Two straight strong weeks throwing the football, two straight weeks rising up NFL.com’s QB Index for Pittsburgh Steelers’ veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Fresh off of a vintage performance against the Minnesota Vikings eight days ago, Roethlisberger finds himself inching closer and closer to the top 20 in NFL.com’s QB Index compiled by Gregg Rosenthal.
Two weeks ago, Roethlisberger was hovering near 30th overall in Rosenthal’s QB Index before putting on great performances against the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings in back-to-back weeks, giving the Steelers a boost offensively when they needed it the most.
Now, Roethlisberger finds himself at No. 23 overall in the Week 15 QB Index, ranking just ahead of Washington’s Taylor Heinecke and just behind Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield. I’m sure that last part of the sentence drew some audible chuckles from readers.
“Roethlisberger has enjoyed two of his best games of the season in successive weeks,” Rosenthal writes. “He might have done even better last Thursday night if his offensive line — especially rookie center Kendrick Green — wasn’t scrambled beyond repair to handle the pressures Mike Zimmer sent. The Steelers are averaging 23.3 points per game in their last six outings, with the offense amazingly holding up its end of the bargain more than the defense.”
In recent weeks the Steelers’ offense has taken awhile to get going, but once its found its footing the offense has rolled, largely with Roethlisberger running an up-tempo attack, keeping defenses off balance. It’s not just quick hitters at or behind the line of scrimmage either.
Roethlisberger is pushing the football down the field in the up-tempo attack, utilizing the middle of the field and has made some of his best throws of the season with absurd ball placement overall. In fact, Thursday’s showing against the Vikings was Roethlisberger’s best “on target” game of the season, per Sports Info Solutions, with Roethlisberger recording an impressive on-target throw 89.5% of the time.
Ranking behind a guy like Mayfield, who has struggled all season and seemingly gotten worse without the services of Odell Beckham Jr., is rather comical at this point, but that’s largely due to the mid-season struggles Roethlisberger dealt with, dropping him far down the index overall.
With the way Roethlisberger is playing right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the veteran quarterback finishes the season inside the top 20 of the QB Index, and by a comfortable margin.