different team would be in order if he bothers you that much.

  • Jaybird

    How bout the fact he was throwing to Cobi, Ayers, Rogers,and David Johnson instead of Bryant , Wheaton, and Ladarius Green. Did you ever consider that rookie/ first year receivers are going to struggle on the road as we, and that could have had a negative effect on the QB ?

  • Steven Calimer

    Big Ben. Wants Bell & the whole offense thru all camp to put together a championship season because Ben Roethlisberger is ready to retire

  • Dan

    The O-line also sucked against the Ravens (first game), Browns (second game) and Jets in 2014, the Rams in 2015, and the Ravens (first game) last season, to go with that Eagles game.

  • Dan

    Personally, I think the entire offense is responsible for the home/road disparity. It’s not like the other 10 players on offense are perfect on the road. I like the offensive line very much, especially compared to the offensive lines they trotted out from 2008-2012. But I, too, have noticed that they’re prone to getting pushed around a couple of times per season, and it’s in those games that the offense implodes. Witness the Ravens (first game), Browns (second game) and Jets in 2014, the Rams in 2015, and the Eagles and Ravens (first game) in 2016. The offensive line was physically dominated in those six games, and the Steelers scored an average of 10.3 points in them. All six of those games were on the road. The offensive line almost never gets pushed around at home. Quite frankly, the only road games I can think of that Roethlisberger screwed up entirely on his own were against the Titans in 2014, the Ravens (second game) in 2015, and the Dolphins and Bills in 2016. Even the best QBs have a game per season when they’re the worst player on the offense.

  • AndyR34

    OK…and the excuse for 2014 and 2015 is…?

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    For a guy with all of his years of experience I noticed several incidences last year where I thought Ben was rattled while playing in hostile environments. There is the possibility that some of these times were when the o line themselves struggled but other times were directly on him. I feel it’s likely a sign of Father Time tapping him on the shoulder .

  • Jaybird

    Look at his stats for 2015. Yards per game, per attempt, and completions per game were very impressive. I know his INT / TD ratio wasn’t the greatest that year on the road, but his other numbers were stellar.
    Andy I’ll take Ben all day every day, I think he’s still got it.

  • AndyR34

    While I think Ben is showing signs of decline, IMHO, he is still the only horse we have to ride. And better than most of the other QB’s in the league…not all…but most.

  • RickM

    He will turn 36 just after the end of the season. I don’t think there’s any doubt that age and the more frequent injuries have affected him. You see it most notably on deep balls which definitely hang up more. As for him getting rattled, I think part of that last year was the receiving corps. People for whatever reason like Hamilton, but he was an absolute liability. When you’re only getting 1.5 receptions a game from your #3 wide receiver, you’re going to have your top guy (AB) blanketed more and more.

    Ben had three 300 yard passing games in his first 5 games with a healthy Coates as his third WR. Once Coates got hurt he only had 1 more 300 yard game in his last 9 games. Getting Bryant back and hopefully having a healthy Coates will be MAJOR.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m sure he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the play of the receiving corps for the majority of the year, especially in the Pats game. I’m not saying they would have won, but had some of the dropped balls been caught the score would have been much closer.

  • RickM

    Totally agree. And add in Haley’s ‘deep in the backfield’ run from the one-foot line. Dumbest call of the year.

  • jsteeler

    Wow. Now that’s a mouthful!

  • jsteeler

    Huh????? Who is uncle tom?

  • jsteeler

    In 2017, there will be No EXCUSES! Ben threw 3 int’s vs Buffalo and they still won. Thank you LeVeon Bell and the OL. Ben had 2 int’s vs Baltimore (both games), Cincy and Miami. (Reg Season) 11 ints in 5 games and 14 for the season. Last season when Ben throws no interceptions he is 5-1. (Cowboys won that game) Mostly blowouts occur when no Int is thrown, But,In the playoffs, Ben threw 4 int’s in 3 games. DAMN. 2 ints vs Miami. Wow.
    The 2016 Steelers Defense has been stepping up.
    Let’s face it Ben is in decline, struggles reading defenses pre snap, stares down AB. won’t throw the ball away. All these things are Ben being Ben.
    But, No excuses this year. The OL is back intact for the 3rd straight year. Ben wanted tall receivers since Plex? O.K. Ben has Hunter-6’4, Ju Ju-6’2, Coates-6’2, Bryant-6-5, DHB-6’2, X-Man-6’4, Jessie James-6’7, and David Johnson-6’2. AB and ELI are the only ones 5’10. What else does Ben need?

  • Alan Tman

    You’re right. Spoiled by defenses that held teams to 13 points and under for years, and since that’s over what have we won?

  • Alan Tman

    Oh and I didn’t hear anyone say he’s better than the receivers or the RB, or the O-line.

  • Alan Tman

    It’s funny everyone gets shredded in here, but don’t talk about Ben!! LOL

  • Alan Tman

    This is voluntary work outs. So if he’s somewhere getting therapy it’s none of our business. Do you go to all the voluntary meetings at your job?

  • Alan Tman

    He should have compassion as many times as he screwed up. He acts like he wasn’t a screw up when he was younger.

  • Alan Tman

    Cam and Shazier lead by example. No screw ups like #7.

  • Alan Tman

    59 TDS and 29 INTS in the last 2 years is not too good.

  • Alan Tman

    And he doesn’t want to play under center, doesn’t want to run play action, threatened retirement. If that’s a leader we’re in trouble. If that was AB I could hear it now!! Leaters give more than everyone else to set an example. Not go diva on the team.

  • Alan Tman

    So Buffalo we ran for 237 but Ben had three picks, but it’s everyone else’s fault. He is a veteran QB. Brady, Rodgers, Prescott, Carr, Ryan, and even Bradford don’t throw all these interceptions. It’s him. We had 3 or 4 different OC’s since he’s been here, and a bunch of different offenses and receievers. He’s always throwing a high number of interceptions. We don’t have the best defense in the league anymore.

  • Alan Tman

    That’s because we’re playing from behind and in third and long.

  • Alan Tman

    It’s been going on for three years.

  • Alan Tman

    Look at his career stats. He always throws a lot of interceptions. We just used to have a top 5 defense for half of his career. Haven’t won since the defense declined.

  • Jaybird

    Hopefully no excuses this year. This team is pretty stacked , even the Defense will be much better.

  • capehouse

    Lots of talk about Ben’s home and road performances last year, and rightly so, but look at his stats in the 4th qtr and overtime last year. Guy is still a gamer and the lifeblood of this team. Last year he had AB and practice squad WRs. This year he’s actually got a chance.

  • J Jones

    Dont recall Cam calling any one person out. Just the unit as a whole. Ben has no problem running to the media speaking on specifics.

  • J Jones

    Sadly still havent seen that one yr that just screams Hall of Fame. He’s had some great yrs and outstanding moments but even a biased fan like myself has to ask when will #7 in Pittsburgh win an MVP, or even put himself in the convo? At this point in their careers i think Rivers is a better player. Ben has too many holes in his game considering hes like 61.

  • Alan Tman

    What does Brady or Rodgers have? Bradford or Kaepernick have? Look at their TD’S to INT ratios. No excuse for a veteran, especially with our run game. Rodgers didn’t have a RB.

  • capehouse

    Seriously? Brady and Rogers had waaaay better groups of receivers than we did. Edelman, Hogan, Amendola, Mitchell and Bennet. Nelson, Adams, Cobb, Montgomery, and Cook. Compared to AB, Rogers, Hamilton, Ayers and James? Brady is also the best QB in the history of the league. Rodgers is currently the best QB in the league. The other 2 QBs aren’t worth talking about. Rodgers also didn’t make it to the Super Bowl and a big reason was a lack of a running game.

  • Dan

    Citing an exception to the rule does not disprove the rule. I already said that Roethlisberger screwed up in Buffalo on his own, but you’re clueless if you really think that other players on offense never perform poorly on the road. I never said that the home/road split was everybody else’s fault, but you seem to be one of these fans who thinks the rest of the offense does no wrong ever and Roethlisberger just screws it all up anyway, which is a group of fans that I can’t stand, quite frankly. And no, Roethlisberger does not always throw a high number of INTs. His cumulative INT percentage since 2010 is 2.2%, which is decidedly not high. In fact, he has a lower INT percentage since 2010 than Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo. As for those other QBs you name-dropped, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford all have lower career passer ratings than Roethlisberger does, and Dak Prescott could be a one-year wonder, for all we know. And nobody ever said that Roethlisberger is better than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers anyway. Plain and simple, I never absolved Roethlisberger of all blame for his home-road splits. I simply illustrated that he’s gotten plenty of “help” from the rest of the offense in most of his worst road performances.

  • Aj Gentile

    Lack of ketchup bottles in the endzone on the road

  • popsiclesticks

    And why does he only have a single wheel???

  • popsiclesticks

    Ben gets paid big time and he gets paid again 2 years before his deal is up. Bell, on the other hand, probably has one significant payday in his life (not counting franchise tag). I don’t blame any player for using their leverage and I bet many more Steelers are in Bell’s position than in Ben’s. Not that it’s likely to be an issue, but I do think QBs should try to stay out of their teammates’ financial matters. It’s hard to question the will of a guy who has come back from what Bell has come back from as strong as he did.

  • Alan Tman

    Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone doesn’t point everyone else’s out when they’re making more than everyone else. You talk about part of the fan base that makes people sick. Big Ben is the conquering hero who can bad mouth teammates, throw double digit picks every year, get in trouble off field, wreck his motorcycle, and still act holier than thou, but AB gets condemned for being the hardest worker on the team, and the best player. But fans like you thinks that is reasonable. My point was from the beginning that Ben should fix his own mistakes before calling out others. But twisting narratives is always the American way. Just ask Kaepernick.

  • Dan

    Get over the off-field crap from 2006-2010. It’s 2017 now. Furthermore, if you’re going to criticize a QB for throwing “double-digit picks,” well then there are only two or three QBs per season whom you’ll appreciate. Rational football fans don’t care about the number of INTs thrown, only the rate. Tom Brady (1.3%), Aaron Rodgers (1.4%), Alex Smith (1.6%), Derek Carr (1.8%), Russell Wilson (2.0%), Sam Bradford (2.0%) and Matt Ryan (2.1%) are the only full-time veteran starting QBs in the NFL who have lower INT rates than Ben Roethlisberger (2.2%) since 2010, and Smith and Bradford barely even count because they’re careful to the point of being timid with the ball, unwilling or unable to make big plays with their arms. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford (2.3%), Drew Brees (2.4%), Joe Flacco (2.4%), Peyton Manning (2.5%), Tony Romo (2.5%), Andy Dalton (2.6%), Cam Newton (2.7%), Philip Rivers (2.8%), Carson Palmer (2.9%), Blake Bortles (3.0%), Jay Cutler (3.1%) and Eli Manning (3.1%) all have higher INT rates since 2010 than Roethlisberger does. An INT rate of 2.2% is NOTHING to complain about, especially given that Peyton Manning is the only QB this century with a higher “air” YPA than Roethlisberger, so knock it off. Ben Roethlisberger’s INT rate is not a valid complaint, period.

  • Alan Tman

    Look I don’t care about the rate. You can throw 5 TD’S against the Colts. Good for you. What are You doing in the big games? Le’Veon bailed him out in the big games. Stats are for geeks and losers. You can make them say exactly what you want them to. Real fans can see what is really going on. Big games count. So you can take that stupid Stat that has Clev, Ind, Wash, and Jets. Let’s look at the big games.

  • Alan Tman

    QBS make receiving corp. Rodgers and Brady would both take our receivers over theirs. And you’re making my point with Rodgers if he had our offense he would have won the Superbowl.

  • capehouse

    Just be quiet. You’re not making any sense. I just listed all their receivers against ours including 2 guys pulled off the practice squad and you’re gonna seriously say Rodgers and Brady would choose ours over theirs? You’re just playing the contrarian. It’s boring. Goodbye.

  • Alan Tman

    That’s actually just shows that you don’t actually know football, because every Packers game they said they would double Nelson and no one else could get open.That’s why Rodgers is constantly running for his life. I’m glad you are done talking. Thank you Lol

  • Dan

    Sure, let’s:

    81.5% completion, 300 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT, 152.5 rating against the Chiefs.
    80.4% completion, 408 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 125.4 rating against the Cowboys.
    66.7% completion, 289 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 98.0 rating against the Giants.
    72.7% completion, 279 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 103.0 rating against the Ravens.*

    *: Christmas Day game, which included a game-winning TD drive, consisting entirely of pass plays, with the AFC North title on the line.

    All of the above teams except the Ravens made the playoffs, and the only reason the Ravens didn’t is because the Steelers kept them out with the aforementioned game-winning, nothing-but-pass-plays TD drive. Are those games big enough for you?

    Also worth noting is that Roethlisberger had the second-highest passer rating under pressure of any QB in the second half of last season (99.0), per Pro Football Focus. That’s higher than even Matt Ryan (91.9), and lower than only Aaron Rodgers (116.6).

    Now, where would you like to move the goalposts next?

  • Alan Tman

    Ravens game on the road he looked horrible. Ravens game at home he played bad except for the last drive. I was there he played terrible. Dolphins game on the road terrible. Eagles game do I need to say anything else? Dolphins playoffs terrible. He threw two five yard passes AB broke for TD’s. Chiefs playoff game terrible, and let’s not even talk about the Pats game when there was no Bell to bail him out. How can you play that bad in the playoffs when you have a guy rushing for over 200 yds every game? He has never carried this team. This has always been a team that the defense has carried the load. When we were winning Superbowls we usually won were 13-10. I hope that can finally change. Let’s face it this offense has constantly under performed. Like I said with stats you can make them say anything, but last year was a huge disappointment by the QB according to what was expected .

  • Dan

    “Ravens game on the road he looked horrible.”

    First game back from a knee injury with a running game that provided a whopping 36 rushing yards. He ain’t the only one who looked horrible in that game. At least he had an excuse.

    “Dolphins game on the road terrible.”

    Correct. That’s one of the four road games in the last three seasons that Roethlisberger screwed up entirely on his own.

    “Eagles game do I need to say anything else?”

    You should probably also say that a) the offensive line was single-handedly destroyed by Fletcher Cox in that game, b) the running game provided a whopping 29 rushing yards, and c) Markus Wheaton dropped three passes in the game, including one in the end zone on third down. Saying those things would certainly help.

    “Dolphins playoffs terrible. He threw two five yard passes AB broke for TD’s.”

    Would you rather he aired it out into double coverage or something? See, even when Roethlisberger makes “the smart play,” which fans like you insist that he seldom does, we can’t even give him credit for that either. And speaking of Antonio Brown, he was also responsible for an INT in FG range, when a pass thrown well within his natural catch radius bounced off his hands and into the hands of the defender coming up behind him.

    “Chiefs playoff game terrible…”

    Antonio Brown dropped a pass that hit him square in the numbers in the end zone in the third quarter, and Eli Rogers was paying no attention while the ball whistled past his earhole at the goal line in the fourth quarter. If even one of those plays was executed properly on the receiving end, then the Steelers would have won that game more comfortably.

    …and let’s not even talk about the Pats game when there was no Bell to bail him out.”

    I agree, let’s not talk about Cobi Hamilton dropping a pass that hit him square in the numbers in the end zone in the second quarter, or having another TD pass nullified when he carelessly stepped out of bounds in the end zone in the third quarter, and let’s not talk about Sammie Coates dropping a perfectly-thrown ball down the sideline with nothing but grass between him and the end zone in the first quarter, or running the wrong route at the goal line and taking himself out of position for a pass in the end zone that he had to dive to get his hands on (and that he still dropped anyway) in the second quarter. Let’s not talk about any of that. We have a worldview to preserve, wherein the other 10 players on offense do no wrong ever, and the QB just f__ks it all up.

    “How can you play that bad in the playoffs when you have a guy rushing for over 200 yds every game?”

    I don’t know. It probably has something to do with having five TD passes either dropped (Antonio Brown, Cobi Hamilton #1), lost by miscommunication (Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates), or nullified by illegal touching (Cobi Hamilton #2), all of which I vividly illustrated above. But let’s just pretend that the WRs do no wrong, ever, even though they were the worst-performing unit on the entire team for the duration of the playoffs. By the way, Le’Veon Bell didn’t run for 200 yards in any of those playoff games.

    And no, I’m not even absolving Roethlisberger of all blame. Three of his four INTs in the playoffs were his fault. I’m just sick and tired of people like you pretending that he’s the only player on offense who screws up, especially when it can be reasonably argued that the WRs made more mistakes than he did in the playoffs.

    “He has never carried this team. This has always been a team that the defense has carried the load.”

    You’re right, Ben Roethlisberger has never carried the Steelers. In 2014, the Steelers finished 11-5 and won the AFC North because of their superb defense that ranked 18th in points allowed, 23rd in takeaways and 30th in defensive DVOA, and their spectacular running game that ranked 16th in total rushing yards, 16th in YPC and 21st in TD runs. My mistake.

    As for 2015, when the Steelers ranked 4th in scoring, let’s examine who did most of the dirty work and who gets most of the glory. Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing yards per game, but had only 21 TD passes. Meanwhile, the running game ranked 16th in total rushing yards (again) but 6th in TD runs. These discrepancies illustrate that Roethlisberger threw the team into scoring position in the first place, but handed the ball off near the goal line, thus giving the RBs all the glory and praise. In 2015, the RBs were the shiny disco ball, and the QB was the support that the disco ball hung from.

    In 2016, Roethlisberger ranked 6th in TD passes and 5th in TD passes per game despite no Martavis Bryant, no continuity at TE, and a WR corps so depleted by injuries behind Antonio Brown that multiple WRs had to be called up from the practice squad, and one of those practice-squad WRs even started a game late in the season. If a QB can have the 5th-most TD passes per game with only one reliable WR and no reliable TE, then no, he’s not falling off.

    Don’t bother responding to me anymore. We will never see eye to eye on this matter. You, however, will get what you deserve by 2020: a mediocre Steelers team that any team with a halfway-decent run defense can beat. It’ll be like the Kordell Stewart era all over again. Savor it when it comes, ‘cuz that’s RILL STILLER FOOTBAW!

  • Alan Tman

    YOU ARE JUST LIKE HIM!!! BLAME EVERYONE ELSE. YOU SURE YOU AREN’T A RELATIVE? CARRYING A TEAM MEANS WIN!!! When the defense carried us we won. Lol I never heard so many excuses.

  • Mister Wirez

    Yeah, they need a study of what happens to the O / D lines, and the Steelers coaching when playing in Foxboro. It’s ugly up there.