There’s quite a bit of hidden yardage in the game of football that isn’t often discussed and a lot of it comes via defensive pass interference penalties. In fact, you might be surprised to know that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL in 2017 in penalty yards drawn against defenses via pass interference penalties.
According to my stat research, Roethlisberger was the recipient of 14 defensive pass interference penalties riding the 2017 regular season. Those 14 penalties resulted in 299 yards being gained, which is essentially hidden in the stat books. 7 of those 14 passes were deep throws, meaning they flew in the air 16 or more yards past the original line of scrimmage. Additionally, five of the penalties were worth 30 yards or more.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown led the way with six defensive pass interference penalties drawn for a total of 155 yards. Wide receiver Martavis Bryant drew five defensive pass interference penalties for 101 yards while Eli Rogers drew two for 30 yards and JuJu Smith-Schuster drew one for 13 yards.
In case you’re curious, the Steelers defense was called for pass interference six times during the 2017 regular season for a total of 118 yards. Steelers cornerback Artie Burns was charged with four of those to the tune of 91 yards.
Top 10 2017 Defensive Pass Interference Penalty Yardage Drawn