List of NFL quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards in a season

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Passing for 5,000 yards in a single regular season is a rare achievement in the National Football League (NFL). Seven different quarterbacks have accomplished the feat, Dan Marino was the first when he set an NFL record with 5,084 yards passing in 1984.[1] Marino's record remained intact for over a decade after his retirement in 1999.[2] Peyton Manning currently holds the record with 5,477 passing yards in 2013, with Drew Brees being exactly one yard short of this mark. Drew Brees is the only NFL quarterback to reach 5,000 yards more than once, having done so five times.[3] In 2011 three different players, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Matt Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards. Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger are the most recent to do so, both accomplishing it in 2018. NFL quarterbacks have passed for 5,000 yards in a season 11 times. However, only two of these quarterbacks also threw for 50 touchdowns in the same season, Peyton Manning in 2013 and Patrick Mahomes in 2018. Marino and Mahomes both turned 23 in September of the years they threw for 5,000 yards making them tied for the youngest quarterbacks to throw for 5,000 yards. Despite the rarity of a 5,000 yard season, only three quarterbacks were named MVP the year of their 5,000 season, Marino, Manning, and Mahomes. Matt Stafford is the only quarterback to not be selected to the pro bowl the same year of their 5,000 season.

NFL players with 5,000 passing yards in a season[edit]

Drew Brees is the only quarterback to have more than one 5,000-yard season, with five.
Quarterback Team Passing yards Regular Season Notes
Dan Marino* Miami Dolphins 5,084 1984 1st in NFL history, Tied for youngest to achieve 5,000 yards[4]
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 5,069 2008 Offensive Player of the Year[5]
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 5,476 2011 2nd 5,000-yard season, Offensive Player of the Year
Tom Brady New England Patriots 5,235 2011 [6]
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions 5,038 2011 Comeback Player of the Year[7]
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 5,177 2012 3rd 5,000-yard season, 2nd consecutive
Peyton Manning* Denver Broncos 5,477 2013 NFL record[8]
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 5,162 2013 4th 5,000-yard season, 3rd consecutive
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints 5,208 2016 5th 5,000-yard season
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers 5,129 2018 [9]
Patrick Mahomes* Kansas City Chiefs 5,097 2018 Tied for youngest to achieve 5,000 yards [10]

*Named MVP

4,000 passing yards in a season[edit]

4,000 yards passing in a season was once considered a very rare feat but has lost a bit of significance over the years. During the 14 game era, only Joe Namath passed for over 4,000 yards in a season with 4,007 yards passing in the 1967 AFL season. During the 1980s and 1990s, 4,000 yards became the standard for the league leaders in the NFL. Over the last decade, 4,000 yards has become almost commonplace in the NFL. In the 2016 season alone, thirteen quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards.[11] Peyton Manning has had the most 4,000 yard seasons (14).[12]


  1. ^ Dorman, Larry. "He sets passing record, eliminates Dallas".
  2. ^ "Brees breaks passing record".
  3. ^ Brett Martel, "Panthers come from behind to beat Saints 44-38", Associated Press, December 31, 2012.
  4. ^ "Dan Marino".
  5. ^ "Drew Brees".
  6. ^ "Tom Brady".
  7. ^ "Matthew Stafford".
  8. ^ "Peyton Manning".
  9. ^ "Ben Roethlisberger".
  10. ^ "Patrick Mahomes".
  11. ^ "2016 Passing Stats".
  12. ^ "History Release: 4,000 yard passers", Pro Football Hall of Fame, December 31, 2012 (accessed 2013-01-24).