Roethlisberger hit Diontae Johnson with a perfect 1st-quarter deep ball for a 50-yard TD. According to Next Gen Stats, though, the QB still ranked just 21st for the week in intended air yards per target.
Roethlisberger’s longest completion of the day -- a 59-yarder to Chase Claypool -- came via a big run off a short throw. He also attempted just 25 passes in the victory, which found Pittsburgh taking the lead on its 1st drive and never losing it.
Expect Roethlisberger to remain the limited passer we’ve seen since last year, though he should have an easier time supporting the fantasy values of Johnson and Claypool now that JuJu Smith-Schuster is on IR (shoulder).
Roethlisberger continued to have issues in this contest, completing 20 of 36 passes for 232 yards with a TD and an INT. The TD came on the first drive when he found Diontae Johnson for a 45-yard score. After that drive, things got really gross for this offense. The offensive line is a serious problem for a QB who has been sacked 10 times through 4 weeks.
Going forward, it is incredibly hard to trust Roethlisberger week in and week out. His yardage totals have been all over the board with 1 TD per game thus far. With the injuries to WR core thus far and a putrid offensive line, it is hard to see this situation getting better any time soon.
There are very few 300-yard games as unimpressive as the one that Roethlisberger had. Even though he was playing without Diontae Johnson, the problem remains that the QB simply can’t make accurate and powerful downfield throws, so he got rid of the ball in less than 2.3 seconds on average. His best deep threat, Chase Claypool, became a glorified possession WR, seeing 15 targets and not even reaching 11 yards per catch. And with the team hopelessly behind and the OL overmatched, Roethlisberger targeted RB Najee Harris 19 times.
With just 1 TD pass in each game, it’s fair to say that Roethisberger no longer has the arm to threaten defenses, and when he faces good units, he may struggle to move the ball and find the end zone. He has some value in 2-QB leagues, as all QBs have value who are starting, but it’s tough to justify starting him as more than a streaming option in 1-QB leagues. Even in this game where he surpassed 300 yards, it took the Steelers running 83 plays to get there. In most leagues, he can be safely dropped to the waiver wire.
Roethlisberger labored through an ugly Week 1 at Buffalo. He went 18-of-32 for just 188 yards and 1 TD, a 4th quarter corner route that saw Diontae Johnson make a nice juggling catch. Just as we saw in 2020, Ben took very few shots downfield; his average depth of target was just 6.2 yards. And he struggled to hit his pass catchers, finishing with a league-low 58.1% adjusted completion rate (per Pro Football Focus). If there’s a positive, it’s that Buffalo’s O-line applied pressure on only 20% of Big Ben’s dropbacks. That was 1 of the lowest marks league-wide. The 39-year-old will look to rebound back at home vs. Vegas.