For those who hate Pro Football Focus, please divert your eyes elsewhere now. This is going to be an article about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger through the prism of the advanced analytics website’s statistics, as he has been getting quite a few mentions lately though them, so I thought it was time to compile them.
- Stat: 5th-highest yards per pass attempt on 3rd down (2016)
Even when opposing defenses got the Patriots to third down, they still had a hard time stopping Tom Brady. pic.twitter.com/eqeUaTwXdi
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 18, 2017
This one shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, because Roethlisberger has a penchant for wanting to go deep on third and short situations, and he converts a decent number of them. He averaged 8.7 yards per pass attempt on third down. Aaron Rodgers was second with 9.3, while Tom Brady was the massive outlier at 11.4.
- Stat: 4th-highest touchdown rate under pressure (2006-2016)
Steelers QB ‘Big Ben’ Roethlisberger finds himself with the 4th highest touchdown rate when under pressure during the PFF Era. pic.twitter.com/jIIegljyRp
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 22, 2017
Since the website began tracking data in 2006, Roethlisberger has been one of the most successful quarterbacks in the league in turning plays in which he is pressured into scores. This is one of his hallmarks, even if it may have been less emphasized in recent years. It comes from the backyard mentality of never wanting to give up on a play. And once you escape the initial pressure, it’s likely that you are free for a bit, giving players an opportunity to get open down the field.
- Stat: Only QB with 1000+ yards on deep passes the past 3 seasons (2014-2016)
While he hasn’t led the league, Ben Roethlisberger is the only QB with 1,000+ deep passing yards in each of the last three seasons. pic.twitter.com/3bAci6Gyk2
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 27, 2017
One thing we know about Roethlisberger is that he has always been a player how likes to take advantage of his big arm and launch the deep ball. As much as Bruce Arians was criticized for relying upon it, the deep passes certainly haven’t gone away in Todd Haley’s offense. Roethlisberger only played in 14 games last year and 12 the year before, but he still accrued over 1000 passing yards on balls traveling at least 20 yards in the air.
- Stat: highest (and 4th-highest) passer rating under pressure in a season since 2006 (2014; 2012)
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 29, 2017
This one already ties into some of the things that we have already talked about, but given his ability to turn pressure into touchdowns, it would be no surprise to see Roethlisberger top the list for the best season under pressure, doing so in 2014. He also had the fourth-best rating in 2012—though second and third place are not exactly compelling company.
- 2nd-highest passer rating under pressure (W10-17, 2016)
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 30, 2017
And finally, Roethlisberger has proven that he can continue to be good under pressure. Down the stretch of last season, he posted the second-best quarterback rating when facing pressure in the league, bettered only by Rodgers, who was a significant outlier. But the third-place Matt Ryan wasn’t particularly close to Roethlisberger either.