By Matthew Marczi
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger already holds just about all of the meaningful franchise records when it comes to quarterback play. When he takes the field on Sunday, he’ll have a chance to break some more.
The first of the records—and the more obvious—is the career touchdown passes record, which he tied with Terry Bradshaw on Thanksgiving when he found Jerricho Cotchery wide open in the end zone for the 212nd of his career. The next touchdown pass he throws will be the record breaker.
There is also another record that he is on the verge of breaking, one that is a bit more precarious: passes thrown without an interception in a season.
The current franchise record holder in that category is—believe it or not—Kordell Stewart, who threw 159 straight passes without being picked off during the 2001 season.
Roethlisberger has had multiple streaks of 100 or more passes without an interception before. He finished the 2010 season throwing 158 consecutive passes without an interception, one shy of the record.
In fact, he started off the 2011 season opener with 15 more passes before his first interception, so his longest streak in his career is actually 173 passes, though not limited to just a single season.
Both records—within a single season and overall—stand a good chance of falling this Sunday, because Roethlisberger will be taking a streak of 150 consecutive passes without an interception into the game.
He has now gone three straight games without throwing an interception. The last time he threw one, it was on his third pass of the game against the Buffalo Bills. He went on to throw 27 more passes without an interception in that game, and has added 123 more over the last three games.
Roethlisberger needs just 10 passes without an interception to surpass the single-season record held by Stewart. In order to surpass his own personal-best streak, he will need to throw 24 passes without an interception.
Now, as impressive as his current streak might be, it is not historic. Tom Brady recently went 358 passes without an interception between 2010 and 2011. In fact, he started off his career with 162 passes before throwing his first pick.
Meanwhile, Nick Foles holds the current active streak, having thrown 233 passes since his last interception. Let’s hope that Roethlisberger can get to the point, because if he does, there’s a good chance the Steelers are still in the playoff hunt when he’s not turning the ball over, as he had been to start the season.