Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not get off to the greatest start this season. Though he had four touchdowns to just one interception through two games, even then his efficiency per pass thrown was average, in spite of the fact that they were two of his four most-accurate games of the season.
Over the course of the three games that followed, he threw just two touchdowns to six interceptions, which at the time gave him a ratio of six touchdowns to seven interceptions. He had a disastrous five-pick, no-touchdown showing against the Jaguars, after which he said in frustration in response to a reporter’s question, “maybe I don’t have it anymore”.
But one could argue that he has shown since then he very much does still have it. In the five game since then, he has thrown 10 touchdowns to only three interceptions while also slightly improving upon his accuracy, efficiency, and volume.
Roethlisberger has in the past five games completed 97 of his 156 pass attempts for a 62.2 completion percentage. While that figure still needs work, he is also coming off his best game in which he completed two thirds of his pass attempts despite being under more pressure than normal.
He has also gained 1328 yards through the air on those 156 pass attempts, averaging 266 yards per game now in that span, and, more importantly, 8.5 yards per pass attempt. That combined with his 10-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio sees him generating a quarterback rating of 102.7.
For those wondering how those five-game statistics would project over the course of a full season, he will complete roughly 310 of 499 passes for 4250 yards with 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in this hypothetical season—while, by the way, taking only 16 sacks. I would sign up for those numbers.
The monkey in the conversational room here is, obviously, the fact that his numbers in these past five games get skewed pretty heavily by his most recent performance, in which his completion percentage of 66.7 on his highest volume of throws is not representative of his accuracy over that span.
He also had four of his 10 touchdowns in that span with no interceptions, yet he only averaged 6.6 yards per attempt, but his highest quarterback rating actually came in the game against the Bengals. He completed under 60 percent of his passes in that one, but for two touchdowns, no interceptions, and 9.4 yards per pass attempt.
This next game could be very telling about how the rest of the season goes from the quarterback position. From a 75.8 quarterback rating in the first five games to over 100 during the next five, what will the final six games hold on the eve of perhaps the highest-stakes postseason of the decade for this team?