Ben Roethlisberger: Is Throwing The Ball Less Easier or Harder On a QB

Jason SemanCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This is my first article. I have long been a supporter of Ben Roethlisberger since he entered the NFL in 2004.

The point of this article will be to inform people that throwing the ball less is often much tougher then throwing the ball a lot. For example, Peyton Manning has it much easier because he throws the ball a lot simply meaning teams know he might throw the ball on first, second or third down. All the while guys like Roethlisberger, who don't throw the ball as much on first or second, will be forced to make more plays on third down.

It is common knowledge that it is much more difficult too make plays on third down then it is on first downs. The Career ratings of notable QBs on first down:

Peyton Manning - 100.7 Tom Brady - 94.4 Palmer - 95.2 Roethlisberger - 93 Trent Edwards - 102.5


I added Edwards just because his first down numbers are way above his career rating of 79.1

Now the same Quarterbacks third Down Ratings:

Peyton Manning - 85.1 Brady - 83.8 Palmer - 80.8 Roethlisberger - 86.4 Edwards - 67.8

As you can see, the 3rd down numbers are way below the first down numbers.

Now lets take a look at the Quarterbacks, and how often they throw the ball on first and second down (the snaps that the QB's all have great numbers on) compared to third Down (the snap that the numbers all dip dramatically on).

QB - Year1st Down2nd DownCombined %3rd Down
Manning-08209/555 - 37.6194/555 - 34.9403/555 - 72.6141/555 - 25.4
Brees - 08272/635 - 42.8213/635 - 33.5485/635 - 76.3144/635 - 22.6
Roethlisberger-04113/295 - 3874/295 - 25187/295 - 63.3105/295 - 35.5


I obviously used Ben's '04 year because that is the year most say he had it easy. Now as you can see, Roethlisberger throws the majority of his passes on Third Down as compared to other QBs who barely throw on third downs.

Peyton Manning's percentages on downs go from 37 to 34 to 25 while Brees' percentages drop from 42 to 33. Roethlisbergers threw more than Manning on first down but his second down dropped dramatically, then his third down attempts went way back up.

Basically, the point is Ben has it much tougher, throwing on third down at a much higher rate then say Manning or Brees who do most of there work on first and second when it is much easier to pass.

This is one thing that most people fail to see or understand.

On first and second down, teams are expecting the pass or the run.

On third down most teams are playing 100 percent pass. This is the reason why this "amazing" running game for the Steelers actually makes it much harder for Ben to perform. Especially when the Steelers "amazing" running game really isnt all that great.

That is a story for another day.