With the explosion of passing yardage in 2011, it’s easy to assume that some pass-happy team with throw its way to a Super Bowl championship.
That would be a bad assumption.
Our corporate cousin Tom Curran of CSNNE.com recently pointed out something that quickly has become my favorite factoid of the week. The top 10 single-season passing yardage performances in NFL history came from men whose big numbers did not result in the biggest possible prize: a Super Bowl win.
Ditto for the top 20 single-season passing yardage performances.
And for the top 30.
In fact, it’s not until No. 34 on the list that the quarterback who generated big yardage won the Super Bowl — Peyton Manning in 2006, with 4,397. Next, at No. 35, Drew Brees and the Saints won the title in 2009, with Brees throwing for 4,388 yards.
Only two other Super Bowl winners appear in the top 100: Kurt Warner at No. 39 in 1999 (4,353) and Steve Young at No. 98 (3,969).
It’s too early to know what it exactly means, but it’s safe to say that guys who have generated big numbers in the regular season have seen their luck run out at some point in the postseason. For three of the top four single-season passing yardages (Dan Marino in 1984, Kurt Warner in 2001, and Tom Brady in 2007), the bottom fell out in the Super Bowl.