Blog Entry

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Posted on: December 26, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 11:46 pm
Brees needed just 16 games to surpass Marino's mark of 5,084 passing yards in a season. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

There was a time early in Drew Brees' NFL career when he was benched for Doug Flutie. It happened in 2003, his third year in the league, back in San Diego when he played for head coach Marty Schottenheimer. Two years later, Brees injured his throwing shoulder during a meaningless late-season game, a few months after that he was a free agent with an uncertain future, and by 2006 he was the Saints' starting quarterback.

And now Brees has broken Dan Marino's single-season passing record. He needed 305 yards to reach the 5,085-yard milestone, one more than Marino had for the entire 1984 season.

Brees became the official record holder in the fourth quarter of Monday night's Week 16 game against the Falcons. It came on a second-down play from the Falcons' 9-yard line. Fittingly, it was a touchdown pass, Brees' fourth of the game, and it gave New Orleans a 45-16 lead. The game was stopped temporarily to honor Brees' accomplishment. A New Orleans victory will clinch the NFC South. (They'll earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a victory next Sunday and a loss by the 49ers.)

This isn't the first time Brees has made a run at Marino. He finished 2008 with 5,069 yards, 15 yards shy of Marino's record.

"We talked about it after the '08 season," Brees said last week according to "And at the time it was kind of just like, OK, we made our run at it, and the chances of that happening again are probably really, really slim."

Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked if Marino's longstanding record was a surprise.

"I don't know that anything really surprises you," he said last Thursday. "Our game has evolved. I think you're seeing very good quarterback play, which is exciting. I think you're seeing over the last 20 years colleges who throw the ball much more effectively; all the way to the high school level, and that's carried over to our game in a number of ways. Typically, I think, these records in our league all get broken, and some of them just have a longer shelf life than others."

Coming into Monday night, Brees averaged 341 passing yards, 2.6 touchdowns and 0.8 interceptions per game this season. He's failed to throw for at least 300 yards just three times. Prior to his arrival, New Orleans was coming off a 3-13 season and the city and region were still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Since 2006, the Saints are 55-39 (.585 winning percentage), have made three playoff appearances (four if you include this season), and won the Super Bowl in 2009.

Marino was 23 years old when broke Dan Fouts' record (4,802 set in 1981). He threw 48 touchdowns and 17 interceptions that year, and led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl where they lost to the 49ers, 38-16.

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Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 3:09 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

I disagree with putting an astrick on any record that is legitimately gained.  As a Dolphin fan Dan Marino is my favorite player of all time.  However, the record is "the record".  Brees' record will probably be broken at some time and we'll have people claiming that guy played in a league more friendly to quarterbacks than the league is today.  In every sport, whether it's technology, training, rules or something else, the game is constantly changing.  Unfortunately, we'll only have subjective arguments about who was better or who had a better year when it comes to things like these records. 

FWIW, I think Marino's season was more amazing than Brees', but in my mind Brees now has the record until it is broken.

As for ASTRICKS....those should be for things like Bond's records where there is substantial proof or belief that they were obtained illegitimately.  Same goes for Mark and Sammy's feats.  In this case, there's nothing to suggest that Brees or his team were cheating.   

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:56 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Nothing personal, but if my aunt had nuts, she'd by by uncle.  If Marino had thrown the ball as many times Brees this year (Only 564 in '84), he'd have more yards than Brees too.  We could play this game all day.  If you want to make the argument that Rodgers is a better QB, I would agree with you, but I don't think there's really any perspective to gain here by making this type of comparison.  For instance, I knew this punter who once threw a 50 yard touchdown on a fake punt.  If he had thrown 622 passes that season he would have finished the year with over 30,000 yards. 

Simply put...they play for different teams, with different play calling and different outcomes.  Brees' teams just chose to throw more (even when the outcome was decided) and ended up with more yardage at the end of the season.

Since: Mar 28, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:20 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

To preempt the Sants fans from getting distracted from what I'm ultimately going to post, let me start by saying that Brees is obviously a good guy, a great competitor & one of the best QBs going in the NFL.  And the Saints beat the Falcs twice & won the Division this year (although hopefully the Div championship & home playoff game will get NO exactly what it got ATL last year ... which is to say jacksh!t).  All that is clear & is what it is.

Now, all that said, all I've got to say reference the "record" is ASTERISK.  This "football" we're watching isn't even the same game as it in the 70s & 80s.  Marino would toss for 6000+ yards with today's offense-friendly, pass game enhancing rules.  In my book, just like Hank Aaron is still the legit HR King, as far as I'm concerned Dan Marino will always the legit season pass yardage king.  Of course, it certainly isn't Brees' fault that the NFL has completely sold out the idea of defensive football, all the defensive players in the league & all previous players/record holders ... but that doesn't mean it isn't true, either.                

See yall in the Playoffs!

Since: Nov 9, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:13 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

I have nothing personal against Drew Brees or even the Saints for that matter but how about a little perspective here.  If Aaron Rodgers had attempted as many passes as Drew Brees (622 attempts), Aaron would be sitting at 5750 yards for the season so far, and that is after adjusting it to Aarons completion % of 68.3%.  Not to mention, Aaron would have 55 touch downs.  Another way to look at it is if Drew had put the ball up only as often as Aaron Rodgers (502 attempts), Drew would have 4116 yards season to date, also adjusted to his completion % of 71.5%. 

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:48 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you're going to quote facts, have some sense to check them first.  Brees had 30 yards to get with 5:08 to play.  If it's 7 yards at that point, I really might not have a problem.  Throw one quick pass, walk off with the record and let your back up hand the ball off to end the game or get it close to the end.  I love seeing records broken as much as the next guy, but it shows little class going for personal records up 22 with only that much time on the clock.  If it was the last game of the season, I might have been willing to give them a pass.  If their next game was on the road, I might even give them a pass.  However, he had one more game, at home to break the record. 

Unfortunately, this is becoming a trend in this league.  There used to be an unwritten rule that you don't beat a dead horse, but that's not the case anymore.  For instance, earlier in the season Tom Brady threw a pass on 2nd and goal to goal from the 1 yard line up 27 to 3 with 1:14 on the clock earlier this season.  There have been other occasions where this has happened as well.  

Fortunately, there are still some coaches who live by the unwritten rule and show some class when the outcome of a game is certain. 

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:28 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Saint I can see why you're so biased.  A bit of honesty or understanding about football might help.    Green Bay does not have a running game- os did you never hear that before?  How many times has Rodgers used a run when they only needed 2 -3  or  4 years and not came close to getting it.

Rodgers  does not throw for TDs once the game is won  -unlike  Brees. Brres also  gets intercepted twice as often.  I'm from Texas as is Brees who played his high school ball in Austin  but Geez be honest.

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:48 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Who really cares who lost respect for who.... How many rushing TD does Newton have from 2 yards out... Rodgers had one I wanna say two touchdown passes that were in the five yard line last week so he wants the TD pass record in a season... All these players want records. Even if the record wasnt on the line I would expect the Saints to run the score up bc its the Atlanta Falcons, its a rival game, the Falcons would do it to the Saints in a heart beat!

Since: May 30, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:42 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Yeah bayou and you look up above your bed at your drew brees poster and have a happy ending. nite nite

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:40 am

Brees breaks Marino's single-season passing mark

Okay fine, pass the ball all day long when you are up by 22 points so you can break the record at home. But did you hear Brees get interviewed by Suzy Kolber on the field after the game? The clown says he didn't know how close he was to the record? Really??? Up by 22 with less than 4 minutes left and you are in shotgun formation the whole rest of the game. At least admit you were going for the record at the end of the game. Lost a little respect there.....but hey, I'm a packer fan.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:37 am
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