Steelers Vs. Bears Stat That Matters: Third And Glennon


The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field and that means they’ll be facing quarterback Mike Glennon. Glennon, you may remember, beat the Steelers in 2014 when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that was one of the two wins that team had all season.

Ahead of Sunday’s game taking place, I wanted to point out one key area of Glennon’s overall game so far during his career and that’s how he performs on third downs as he really has two extremes in those situations when it comes to yardage needed.

When Glennon has faced third downs with 6 to 10 yards to go, he’s been awful so far during his career. In fact, of the 39 quarterbacks who have attempted at least 50 or more passes in those situations dating back to 2013, Glennon not only has the lowest completion percentage of that group (44.3%), but the lowest traditional quarterback rating as well (45.1).

As you can probably imagine, Glennon’s conversion percentage on 3rd downs with 6-10 yards to go is low so far during his career (26.9). Additionally, his sack percentage of 15.1 is the third highest of the aforementioned 39 quarterbacks. In short, if a defense can get Glennon in a 3rd and long situation, they’re likely to be able to get off the field.

NFL QB Stats 2013-2017 On Third Down With 6-10 Yards To Go
PlayerCmpAttCmp%YdsTDIntSkSk YdsSk%Y/A1D1D %Rate
Mike Glennon357944.34361414-10315.1%5.52526.9%45.1
EJ Manuel316944.9430214-345.5%6.22128.8%69.1
Blake Bortles9520546.3125871137-21215.3%6.17028.9%55.3
Jameis Winston60125488202711-868.1%6.65137.5%51.4
Nick Foles6413148.9736348-595.8%5.64431.7%61.1
Brandon Weeden285749.13372211-8316.2%5.91522.1%64.7
Cam Newton11522750.715489632-27312.4%6.89135.1%74.9
Blaine Gabbert397651.3368339-6110.6%4.81720.0%61.7
Eli Manning14928951.6190961422-1707.1%6.69229.6%59.3
Tony Romo5811251.88546515-12211.8%7.64333.9%76.3
Case Keenum489252.25334315-11814.0%5.82624.3%70.6
Andrew Luck10720552.2146710622-1579.7%7.27533.0%79.5
Brian Hoyer7714553.19735315-1149.4%6.75031.3%77.2
Brock Osweiler5911053.66365211-769.1%5.83932.2%78.4
Matt Schaub285253.8273224-367.1%5.31526.8%65.6
Sam Bradford8515853.89385415-1208.7%5.95330.6%71.7
Alex Smith11621454.213928536-20314.4%6.57730.8%77.1
Derek Carr12523054.3172212616-1256.5%7.59739.4%85.1
Ryan Tannehill11621254.717328829-21912.0%8.28334.4%78.6
Matthew Stafford15327755.2214516928-1829.2%7.710534.4%86.1
Robert Griffin5710255.96933412-9910.5%6.83833.3%70.4
Colin Kaepernick9617156.113246227-16613.6%7.76030.3%88
Geno Smith6311256.39466311-848.9%8.44839.0%90.8
Joe Flacco15226756.91978111440-31313.0%7.410233.2%72.3
Marcus Mariota57100578514213-10011.5%8.54338.1%90
Aaron Rodgers11520057.5175115238-25916.0%8.89539.9%107.3
Peyton Manning10918957.713771289-434.5%7.37537.9%84
Carson Palmer13823758.21960181022-1478.5%8.310139.0%92.8
Russell Wilson12521458.417686429-21711.9%8.39539.1%86.7
Trevor Siemian386558.5441338-6311.0%6.82534.2%75.2
Josh McCown7212358.59479517-11012.1%7.75841.4%90.4
Tyrod Taylor6410958.78875318-12314.2%8.14535.4%88.7
Ryan Fitzpatrick12821858.717399619-1048.0%88335.0%86.5
Kyle Orton305158.8341226-3810.5%6.71729.8%75.7
Philip Rivers15926959.12166211231-18510.3%8.111538.3%92.3
Mark Sanchez315259.6397346-5810.3%7.62136.2%70.8
Ben Roethlisberger13722860.120689520-1658.1%9.110040.3%94
Andy Dalton14724460.21899111020-1317.6%7.89837.1%82.7
Tom Brady14924760.3195517527-1729.9%7.99936.1%99.8
Carson Wentz498160.5580126-516.9%7.23236.8%76.2
Chad Henne437061.44342014-10716.7%6.22327.4%88.6
Jay Cutler10717361.813579318-1119.4%7.87036.6%96.4
Ryan Mallett315062336103-205.7%6.72037.7%88.4
Kirk Cousins10817462.111468515-1147.9%6.66433.9%84.6
Drew Brees16826962.52305111818-1346.3%8.611740.8%75.6
Matt Ryan16826862.7237511628-1999.5%8.912140.9%95.6
Matt Cassel497565.3597408-709.6%83238.6%107.5
Teddy Bridgewater649865.39206315-9913.3%9.44438.9%103.3
Dak Prescott435874.1445215-227.9%7.72336.5%100.1

Glennon, however, is a much better quarterback when facing third downs with less than 6 yards to go. In fact, of those same 39 quarterbacks I referenced above, Glennon has the highest completion percentage (70.5) of the group as well as the highest traditional quarterback rating (123.1). His 52.7 conversion percentage in those situations is not only respectable, but slightly better than that of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (51.6), dating back to 2013.


While Glennon’s third and short passing numbers are very respectable, his 17.6 sack percentage is nearly unbelievable as he’s been dropped 13 times on 74 total drop-backs, not including scrambles.

NFL QB Stats 2013-2017 On Third Down With 1-5 Yards To Go
PlayerCmpAttCmp%YdsTDIntSkSk YdsSk%Y/A1D1D %Rate
Mike Glennon436170.54326013-10017.6%7.13952.7%123.1
Tony Romo8412268.97781529-636.9%6.47758.8%118.8
Drew Brees19027868.3211424415-1195.1%7.616857.3%113.5
Brandon Weeden233565.7237125-3912.5%6.82152.5%70.8
Robert Griffin497565.3432418-629.6%5.84453.0%92.7
Teddy Bridgewater578864.8643526-466.4%7.34446.8%96
Alex Smith12719664.8127510319-1058.8%6.510649.3%93.8
Philip Rivers17527064.8182114519-1326.6%6.714951.6%93.8
Carson Palmer13821364.8150418414-1106.2%7.112454.6%105.8
Peyton Manning10215964.210451945-423.0%6.68954.3%112
Matt Ryan16125164.1173216124-1698.7%6.914452.4%103.9
Jameis Winston7912463.78581238-446.1%6.97657.6%106.2
Tom Brady15624663.4185421520-1347.5%7.514554.5%106.3
Matthew Stafford15925362.81565111115-1095.6%6.214152.6%76.6
Sam Bradford9014462.57491226-464.0%5.28254.7%97.8
Carson Wentz406462.5343325-207.2%5.43855.1%79.1
Kirk Cousins10917562.313221267-563.8%7.69853.8%94
Ben Roethlisberger14823961.9176025415-845.9%7.413151.6%112.3
Josh McCown6811061.883010210-648.3%7.56453.3%107.8
Matt Schaub243961.5236222-204.9%6.12151.2%74.3
Colin Kaepernick9114861.5121812415-829.2%8.28753.4%103.4
Andy Dalton13121461.2144912514-1016.1%6.811550.4%90.3
Eli Manning16627261202726714-844.9%7.515152.8%105.1
Kyle Orton315160.8367015-238.9%7.22850.0%74.6
Aaron Rodgers13221860.6165125710-804.4%7.612052.6%108.9
Ryan Mallett233860.521113000.0%5.62360.5%51.5
Brock Osweiler559160.4556249-759.0%6.14848.0%66.9
Joe Flacco14323860.1152214319-2197.4%6.411946.3%93.2
Ryan Tannehill13522959126618417-1236.9%5.511647.2%93.2
Marcus Mariota6310758.98621039-507.8%8.15749.1%104.2
Ryan Fitzpatrick9115658.39299412-487.1%67745.8%84.1
Russell Wilson13022358.3141717519-1137.9%6.411447.1%93.2
Blake Bortles10117557.79726414-1227.4%5.69349.2%75.2
Jay Cutler9917357.2120914815-768.0%78645.7%86.6
Brian Hoyer6811957.1694617-535.6%5.86047.6%87.3
Dak Prescott335856.9419213-234.9%7.23354.1%83.9
Andrew Luck12121556.3143923420-1268.5%6.711348.1%104.8
Mark Sanchez234156.1243526-4212.8%5.92144.7%92.8
Geno Smith5191566177216-12815.0%6.84441.1%93.5
Tyrod Taylor5191564007213-8112.5%4.44442.3%83.6
Case Keenum55100556255111-979.9%6.34843.2%86.5
Trevor Siemian315754.4404816-409.5%7.12946.0%109.2
Cam Newton9517853.4128615318-1369.2%7.28945.4%97.7
Chad Henne275152.9267227-3912.1%5.22543.1%64.7
Nick Foles509652.1607819-478.6%6.34441.9%95.3
Derek Carr9618950.8109614611-735.5%5.88844.0%80
Blaine Gabbert234650198225-209.8%4.31631.4%58.1
EJ Manuel306446.9296034-315.9%4.62739.7%40.9
Matt Cassel255644.6345334-186.7%6.22338.3%60.5

In Glennon’s 2014 win over the Steelers, the Pittsburgh defense forced the Buccaneers offense into 13 third downs during that game. The 8 times that Glennon faced third down needing 6 or more yards in that game, he moved the chains just twice (25%). However, on the five third downs that needed five or less yards, the Buccaneers converted all five plays with four of those being passes from Glennon and one other being a short run by a running back. One of those completions, a five-yard touchdown completion to wide receiver Vincent Jackson, came with 12 seconds left in the game and ultimately won it for the Buccaneers.

Sure, the goal every week for every defense is to get the opposing quarterback into as many third and long situations as possible. With that said, Glennon’s history shows that he’s really struggled when facing third and longs. If you have time during Sunday’s game, track the Bears on third downs and note not only the yardage needed, but how Glennon performs. If The Steelers defense struggles with the Bears offense, it will likely be the result of them not forcing many third and longs.

In case you’re curious, the Steelers defense has only allowed third downs to be converted against them 29.6% of the time so far this season. The 19 times opposing offenses have faced a third down needing 6 or more yards against the Steelers defense, they’ve converted just three times in total (15.7%).

  • WreckIess

    I think a lot of the naysayers need this game before they completely buy in to what the team is becoming. Things have been good so far, but I think they’re one bad defensive showing away from the “Same old defense” and “Fire Butler” cries showing up again.

    I think they’ll go into Chicago and improve on what they’ve been doing. Pressuring the QB, stopping the run, and harassing the wideouts. Unless the OL gets Ben hurt again *knock on wood* I don’t see this game being close at all.

  • D.j. Hoy

    The Steelers have faced some bottom-of-the-barrel QBs so far (including week 3). I love the wins, but hopefully they don’t get too comfortable. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady won’t have many bad passes. Hopefully they keep the pressure up!

  • Dave, you might want to check out the play of Bears rookie RB Tarik Cohen in games one and two. He’s showing [so far] he’s just short [not small], lightning quick, and powerful–not easy to tackle and limited schematically [not mentioning any names;<]. In particular, his thick build and low center of gravity seems to give him exceptional balance and an ability to bounce off tackling attempts and keep moving. I had hoped the Steelers would take a flyer on him with a late round pick, but he was gone in the fourth. Hopefully, Butler and his D will be prepping seriously for his unique skill set.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    This game worries me.

  • Me too!

  • SteelersDepot

    I guess you didn’t realize that only 10 of his 28 (35.7%) total touches have been successful plays.Not great. I’ve already watched both Bears games and while he’s done some nice things like that long run against a sloppy Falcons defense, he’s vert containable.

  • Cwallace

    It’s something about playing in Chicago that messes with my thinking but other than that you’re right on and all steelers fans know we’re by far the better team. ..just watch out for that young running back…reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew.

  • razaard2

    Building confidence, hopefully, won’t hurt this defense. Especially the new secondary
    Indo expect some “back to reality” shock when we face a top tier qb

  • razaard2

    So what that means? Stop the run.
    Stop the run and Glennon will give the ball back to the Steelers
    It won’t be easy because that’s a very underrated offensive line, but if Heyward keeps doing what he has been doing…

  • Good! i hope you’re right! ;<))