Ben Roethlisberger came within shouting distance of breaking one of the oldest NFL records on the books, finishing with 522 passing yards and six touchdowns in a 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts. With just 33 more yards, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback would have bested the 63-year-old mark for most passing yards in a game. FTW looks at Big Ben’s nearly historic afternoon.

1. Roethlisberger is the first quarterback in NFL history with two games of 500+ passing yards.

Only 15 quarterbacks in NFL history have ever thrown for more than 500 yards in a game. Until Sunday, no one had done it twice. Roethlisberger previously had thrown for a Steelers-record 503 yards in a 2009 win over the Green Bay Packers. (That included a game-winning 19-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace with almost no time left on the clock.) Both his passing yards and touchdowns on Sunday set Pittsburgh Steelers records.

2. His 522 yards are tied for the fourth-most in NFL history.

Roethlisberger’s total ties Boomer Esiason, who threw for 522 yards with the Arizona Cardinals in a 1996 game against the Washington Redskins. But Boomer’s number, as well as the 527-yard total by Matt Schaub in 2012 (tied for second), came in an overtime game. In terms of regulation games, Roethlisberger’s total ranks third.

3. Surprisingly, the six touchdowns in a 500+ game aren’t a record.

In 1962, Y.A. Tittle threw for 505 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-34 win over the Redskins. Like Roethlisberger 50 years later, Tittle didn’t throw an interception that day. Tittle and Warren Moon are the only other quarterbacks to throw for over 500 yards without throwing a pick. Roethlisberger has now done it twice.

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4. The NFL single-game passing record was set by Norm Van Brocklin in 1951.

It’s remarkable that in this era of high-octane offenses aided by the NFL constantly tweaking rules to help quarterbacks, the single-game passing record is still held by a man born in 1926 who started his career the year before the NFL allowed free substitution. The NFL from 1951 would be virtually unrecognizable to viewers of today, starting with the fact that Van Brocklin set his mark against the New York Yanks, a three-year-old franchise that wouldn’t exist the following year. Here’s what the NFL career record book looked like when Van Brocklin set the record.

Passing touchdowns: 185 — Sammy Baugh (currently ranked No. 47 all time)

Passing yards: 21,734 — Baugh (No. 87)

Rushing yards: 5,860 — Steve Van Buren (No. 90)

Rushing touchdowns: 69 — Van Buren (No. 29)

Receptions: 488 — Don Hutson (No. 133)

Receiving touchdowns: 99 — Hutson (No.9)

5. When replays are shown of Roethlisberger’s greatest performance, nothing can ever take away the fact that he looked like a jailbird bumblebee.

Great performance, horrible jerseys. Truly, truly ghastly.

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