Sunday, June 10, 2007


In 1984, Dan Marino threw for 5,084 yards, breaking Dan Fouts' record of 4,802, set in 1981.

Since then there have been 22 NFL seasons. We've seen the run-and-shoot and the Greatest Show on Turf. We've seen rule changes to benefit the passing game (at least twice).

But nobody has broken Dan Marino's yardage record of 5,084 yards.

If you look at the passing yards leaderboard, you see that some QBs have gotten close. Kurt Warner is now in second with 4,830. Other QBs (Rich Gannon, Warren Moon) have put up a good pace but ultimately fell short.

With the way offensive strategies and pass interference rules have changed in the past few decades, it's a bit amazing to see Marino's single-season yardage record still standing. In that time we've seen three running backs rush for 2,000 yards (but still fall short of Dickerson's 2,105 in 1984), Peyton Manning break the record with 49 TD passes, Warren Moon then Rich Gannon break the record for pass completions in a season (404 then 418), Warren Moon then Drew Bledsoe break the record for attempts in a season (655 then 691), the total TD record broken 5 times, Jerry Rice set the record with 22 TD receptions, Jerry Rice set the single-season record in receiving yards (1,848), the single-season receptions record broken 5 times, the rushing TD record broking four times, and the single-season rushing attempts record broken twice (Jamal Anderson with 410, Larry Johnson with 416), and the eleven greatest seasons in yards from scrimmage.

With the exception of Dickerson's rushing yards record, every other significant single-season offensive record has been broken since 1984, and many of them have been broken and re-broken.

But Dan Marino's 5,084 passing yards in 1984 stands as the record. When you see all the other single-season records broken in the last 22 years, Marino's record appears long-standing and quite impressive.

Why do you think it has lasted so long, even as every other single-season offensive record has been broken? And because of the longevity of the record, is it now one of football's most impressive--if not the most impressive--single-season records?

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