Big Ben Trying To Accomplish Something No Other QB Has Done Since 1980

In Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a career-high five interceptions. According to Pro Football Reference, Roethlisberger’s five-interception game was the 153rd time a player has thrown 5 or more in a single game during the NFL’s Super Bowl era. Roethlisberger also became the 108th different player to throw 5 or more interceptions in a game.

Roethlisberger, however, wasn’t the first Steelers quarterback to throw five interceptions in a game as Dick Shiner, Terry Bradshaw and Mark Malone had all previously done it. Shiner threw 5 interceptions in two separate games during the 1968 season. Bradshaw three 5 interceptions in two different games as well during the 1977 and 1979 seasons. Malone was the last previous Steelers quarterback to throw 5 interceptions in a single game and that happened during the 1987 season.

What’s interesting is the fact that Bradshaw actually went on to win a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 1979 after throwing 5 interceptions in a 35-7 road loss to the San Diego Chargers during that regular season. You probably remember hearing about that horrible game of Bradshaw’s in the America’s Game video that chronicled the Steelers 1979 season. Below is the snippet from that video for you.

The fact that Bradshaw was able to accomplish that feat had me wondering if any other quarterback had also gone on to win a Super Bowl after throwing 5 interceptions in a single game in that same year and surprisingly I found out it’s happened quite a few times.

Bart Starr was the first Super Bowl era quarterback to accomplish the feat in 1967 with the Green Bay Packers. Joe Namath did it as well in 1968 with the New York Jets and he even threw 5 interceptions in two separate games that season. Len Dawson added his name to the list in 1969 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and Johnny Unitas followed him in 1970 as a member of the Baltimore Colts. Bradshaw was next in 1979 and Jim Plunkett was the last quarterback to accomplish the feat in 1980 with the Oakland Raiders.

Of those six quarterbacks, Plunkett is the only one not currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Additionally, Namath, Unitas, Bradshaw and Dawson all have links to the Pittsburgh area as the first two hail from the Western Pennsylvania and the second two actually played for the Steelers.

Should Roethlisberger indeed ultimately lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl win this season, No. 7 will be the seventh quarterback to accomplish this rare feat. Also, in doing so, the Steelers will have then captured their seventh Lombardi Trophy. That looks like a sign to me.


  • PaeperCup

    Silver Lining…silver lining every where!

    Those are some old names. Who amongst some recent HOFers (or future HOFers) have had 5 Int games anyways?

  • SteelersDepot

    Click the link

  • PaeperCup

    What link? If it’s the Pro Football Reference, it’s not clickable from where I’m sitting.

  • Grandmaster Fistage

    The text “became the 153rd player” is a hyperlink that links to a page on Pro Football Reference. I would post the link here, but it would likely be flagged as spam

  • PaeperCup

    alright, got it after refreshing the page. Thanks.

  • PaeperCup

    scanning….looking for Brady….disappointed.

    Kurt Warner twice, Peyton, Favre, Aikman, Marino, Moon twice against STEELERS in back to back years! haha, nice…..ok the sky isn’t falling.

  • Dan

    Seems most of those SuperBowls were from quite a long time ago, but thanks Dave for guaranteeing we’ll be hoisting the Lombardi this year.

  • RyanW

    Yeah he hasnt thrown 5 in a game but he’s thrown 4 interceptions in a game twice that I recall once against the Bills and another againat the Colts

  • pcantidote

    Manning had a 6 INT game.

  • DoctorNoah

    Love this article. Strong work!

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    a lil off topic but I remember Ben saying in an interview earlier during preseason about bell needing to be there because they have a new look with bunch of new wrinkles in the offense my qquestion is did anyone notice anything new yet

  • Grandmaster Fistage

    You’re welcome

  • John

    Reading the list on the link leads to the following conclusion: Ben had a bad day. So what. Let’s see how he does the rest of the year. As to the hype, we need Tomlin to utter these words: We’re on the Kansas City. Rinse and repeat.

  • John

    Bradybhas the game in the playoffs years ago in Denver when he was horrible and cost his team any chance of winning. Matt Ryan did it against the packers a couple years ago in the playoffs. It happens.

  • Steve

    Thats about it, if you fall off a bike, got to get back on and ride again. Looking for a better day. Seems all the Great One’s had bad days from time to time.

  • MP

    Triple 777s. I’m playing it today.


    Let’s be realistic
    if we lose to chiefs, we proly wont even make the playoffs
    lions, packers, greenbay, patriots
    and at this point i am not sure whether we can beat texans and titans.

  • 太阳三联

    In the picture there. If Ben pumps that to AB that LB is biting so hard then dump it to Bell for easy 10.

  • Cwallace

    1979 Dan Fouts coming out party. I remember that game ugly and that’s when i knew what a lethal passing game can do because it hadn’t been seen before. My prediction for Ben against kc…3tds 300+yds so you know he he’s going to hit on a big play…twice. Funk over!

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Synchronicity has the Stillers winning #7 this year…I’m in!

  • WreckIess

    Realistic? That’s not even remotely true. Who in this division is stopping us? Baltimore? We destroyed them a couple weeks ago in their house. Cincy? With those two “impressive” wins over Cleveland and Buffalo? Or is it Cleveland? The team that’s 4-33 over their last three seasons.

    This isn’t a make or break game. It’s inportant to win so we can rebound and close the gap between us and KC, but that’s about it.

  • NW86

    We can beat any team in the league. We can also lose to any team in the league. We’ve proven both.

    It’s the NFL, that’s why we watch.

  • Brian Miller

    I would be happy if BB did something he hasn’t done all season…play like he is getting paid!

  • Edjhjr

    Well after seeing everything, I don’t know if this is the intended outcome, but it definitely was not 100 percent that QB is to blame. 33 percent more like it. Unless he was calling his plays too.

  • Edjhjr

    For some reason this made me think, of every starting QB since Bradshaw.

    Without cheating, (from memory)not counting back ups. So Landry Jones would not count.

    Bradshaw, Stoudt, Brister, Malone, Graham, ODonnell, Stewart, Maddox, Ben.

    Who did I miss

  • Edjhjr

    You know cleveland it will be the super bowl for them next time we play

  • Joel Miller


  • NCSteel

    I’ll have some of what Dave’s drinkin’.
    And make that a double !!
    Dave, you want another ?

  • Edjhjr

    Oh ya, he is kind of forgettable. He started quite a few , a season or 2

  • ThatGuy

    What’s everyone’s predictions for Ben’s stats Sunday?

  • John Hinton

    My takeaway from this…777.

  • JimK-51

    I hope your sign’s are spot on, Dave!!!

  • terrygordon30

    Most of the names listed played before the rules changes that made passing easier. As Jack Lambert might say…. These interceptions occurred before quarterbacks started wearing dresses. Bradshaw linked both eras, but players like Starr, Unitas, and Dawson did not. Most of the 5 interception games such as Namath’s were under the old rules.

  • Charles Haines

    22/31, 318, 3TD