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Checkdowns: No “passing leader” has won the Super Bowl

Posted by Chase Stuart on April 27, 2011

No quarterback has led the league in passing yards and won the Super Bowl in the same season. Here's a full list of passing leaders, defined as the player with the most passing yards, in the Super Bowl era:


Year Team pyd Player
2010 SDG 4710 Philip Rivers No postseason
2009 HOU 4770 Matt Schaub No postseason
2008 NOR 5069 Drew Brees No postseason
2007 NWE 4806 Tom Brady L - Super Bowl
2006 NOR 4418 Drew Brees L - Conference
2005 NWE 4110 Tom Brady L - Division
2004 MIN 4717 Daunte Culpepper L - Division
2003 IND 4267 Peyton Manning L - Conference
2002 OAK 4689 Rich Gannon L - Super Bowl
2001 STL 4830 Kurt Warner L - Super Bowl
2000 IND 4413 Peyton Manning L - Wildcard
1999 CAR 4436 Steve Beuerlein No postseason
1998 GNB 4212 Brett Favre L - Wildcard
1997 OAK 3917 Jeff George No postseason
1996 JAX 4367 Mark Brunell L - Conference
1995 GNB 4413 Brett Favre L - Conference
1994 NWE 4555 Drew Bledsoe L - Wildcard
1993 DEN 4030 John Elway L - Wildcard
1992 MIA 4116 Dan Marino L - Conference
1991 HOU 4690 Warren Moon L - Division
1990 HOU 4689 Warren Moon L - Wildcard
1989 GNB 4318 Don Majkowski No postseason
1988 MIA 4434 Dan Marino No postseason
1987 STL 3387 Neil Lomax No postseason
1986 MIA 4746 Dan Marino No postseason
1985 MIA 4137 Dan Marino L - Conference
1984 MIA 5084 Dan Marino L - Super Bowl
1983 GNB 4458 Lynn Dickey No postseason
1982 SDG 2883 Dan Fouts L - Division
1981 SDG 4802 Dan Fouts L - Conference
1980 SDG 4715 Dan Fouts L - Conference
1979 SDG 4082 Dan Fouts L - Division
1978 MIN 3468 Fran Tarkenton L - Division
1977 BUF 2803 Joe Ferguson No postseason
1976 BAL 3104 Bert Jones L - Division
1975 CIN 3169 Ken Anderson L - Division
1974 CIN 2667 Ken Anderson No postseason
1973 PHI 3219 Roman Gabriel No postseason
1972 NYJ 2816 Joe Namath No postseason
1971 SDG 3075 John Hadl No postseason
1970 SFO 2941 John Brodie L - Conference
1969 OAK 3302 Daryle Lamonica L - Conference
1969 WAS 3102 Sonny Jurgensen No postseason
1968 SDG 3473 John Hadl No postseason
1968 SFO 3020 John Brodie No postseason
1967 NYJ 4007 Joe Namath No postseason
1967 WAS 3747 Sonny Jurgensen No postseason
1966 NYJ 3379 Joe Namath No postseason
1966 WAS 3379 Sonny Jurgensen No postseason

It goes without saying that leading the league in passing yards is highly correlated with leading the league in pass attempts, and that pass attempts are correlated with losing in exactly the same way rushing attempts are correlated with winning (think of a stat a program might flash noting that Team X is 21-2 when RB Y has 25 carries in a game).

But it seems like sooner or later, this streak will end. With Rivers, Brees and Brady atop the charts in recent years -- and Manning having just broken the record for completions in a season and having thrown more passes in 2010 than all but one other player ever -- it's only a matter of time until a "passing leader" wins a Super Bowl.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 8:00 am and is filed under Checkdowns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.