When it comes to quarterback play, the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base has a gold standard in their mind. Sure, some will go back to the original TB12, Terry Bradshaw, but the vast majority of fans will point to No. 7, Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger brought a new style of quarterback play to the city of Pittsburgh, and it made him not just a winning quarterback but also beloved by the global fan base.
While he won plenty of games, and championships, during his tenure, he wasn’t always beloved by those who graded the quarterback with a subjective eye. Roethlisberger did things differently. He didn’t have a surgical precision in his game, instead relying on brute force often to extend plays and make big throws downfield.
For websites like Pro Football Focus (PFF), they often didn’t show any love to Roethlisberger’s style of play. Instead, they would always point to players like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
However, PFF recently released some of their record books for the quarterback position, and here was their thought process with the exercise:
The PFF database is a vast expanse of grades and statistics that encompass nearly two decades’ worth of NFL action. The goal has always been to help better understand the game of football and bridge the gap between the past and present generations.
PFF data goes as far back as 2006, which may be a small sample size of the game’s entire history but serves as a tremendous asset in determining which performances truly stand the test of time.
These are the official PFF grading records for the quarterback position’s signature stats.
Believe it or not, but Roethlisberger had his name in the record books. Take a look at where he claimed his spot:
AVERAGE TIME TO THROW
Lowest: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (2020) – 2.19
In the twilight of Roethlisberger’s career, he became known for getting the ball out very quickly, even if it were a detriment to the success of the offense. The former Steelers’ 2020 and 2021 both fall into the top-three lowest time-to-throw (TTT) seasons ever recorded by PFF. That’s a notable difference when considering his earlier career, when he held the ball significantly longer. Roethlisberger’s 3.11-second TTT in 2007, is one of the top 25 longest average time-to-throw seasons in the PFF era, making him the only player to have a season on both ends of the spectrum.
PASSER RATING UNDER PRESSURE
Rating: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (2014) – 112.3
At his peak, Roethlisberger was effective with pressure in his face, delivering the best passer rating season in the PFF era. On nearly 200 pressure dropbacks, he managed an 11-to-1 TD-to-interception ratio. Since 2006, just 22 seasons have surpassed the 90-plus range.
That’s it. Those are the only two categories Roethlisberger can claim as his own. It should surprise no one those are the only two areas PFF gives him credit. Nonetheless, Steelers fans wouldn’t want it any other way.