Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 30-of-43 passing Sunday in the 20-13 loss to the New York Jets and five of his 13 incompletions were deep passes.
By my count, Roethlisberger threw seven passes that traveled 15 or more yards past the line of scrimmage in the game and he completed just two of them, both to rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant. One of those seven attempts that was intended for wide receiver Markus Wheaton was intercepted by Jets defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett.
“Just took too much off it,” said Roethlisberger of that interception following the game. “He [Wheaton] broke over the top of the linebacker and I just put too much air on it and they made a play. Bad throw on my part.”
Roethlisberger seemed to be under duress most of the first half, but he said the Jets pass rush wasn’t the reason why he had so many short throws, especially early on in the game.
“No, because of what they were taking away,” said Roethlisberger. “They were taking away a lot of the deep balls. Just kind of giving us some underneath stuff. So you take what they give us.”
Despite Roethlisberger’s poor showing Sunday at MetLife Stadium, it should be noted that two of his incompleted passes were spikes and at least two others were drops.
However, when you consider that the Steelers only had one explosive play of 20 yards or more Sunday, you can tell that the deep pass was sorely missed. When you combine the lack of explosive plays with four turnovers, it’s easy to see why they lost the game.