NFL Standings

NFL passing yards document: Tom Brady poised to make poetic QB historical past in Patriots reunion


Tom Brady wants simply 68 yards to go Drew Brees for probably the most common season passing yards all time by an NFL quarterback.

When he takes the sector of Gillette Stadium on Sunday, this time carrying a Buccaneers’ uniform, it’s all however sure that he’ll declare the document. It will likely be simply the newest in a protracted record of data owned by the longer term Corridor of Fame quarterback, who, amongst others, lays declare to probably the most Tremendous Bowl rings, most landing passes and most wins of any quarteback in NFL historical past.

Brady has steadily climbed on prime of the passing yards record. Whereas three different energetic quarterbacks are within the prime 10, none appear to be inside hanging distance of the mark. 

MORE: Buccaneers’ Tom Brady opens up about going through Patriots

With Brady prone to take the document throughout “Sunday Night time Soccer,” Sporting Information is looking on the different names on the prime of the passing yards record, the data held by Brady and who, if anybody, can attain Brady’s soon-to-be document.

NFL passing yards document

The document for regular-season passing yards has been within the arms of a number of completely different gamers over time. 

Johnny Unitas retired because the chief in 1973 at 40,239, the primary QB to succeed in 40,000. Fran Tarkenton held the document when he known as it a profession in 1978 at 47,003. Dan Marino held the document at 61,361 till Brett Favre handed him in 2007, his final yr with the Packers. Peyton Manning took Favre’s document of 71,838 down in 2015 and retired with 71,940, a quantity that stood till Brees set the brand new document in 2018. Brees retired on the finish of the 2020 season with 80,358. 

Solely 11 quarterbacks have reached 50,000 common season passing yards of their careers. Listed below are the gamers ranked by most profession passing yards.

Participant Years Yards
Drew Brees 2001-20 80,358
Tom Brady 2000-21 80,291
Peyton Manning 1998-2015 71,940
Brett Favre 1991-2010 71,838
Philip Rivers 2004-20 63,440
Dan Marino 1983-99 61,361
Ben Roethlisberger 2004-21 61,149
Eli Manning 2004-19 57,023
Matt Ryan 2008-21 56,474
Aaron Rodgers 2005-21 51,894
John Elway 1983-98 51,475

If the rankings have been to incorporate postseason numbers, Brady would have taken the sting over Brees some time in the past. Brady has 12,449 postseason passing yards to Brees’ 5,366.

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What data does Tom Brady maintain?

Together with the aforementioned postseason passing yards, Brady holds numerous different data. 

We can’t even start to get into each document that he holds as there are simply so many. However here is just a few of the highlights.

  • 591 common season passing TDs
  • 83 postseason passing TDs
  • 266 quarterback wins
  • 63 game-winning drives
  • 215 video games with a number of landing passes
  • 10 consecutive postseason wins to start an NFL profession
  • 11 consecutive 11-win seasons as QB

That is simply the beginning. He is additionally the solely quarterback with 40 TD seasons in each the AFC and NFC. 

Along with these data, Brady has numerous recognitions the place merely including the prefix “oldest” in entrance is true. Brady is the oldest quarterback in NFL historical past to attain obtain of the next:

  • Be named MVP (40)
  • Be named Tremendous Bowl MVP (43)
  • Win a Tremendous Bowl (43)
  • Win the AFC (41)
  • Win the NFC (43)
  • Throw a landing go within the postseason (43)

What number of passing yards might Brady end his profession with?

There is no precedent for what Brady has been capable of do.

Earlier than Brady, solely Favre had tallied greater than 4,000 passing yards in a season at age 40 or older. Brady has executed it 4 instances, and with one of many league’s most gifted group of receivers and a seventeenth sport this season, he is prone to do it once more, well being allowing.

Final yr, he had 4,633 passing yards within the common season. That is probably the most of any season he is had in his 40s. He is off to an unreal tempo to start this yr as he already has 1,087 yards to his identify. If he retains up at this tempo of 362.3 yards per sport, he’ll end the season with 6,160 yards, which might put him at 85,364 for his profession. Give him one other season, and he may hit 90,000. Three or 4 extra seasons, and he is maybe reaching 100,000.

George Blanda is the oldest quarterback to finish a go within the NFL, having thrown a completion at age 48 in 1975. However no QB older than 42 has even began 10 video games exterior of Brady, in line with Stathead. He mentioned earlier this season he thinks he might play until he is 50 years previous. Can he actually maintain posting 4,000-yard passing seasons? Do we have now any motive to doubt him?

The game is in uncharted waters with Brady. 

Almost certainly QBs to catch Brady

It’s going to take a very long time till somebody catches Brady in passing yards or touchdowns, particularly because it appears he might be sticking round within the NFL a bit longer .

However gamers within the league can have one benefit in serving to to catch Brady: 17 sport seasons. Brady has spent his total profession thus far with simply 16-game seasons, giving the subsequent technology of gamers one further sport per yr so as to add to their profession yardage totals.

So who can catch Brady?

Beginning with the apparent: Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs’ star QB is already as much as 15,092 passing yards and he is solely 26 years previous, probably the most of any quarterback in NFL historical past inside his first 50 begins (he is at 49). He is thrown for at the very least 4,000 yards every season by which he has been a starter. Mahomes is signed with the Chiefs till 2031, and whereas it might take him so much longer than 10 extra years to catch Brady, he can be simply 36 when the deal expires; there are 4 quarterbacks at the moment within the league 36 or older. 

There’s just a few younger QBs which are off to promising begins. Justin Herbert had the second-most passing yards by a QB age 22 or youthful final season at 4,336, and he is opened the 2021 marketing campaign robust as nicely. Josh Allen is as much as 10,514 passing yards and he is solely 25 years previous with two seasons already with 3,000-plus passing yards. Kyler Murray has began his NFL profession with two seasons of at the very least 3,700 passing yards and he is simply 24.

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Then there are just a few with exterior possibilities. Trevor Lawrence is barely 21 and got here into the NFL with as a lot acclaim and hype as any QB in current reminiscence, however his rookie season has not gotten off to an amazing begin. Jameis Winston had extra passing yards of any quarterback earlier than turning 26, is at the moment at 20,199 yards and he handed for five,109 yards in 2019, however throwing 30 interceptions in a season will not assist him maintain a beginning job. Jared Goff is nearly to show 27 and has 18,972 yards, so he too at the very least has racked up some heavy yardage early. Sure, it is so arduous to see somebody catching Brady proper now that we’re taking a look at guys like Winston and Goff.

It is not straightforward to see who might be the subsequent all-time passing yards chief. It is not simply in regards to the scorching begins, however about staying constant over time. Brady has thrown for greater than 4,000 yards every season since he turned 40 years previous. There is no precedent for that stage of success, and even with 17 video games per season, it might take that stage of manufacturing to succeed in the document.


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