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Will 10 Quarterbacks Top 4,000 Passing Yards This Season?

Jun 29, 2009 – 2:00 PM
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Stephanie Stradley

Stephanie Stradley %BloggerTitle%

Drew BreesRetired NFL quarterback Trent Green is the first-ever guest columnist of MMQB, filling in while Peter King is on vacation. Green provided an interesting read on subjects relating to the league's personal conduct policy, concussions and the expanded season. And of course it wouldn't be a MMQB without a healthy dose of Favre thrown in for good measure.

What jumps out of Green's article is his prediction that 10 quarterbacks will have over 4,000 yards passing this season. He says six are a lock to do it (Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers), and seven have the potential to do it (Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo, Matt Hasselbeck).

Let's put this prediction in context:

• Last year, six QBs broke the 4,000-yard mark (Brees with 5,000-plus, Warner, Cutler, Rodgers, Rivers and Manning). McNabb also came very close to breaking that mark last season for the first time in his career, finishing with 3,916 yards passing.

• A number of the QBs on Green's list missed time with injuries last season: Brady, Hasselbeck, Romo and Schaub.

• Exercising basic math, a QB has to average 250 passing yards a game and not miss a game to get 4,000 yards. Eight quarterbacks averaged more than 250 yards per outing last season: the six that broke 4,000 yards passing, as well as Romo (265.2) and Schaub (276.6).

• Over the last five years, the average number of QBs surpassing 4,000 was five. Here are the yearly numbers: 2008 (6), 2007 (7), 2006 (5), 2005 (2), 2004 (5).

• There's a number of quarterbacks who have broken 4,000 over the last 5 years who are no longer starters, are placeholder starters, are out of the league, are playing team handball and/or are in a state of Favrean indecisiveness: Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green, Jon Kitna, Jake Plummer and, of course, Brett Favre.

Green should know better than most that no NFL quarterback is a lock for anything given the violent, injury-filled nature of the sport. Also some guys will find themselves in less than ideal passing circumstances (throwing to the Bears receiving group, for example), or maybe are on a team that has a strong enough defense so it doesn't demand the QB to win the game or play from behind.

With all that in mind, I'd put the over-under at six quarterbacks with plus-4,000 yards. Your thoughts?
Filed under: Sports