Is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger currently one of the top three quarterbacks in the league heading into 2016? According to a recent survey of 42 league insiders conducted by ESPN.com, he indeed is.
In a recent Insider article, Mike Sando polled 10 general managers, five head coaches, seven offensive coordinators, five defensive coordinators, eight personnel evaluators and seven other position coaches/executives on 33 quarterbacks in the league, asking them to place each player into one of five tiers. When the polling was done, Roethlisberger was one of three quarterback listed in the top tier and the third overall behind only New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Specifically, Roethlisberger had an average tier rating of 1.21 which is an increase of 11.5% over last year.
Thirty-three of 42 voters placed Roethlisberger in the top tier, drawing a clear line between him and the quarterbacks listed below. There were zero complaints about the 16 interceptions Roethlisberger threw last season. Insiders understood how much pressure was on the Steelers’ quarterback while he averaged 39.1 pass attempts per game.
Are you surprised? I’m not and it’s good to see how well thought of the Roethlisberger continues to be around the league as he enters his 13th NFL season.
The praise for Roethlisberger on ESPN.com doesn’t stop with those rankings, however, as Scott Kacsmar ranked the Steelers quarterback as the second-most accurate passer in the league last season.
Roethlisberger graded out with a C%+ rating of 6.8 percent which stands for percentage points better than average. Finishing ahead of Roethlisberger was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as his C%+ rating was 7.3 percent.
Roethlisberger has had many seasons with a better TD-INT ratio than he had last year (21-16), but 2015 may have been the best he has ever thrown the ball physically. Roethlisberger’s QBR was 76.9, the highest of his career, as he led a vertical attack that saw him average 10.3 air yards per attempt, but still complete 68 percent of his passes. He also had the hot hand on the short stuff. Roethlisberger completed 83.3 percent of his passes thrown within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage; no other quarterback eclipsed 80 percent. Roethlisberger’s 2015 average of 328.2 passing yards per game was the third-highest season in NFL history.
Once again, not overly surprising if you watched Roethlisberger play last season.
There is quite a lot of great information in both of these Insider posts that I linked to in addition to a few quotes. It’s articles such as these that make the yearly subscription worthwhile.