Back on Sunday afternoon, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reached at least 30 touchdown passes in a single season for only the second time in his 11-year career—though it is worth noting that he is expected to finish just his third season in 2014 without missing a start due to injury.
Equally as significant is the fact that he has only thrown eight interceptions. He has only finished a season with eight interceptions or less twice before. In 2012, he threw 26 touchdown passes versus eight interceptions, though he also missed three games that season.
Additionally, he only threw five interceptions in 2012 after being suspended for the first four games of that season, but he only attempted 389 passes that year and tied a career-low with 17 touchdown passes.
The combination of proficient scoring and quality ball security certainly allows one to make case that Roethlisberger, at 32, is having his best season yet, with one game to play, and he could break his own franchise touchdown record should he throw three of them on Sunday. He has thrown at least three touchdowns in a game on four occasions this season.
Should he keep the interception column clean for a fourth straight game, Roethlisberger will also finish with the best touchdown to interception ratio of his career, regardless of whether or not he throws another touchdown pass. At 30 to eight, his 3.75 ratio bests his previous record of 3.4 from the 2010 season, when he was more limited as a passer after missing the first quarter of the year.
Beyond that, Roethlisberger is also breaking and extending his own franchise-best marks for passing yards thrown in a season, as well as completion percentage.
With a 365-yard game on Sunday, he could become the first Steelers quarterback to throw for over 5000 yards in a season, while his current 67.4 completion percentage bests the 66.6 mark that he set in 2009, the year he set the previous franchise-best mark in passing yards.
Roethlisberger’s 8.1 yards per attempt is also the best mark that he has established since 2010, and is better than his career average of 7.9, despite the apparent believe that the offense has gone excessively horizontal in the passing game.
The last mark that Roethlisberger will be looking to catch up with in the regular season finale against the Bengals will be his quarterback rating, which, at 103.8, is just a few ticks below the 104.1 mark that he posted in his fourth season in 2007, when he set the franchise mark with 32 touchdown passes.
It has helped that Roethlisberger has been kept upright better than at any other point in his career. Despite throwing 570 passes, he has only been sacked 33 times. He was only dropped 30 times in 2012, but he only attempted 449 passes that year.