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This week at the New York Times, a look at how this season was, yet again, the best passing season in history:

First, a look at quantity. N.F.L. teams averaged 35.7 pass attempts per game, the most in league history, breaking the record of 35.4 set in 2013. Teams used those attempts to also set per-game records for completions (22.5) and passing yards (243.8). Passing touchdowns per game were also at a new N.F.L. high. The record had been 1.63 a game, set, remarkably, in 1948. The league had been inching toward that mark — teams averaged 1.57 and 1.58 passing touchdowns per game in 2013 and 2014 — before surpassing it with 1.64 passing touchdowns per game in 2015.

For the first time in N.F.L. history, 12 quarterbacks threw for 4,000 yards. In addition, 11 quarterbacks threw at least 30 touchdown passes; that breaks the record of nine set last season. Before 2014, no N.F.L. season had more than five quarterbacks with at least 30 touchdown throws.

You can read the full article here.

  • Adam

    Am I the only one who thinks this is bad for the game? I think turnovers and sacks make the game more exciting.

    • I agree, though I think for slightly different reasons. I believe the prevalence of short passing is bad for the game, and I think passing records have become so meaningless, no one gets too excited about them any more. That’s bad for the game, too. I will hopefully have an article addressing these issues during the offseason.

      • Adam

        I think we actually agree for the same reasons. I prefer a high risk / high reward passing game, with the scales tipped toward longer completions and more turnovers. My favorite offenses of my lifetime were the 2000 and 2001 Rams, who led the league in both Y/A and turnovers. They went for the kill shot several times per drive, and it was exhilirating to watch. In today’s game, I always root for the deep passing offenses to succeed, in hope that maybe the rest of the league will copy them and we’ll end up with an environment like the 80’s. A Cardinals SB victory would be awesome for that reason.

        To be honest, one reason I rate Tom Brady lower than consensus is because I hate his playing style. Of all the great offenses throughout NFL history, Brady’s are undoubtedly the dullest. It seems obvious that many other teams have noted the Pats’ success and copied their style, so Brady-ball has become a full fledged plague around the league.

        And I wholeheartedly agree that passing records have been devalued to the point of almost being meaningless. The current era of football is equivalent to the steroid era in baseball. Looking ahead 15-20 years, it will be interesting to see if the Pro Football HOF scoffs at 2010’s passing stats the way the Baseball HOF laughs at steroid era batting numbers.

  • eag97a

    I am all for different types of ways to win football games. Be it spread, read-option, short-passing, vertical attack, ball-control running game/great defense etc. It makes for a variety of attacks that just enhances the strategic/tactical potential of the game. I think that defenses should be given more leeway like allowing jamming/hand-fighting up to 10 yards to tilt the game towards the defenses a little bit but I’m not in favor of allowing kill shots, spearing and other dangerous ways of tackling. Allowing all types of attacks generally makes the game more popular/view-able across a wide set of demographics. The prevalence of the short-passing attacks is generally attributed to the copycat mentality of the league due to the massive sustained success of the Pats but besides Alex Smith and the Chiefs and a few other teams there doesn’t seem to be a lot of success that can be traced to the short-passing game. Teams and their owners are for the large part still behind the learning curve when it comes to replicating the Pats success (superior coaching, front office and ownership). No disrespect to vertical passing game fans, I think it is a byproduct of the highlight reels of ESPN and other sports networks and I think I’m in the minority here in equally favoring all types of football philosophies and how they match up against each other.