Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers ended his team’s Week 11 loss to the Chiefs with his fourth interception of the night. That gave the NFL a quartet of quarterbacks who threw a quartet of interceptions each, for the first time in well over a quarter of a century.
Starting Thursday night with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, continuing on Sunday with Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, and concluding with Rivers, four quarterbacks threw four interceptions each on the same NFL weekend for the first time in nearly 36 years.
Based on a search tool at pro-football-reference.com, four quarterbacks threw four interceptions each in Week 16 of the 1983 season. That weekend, Broncos quarterback John Elway, Washington quarterback Joe Theismann, Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, and Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey threw four picks each.
One year earlier it happened again, with five quarterbacks throwing at least four picks in what essentially was Week Seven of a strike-shortened season: Theismann (again), Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn, and Oilers quarterback Archie Manning.
Of course, throwing four interceptions isn’t the kiss of death. In 1982, Theismann’s team won the Super Bowl. In 1983, Theismann’s team got there — even though an interception thrown near the end of the first half to Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek was the moment that seemingly broke Washington’s back. Also in 1983, Theismann won the NFL MVP award.
It’s safe to say that none of the four quarterbacks who threw four interceptions this weekend will have to worry either about going to the Super Bowl or clearing a space on their mantle for an MVP trophy. It remains to be seen whether it takes another 36 years for this to happen again.
And I just did the math regarding how old I’ll be in 36 years, if I live that long. And it had been a pretty good day before I did that.