No quarterback is beating man coverage better than Ben Roethlisberger. Literally.
Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner tweeted out data showing the best quarterbacks vs man coverage in 2018. Against man-to-man defenses, Roethlisberger sits at the top. Here’s the list.
Highest passer rating vs man coverage:
Ben Roethlisberger 118.3
Jared Goff 117.5
Russell Wilson 110.5
Sam Darnold 107.5
Drew Brees 104.7
Mitch Trubisky 54.5
Derek Carr 62.2
Josh Allen 63.8
Joe Flacco 65.3
Dak Prescott 68.5
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) October 22, 2018
That’s Roethlisberger narrowly edging out Jared Goff and running away from virtually everyone else. Top quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Philip Rivers didn’t even crack the top five.
You can see Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco near the bottom of this list, only beating out Josh Allen, Derek Carr, and Mitch Trubisky. Not great company to be in.
Of course, for Roethlisberger, it helps when you’re throwing to two of the best receivers in the game in Antonio Brown, #1 in the minds of most fans, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is probably somewhere in the 15-20 range.
While Roethlisberger hasn’t been consistently spectacular, he’s being asked to shoulder the load more than any season before. As we’ve pointed out, he’s on pace to shatter his record of pass attempts in a season by nearly 100. He currently sits 6th in the league in pass attempts with the five ahead of him yet to have their bye week.
All while playing the first six weeks on a bothersome elbow, injured in Week One against the Cleveland Browns. Clearly, it’s hindered some of his throws, missing terribly on plays he routinely makes.
Still, at age 36. he’s playing exceptionally well all things considered. He’s on pace to record his highest completion percentage since 2015, his most touchdowns since 2014, and break his career high for yards in a season. His play has helped accelerate the career of a guy like Smith-Schuster, who said as much in an ESPN Radio interview over the weekend, and hopefully soon enough, he’ll do the same with James Washington.
Unfortunately, I don’t have his passer rating against zone coverage. If you know what it is, let me know and I’ll add it to the article. Given that his overall passer rating is 94.6, it probably means his zone rating is somewhere in the 60-70 range, making the contrast between the two all the starker.