Here’s an interesting stat from last season that you might not have already heard about and it’s related to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
According to a post a few days by Pro Football Focus, Roethlisberger led the league in throws targeted into the end zone with 50 in 2018.
The fact that Roethlisbwerger also led the NFL in 2018 in total pass attempts certainly helps explain him also leading in attempts thrown into the end zone. However, while total attempts are nice and show aggressiveness, whether or not Roethlisberger connected at a high percentage of those throws is the number worth seeing.
According to our offensive charting done last season by Matthew Marczi, Roethlisberger threw for the goal-line and beyond a total of 54 times in 2018. Only 15 of those 54 passes were completed for touchdowns, however, with 7 of those going to wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has since been traded away to the Oakland Raiders. 4 went to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. 3 went to tight end Vance McDonald with one other going to wide receiver Ryan Switzer.
Not only was Roethlisberger’s end zone completion percentage last season a lowly 27.7%, 3 of his 16 total interceptions came via such throws. One of those three was the late one against the Denver Broncos that essentially lost the team the game on 3rd down. The other two such interceptions into the end zone thankfully came during Steelers wins and you can see those below. All three of those interceptions were passes intended for Brown, by the way.
Obviously, we hope to see Roethlisberger’s end zone throw completion percentage go up in 2019 and his interceptions on such throws go down. With Brown no longer in Pittsburgh, hopefully Smith-Schuster, McDonald and newcomer Donte Moncrief can all help to combine to replace the seven end zone grabs that Brown made in 2018.