Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said everyone is making a big deal of him calling Todd Haley's offense "dink and dunk." He even joked about the term with the Pittsburgh offensive coordinator.
"That's not a negative," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Todd and I talked about it. We laughed about it. That is not a bad thing. We want to possess the ball and be a balanced offense. I think we're doing that right now."
The Steelers took the dink-and-dunk philosophy to the extreme Sunday against the Redskins. Roethlisberger’s average pass traveled 4.8 yards downfield Sunday, his lowest average pass distance over the past five seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Roethlisberger was effective on short passes, completing 21-of-28 passes (75.0 percent) thrown 10 yards or fewer downfield, including all three of his touchdowns. This was a surprising strategy against a Redskins pass defense that had allowed 29 completions for more than 20 yards this season (tied for second worst in the NFL).
This short passing game has been a key factor in the Steelers controlling the ball. Pittsburgh had three scoring drives that ate up 19 minutes, which is over a full quarter. The Steelers rank second in the NFL in time of possession, averaging 34 minutes, 35 seconds per game.