While Ben Roethlisberger rightfully has a good reputation at quarterback, it’s also fair to say that he’s often not gotten his due. For example, one of the popular critiques of his past is that he’s not a guy who can win a shootout. He needs a defense that will keep the points down.
But that’s true of all quarterbacks. Or pretty much all quarterbacks. It’s not easy to win games when your opponent is also racking up the points. In fact, among active quarterbacks, Roethlisberger actually has the fifth-best winning percentage in games in which his opponent scores at least 30 points.
And his winning percentage in those games is just .228. Dak Prescott is at .250, and Drew Brees is at .260. the only two who have set themselves apart from the pack are Patrick Mahomes, at the top and with too small a sample size, at .375, and of course, Tom Brady at .357.
This data is from Catche the Blitz on Twitter, and you’ll note that his winning percentage is higher than the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson…and, well, all the other quarterbacks who are active and not already named.
Top active QB win %’s when defense gives up 30+ points:
— CTB (@catchtheblitz) May 23, 2020
Of course, Roethlisberger went 0-1 in such games last year, in the season-opening loss to the New England Patriots. The Steelers managed just three points as Brady and company peppered them for 33 points.
In actuality, he also went 0-3 in such games in 2018, as well. They lost to Mahomes in Week Two in a 42-37 final, so that actually helps Mahomes’ stats. Then there was the Chargers game in which Los Angeles had three fluky touchdowns, two on plays that should have been penalized, losing 33-30. Then they lost to the New Orleans Saints, in the game that Stevan Ridley fumbled away, and then JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbled away for good measure. And a fourth-down pass interference call on Joe Haden enabled Brees’ game-winning drive.
The Steelers’ defense—still led by Ryan Shazier—in 2017 was actually commendable, holding their opponents below 20 points for most of the season. They did go 1-1 in games in which their opponents scored 30, including the awful five-interception game against the Jaguars, the win being a memorable 39-38 game against the Ravens.
Between 2014 and 2016, he went 2-4 in such games. So all in all, he’s 3-9 in games in which the team gives up 30 or more points, or .250. This really just goes to show how difficult it is to win when you have so much ground to make up—sometimes when it’s your own doing, but more often not.