The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their 2015 regular season opener Thursday night to the New England Patriots and while there were a lot of negatives associated with the game, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did play well.
Roethlisberger completed 26 of 38 passes for 351 yards Thursday night and while he did have the one interception to go along with one touchdown, his numbers probably could’ve been slightly better had his receivers helped him out some.
Below is a look at at all 12 of Roethlisberger’s incompletions against the Patriots.
After completing his first six pass attempts in the game, Roethlisberger finally threw his first incompletion with 10:33 left in the second quarter. It was an overthrown ball to tight end Heath Miller and it looked as though it just got away from him. He did make up for it on the very next play, however, as he connected with wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey deep down the left sidelined for 43 yards.
Roethisberger’s next incompleted pass came later in that same drive and it appears as though it was a result of he and wide receiver Antonio Brown not being on the same page together. Brown was running a go route on the play while Roethlisberger delivered a back shoulder throw.
On 3rd and 3 with 53 seconds left in the first half, Roethlisberger threw deep to wide receiver Markus Wheaton down the left sideline. While the ball may have been thrown a tad too far, Wheaton probably should’ve caught it just the same as he did get both of his hands on it as you can see below.
Three plays later, it looked like Roethlisberger had connected with Heyward-Bey for a touchdown from 26 yards out, but as you can see below, the Steelers wide receiver didn’t show good awareness as to where he was at in the end zone. His right foot was on the chalk and out of bounds at the time of the catch and thus the pass was ruled incomplete. This play really stung as the Steelers ultimately had to settle for three points right before halftime.
Prior to settling for that aforementioned field goal, Roethlisberger failed to connect with Heyward-Bey on the 3rd and 5. On this incompleted pass, it appears as though Heyward-Bey stopped running.
Roethlisberger’s next incompletion didn’t take place until early in the fourth quarter. On this play, the Steelers quarterback was wise to throw it out of the end zone instead of forcing it to Miller, who was tightly covered.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger failed to connect with Brown across the middle. It appears as though Brown made a business decision on this play as he was set to take a big hit had he made the catch. The all-22 view should give us a better look at this play when it is released.
This next throw to Wheaton on the very next play certainly wasn’t on target as it was behind the receiver. It was a third down miss and the Steelers subsequently had to punt.
With 7:09 left to go in the game, Roethlisberger threw his lone interception of the night. It was a deep, ill-advised throw to Heyward-Bey, who never even had a shot at breaking it up. Roethlisberger talked about this play after the game.
“I just threw it as far as I could against the wind and it just didn’t get there far enough,” he said. “Not a strong enough arm.”
With 2:52 left in the game, Roethlisberger failed to connect with Miller. He did, however, have to roll out to his right on the play to avoid pressure and it looked like he throw it low because of how tight the coverage was.
A few plays later, Roethlisberger threw deep to Wheaton down the middle of the field, but as you can clearly see in the picture below, the ball went right through the wide receiver’s arms. This pass clearly should’ve been caught.
This was Roethlisberger’s final incompletion of the game and it was a low throw to Wheaton.