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Franchise leaders — passing stats

Happy 4th of July! Before you head to your barbecue, I’d recommend you take a look at the incredible document our founders signed 236 years ago.

As far as football goes, today’s a good time for a data dump. The table below shows the career passing leaders for each franchise, organized by when the current leader last played for that team.

TeamYardsQuarterbackLast Yr
NWE39979Tom Brady
NOR28394Drew Brees
HOU16903Matt Schaub
BAL13816Joe Flacco
IND54828Peyton Manning2011
SEA29434Matt Hasselbeck2010
PHI32873Donovan McNabb2009
CAR19258Jake Delhomme2009
GNB61655Brett Favre2007
JAX25698Mark Brunell2003
DAL32942Troy Aikman2000
MIA61361Dan Marino1999
DEN51475John Elway1998
BUF35467Jim Kelly1996
TEN33685Warren Moon1993
NYG33462Phil Simms1993
STL23758Jim Everett1993
SFO35124Joe Montana1992
TAM14820Vinny Testaverde1992
SDG43040Dan Fouts1987
CIN32838Ken Anderson1986
WAS25206Joe Theismann1985
ATL23470Steve Bartkowski1985
ARI34639Jim Hart1983
PIT27989Terry Bradshaw1983
CLE23713Brian Sipe1983
OAK19078Ken Stabler1979
MIN33098Fran Tarkenton1978
NYJ27057Joe Namath1976
KAN28507Len Dawson1975
DET15710Bobby Layne1958
CHI14686Sid Luckman1950


Bobby Layne was a teammate of Sid Luckman on the '48 Bears and Len Dawson on the '58 Steelers

Those passing marks in Chicago and Detroit are in jeopardy, but not in 2012. Jay Cutler has 9,259 passing yards since he came to Chicago, and is likely to break Luckman’s mark in the middle of the 2013 season. Matt Stafford has 7,840 passing yards, making him halfway to reaching Layne. The former Georgia Bulldog is already 12th on the Lions career passing list; if he can repeat last year’s performance, he’ll move up to number two, pushing aside Scott Mitchell. Stafford needs 7,781 yards to move ahead of Layne, a conceivable target for 2013. Len Dawson and Joe Namath’s marks aren’t in jeopardy of falling anytime soon.

The Raiders have been fortunate to have Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett and Rich Gannon star for the team, but none of them gained 20,000 yards as a Raider. In 1996, Troy Aikman pushed Roger Staubach aside to top the Cowboys passing register; does Romo have a chance to do the same to Aikman? He’s over 12,000 yards back, but could conceivably do so in 2015. Romo will be just 35 years old by then, so if he remains the Dallas starter for a number of years, he’ll presumably end up as the franchise’s all-time leading passer.

What about the career leaders in passing touchdowns for each franchise?

TeamTDsQuarterbackLast Yr
NWE300Tom Brady
NOR201Drew Brees
HOU92Matt Schaub
BAL80Joe Flacco
IND399Peyton Manning2011
PHI216Donovan McNabb2009
CAR120Jake Delhomme2009
GNB442Brett Favre2007
JAX144Mark Brunell2003
DAL165Troy Aikman2000
MIA420Dan Marino1999
DEN300John Elway1998
BUF237Jim Kelly1996
NYG199Phil Simms1993
TEN196Warren Moon1993
SFO244Joe Montana1992
TAM77Vinny Testaverde1992
SEA195Dave Krieg1991
SDG254Dan Fouts1987
CIN197Ken Anderson1986
ATL154Steve Bartkowski1985
PIT212Terry Bradshaw1983
ARI209Jim Hart1983
CLE154Brian Sipe1983
OAK150Ken Stabler1979
MIN239Fran Tarkenton1978
NYJ170Joe Namath1976
KAN237Len Dawson1975
STL154Roman Gabriel1972
DET118Bobby Layne1958
WAS187Sammy Baugh1952
CHI137Sid Luckman1950

Jim Hart has thrown more touchdown passes than any other Cardinal

Luckman and Layne also hold their franchise’s touchdown records, but a couple new names enter at the bottom of the list. For the Rams, Roman Gabriel lost the yardage mark to Jim Everett but held on to the touchdown record. If Sam Bradford doesn’t pan out, his record could be safe for awhile. Ditto goes for Fran Tarkenton and Len Dawson (and probably Namath, too). Robert Griffin III is being drafted to be the next great Redskins quarterback, and it’s the greatest of them all that is the career passing touchdown leader. Eli Manning is 15 touchdowns away from breaking Simms’ record; he’ll do that this season, barring injury. For the yardage record, he’ll need to wait until 2013: he’s still over 5800 yards away. Ben Roethlisberger is 48 touchdowns away from breaking Bradshaw’s record; meanwhile, Jim Hart and Brian Sipe look safe for the foreseeable future as the franchise leaders for the Cardinals and Browns, respectively.

As interesting as the career lists are, you could probably guess most of those names. I suspect you’ll see a few more surprises in the next list, which looks at the single season leaders in passing yards for each team.

TeamYardsQuarterbackYear
NYG4933Eli Manning2011
NOR5476Drew Brees2011
ATL4177Matt Ryan2011
DET5038Matthew Stafford2011
NWE5235Tom Brady2011
GNB4643Aaron Rodgers2011
IND4700Peyton Manning2010
HOU4770Matt Schaub2009
PIT4328Ben Roethlisberger2009
DAL4483Tony Romo2009
DEN4526Jay Cutler2008
PHI3916Donovan McNabb2008
CIN4131Carson Palmer2007
SEA3966Matt Hasselbeck2007
KAN4591Trent Green2004
MIN4717Daunte Culpepper2004
TAM3811Brad Johnson2003
OAK4689Rich Gannon2002
BUF4359Drew Bledsoe2002
STL4830Kurt Warner2001
SFO4278Jeff Garcia2000
CAR4436Steve Beuerlein1999
BAL4177Vinny Testaverde1996
JAX4367Mark Brunell1996
CHI3838Erik Kramer1995
TEN4690Warren Moon1991
WAS4109Jay Schroeder1986
ARI4614Neil Lomax1984
MIA5084Dan Marino1984
SDG4802Dan Fouts1981
CLE4132Brian Sipe1980
NYJ4007Joe Namath1967

Namath remains #1 in the Jets' record book

Only one single-season passing record comes from before 1980. Joe Namath was the first person to ever pass for 4,000 yards, and the Jets have never had another passer match that feat. With the Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow (fulfilling my SEO obligations of the day) in New York, the Jets remain one of the few teams unlikely to challenge the 4,000 yard mark this season. Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden each will have an opportunity to set their franchise’s single season record, conceivably as early as this year. Expecting such production from a rookie was laughable even a few years ago, but in the Cam Newton NFL, the old rules are off the books. And while the Jets hold the oldest current franchise passing yardage mark, no Eagle, Bear, Buccaneer or Seahawk has ever thrown for 4,000 yards in a season.

Let’s close out the day with a look at the single season passing touchdown leaders:

TeamTDsQuarterbackYear
NOR46Drew Brees2011
GNB45Aaron Rodgers2011
DET41Matthew Stafford2011
JAX23David Garrard2010
HOU29Matt Schaub2009
SDG34Philip Rivers2008
ARI30Kurt Warner2008
NWE50Tom Brady2007
DAL36Tony Romo2007
PIT32Ben Roethlisberger2007
CIN32Carson Palmer2005
IND49Peyton Manning2004
MIN39Daunte Culpepper2004
DEN27Jake Plummer2004
TAM26Brad Johnson2003
STL41Kurt Warner1999
CAR36Steve Beuerlein1999
SFO36Steve Young1998
NYJ29Vinny Testaverde1998
BAL33Vinny Testaverde1996
CHI29Erik Kramer1995
BUF33Jim Kelly1991
MIA48Dan Marino1984
SEA32Dave Krieg1984
ATL31Steve Bartkowski1980
CLE30Brian Sipe1980
OAK34Daryle Lamonica1969
WAS31Sonny Jurgensen1967
KAN30Len Dawson1964
NYG36Y.A. Tittle1963
TEN36George Blanda1961
PHI32Sonny Jurgensen1961

Elisha Nelson will try to erase Yelberton Abraham from the record books in 2012

The single-season touchdown marks for three NFC East teams were set in the ’60s. With Eli Manning, RG3 and Mike Vick in New York, D.C., and Philadelphia, there’s a good chance one of those records will need to be updated in the next couple of seasons. The Eagles, despite seeing several talented quarterbacks don their jersey over the years, have a surprisingly low passing touchdown record.

Jake Plummer, not John Elway, holds the Broncos passing touchdown mark. A healthy Peyton Manning will be sure to restore the natural order to things in 2012. What sticks out to you as the biggest surprises?

{ 11 comments }
  • Shattenjager July 4, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Plummer would probably have been the biggest surprise to me if I weren’t a Bronco fan. I remember when he set the record, because it made me very angry.

    With that said, I think the biggest surprise in the single-season TDs list for me was Arizona. I remembered that Warner never threw for a huge TD total there, so I would have guessed that Hart or, more likely, Neil Lomax actually had the record. I had not remembered just how low Hart’s TD totals were.

    Most fun fact from any of these lists: Three guys have the single-season franchise TD record for two franchises–Kurt Warner, Sonny Jurgensen, and . . . Vinny Testaverde.

    Reply
  • Tim Truemper July 10, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Being an oldie, its nice to see three td records still held from the 60’s– Jurgensen, Tittle, and Lamonica.

    Reply
  • Tim Truemper July 10, 2012, 3:06 pm

    Geez I overlooked Dawson for KC and Blanda for HoustonOilers/Tenn. Titans

    Reply
  • Andrew July 16, 2012, 2:10 am

    I think easily the most surprising of these stats are how few of these records are held by the men seen as all-time greats. Elway doesn’t hold all the Broncos records, the 49ers’ records aren’t held solely by Montana or Young, Bradshaw doesn’t hold the Steelers’ records’ (not that surprising, I suppose), and so on. And the occurrence of Vinny Testaverde, who I didn’t think could have possibly played in one place long enough to set any franchise records in his quest to play for every football team ever, on not one, not two, but three of these lists (one being a single season list)….well. that simply boggles the mind. Then again, Tampa Bay doesn’t exactly have a lengthy history of great passers, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Reply
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