Drew Brees passes Fran Tarkenton on all-time passing yards list

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I’m old enough to remember when Fran Tarkenton was the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards. But as modern quarterbacks continue to re-write the NFL record book, Tarkenton’s total has now been surpassed six times.

The latest to top Tarkenton is Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who passed Tarkenton’s career total of 47,003 yards on Monday night against the Dolphins.

Brees is now in sixth place all time and a little over 2,000 yards behind Warren Moon (49,325) for fifth place all time. If he stays healthy Brees will surpass Moon this season, and Brees even has an outside chance of passing No. 4 John Elway’s total of 51,475 yards.

The all-time record belongs to Brett Favre, who passed for 71,838 yards in his NFL career. In second place is Dan Marino, at 61,361. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s career total of 60,957 puts him within one good game of Marino, so Manning could be in second place as soon as Sunday.

Brees is passing well against Miami and has the Saints leading 14-3.

39 responses to “Drew Brees passes Fran Tarkenton on all-time passing yards list

  1. Tarkenton’s record was made when the season was 14 games (not 16), the rules weren’t structure to make the league pass happy, and defenses played “kill the quarterback”.

    But Brees reaching this total is still a big accomplishment.

    One of my favorite NFL films highlights is Merlin Olson saying that the Rams d-line wanted to end Tarkenton’s career because they hated chasing him! Tarkenton had eyes in the back of his head. He was an amazing scrambler.

  2. Drew passed Tarkenton on Superbowl victories during the 2009 season when the Saints won their Lombardi.

    Tarkenton (like every other Viking player in history) doesn’t have any legitimate championship bling.

  3. Fran Tarkenton’s 47,003 yards in the 1960’s-70’s equals 137,789 yards in the modern pass happy NFL.

  4. I hear Russell Wilson compared to Tarkenton a lot. Quite frankly, lil Russ couldn’t carry Tark’s jock. Wilson isn’t even a QB. He’s a tailback

  5. “Good call by the Chargers to dump him”


    ….. and…. Sproles.

    The Sproles loss for the Chargers was bigger than the Brees loss.

  6. Give him credit. He’s taking advantage of my Dolphins QB errors. Due to things I can’t control, this is first dolphin game I could watch. And of course they are struggling. Oh well, go Fins!

  7. Just a random thought, but I’ve been thinking it for a long time. Chris Berman might have been just as electrifying as a weather man… Could you imagine, “looking at this tropical Storm, it could go all the way… to the Florida pan handle, get ready for a wet weekend folks” . Or “this cold front is rumblin’ stumblin’ bumblin’ it could could all the WAY to the coast by this weekend!!!
    I just can’t get it out of my head.

  8. Brees won’t be fully appreciated till after he retires and his picture is above very one else not named Peyton on every Monday night football graphic when it comes to passing records.

  9. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Sep 30, 2013 10:14 PM

    I hear Russell Wilson compared to Tarkenton a lot. Quite frankly, lil Russ couldn’t carry Tark’s jock. Wilson isn’t even a QB. He’s a tailback.


    Obviously, this is Norcalmafia with a different screen name.

  10. weare are you still hurt over your loss on sunday?
    You have to bring up the trophy case, they have won the division sooner or later the vikings will get a super bowl win, they just need to work out there kinks and the defense was starting to wake up some on sunday, just hope that if cassel is doing good they keep cassel as quarter back I personally want bethel he did good against the titans in preseason, he threw some good passes.

  11. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 30, 2013 10:52 PM

    Fins are being exposed as an improved but nowhere near top tier team by New Orleans.

    Top tier? We’ll see about all that in Seattle. They are a below average team outside of that dome.

  12. squared80 says: Sep 30, 2013 9:56 PM

    Good call by the Chargers to dump him.
    No one knew he would even play again, much less what he’s done since. they did right.

  13. Below average? Lol. Were better in the dome but you don’t rattle off 12 and 13 win seasons, go to an NFC championship and win a Superbowl like the saints have since brees came in being below average out of the dome. Now that we have an actual defense I look forward to the hawks in Seattle. Should be a great game

  14. Tarkenton did more with less than anyone ever did. He owned every passing record when he retired and had more rushing yards than any other nfl qb in history.

    Sure his records have been broken but the game has changed so that’s to be expected. But he was Fran The Man for a reason…

    The sob could play qb.


  15. What we need is a stat for number of figure eights completed behind the line of scrimmage, to keep Fran on top of the all time list where he belongs! ;/

  16. these qbs who now play in national flag league(nfl) would have no chance at setting records the league is weak and getting weaker every sunday no hit league mean joe and lc would tell you anyone who says different can have this sissy stuff

  17. “Not exactly a compliment, considering Tarkenton is the biggest WHINER of all former players. He’s a white Donovan McNabb…”

    Didn’t know McNabb came before Tarkenton, you sure showed why people should listen to you.

    Anyways I’m not really impressed, sorry, but the league is too pass happy and QBs are catered to like newborns.

  18. Sir Francis Tarkenton played football when quarterbacks also played tackle football. The rules protecting (and enabling) pansy quarterbacks today are ridiculous. The NFL should set a demarcation line at the 2008 season for quarterbacking and receiving records: A record book for everything before 2008 and one for everything after, because they league played two different games beginning in 2008.

  19. vaphinfan says: Sep 30, 2013 10:07 PM

    I will say Brees is the best at checking it down ive seen since heath schuller. But having Sproles does help.


    Checking down? LMAO, 413 yards in checkdown passes, ok…..

    Don’t be mad. The ‘phins are improving but they are not ready yet.

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