With one game remaining, the NFL is having yet another record-breaking season through the air. Teams are averaging over 259 gross passing yards per game, which would break the record of 252, set last year. Teams are completing 63.1% of passes this year, which would break the record of 62.6%, also set in 2014. And teams are averaging 1.7 passing touchdowns per game, the first time in NFL history (it was 1.6 each of the last two years, and also in 1965).
As a result, a number of single-season franchise records are in jeopardy of falling this year, too, depending on what happens today. Let’s go through the list.
No quarterback has broken any franchise marks yet, but five are in realistic jeopardy:
- Carson Palmer (4,542) is just 72 yards away from tying the Cardinals franchise passing record, currently held by Neil Lomax (4,614), set in 1984.
- Kirk Cousins (4,109) is 120 yards away from setting the Washington franchise record. Perhaps the most surprising part? It was set by Jay Schroeder (4,109) in 1986.
- Blake Bortles (4,189) is 178 yards away from setting the Jaguars franchise mark, set by Mark Brunell (4,367) in 1996.
- Russell Wilson (3,827) may be the first quarterback in Seahawks history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. Matt Hasselbeck is the team’s single-season leader in passing yards, with 3,966 in 2007.
- Philip Rivers has set a career high with 4,564 passing yards in what has surely been the least enjoyable year of his career. One silver lining? He is 238 passing yards away from 4,802 passing yards, the amount Dan Fouts threw for in 1981.
- Who would have guessed five months ago that Ryan Fitzpatrick could wind up setting the Jets single-season passing yards mark? The Harvard graduate has 3,724 passing yards, putting him 283 yards away from the 4,007 Joe Namath threw for in a 14-game season in 1967.
Finally, two real longshots are worth mentioning. Jay Cutler needs 424 passing yards to break the Bears record of 3838, set by Erik Kramer in 1995. And Matt Ryan needs 462 yards to get to 4,719, which would tie his own mark set in 2012. Normally, those odds would be low, but he is getting to face the Saints terrible pass defense.
Bortles has thrown 35 touchdowns this year, demolishing the Jaguars previous single-season mark of 23, set by David Garrard in 2010. And, with season record-holder for passing touchdowns in Cardinals history, surpassing the 30 thrown by Kurt Warner in 2008.
Ryan Fitzpatrick already has 29 passing touchdowns, which ties the single-season Jets mark, set by Vinny Testaverde in 1998. So with one more on Sunday, Fitz will become the first Jet to throw for 30 touchdowns in a season. Also with records in shouting distance on Sunday…
- Russell Wilson has 31 touchdown throws, putting him one shy of the 32 thrown by Dave Krieg in 1984.
- In 1963, Y.A. Tittle threw 36 touchdown passes for the New York Giants. That set an NFL record, and while that mark has obviously been surpassed, it remains a Giants single-season record. Well, Eli Manning now has 33 touchdown passes, so three more would tie the mark, and four would set the record.
- In 1969, Daryle Lamonica threw 34 touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders. Right now, Derek Carr has 31 touchdown passes.
Oh, and with five or seven touchdown throws, Kirk Cousins (26) and Philip Rivers (27) would tie their teams’ franchise marks, currently held by Sonny Jurgensen (31, 1967) and Rivers (34, 2008), respectively.
There are also five players who, if the season ended today, would set their franchise’s record for completion percentage:
- Matthew Stafford has completed 66.9% of his passes this year; the single-season record is 63.5%, set by… Stafford in 2011.
- Russell Wilson has completed 68.1% of his passes; the Seahawks franchise record is 65.6%, set by Dave Krieg in 1991.
- Joe Flacco will break the Ravens single-season completion percentage mark. He set that by completing 63.1% of his passes in 2009, but completed 64.4% in this injury-plagued season.
- Ben Roethlisberger completed 67.1% of his passes just last year, which set the Steelers franchise mark. This year? He’s at 68.1%.
- Like Roethlisberger, Eli Manning set his team’s franchise record in this category last year, at 63.1%. That’s where he is right now, too, but last year it was 63.06%, and this year it’s 63.13%.
Now, time for the best stat of the day. The current record-holder for completion percentage in a single season by a Philadelphia Eagle is… wait for it… Mark Sanchez! Yes, ladies and gentleman, last year, Sanchez completed 64.1% of his 309 pass attempts. Currently, Sam Bradford is at 64.0%, so he may pass Sanchez by the end of the year. Not that that is much of an improvement for Eagles fans.
Trent Green set the Kansas City Chiefs mark in 2004 by completing 66.4% of his passes. With one game to play, Alex Smith is at 65.7%. He would need a good day — a 20 for 25 would do it, but 19 for 25 would not — so this is likely a long shot.
Finally, one other franchise marks is worth mentioning. Sammy Baugh completed 70.3% of his passes in 1945, while Kirk Cousins is currently at 69.5%. Cousins won’t break that mark, but any time you can mention a Sammy Baugh stat, it’s worth doing.