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Passing Yardage Will Always Be For Lovers

Passing is for lovers

There have been 44 quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 30,000 yards. Given enough time, you could probably guess that Drew Bledsoe, Jim Kelly, and Steve McNair are three of them. All three have something else in common: they were all born on February 14th.

If we drop the cut-off to 16,000 yards, we jump to 137 quarterbacks but get to include David Garrard, another Valentine’s Day baby. But wait, there’s more: If we drop the threshold to 3,500 passing yards, we get to include Patrick Ramsey and Anthony Wright. Those guys may not impress you, but consider that only 334 players have thrown for 3,500 yards. That means dozens of days have zero quarterbacks with 3,500 yards — including New Year’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, Halloween, and Christmas Eve — so slotting in Ramsey and Wright as QB5 and QB6 on your birthday dream team is pretty damn good.

Regular readers will know that I write about this phenomenon every couple of years. In terms of total career passing yards through the entire history of the league, today has an enormous lead on the second-best birthday, March 24, which consists entirely of Peyton Manning, Aaron Brooks, and Scott Brunner.  Put simply, passing yardage is for lovers, which may be very good news for Jets fans.  Why is that? Because there is a new Valentine’s Day QB on the horizon: Christian Hackenberg.

The former Penn State quarterback wore 14 in college, but switched to number 5 in his rookie year with the Jets, a certain bearded turnover machine having rights to that number. With the Jets almost certain to cut their losses there, that would leave 14 open for Hackenberg if he chooses to switch back to 14 for the 2017 season.

Happy Valentine’s Day to that special quarterback in your life, young and old.

  • On Valentine’s Day we should take a moment to remember another quarterback: Jim Hart <3. He made the Pro Bowl four straight seasons in the '70s.

    Unfortunately he retired before the 1987 season, so he never had a chance to throw the ball to receivers Walt Love nor Edwin Lovelady, nor tight end Tony Sweet, nor running back Ira Valentine.

    • sacramento gold miners

      Yes, those Cardiac Cards of the mid 70s were something else. Terry Metcalf was Reggie Bush 2.0, Jim Otis was the bruising fullback, Mel Gray was a Pro Bowl WR. The offensive line was recognized for their excellence, which was unusual in this time period. Despite Roger Wherli, the defense was the weakness of this team. Playoff teams in 74-75, missed the playoffs with a 10-4 mark in 1976. In 1977, was in great shape for the postseason until Miami killed them on Thanksgiving Day, and the Cards never recovered. But Metcalf bolted to the CFL in ’78, Don Coryell left for San Diego, and St. Louis was finished as a contender.