Surprising stats on Steelers’ Roethlisberger, Dupree, pass-rush, O-line |
Breakfast With Benz

Surprising stats on Steelers’ Roethlisberger, Dupree, pass-rush, O-line

Tim Benz
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree sacks Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during the first quarter Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at Heinz Field.

I heard a really interesting conversation on ESPN Radio Saturday. Brian Burke was on Bill Barnwell’s show.

Burke is one of the analytics experts at He did some fascinating work via the Next Gen Stats NFL player tracking data in three areas Steelers fans should have a specific interest:

• Pass-blocking consistency

• Pass-rush inconsistency

• Quarterback risk aversion

Generally speaking, Burke’s number-crunching yielded the following results:

• NFL offensive lines are pretty consistent.

• NFL pass-rushes tend to be wildly inconsistent.

• Quarterbacks are more risk averse than you might assume.

Well, some of them. Guess where Ben Roethlisberger falls on that spectrum.

LISTEN: Some surprising NFL, Steelers statistics

Some of the Steelers data was surprising to me. Burke’s numbers indicate the Steelers’ pass protection wasn’t as steady as we may think. Bud Dupree is more effective than we may presume. And the Steelers’ overall pass-rush is more consistent than their boom-or-bust sack totals on a week-to-week basis.

Oh, and “Backyard Ben” is a “Better Ben” than that reputation suggests.

The whole conversation is extremely interesting. Burke takes the statistics and simplifies them so that the numbers aren’t overwhelming.

Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of his findings from a Pittsburgh perspective.

Some of the results you’ll like. Some you’ll hate. All of them, you will want to read.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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