SPORTS CHART OF THE DAY: NFL Passing Is Starting To Resemble Home Runs During Baseball's Steroid Era

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Prior to this season, only two quarterbacks had ever passed for 5,000 yards in a single season. That number grew by three this year.

Drew Brees finished the 2011 season with 5,476 yards, shattering Dan Marino’s single-season record by almost 400 yards. In fact, Tom Brady also broke the mark by more than 150 yards and Matthew Stafford came within 47 yards of surpassing Marino.

In all, 10 quarterbacks threw for at least 4,000 yards, matching the 2009 season for the most in NFL history. In the NFL, there have been 99 4,000-yard seasons, and 25 (25.3%) of them have occurred in the last three years.

Here is a year-by-year breakdown since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970*…

NFL passing yards

* There was one 4,000-yard season prior to the merger. Joe Namath passed for 4,007 yards in 1967. All data via

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