Ben Roethlisberger Ranked 14th Among QBs By Pro Football Focus

Now that we have reached—for some teams, anyway—the midpoint of the season, we are starting to see a lot of different venues with write-ups that are meant to highlight the best and the worst around the league through seven or eight games.

In the Pittsburgh Steelers’ case, it’s eight games, as they are on their bye week right now, so, statistically, their players do have a leg up on others in certain respects, with regard to cumulative statistics.

I’m sure the favorite resource of many here is Pro Football Focus. *cue the groans*. They published their quarterback rankings to date on the season, based on their overall grade, and, to cut to the chase, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ranked 14th on the list.

Sandwiched in between Dak Prescott and Case Keenum in the site’s rankings, I don’t think there is a whole lot of debate over the fact that this has not been Roethlisberger’s best year. Still, I am sure that some will take issue with him being ranked lower than Andy Dalton. Maybe Kirk Cousins and Jameis Winston, too. But really, I don’t find too much here to complain about. He’s been average, and 14 is average.

Interestingly enough, the only statistic in the included graphic in which Roethlisberger ranks highly is the time to throw. He is averaging just 2.44 seconds from snap to throw, which I’m just going to assume is the quickest of his career, and is the third-fastest this season. Clearly, the sandlot ball is a thing of the past for the most part.

Troublingly, his adjusted completion percentage is near the bottom of the league, though I’m not sure this would surprise many. Adjusted completion percentage accounts for dropped passes, batted balls, and throwaways, focusing only on aimed, targeted passes. He has been accurate on 68.7 percent of his throws. Drew Brees, in comparison, has been accurate on 80.9 percent of his throws, best in the league.

He has just a 52 quarterback rating facing pressure this season, and 86.5 facing the blitz, neither of which place him in the top half of the league. He is in the bottom half in short, intermediate, and deep throws, deep passing being easily the worst relative to the rest of the league.

His percentage of turnover-worthy throws is lower than you might expect, on the other hand, for somebody with nine interceptions, 3.8 percent on the year, which is 18th. That’s still not good, but you might think it was much worse. He is also ranked 15th in their ‘big-time throw’ metric, on 4.6 percent of his passing snaps.

Even in a down year, Roethlisberger has still delivered some fantastic, elite throws, even if they have become fewer and far between. On Sunday, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw at least three passes of 94 or more yards with the 97-yard strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster, the longest offensive play in team history.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • francesco

    We still believe in you Ben.
    Concentrate and deliver.

  • Darth Blount 47

    We have played some truly good defenses so far. And the second half opens up like the parting of the Red Sea. By my calculations, there have been multiple TD’s that SHOULD be on Ben’s resume that aren’t. And a 5 INT game will always skew the numbers quite a bit. That aside, he hasn’t been really sharp. That is true. But I think the second half is going to really surprise some of the doubters. After all, we are 6-2. So regardless of the “stats,” he’s doing quite well as leader of this team in the one truly important stat: Wins.

    Indy, Tennessee, Green Bay, New England, Houston, and Cleveland, all have very beatable secondaries and defenses. And Baltimore and Cincy, well, we know they bring a challenge. But challenge accepted. 5 home games left. I picked Ben up in some of my fantasy leagues for a reason. Spot-starts galore.

  • falconsaftey43

    good news is, if Ben ever needed a “get right game” the Colts coming off a bye is about as good as you could ask for. He averages 2.5 TDs, 314 yards, 70.3% completion rate, 109.5 QB Rating vs the Colts over the 6 times he has played them.

  • Zarbor

    I hope you are right. There are few things that make me happier than to see Ben balling out of his mind. I have not seen it at all this year. More importantly, we need Ben to be consistent game to game. I’m hopeful but start counting me as one of the doubters.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    Im not usually one to bash on PFF, but kirk cousins rankes higher than Andy Dalton in 7 of the 9 categories listed and receives a lower overall grade. They do a great job of collecting data and coming up with statistical measurements. Unfortunately, when it comes time to analyze and assign a grade, based on those very stats, they randomly decide to weight certain categories by seemingly arbitrary values and lose credibility as a result. Don’t take a series of OBJECTIVE numbers and put them into a SUBJECTIVE formula.

    I will say that I have no problem with Roethlisberger being ranked 14. It doesn’t require advanced metrics to ascertain that he is playing at the level of a middle of the road quarterback. Anybody with good eyes and decent understanding of the game of football can see that (if you’re being entirely honest about it). He needs to play better, more consistent football. His good throws have been good, but there have been far too many bad ones littered in there. I don’t see any obvious drop off in velocity and so I am led to believe his arm strength is still more than adequate. Im left with the belief that he is suffering from problem in his mechanics (either as the result of an undisclosed injury or simply an inability to execute a successful repetitive throwing motion).

  • Darth Blount 47

    The Colts are certainly a pony he enjoys to ride. I’m attending the game and look forward to seeing some explosion and fireworks from our boys, up close and personal. The “Big Oil Can” is about to spring a major leak. Lol.

  • Doug Andrews

    Even with a Bad Ben first half of the season this team is 6-2. All we need is for good Ben to show up for the second half of the season/ playoff run.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Did you really just find the answer to Bens problems that easily?

    He is throwing too fast and not playing backyard ball. Time to slow things down and revert back to old Ben.

  • mem359

    That is an interesting trade-off.
    Fewer sacks and hits on him (quicker release) vs. consistency.

    Might be worth it, if he stays healthy the entire year.
    We’ve seen that he usually has bad games coming back from injury, and the troubles when he is injured going into the playoffs.

  • Grant Humphrey

    I would say Houston is the best of that group despite their injuries.

  • 6 ring circus

    Very nice venue. You feel like you’re right on top of the field.

  • 6 ring circus

    That’s my quarterback! I think Ben will ball-out, literally and figuratively. I believe we are going to win #7 this year and he will trade in his gold cleats for a gold jacket…book it!

  • walter

    So thats the problem. Ben is releasing too quickly. Yea, yea ok, it keeps him from being injured but thats not his A game. Maybe in the playoffs, he will be allowed to hold the ball longer, coverage will break down, receivers will get college open and the old Ben will be back!

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    It’s an interesting point you bring up. But I don’t think it has anything to do with ‘backyard ben.’ I’ve been saying for a while that they are ignoring the middle of the field and the intermediate passing game (which have long been the strong parts of Ben’s game). I’ve also not seen many double moves that I can remember. One of Ben’s greatest assets is his terrific pump fake. Haven’t seen much of that either. The deep dig, sluggo-seam, and the deep out are all routes that typically involve ‘5 and a hitch’ or require you to hold the ball a half second longer. These routes are often thrown into tight windows with a little extra oomph, which is Roethlisberger’s best attribute IMO. He has never thrown the best deep ball. Nor has he had the most feathery touch. But, as far as letting a guy step into one and deliver a bullet (sometimes between 2 defenders), there’s nobody better.

  • nutty32

    Ben played well in the Bungles game. Landry could have done what Ben accomplished in all the other games. Is Ben elite? We’ll see come Dec/Jan. Right now he’s firmly middle of the pack.

  • Joe

    In my opinion the deterioration of his play began last year.
    Would love to see him play well but as you stated very accurately, the problem is consistency. Who are we going to see from week to week or play to play Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? I too am one of the doubters.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Hopefully the entire line is healthy then and Villy has finally rounded into form. If they can give him an extra second of protection I think his completion percentage will go way up as he seems a little skittish now at the prospect of being hit.

  • 6 ring circus

    Not anymore…

  • Matt

    I’m not sure he has that in him. He isn’t seeing the field very well and at least a few times a game he’s locking onto a receiver early and throwing to them no matter what. This isn’t to say that Ben never makes reads. But I think that if he hasn’t made his read pre-snap, there’s at most a 50/50 chance that he’s going to make a good read after the ball is snapped. He’s looked pretty average this year and this ranking is pretty consistent with his level of play.

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    Ironically, what I’ve been calling for because obviously what they’re doing now looks to be as good as it’s going to get. And at this stage in his career, he won’t/can’t change. The strictly pocket passer traditional approach obviously doesn’t work for him and never really has like it should. It is not what he is.

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    They forgot another metric. Red zone scoring has been terrible with Roethlisberger for at least 6 years AND/or pre-Haley. Roethlisberger just doesn’t work well in tight windows, i.e. red zone. They got rid of Arians specifically because of lack of red zone scoring. Go back to the Whisenhunt days, no different. Roethlisberger still didn’t dominate in red zone then either. Never has never will apparently with the expectation of being a so called traditional passer. He’s just not enough of a passer. Way to inconsistent. Eg, The fact that there is even a “road” version of Roethlisberger versus a home version of Roethlisberger says it all

  • Grant Humphrey

    Right not the team in general but I was talking about their defense

  • dany

    If so they would have unleashed that last year after the fins playoff game. Though you could argue the lack of a real #2 WR and tight end threat he was still handcuffed. We’ll see!

    even a “big game” they have to win during the season might prove that, though the division itself is looking assured and they only play the pats in games that would qualify for that. Maybe the titans, a lot can change in two weeks

  • Solomon Afcan

    Ben has thrown has thrown for over 2,000 yards and is one of the best this year. If that’s Bad Ben… lets roll with it.

  • Solomon Afcan

    Ben has thrown for over 2,000 yards this first half of the year. It’s only going to get better from here. Can’t wait to see him pump fake, and fake out even the television cameras.

  • Doug Andrews

    If he duplicates that over the next 8 games we should expect the Steelers to be at least 12-4 right?