List of Gridiron Football Quarterbacks Passing Statistics
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List of Gridiron Football Quarterbacks Passing Statistics
A banner hangs in the Rogers Centre to commemorate Damon Allen's record-breaking pass in 2006.

This is a list of gridiron football quarterbacks passing statistics for quarterbacks that have played outdoor professional football in North America. Below is a listing of the combined professional football league leaders for passing yards, passing touchdowns, passing completions, and passing attempts.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Because indoor football is played on a much shorter field and heavily favors offensive scoring, its records are not included in the main list and are noted in a separate addendum below; likewise, as is standard for statistical record-keeping, exhibition games, all-star games (such as the Pro Bowl) and preseason contests are not counted.

During the 2011 CFL season, Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo surpassed Damon Allen to become the all-time passing yards leader in professional football league history.[10] Allen broke the previous record held by Warren Moon in 2006.[11] Moon had held the record since 1992 when he surpassed the record set by Ron Lancaster. Lancaster had surpassed Johnny Unitas during the 1975 CFL season. Unitas established the record set forth in this listing. Drew Brees is within 1,069 passing yards of Calvillo's record.

During the 2019 NFL season, Brees surpassed Peyton Manning for the all-time passing touchdowns record.[12] Manning had held the record since the 2014 NFL season when he surpassed Brett Favre's record.[13] Prior to that, Brett Favre held the record since the 2007 NFL season when he surpassed Warren Moon's record.[14] Moon had held the record since 1994 when he surpassed the record set by Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton had surpassed Johnny Unitas during the 1975 NFL season. Ron Lancaster overtook Tarkenton's lead in the touchdown pass category during the 1977 CFL season. However, Tarkenton retook the lead during the 1978 NFL season. Unitas established the record set forth in this listing. Tom Brady is just a touchdown pass behind Brees' record.

Brees also holds the record for pass completions all-time since surpassing Brett Favre during the 2018 season.[15] Favre had held the previous record since the 2007 season when he surpassed Warren Moon's record.[14] Moon had held the record since 1992 when he surpassed the record set by Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton had surpassed Johnny Unitas during the 1975 NFL season. Unitas established the record set forth in this listing. Brady's within 472 completions of Brees' record.

Brees also holds the record for pass attempts since surpassing Favre in the 2020 NFL season. Favre had held the record since 2008, when he surpassed Warren Moon.[16][14] Moon had held the record since 1993 when he surpassed the record set by Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton had surpassed Johnny Unitas during the 1975 NFL season. Unitas established the record set forth in this listing. Brady (within 126 pass attempts) is fairly close to the record.

Warren Moon and Johnny Unitas are the only gridiron quarterbacks to have held the record of the four major passing categories (passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass completions, pass attempts) at the same time. Drew Brees is close to becoming just the third gridiron quarterback to hold all four major passing categories as he's 1,069 passing yards from accomplishing the feat.

Other categories from this listing that provides all-time leaders include Aaron Rodgers, who is pro football's all-time passer rating leader, Ricky Ray, who is the all-time pass completion percentage leader, and Ron Lancaster, who is pro football's all-time interceptions leader.

When considering regular season and post season combined, Brady is the all time leader in gridiron passing yards with 87,500. This record surpassed Anthony Calvillo's mark of 82,365 yards in 2019. Brady is also the leader in all the other three major categories when considering post season performances (628 touchdown passes; 7,545 pass completions; 11,837 pass attempts).[17][18][19]

All-time outdoor professional quarterback passing statistics

Updated through 2020 season in progress (no CFL season); minimum 40,000 passing yards.
Bold denotes an active player.
Rank Name Tenure Leagues Attempts Completions Comp % TD passes INTs Yardage QB rating References
1 Anthony Calvillo 1994 - 2013 CFL 9,437 5,892 62.44 455 224 79,816* 95.53 [17][20]
2 Drew Brees Since 2001 NFL 10,337* 6,992* 67.64 556* 240 78,747 98.40 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
3 Tom Brady Since 2000 10,211 6,520 63.85 555 183 76,112 97.00
4 Damon Allen 1985 - 2007 CFL 9,138 5,158 56.45 394 278 72,381~ 83.82 [21]
5 Peyton Manning 1998 - 2015 NFL 9,380 6,125 65.30 539~ 251 71,940 96.46 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
6 Brett Favre 1991 - 2010 10,169~ 6,300~ 61.95 508~ 336 71,838 86.03
7 Warren Moon 1977 - 2000 NFL/CFL 9,205~ 5,357~ 58.20 435~ 310 70,553~ 84.24 [22][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
8 Henry Burris 1997 - 2016 CFL/NFL/NFLE 7,576 4,711 62.18 382 237 64,023 92.89 [2][23][24]
9 Dan Marino 1983 - 1999 NFL 8,358 4,967 59.43 420 252 61,361 86.38 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
10 Philip Rivers Since 2004 7,789 5,046 64.78 404 204 60,869 95.00
11 Ricky Ray 2002 - 2018 CFL 7,301 4,976 68.16* 324 177 60,736 98.23~ [25]
12 Doug Flutie 1985 - 2005 CFL/NFL/USFL 7,276 4,286 58.91 369 237 58,179 87.82 [26][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
13 Ben Roethlisberger Since 2004 NFL 7,395 4,765 64.44 374 191 57,723 94.30 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
14 Eli Manning 2004 - 2019 8,119 4,894 60.29 366 244 57,023 84.10
15 Danny McManus 1988 - 2006 CFL/NFL 6,689 3,640 54.42 259 281 53,255 76.01 [27]
16 Matt Ryan Since 2008 NFL 7,061 4,619 65.42 332 150 53,029 94.70
17 Kevin Glenn 2001 - 2018 CFL 6,434 4,068 63.23 294 207 52,867 90.84 [28]
18 John Elway 1983 - 1998 NFL 7,250 4,123 56.87 300 226 51,475 79.86 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
19 Ron Lancaster 1960 - 1978 CFL 6,233 3,384 54.29 333~ 396* 50,535~ 72.44 [29]
20 Aaron Rodgers Since 2005 NFL 6,235 4,027 64.59 377 086 48,320 102.60* [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
21 Fran Tarkenton 1961 - 1978 6,467~ 3,686~ 57.00 342~ 266 47,003 80.35
22 Carson Palmer 2003 - 2017 6,307 3,941 62.49 294 187 46,247 87.89
23 Vinny Testaverde 1987 - 2007 6,701 3,787 56.51 275 267 46,233 75.00
24 Jim Kelly 1984 - 1996 NFL/USFL 5,933 3,604 60.74 320 195 45,309 88.81 [30][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
25 Drew Bledsoe 1993 - 2006 NFL 6,717 3,839 57.15 257 206 44,611 77.06 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
26 Matt Dunigan 1983 - 1996 CFL 5,476 3,057 55.83 306 211 43,857 84.55 [31]
27 Jeff Garcia 1994 - 2011 CFL/NFL/UFL 5,955 3,645 61.21 281 146 43,300 88.90 [32][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
28 Dan Fouts 1973 - 1987 NFL 5,604 3,297 58.83 254 242 43,040 80.23 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
29 Matthew Stafford Since 2009 5,864 3,661 62.43 265 138 42,265 89.40
30 Kerry Collins 1995 - 2011 6,261 3,487 55.69 208 196 40,922 73.76
31 Joe Montana 1979 - 1994 5,391 3,409 63.24 273 139 40,551 92.26
32 Tracy Ham 1987 - 1999 CFL 4,945 2,670 53.99 284 164 40,534 86.56 [33]
33 Joe Flacco Since 2008 NFL 6,011 3,711 61.74 219 142 40,464 83.90 [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
34 Johnny Unitas 1956 - 1973 5,186~ 2,830~ 54.57 290~ 253 40,239~ 78.20

^* = Leader in category for outdoor gridiron football. ^~ = Former leader in category for outdoor gridiron football.

North American outdoor gridiron football leagues

The following leagues are eligible for inclusion for statistical purposes:
The following former leagues include statistics for players who attained the minimum 40,000 passing yards:

Notes:

  • ¹ The CFL's East Division has existed since 1907 but did not legalize the forward pass until 1929.
  • ² To date, these leagues have not had any quarterbacks whose career statistics rank high enough to qualify for this list. Quarterbacks who played in these leagues are still active in professional football and thus, in theory, could appear on this list in the future.
  • The inclusion of a league in this list does not imply major or minor league status. No players who played in the American Football League threw for 40,000 career yards, even as NFL and CFL quarterbacks from the same era achieved that feat.

Addendum

For the purpose of this list, indoor American football statistics have been excluded. While overall passing yards are not substantially greater in a given indoor football game compared to a CFL or NFL contest, the number of touchdowns in that form of the sport is far higher, and a list including them would invariably favor indoor football quarterbacks in the number of touchdowns thrown. Quarterbacks who would qualify for this list in yardage statistics if indoor football statistics are included are listed here separately:

  • Ricky Ray has 1,296 additional passing yards from his time with the Fresno Frenzy of AF2 which was a league of indoor gridiron football.[34] These passing yards are not included in the totals above since this list consists only outdoor gridiron football statistics and because AF2, the extinct minor league of the defunct Arena Football League, played at a semi-professional level. (Ray, though he was on the 53-man roster of the NFL's New York Jets in 2004, spent the entire season as the third-string quarterback and never took a snap or threw a pass during his time in the NFL.)
  • Kurt Warner has 44,931 gridiron passing yards. However, this list consists only outdoor gridiron football. His outdoor gridiron football statistics from his time in the NFL (32,344 passing yards)[35] and his time with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe (2,101 passing yards)[36] totals 34,445 outdoor gridiron passing yards. He also passed for 10,486 yards as a member of the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League, which is played indoors.[36]
  • Aaron Garcia has 62,180 gridiron passing yards. However, all of his totals were accumulated in the now-defunct Arena Football League (AFL), an indoor league. Four other AFL players (Mark Grieb, Clint Dolezel, Andy Kelly, Sherdrick Bonner) have amassed over 40,000 gridiron football passing yards indoors[37] (Grieb has an additional 499 yards[38] for his play with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe and 408 yards for his play with the Las Vegas Outlaws of the original 2001 version of the XFL, while Kelly has additional yardage from his time with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, then known as the World League.).

See also

References

  1. ^ "Who is pro football's all-time passing leader? Try Anthony Calvillo". USA Today. 2011-10-11. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d e "Quarterbacks Who Played in the NFL and CFL". Rutgers.edu. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Attempts". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Completions". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Comp %". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Touchdowns". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Interceptions". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Yardage". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "PFR Stats Rating". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Alouettes' Calvillo breaks pro football's passing record
  11. ^ "Argos' Allen is football's top passer". CBC Sports.ca. 2006-09-04. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Saints' Drew Brees breaks Peyton Manning's career touchdown pass record
  13. ^ Peyton Manning breaks TD record
  14. ^ a b c If Warren Moon was to combine his CFL and NFL stats he would rank second in the NFL
  15. ^ Drew Brees passes Brett Favre for most career completions
  16. ^ CALVILLO WILL NOT RETURN TO ALOUETTES THIS SEASON
  17. ^ a b "Anthony Calvillo CFL Statistics thru 2012". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  18. ^ By the numbers: playoff performers
  19. ^ Pass Yards Reg+Post
  20. ^ "Anthony Calvillo CFL Statistics Summary". CFLStats.com. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Damon Allen CFL Statistics". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Jim Kelly CFL/NFL Statistics". ProFootballHoF.com. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Henry Burris CFL/NFL/NFLE Statistics thru 2012". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Henry Burris CFL Statistics". CFL.ca. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Ricky Ray Stats". CFL.ca. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "Doug Flutie CFL/NFL/USFL Statistics". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Danny McManus CFL Stats". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "Kevin Glenn CFL Stats". CFL.ca. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Ron Lancaster CFL Statistics". JustSportsStats.com. Retrieved .
  30. ^ "Jim Kelly NFL/USFL Statistics". ProFootballHoF.com. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Matt Dunigan CFL Ststistics". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "Jeff Garcia CFL/NFL/UFL Statistics". TotalFootballStats.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "Tracy Ham CFL Statistics". TotalFootballStats.com. Retrieved .
  34. ^ Highlights
  35. ^ Kurt Warner - Profile
  36. ^ a b Kurt Warner jersey and football added to Hall's collection
  37. ^ AFL Passing Records
  38. ^ Claymores 1998 Statistics

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