It’s funny how controversial this term, “dink and dunk” can be when it comes to football these days. It’s not that there is anything wrong with it, at least I don’t think so because the ultimate goal in professional sports is to win no matter what. If it’s short passing; fine, if it’s going deep all day then so be it, as long as you keep winning.
Before we get into why things are going well for Roethlisberger, let’s take a quick look back at how this “controversy” starterd.
Big Ben clarified comments he made previously that caused a stir among the fans and certainly one that media ran with. By the way, haven’t we learned by now that just because Ben says something, it doesn’t always have to be controversial?
From ProFootball Talk: Over the weekend, Roethlisberger referred to Halley’s offense as a “dink-and-dunk” attack. Though the term widely is regarded in football circles as derisive, Ben now saws that he actually is a fan of dinking and dunking.
“That wasn’t meant in a negative way,” Roethlisberger said Thursday, via Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “Coach Haley and I had a laugh about it this morning. To dink and dunk, that’s moving the chains, and it will open up big plays. The Patriots dink and dunk, too.”
Anyway, whatever kind of offense it is, Ben is on track to have his best year to date. The sacks are down, he’s getting rid of the ball quicker, he keeps a nice rhythm going, runs the no huddle offense well, touchdown to interception ratio is favorable (14/3), and he is able to take advantage of big plays when they present themselves.
We all know Ben is an elite quarterback, I don’t think there’s anybody that can deny it. If he’s not a top 5 QB in the league then I don’t know who is.
One of the stats that I always watch with Ben is how many times he’s sacked. You almost can’t help but follow that information because he’s spent so much time on the ground during his career. Entering the 2012 season, he was taken down 312 times, that’s an average of just of 39 times per season. So far this year though he’s been sacked 13 times through 7 games, of course just less than 2 times per game average. As we know things can change quickly, but the situation is definitely appears to be moving in a positive direction so far.
If you watched, or listened to, the game this past Sunday against the Redskins then you saw something you rarely see as a fan of the Steelers; Big Ben not getting sacked. For what it’s worth the Redskins did register one but that was against Emmanuel Sanders on a trick play.
Ben has never been one to shy away from contact, and we know there is no one better at keeping a play alive and risking life and limb than Roethlisberger. He’s no longer a young pup though, and as you progress in your career you begin to make adjustments in your game to keep yourself alive longer, if you will. I personally don’t know that Ben would have been capable of such change on his own, but fortunately Todd Haley has done that for him.
It’s not just the passing game though that has kept the “Tide”* personnel from working overtime in Pittsburgh; the running game has been a big part of the offense these last 2 weeks especially. Jonathan Dwyer and the big hogs up front have been getting into a zone and gaining confidence as a unit, with each passing 100 yd performance, if not with each passing quarter. Guard Willie Colon talked about how great it feels like to get back to “Steeler football” after the win this past Sunday, and how important it is to continue that trend if they want the offense to be successful.
It’s all part of the new regime in Pittsburgh; whether it’s the dreaded bubble screens, intermediate passes to Heath Miller, or that tough first down run by Dwyer; Roethlisberger’s stats are impressive and the Steelers offense is starting to find itself at the right time.
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*Tide is an official partner of the NFL.
Ben Roethlisberger’s stats so far this season: