While he certainly has not been bad, by any means, through the first quarter of the 2017 regular season, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been soundly unspectacular. We see this in both the numbers and in the tape, but what really sticks out to me is the fact that he is averaging just 6.8 yards per pass attempt.
For context, his career average yards per pass attempt is nearly eight, a figure that he has topped in six of his previous 13 seasons. Right now, he is far off the pace of repeating that number, which he last accomplished in 2015, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt that season.
Over the course 10 regular season games, Roethlisberger has failed to throw for at least 300 yards a single time, yet he did it four times in the first nine games of the 2016 season. His high yardage total this year is 263 yards from the opener, and at the moment he is averaging under 240 yards per game.
But that isn’t all necessarily a bad thing. Consider the fact that you need to throw at least 38 passes to average eight yards per attempt while throwing for 300 yards. In that span of 10 games in which he has failed to reach 300 passing yards, he has thrown at least that many passes only once, although he only averaged at least eight yards per pass attempt in three of those games.
Of course, they have done a lot of running the ball over that span as well, and it’s probably worth pointing out that they are 9-1 over those 10 games…and that the one game in which he threw at least 38 passes was last week’s loss to the Bears.
“We’ll take a win here however we can get it”, Roethlisberger told reporters after Sunday’s win over Baltimore in which he threw for just 216 yards, averaging 7.2 yards per attempt, according to Chris Adamski. “I still feel personally that I didn’t make all of the plays”.
One of the plays that he talked about missing was a late deep pass to Martavis Bryant that came on third and short after the defense got an interception. He overthrew the wide receiver, who got behind the coverage on what would have been a sure touchdown. “Those are the plays I get upset about”, he said.
Through the first four games of the season, the Steelers have had four breakout offensive performers from their Killers Bs. Antonio Brown was the killer in the first and third games, catching at least 10 passes for over 100 yards in both. In week two, it was Bryant, and Le’Veon Bell’s turn came on Sunday.
“Hopefully Ben has an all-star day”, Ramon Foster said of their upcoming opponent, saying that Jacksonville will try to shut down the run. but the Jaguars have the league-best pass defense and the league-worst run defense in terms of yards allowed. They lead the league with 18 sacks as well.