A Look At 4,000 Yard Passing Seasons In NFL History

When it comes to judging an NFL quarterback, one of the more popular yardsticks to use is the 3,000 yard season. For a quarterback to exceed that mark by another thousand yards is really a sign of them having a great year. 4,000 yard seasons don’t come along every year, though with today’s pass oriented game they are more common than they once were.

Here is a look at some interesting facts surrounding 4,000 yard seasons.

-Peyton Manning has had more 4,000 yard passing seasons than anyone in NFL history with ten. This puts him four ahead of second place which is held by Dan Marino and Brett Favre with six each.

-2009 saw ten different quarterbacks throw for more than 4,000 passing yards, they were: Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Schaub. This is the most 4,000 yard performances ever put up in one season.

-Seven players have been taken with the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft and then gone on to have at least one 4,000 yard passing season: Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, Carson Palmer, John Elway, Jeff George, Eli Manning, and Vinny Testaverde.

-Only three players in history have had 4,000 yard passing seasons for more than one team: Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings), Warren Moon (Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings), and Drew Bledsoe (New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills).

-Through 2009, only 43 different quarterbacks have ever thrown for 4,000 yards in a season. Some of the more surprising ones include: Jon Kitna, Steve Beuerlein, Lynn Dickey, Brad Johnson, Elvis Grbac, Bill Kenney, Don Majkowski, and Jay Schroeder.

-Only five players have ever gone undrafted in the NFL Draft and then went on to have at least one 4,000 yard passing season: Warren Moon, Kurt Warner, Jon Kitna, Tony Romo, and Jeff Garcia.

-The lowest drafted player to ever have a 4,000 yard season was Bill Kenney of the Kansas City Chiefs. He was picked in the 12th round of the 1978 NFL Draft.

-Joe Namath was the first quarterback to ever pass the 4,000 yard passing mark in one season when he did it for the only time in his career in 1967.


  1. Phil says:

    You didn’t include the team with the most 4,000 yard passers with 4 – the Green Bay Packers – Lynn Dickey, Don Majkowski, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers. Several teams have had three.

  2. Mark says:

    LOL, well we can’t include EVERYTHING! 😉

    You’re absolutely correct, no other team has had more 4,000 yard passers than Green Bay.

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