The NFL has certainly gone out of the way in recent years to emphasize the passing game. Numerous rule changes and rule tweaks have changed the game, enabling passers to put up big numbers and let offenses score at will.
As a result, quarterbacks are the highest paid NFL players, with those most entrusted in protecting the QB’s blind side (left tackles) and those with the most important role in stopping the opponent’s forward pass (elite pass-rushers) not far behind.
The pigskin has been flying all over the place this fall as the single season mark of 5,084 passing yards, set by the Miami Dolphins’ Dan Marino in 1984, will soon fall.
Two QBs will almost certainly eclipse it, with three more coming close.
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots leads the NFL in passing with 4,897 yards. Given that the Pats average 316 yards passing per game, good for 3rd in the league, I think it’s safe to say he’ll get the 187 he needs and change next week versus Buffalo.
But Brady is only atop the league right now because Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints hasn’t played this week yet. He’s leading the league in average passing yards per game and has 4,780 before taking on the Saints’ bitter rival the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
Let’s say he puts up 300 yard games in his last two- that gives him 5,380 for the year, breaking the record with ease. I guess it’s going to come down to which coach wants to rest for the playoffs, and which coach finds themselves in a shootout, or perhaps with a chance to run up the score. (Belichick anyone?)
Now suddenly the last week of the season got a lot more interesting, Brady vs. Brees could be like Sammy Sosa vs. Mark McGwire- only without the fraud, steroids and ANNOYING Cubs and Cardinals fans.
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is currently fifth in the league at 4,380. He has the game left with the Chicago Bears tonight and one more after that. He should likely reach 5,000.
The NY Giants’ Eli Manning is third at 4,587 and the Detroit Lions Matt Stafford is fourth at 4,518. Each have one game left, meaning they’re both likely to clear 4,800 and have an outside shot at hitting 4,900. In any year but this, you’d be hearing a lot more about those two guys and their stats.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.