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NFL 2017: Quarterback Success
NFL Quarterbacks are getting better and better. QB's put together a historically proficient and prolific year last season. And this season should be no different.
The league-wide completion percentage (63.0) tied the previous record set in 2015, while the league-wide passer rating (89.3) ranked second behind only the 2015 season (90.2). There were 786 touchdown passes thrown in 2016, the fourth-highest total in NFL history.
Games averaged 700.8 total net yards per game, the second-best mark in NFL annals (705.3 in 2015). Explosive passing offenses fueled that trend, with an average of 483.0 net passing yards per game, the second-highest total all-time (487.6 in 2015).
The league-wide interception percentage of 2.3 percent was the lowest of any season in NFL history, surpassing the previous mark of 2.4 in 2015. New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY finished the 2016 season with a 0.5 interception percentage (two INTs in 432 passing attempts), the third-lowest interception percentage by a quarterback since 1960. Brady passed for 28 touchdown passes and two interceptions last season, recording the highest touchdown/interception ratio in NFL history.
There were 57 individual performances with three touchdown passes without an interception in 2016, the third-highest of any season in NFL history (59 in 2015, 58 in 2014). Green Bay Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS led the league with seven games of at least three to uchdown passes without an interception, tied for the third-most in a single season in NFL history.
"It's a passing league," says Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager JASON LICHT. "It's a quarterback-driven league, so you want a great quarterback. If you've got a great quarterback, you've got a chance."
As professional football has evolved, the sophistication and importance of the passing game have grown consistently. Defenders have grown stronger and faster while defensive coordinators have become more creative. Moving the ball downfield three yards at a time via the run has grown increasingly difficult.
This trend has helped allow the growing number of star NFL quarterbacks -- ranging from established veterans like Brady, Rodgers, DREW BREES and BEN ROETHLISBERGER to talented youngsters like Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott -- to fully showcase their passing talents.
An NFL-record 13 quarterbacks reached or surpassed the 4,000-yard mark in 2016, eclipsing 2015 for the most of any season in NFL history (12). Drew Brees led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards, the fourth-highest passing yardage total in league history. Brees is the first player to lead the league in passing yards seven times, extending his NFL record.
Five quarterbacks recorded a 100+ passer rating in 2016, led by Atlanta Falcons quarterback MATT RYAN, whose 117.1 rating was the fifth-highest in NFL history.
The quarterbacks with 4,000+ passing yards, 30+ touchdown passes or a 100+ passer rating in 2016.
4,000+ Pass Yards
30+ Touchdown Passes
100+ Quarterback Rating