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I like trivia, and Chris Brown asked me a good question on twitter yesterday:

The game Brown was referencing was the Patriots performance against the Saints in week 2 of the 2017 season. Here was the receiving breakdown on the New England side:

 
Player Tm Pass Yd Rec Yd
Rob Gronkowski NWE 0 116
James White NWE 0 85
Chris Hogan NWE 0 78
Phillip Dorsett NWE 0 68
Rex Burkhead NWE 0 41
Brandin Cooks NWE 0 37
Dion Lewis NWE 0 11
James Develin NWE 0 6
Jacob Hollister NWE 0 5
Tom Brady NWE 447 0

Brady threw for 183 yards to his wide receivers (Hogan, Dorsett, and Cooks), 143 yards to running backs (White, Burkhead, Lewis, Develin) and 121 yards to his tight ends (Gronkowski and Hollister). So that means Brady threw for 400+ passing yards with just 40% of his passing yards coming from his wide receivers.

Based on my research1, there have been two 400-yard passers who threw for less than 100 yards to his wide receiver.

The most recent was this game by Matt Schaub against the Raiders in 2011, when he threw for just 99 yards to his wide receivers. In that game, RB Arian Foster and TE Joel Dreesen both went over 100 yards, and TE Owen Daniels had 89 yards. The other was also against the Raiders, by Dan Fouts in 1985. RB Lionel James had 168 yards, RB Gary Anderson had 84 yards, and TEs Kellen Winslow and Pete Holhan had 35 and 23 yards, respectively.

The table below shows all 400-yard individual passing games from 1960 to 2016, along with the WR/TE/RB breakdown. The year column provides a clickable link to the game’s boxscore.

PlayerTeamOppYear/BoxPass YdWR YdTE YdRB YdWR %TE %RB %
Drew Breesnorrai201642337364488%1%10%
Matt Ryanatlcar2016503419453983%9%8%
Eli Manningnygrav2016403302495275%12%13%
Jameis Winstontamram2016405275537768%13%19%
Derek Carrraitam2016513350689568%13%19%
Tom Bradynweatl20164662926211263%13%24%
Tom Bradynwerav2016406243709360%17%23%
Drew Breesnorcar2016465328974071%21%9%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitdal2016408235967758%24%19%
Kirk Cousinswasdal20164492641632259%36%5%
Kirk Cousinswascin20164582391922752%42%6%
Tom Bradynwecle20164061671766341%43%16%
Matthew Stafforddetchi2015405317177178%4%18%
Carson Palmercrdpit2015421339226081%5%14%
Drew Breesnorjax20154122433413559%8%33%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitsea20154563215911066%12%22%
Philip Riverssdgdet2015403277745269%18%13%
Eli Manningnygsfo20154412518310757%19%24%
Kellen Mooredalwas2015435297865268%20%12%
Philip Riverssdggnb201550327013010354%26%20%
Drew Breesnornyg20155052861526757%30%13%
Tom Bradynwebuf201546621315110246%32%22%
Josh McCownclerav20154572121529346%33%20%
Matt Ryanatlnor2014448356197379%4%16%
Eli Manningnygphi2014429363264085%6%9%
Andrew Luckcltpit2014400318255780%6%14%
Peyton Manningdennwe2014438309438671%10%20%
Nick Folesphicrd2014411340561583%14%4%
Peyton Manningdencrd2014479385831180%17%2%
Drew Breesnorrav2014420284736368%17%15%
Kirk Cousinswasphi2014427293755969%18%14%
Aaron Rodgersgnbnor20144182267712353%18%29%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitnor20144351948215945%19%37%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitclt20145223211128961%21%17%
Peyton Manningdenkan201340332257680%1%19%
Matthew Stafforddetdal2013488398315982%6%12%
Andrew Luckcltkan2013443350464779%10%11%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitnwe2013400265439266%11%23%
Ryan Fitzpatrickoticrd2013402298535174%13%13%
Michael Vickphisdg20134282575811560%14%27%
Eli Manningnygdal2013450333665174%15%11%
Aaron Rodgersgnbwas2013480372723678%15%8%
Nick Folesphirai2013406308694274%16%10%
Philip Riverssdgrai2013411258747963%18%19%
Tom Bradynwecle20134181537818737%19%45%
Nick Folesphimin2013428278826865%19%16%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitchi2013406287922771%23%7%
Peyton Manningdenrav20134622881106462%24%14%
Carson Palmercrdsfo2013407278973268%24%8%
Drew Breesnormia201341315210415737%25%38%
Peyton Manningdenhtx20134002661082667%27%7%
Peyton Manningdennwe20134002561093564%27%9%
Carson Palmercrdjax20134192791172367%28%5%
Tony Romodalden2013506352149570%29%1%
Peyton Manningdendal20134141931229947%29%24%
Philip Riverssdgphi20134192521244360%30%10%
Colin Kaepernicksfognb20134122441234559%30%11%
Philip Riverssdgdal20134011631439541%36%24%
Matt Ryanatlnwe20134212041536448%36%15%
Tom Bradynwepit2013432263160961%37%2%
Ryan Tannehillmiacrd201243139530692%7%1%
Matt Schaubhtxjax20125273475712366%11%23%
Eli Manningnygtam2012510414722481%14%5%
Carson Palmerraitam20124142006715148%16%36%
Tony Romodalnor2012416297685171%16%12%
Tony Romodalwas2012441288747965%17%18%
Matthew Stafforddetatl20124432677510160%17%23%
Andrew Luckcltmia2012433313754572%17%10%
Drew Breesnorgnb2012446310825470%18%12%
Drew Breesnordal20124461839117241%20%39%
Josh Freemantamnor2012420287904368%21%10%
Matthew Stafforddethtx20124412831312764%30%6%
Tom Bradynwesfo20124432831332764%30%6%
Matt Ryanatlnor20124112381284558%31%11%
Tony Romodalnyg20124372431811356%41%3%
Aaron Rodgersgnbden2011408337284383%7%11%
Drew Breesnordet20114663025510965%12%23%
Carson Palmerraisdg2011417322544177%13%10%
Drew Breesnorgnb20114192515611260%13%27%
Michael Vickphisfo2011416314574575%14%11%
Eli Manningnygnor2011406294575572%14%14%
Matt Flynngnbdet20114803037010763%15%22%
Matthew Stafforddetnor20114082446410060%16%25%
Eli Manningnygdal2011400299633875%16%10%
Drew Breesnormin20114122087213250%17%32%
Chad Hennemianwe2011416278825667%20%13%
Cam Newtoncargnb20114322199012351%21%28%
Eli Manningnygsea2011420282894967%21%12%
Drew Breesnorsfo201146221811313147%24%28%
Vince Youngphinwe20114002701003068%25%8%
Cam Newtoncarcrd20114222691292464%31%6%
Matthew Stafforddetgnb20115203131812660%35%5%
Tom Bradynwesdg20114232551482060%35%5%
Tom Bradynwemia2011517322189662%37%1%
Matt Schaubhtxrai20114169920111624%48%28%
Kyle Ortondenclt2010476392117382%2%15%
Carson Palmercinatl2010412337264982%6%12%
Aaron Rodgersgnbnyg2010404346411786%10%4%
Matt Schaubhtxwas2010497356528972%10%18%
Matt Casselkanden2010469315559967%12%21%
Drew Breesnorsea20104042216212155%15%30%
Brett Favremincrd2010446311696670%15%15%
Peyton Manningclthtx2010433317803673%18%8%
Tony Romodaloti20104062861031770%25%4%
Philip Riverssdgrai20104312461137257%26%17%
Donovan McNabbwashtx20104262471265358%30%12%
Philip Riverssdgsea20104552891372964%30%6%
Kyle Ortondenkan2009431351295181%7%12%
Donovan McNabbphisdg2009450359474480%10%10%
Drew Breesnorwas2009419249789259%19%22%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitcle2009417313802475%19%6%
Philip Riverssdgrav20094362248512751%19%29%
Matthew Stafforddetcle20094222018413748%20%32%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitgnb200950328211810356%23%20%
Aaron Rodgersgnbcrd20094232341593055%38%7%
Kurt Warnercrdnyj2008472413114888%2%10%
Matt Casselnwemia2008415333166680%4%16%
Matt Schaubhtxgnb2008414257698862%17%21%
Drew Breesnoratl2008422284815767%19%14%
Matt Casselnwenyj2008400263884966%22%12%
Brian Griesetamchi2008407265974565%24%11%
Drew Breesnorden20084212181168752%28%21%
Jay Cutlerdencle2008447305142068%32%0%
Jon Kitnadetphi200744639405288%0%12%
Carson Palmercincle2007401355123489%3%8%
Kurt Warnercrdsfo2007484391583780%12%8%
Drew Breesnorjax20074452811026263%23%14%
Peyton Manningcltsdg20074021951179049%29%22%
Drew Breesnorcin20065103492114068%4%27%
Matt Leinartcrdmin2006405360341189%8%3%
Ben Roethlisbergerpitden20064332684112462%9%29%
Carson Palmercinsdg2006440366571783%13%4%
Peyton Manningclthtx2006400289674472%17%11%
Chris Weinkecarnyg2006423304714872%17%11%
Joey Harringtonmiagnb20064142307710756%19%26%
Marc Bulgerramnyg200544237326684%0%15%
Marc Bulgerramnyj2004450350326878%7%15%
Marc Bulgerramgnb2004448367324982%7%11%
Donovan McNabbphignb20044642484217453%9%38%
Peyton Manningcltoti2004425355393184%9%7%
Jake Plummerdenatl2004499388486378%10%13%
Daunte Culpepperminnor2004425278569165%13%21%
Daunte Culpeppermindet2004404245629761%15%24%
Billy Volekotirai2004492350776571%16%13%
Billy Volekotikan2004426295765569%18%13%
Matt Hasselbeckseadal2004414305882174%21%5%
Peyton Manningcltkan20044722731099058%23%19%
Peyton Manningcltden20044583051401367%31%3%
Kelly Holcombclecin20044132481491660%36%4%
Tim Rattaysfocrd20044171592035538%49%13%
Steve McNairotihtx2003421366124387%3%10%
Peyton Manningcltnyj20034012591093365%27%8%
Trent Greenkangnb20034002111216853%30%17%
Tommy Maddoxpitatl200247345818-397%4%-1%
Tom Bradynwekan2002410327315280%8%13%
Kelly Holcombclepit2002429343335380%8%12%
Drew Bledsoebufmin2002463381384482%8%10%
Drew Bledsoebufrai2002417297437771%10%18%
Marc Bulgerramsdg2002453321587471%13%16%
Matt Hasselbeckseasfo2002427281697766%16%18%
Rich Gannonraipit20024032327010158%17%25%
Matt Hasselbeckseasdg20024492861412264%31%5%
Jon Kitnacinpit200141138402793%0%7%
Charlie Batchdetcrd2001436305312870%1%29%
Kurt Warnerramnwe2001401281398170%10%20%
Peyton Manningcltbuf2001421314594875%14%11%
Chris Chandleratlbuf20014312731362263%32%5%
Kurt Warnerramden2000441319311972%1%27%
Vinny Testaverdenyjrav20004812641520255%3%42%
Trent Greenramcar2000431384182989%4%7%
Jeff Garciasfochi2000402362202090%5%5%
Peyton Manningcltjax2000440318576572%13%15%
Aaron Brooksnorden2000441338742977%17%7%
Gus Frerottedensdg2000462335784973%17%11%
Elvis Grbackanrai20005042981555159%31%10%
Brad Johnsonwassfo1999471291717362%1%37%
Jeff Georgeminram1999423379123290%3%8%
Kurt Warnerramoti1999414299249172%6%22%
Jeff Garciasfocin1999437340267178%6%16%
Jim Millerchimin1999422324277177%6%17%
Jim Harbaughsdgmin19994042374512259%11%30%
Peyton Manningcltsdg1999404317513678%13%9%
Randall Cunninghammingnb199844239863890%1%9%
Glenn Foleynyjsfo1998415347105884%2%14%
John Elwaydenkan1998400318374580%9%11%
Vinny Testaverdenyjsea19984182364713556%11%32%
Troy Aikmandalmin1998455306559467%12%21%
Drew Bledsoenwemia1998423250789559%18%22%
Jake Plummercrddal19984652678611257%18%24%
Tony Banksramatl1997401292189173%4%23%
Warren Moonsearai1997409292486971%12%17%
Mark Brunelljaxram1996421374252289%6%5%
Vinny Testaverderavram1996429285459966%10%23%
Mark Brunelljaxnwe1996432338742078%17%5%
Boomer Esiasoncrdwas19965223321028864%20%17%
Drew Bledsoenwemia19964191661579640%37%23%
Dan Marinomiabuf1995422283014966%0%34%
Scott Mitchelldetmin199541038228093%7%0%
Steve Youngsfomin1995425375391188%9%3%
Dave Kriegcrdatl19954132664010764%10%26%
Dan Marinomiacin19954502589110157%20%22%
Dan Marinomianwe1994473374297079%6%15%
Warren Moonminnor1994420330266479%6%15%
Dan Marinomiamin1994431268659862%15%23%
Drew Bledsoenwemin19944262517410159%17%24%
Warren Moonminnyj19944002391243760%31%9%
Drew Bledsoenwemia199442115816110238%38%24%
Steve Beuerleincrdsea1993431311611472%1%26%
Jeff Hostetlerraisdg1993424283519067%12%21%
Steve Youngsforam1993462321689966%14%20%
Brett Favregnbchi1993402214929653%23%24%
Steve Youngsfobuf1992449377135984%3%13%
Jim Kellybufsfo19924031961139449%28%23%
Mark Rypienwasatl199144240546090%10%0%
Warren Moonotinyj1991423341443881%10%9%
Warren Moonotidal1991432330594376%14%10%
Warren Moonotikan1990527427425881%8%11%
Joe Montanasfoatl1990476349567173%12%15%
Joe Montanasfognb19904112475710760%14%26%
Boomer Esiasoncinram199049017016115935%33%32%
Jim Kellybufcle1989405198020749%0%51%
Mark Rypienwaschi198940134335586%1%14%
Jim Everettramnor1989454391194486%4%10%
Warren Moonoticle1989414301377673%9%18%
Dan Marinomianyj19894272766011062%13%25%
Joe Montanasfophi1989428300676170%16%14%
Joe Montanasforam1989458331854272%19%9%
Randall Cunninghamphichi19894012217810255%19%25%
Randall Cunninghamphiwas198944714312617832%28%40%
Dave Kriegsearai1988410211019951%0%49%
Dan Marinomianyj1988521431137783%2%15%
Dan Marinomiacle1988404302327075%8%17%
Doug Williamswaspit1988430284648266%15%19%
Vinny Testaverdetamclt19884692781217059%26%15%
Randall Cunninghamphichi198840713014213532%35%33%
Tom Ramseynwephi19874022491214162%3%35%
Boomer Esiasoncinpit1987409276726167%18%15%
Neil Lomaxcrdsdg19874572701018659%22%19%
Steve Grogannwenyj198640135164488%1%11%
Joe Montanasfowas1986441345187878%4%18%
Tony Easonnwesea1986414345185183%4%12%
Dan Marinomianyj1986448344317377%7%16%
Jay Schroederwasnyg1986420371351488%8%3%
Ken O'Briennyjsea1986431356473681%11%8%
Dan Marinomiaram1986403274488168%12%20%
Bernie Kosarclepit1986414290586670%14%16%
Dan Marinomiabuf19864042256111856%15%29%
Ken O'Briennyjmia19864793191085267%23%11%
Bernie Kosarclemia19864011189418929%23%47%
Bernie Kosarclenyj198648922315611545%32%23%
Tommy Kramerminwas19864902241798746%37%18%
Boomer Esiasoncinnyj19864252111595550%37%13%
John Elwaydensea19854322941712168%4%28%
Phil Simmsnygdal19854323091910472%4%24%
Dan Foutssdgrai1985436975828122%13%64%
Joe Montanasfoatl19854291406322633%15%53%
Dan Foutssdgsea1985440324989663%19%19%
Tommy Kramerminchi1985436300924469%21%10%
Dave Kriegseaatl1985405248916661%22%16%
Phil Simmsnygcin198551319217614537%34%28%
Neil Lomaxcrdwas19844682851816561%4%35%
Phil Simmsnygphi1984409337304282%7%10%
Dan Marinomianyj1984422321416076%10%14%
Dave Kriegseaden1984406287407971%10%19%
Dan Marinomiapit19844212774411464%10%26%
Dan Marinomiarai19844703006410664%14%23%
Dan Marinomiaclt1984404308633376%16%8%
Dan Marinomiacrd1984429316743974%17%9%
Dan Foutssdgrai19844101442234335%54%10%
Bill Kenneykansdg1983411346214484%5%11%
Joe Fergusonbufmia19834192663511863%8%28%
Richard Toddnyjram19834462107116547%16%37%
Dave Kriegseaden1983418270796965%19%17%
Joe Theismannwasrai1983417239799957%19%24%
Vince Ferragamoramchi19825093282515664%5%31%
Joe Montanasfocrd19824082532712862%7%31%
Dan Foutssdgcin19824353321412866%28%6%
Ken Andersoncinsdg19824162141257751%30%19%
Dan Foutssdgsfo19824442701462861%33%6%
Steve Bartkowskiatlpit19814162273015955%7%38%
David Woodleymiadal1981408329433681%11%9%
Brian Sipecleclt19814441968516344%19%37%
Tommy Kramerminsdg198144420710013747%23%31%
Don Strockmiasdg198140316812612940%30%30%
Dan Foutssdgmia19814332311663653%38%8%
Doug Williamstammin19804862916313260%13%27%
Richard Toddnyjsfo19804471317723929%17%53%
Tommy Kramermincle19804562378913052%20%29%
Dan Foutssdgnyg19804443091024668%22%10%
Lynn Dickeygnbtam198041813310917632%26%42%
James Harrisrammia1976436319189973%4%23%
Ken Andersoncinbuf1975447337367475%8%17%
Charley Johnsondenkan197444522312514345%25%29%
Joe Namathnyjrai19724032191404454%35%11%
Joe Namathnyjclt19724962252046745%41%14%
Don Horngnbcrd19694102971610970%4%26%
Joe Kappminclt19694492908216654%15%31%
Daryle Lamonicarainyj1968401273695968%17%15%
Pete Beathardotikan196841312910717731%26%43%
Joe Namathnyjmia19674152535213558%12%31%
Sonny Jurgensenwascle19674182296312655%15%30%
Johnny Unitascltatl196740115112614236%30%34%
Don Meredithdalwas196640633906783%0%17%
Fran Tarkentonminsfo19654072177012053%17%29%
Sonny Jurgensenwasdal19654111987813548%19%33%
Cotton Davidsonraiden19644272193018650%7%43%
Len Dawsonkanden19644351088424325%19%56%
Babe Parillinwerai19644221678716840%21%40%
Tom Floresraioti19634072512113562%5%33%
Norm Sneadwaspit1963424314418971%9%20%
Don Meredithdalsfo19634602971125165%24%11%
Charley Johnsoncrdpit19634281772124940%48%11%
Sonny Jurgensenphicrd1962419220019953%0%47%
Frank Tripuckadenbuf1962447348425778%9%13%
Y.A. Tittlenygwas1962505396634678%12%9%
Billy Wadechidal196246622913310449%29%22%
George Blandaotinyj1961418275015264%0%36%
Sonny Jurgensenphidet19614032111417852%3%44%
George Blandaotibuf19614643322310972%5%23%
Jacky Leeotinwe1961457381314583%7%10%
Sonny Jurgensenphiwas19614362715311262%12%26%

Enjoy!

  1. And I admit there may be some bugs in here when it comes to position designation: records are not always perfect as to what position a player played. And while this post looks at games where an individual quarterback threw for 400+ yards, there are some games where multiple passers played. As a result, the team receiving yards could (and do, in some cases) exceed the total passing yards by the individual quarterback. []
  • Deacon Drake

    I remember the Lionel James game! I did not remember the Clark Gaines game. Thought it was interesting that 2 of the top 3 0% TE games were courtesy of Mike Martz. I wish I could tell you more about what Len Dawson was doing, but apparently he ran up some nice completion percentage numbers by being ahead of his time and getting RBs in the passing game.

    Seriously, if NFL Network wants some better programming, they should bust out some of those early-mid 80s Chargers and Raiders games and condense down to 60 min format. That’s way more entertaining than anything happening so far in 2017 (looking at you Seattle, Carolina, Indy, NYG, Cinci, Houston, Arizona, and good god SF).

    • sacramento gold miners

      Couldn’t agree more about the bland programming on the NFL Network, with few exceptions, it’s like watching a news channel, with countless reruns of those top ten shows. With quality of play still poor among too many teams, showing a classic game from the past is a great idea. Unfortunately, those old games are often reruns as well on the NFL Network.

      Lionel James also had a huge game in the thrilling San Diego win at Cincinnati in 1985. Those 1979-85 Chargers teams had a ton of exciting games, fun era to be watching NFL football.

  • Richie

    I thought Brady himself may have done it before. I thought Drew Brees and Kurt Warner might also be candidates. Marshall Faulk had a lot of receiving yards, but after I thought about it, those Rams didn’t have many non-WR’s besides Faulk. I can’t even name a tight end for that team.

    • Daniel Menezes

      You mean you don’t remember Roland Williams and Ernie Conwell?

      It is strange how little the TE did in that offense.

  • kevin trammo

    That Lionel James game in 85 was one of the most exciting regular season games i have ever seen . One of the very last Dan Fouts shootouts. The Clark Gaines game however was not exciting at all. That’s the game that Richard Todd set the single game completions record which was since broken by Bledsoe in overtime, and i am sure quite a few more since.

    • Richie

      Looks like Bledsoe, Brady (OT – in the Super Bowl), Gannon (no OT), Rivers (no OT) and Schaub (OT) bested the mark:

      http://pfref.com/tiny/qDiz4

      • Richie

        But Joe Namath still has the record for most INcompletions in a game (36): http://pfref.com/tiny/qZs6P

        • kevin trammo

          yeah, i forget about that one sometimes

    • sacramento gold miners

      In the college ranks, I remember Steve McNair’s insane 52-82 day for Alcorn State versus Youngstown State. Over 500 yards, but the Braves still lost by 43 points.

  • Mark Growcott

    Great post.

    Reminds me of that remarkable MNF game in Miami in 2009 when the Colts won despite less than 15 mins T.O.P. and while Peyton Manning threw for 303 Yds in this game (outside of the criteria used here), Dallas Clark (TE) caught 183 of them (60%). The 2 Indy RBs had another 31 Yds, leaving the WRs with just 89 Yds (29%) between the 3 of them.