Tag Archives: Steelers Patriots

Spreading the ball around a little too much

The Jets’ Geno Smith hit a new low today in a 43-23 loss to the Bills, becoming just the second quarterback in the Free Agency Era (1993-) to throw more passes to the other team (3) than to his own (2) in a game. (Minimum: two completions.)

This used to happen from time to time in the ’70s and earlier, before they made things easier for QBs, but it’s a rare feat now.

THE LAST 6 QBS WITH MORE INTERCEPTIONS THAN COMPLETIONS IN A GAME

Date Quarterback, Team Opponent Comp INT Result
10-26-14 Geno Smith, Jets Bills 2 3 L, 43-23
12-31-06 Rex Grossman, Bears Packers 2 3 L, 26-7
9-13-92 Ken O’Brien, Jets Steelers 1 3 L, 27-10
9-25-88 Jeff Kemp, Seahawks 49ers 1 3 L, 38-7
9-16-84 Richard Todd, Saints 49ers 2 3 L, 30-20
9-28-80 Vince Evans, Bears Steelers 2 3 L, 38-3

(Minimum: 2 completions.)

Three others of note:

Date Quarteback, Team Opponent Comp INT Result
11-25-74 Archie Manning, Saints Steelers 2 3 L, 28-7
9-29-74 Joe Namath, Jets Bills 2 3 L, 16-12
10-20-68 Johnny Unitas, Colts Browns 1 3 L, 30-20

See? On a Given Sunday, even the best can look like, well, Geno Smith. Namath’s game, by the way, was played in a typhoon in Buffalo. As for Unitas’, it was the Colts’ only defeat that season until their shocking loss to the Jets in Super Bowl III. He replaced Earl Morrall at halftime with Baltimore trailing 14-7 but, obviously, couldn’t get it going.

After the Super Bowl, Colts coach Don Shula was criticized for not putting Unitas in sooner, when it was clear Morrall was struggling. His reason might have been the game against Cleveland, when Johnny U. came off the bench and went 1 for 11 with three picks.

And finally . . .

QBS WHO HAD 3 COMPLETIONS AND 4 INTS IN A GAME (SINCE 1960)

Date Quarterback, Team Opponent Att Comp Yds TD INT Result
10-29-74 Roman Gabriel, Rams Raiders 16 3 67 0 4 L, 45-17
10-9-72 Dan Pastorini, Oilers Raiders 21 3 31 0 4 L, 34-0
12-6-70 Terry Bradshaw, Steelers Packers 20 3 110 1 4 L, 20-12
10-11-70 Mike Taliaferro, Patriots Chiefs 12 3 30 0 4 L, 23-10

● The last QB with four completions and four interceptions in a game: Tom Flick, Chargers vs. Chiefs, Nov. 2, 1986.

● The last QB with five completions and five interceptions a game: Dan Pastorini, Oilers vs. Steelers, Oct. 23, 1977.

Photo from Namath's 2-completion/3-pick game.

Photo from Namath’s 2-completion/3-pick game.

Source: pro-football-reference.com