Dan Marino’s single-season record for passing yards is going to fall this year, and it’s highly likely that Drew Brees becomes the new record holder. The big questions now: What will the new record be? And who else will pass Marino?
Amazingly, Brees already has the sixth-highest single-season total in NFL history despite playing only 14 games thus far. At 4,780, he’ll only need 305 yards Monday night against Atlanta to set a new record. At home this year, he’s averaged 321 passing yards per outing. And earlier this season, Brees had 322 yards against the Falcons. So obviously he’ll end up with either 321 or 322 yards Monday. Even if he were to have a flat effort and fall short of the mark against Atlanta, Brees would literally have to suffer an injury or sit out an entire game to fall short at this point. Right now, he’s on pace to break the record by almost 400 yards. Ridiculous.
Tom Brady should also pass Marino, but with the elements potentially playing a role in two cold-weather home games to finish the season, it’ll be very difficult for him to catch Brees, whom he currently trails by 187 yards. He’ll need to average 246 yards over his final two games to hit 5,084 — a number he’s been north of in six of the last seven weeks. And remember: last time he faced Miami’s defense, Brady put up a career-high 517 yards (New England hosts the Dolphins Saturday).
But there’s a good chance Marino holds on to the No. 3 spot on the all-time single-season passing yards list, because it’ll be an uphill climb for Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers, who need 361 and 362 yards, respectively, over their final two games to reach Marino’s mark. Both play outdoors in each of their final two games. Manning has been hot and cold all year, and while there’s a chance he gets hot against beatable defenses (the Jets and Cowboys), the 5,000 plateau is probably a more reasonable goal. Rodgers has hit that 362 mark just once since Week 5, and with a perfect season spoiled and a crappy Bears team on the slate for Week 16, he might get some rest down the stretch.
GLS prediction time!
We’re going to take a wild stab at what the top 10 single-season passing yards list will look like this after the season…
1. Drew Brees: 5,420 yards*
2. Tom Brady: 5,115 yards*
3. Dan Marino: 5,084 yards
4. Drew Brees: 5,069 yards
5. Eli Manning: 4,970 yards*
6. Kurt Warner: 4,830 yards
7. Tom Brady: 4,806 yards
8. Dan Fouts: 4,802 yards
9. Matt Schaub: 4,770 yards
10. Aaron Rodgers: 4,750 yards*
There ya have it. Four of the top 10 in 2011.