I have written several posts over the years about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his play on third downs as it has been one of the strongest aspects of his game throughout his NFL career. Thanks to a recent tweet by Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, today we’ll look at Roethlisberger’s third down passing success rankings when compared to other quarterbacks dating back to 2001.
Highest 3rd down conversion rate on throws since 2001
1. Ben Roethlisberger 46.6%
2. Peyton Manning 46.4%
3. Matt Ryan 45.6%
4. Drew Brees 45.6%
5. Jameis Winston 45.5%
6. Aaron Rodgers 45.5%
7. Tony Romo 45.1%
8. Philip Rivers 45.0%
9. Tom Brady 44.0%@fbgchase
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) May 17, 2018
For starters and worth pointing out, Kacsmar’s recent rankings do not include the criteria that was used but by using the search filters on Pro Football Reference, we can come fairly close to producing the same results that he tweeted out last week and you can see those in the table below.
As you can clearly see below, Roethlisberger’s 8.1 yards per attempt on third downs for his career is second-best behind only Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers when it comes to the nine players that Kacsmar listed in his tweeted rankings. It’s probably also worth noting that Roethlisberger faced 7.67 yards to go, on average, on his career third down dropbacks based ion PFR’s raw data and only Tony Romo and Jameis Winston have higher averages of the nine quarterbacks.
Perhaps the most-impressive thing about Roethlisberger’s career third down pass conversion rate is the fact that 374 (20.8%) of his total 1795 third down pass attempts were deep throws, meaning that they flew more than 15 yards in the air past the original line of scrimmage. Of the nine quarterbacks listed, only Rodgers (23%) has a higher percentage of career third down deep pass attempts than Roethlisberger dating back to 2001.
While these numbers and rankings going all the way back to 2001 are great, it’s important to look at how well Roethlisberger has done at converting third down pass attempts into either touchdowns or first downs over the course of the last two seasons. In short, what has Roethlisberger done for the Steelers lately when it comes to his ability to convert third downs through the air?
According to search results on PFR, Roethlisberger’s third down passing conversion percentage over the course of the last two seasons is 46.9%. Only three other quarterbacks who attempted 200 or more third down pass attempts over the course of the last two seasons posted a higher conversion rate than Roethlisberger and they were Rodgers, Winston and Tom Brady. So, yeah, Roethlisberger still has it entering 2018 when it comes to his ability to convert third downs.
|PLAYER||AVG YTG||COMP||ATT||COMP%||YDS||TD||INT||YPA||1D||1D%||RATE||DEEP%||DEEP 1D%|