NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had an historic Sunday, passing for 522 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions, leading his team to a 51-34 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Those 522 yards put "Big Ben" third all-time when it comes to yards passing in a single game, tied with Boomer Esiason, the long-time NFL quarterback who is now a color commentator with CBS Sports. Esiason did it in 1996, when he was playing for the Arizona Cardinals.
Roethlisberger's performance was all the more impressive because the Colts' stingy defense hadn't given up a single point in its route of the struggling Cincinnati Bengals in the week prior.
"It was one of those nights that players talk about when things feel like they're going right," Roethlisberger told the Associated Press.
It's rare for a quarterback to deliver such a virtuosic performance but they do happen. Roethlisberger and Esiason have done it, as have greats like Tom Brady (current New England Patriots quarterback, in 2011, passing for 517 yard), Dan Marino (former Miami Dolphins quarterback, in 1988, passing for 521 yards), and Drew Brees (current New Orleans Saints quarterback, in 2006, passing for 510 yards). Unlike everyone else on the list, however, Roethlisberger also had a 503 yard game in 2009, making him the only NFL quarterback to go over the 500 yard mark twice.
In fact, it's only been done 16 times ever. So, here are the 16 best NFL single game passing yards performances of all time, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, in order from least to most. Jump to No. 1!
Ben Roethlisberger, 503 yards, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers, December 20, 2009
Elvis Grbac, 504 yards, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders, November 5, 2000
Y.A. Tittle, 505 yards, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins, October 28, 1962
Tony Romo, 506 yards, Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos, October 6, 2013
Vince Ferragamo, 509 yards, Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears, December 26, 1982
Eli Manning, 510 yards, New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, September 16, 2012
Drew Brees, 510 yards, New Orleans Saints vs. Cincinnati Bengals, November 19, 2006
Phil Simms, 513 yards, New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals, October 13, 1985
Tom Brady, 517 yards, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins, September 12, 2011
Matthew Stafford, 520 yards, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers, January 1, 2012
Dan Marino, 521 yards, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets, October 23, 1988
Ben Roethlisberger, 522 yards, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts, October 26, 2014
Boomer Esiason, 522 yards, Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Redskins, November 10, 1996
Matt Schaub, 527 yards, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, November 18, 2012
Warren Moon, 527 yards, Houston Oilers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, December 16, 1990
Norm Van Brocklin, 554 yards, Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Yanks, September 28, 1951
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