The best offenses in the NFL are lethal, unforgiving and persistent. They will attack and never take their foot off the gas. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense on the other hand has been very charitable, giving the ball away to a number of suitors. In just over a month, the Steelers have entered rare territory as they now have two four interception games under their belt.
Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph now each have a four-interception performance attached to their record this season and both showings have come with a national audience viewing them. It is the first time this century that the Steelers have had two four interception games in the same season as the last time such feat occurred was in 1999.
Back in 1999, it was Mike Tomczak and Kordell Stewart combining for five interceptions in a week three matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Tomczak later hit the four-interception mark again in week 15, throwing four interceptions against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Not once during the Kevin Colbert era (2000-present) have the Steelers had two erroneous performances like they have had over the past month. Ben Roethlisberger, even during his early years, has never thrown four interceptions in a game twice in the same season.
The Steelers now join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only teams this season to have thrown four interceptions twice in a game. The Buccaneers are of course led by Jameis Winston who currently leads the NFL with 24 interceptions. Rudolph and Hodges have currently combined for 15 interceptions and while they are still far apart from the Buccaneers’ quarterback, being in the same conversation as Winston is typically never a good place to be.
With 17 total interceptions, the Steelers have tied for the third most interceptions this season. Out of the 10 teams that have thrown 15 or more interceptions, the Steelers are the only ones in a playoff position while the Los Angeles Rams and them are the only two with a winning record.
Most Interceptions This Season (Record)
Buccaneers – 24 (7-7)
Chargers – 18 (5-9)
Steelers – 17 (8-6)
Browns – 17 (6-8)
Dolphins – 17 (3-11)
Rams – 16 (8-6)
Panthers – 16 (5-9)
Giants – 16 (3-11)
Jets – 15 (5-9)
Bengals – 15 (1-13)
When it comes to interceptions and turning the ball over in general, the Steelers have been playing like a losing ball club. Luckily, the defense has been able to bail them out by evening out the score. With 35 takeaways themselves, the Steelers’ defense has been able to cancel out the offense’s miscues but the multitude of mistakes is certainly not a sustainable strategy moving forward.
If the team wants to secure the sixth seed and make some noise in the playoffs, the quarterback at helm cannot afford to turn over the football at such an immense rate. While the defense has been able to do more than its fair share, it will surely be more difficult to bail out this offense against the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs or other playoff teams, that is if this team even reaches that point.