Sports Reference Blog

Stat Leaders Rewind

Posted by Mike on November 26, 2013

Rolled out a quick update - now every single season leader page has a box on the right, with which you can select a year & rewind back to see what the single season leaders were for that stat at that time. For instance, Drew Brees currently holds the single season pass completion record with 468, but if we go back 25 years to 1988 you can see that at that time, Dan Marino held the record of 378 (a mark that is currently the 26th best, highlighting just how much passing has blown up recently).

6 Responses to “Stat Leaders Rewind”

  1. Bob Smith Says:

    You missed the big picture on that pass completion stat that you cited-Brees only attempted 34 more passes than Marino, but he completed 90 more passes BECAUSE his comp. % was more than 10 points BETTER than Marino. The main thing that stat shows us is that Brees is a much more accurate passer than Marino was.

  2. Dave Says:


    I don't think that stat shows us Brees was a more accurate passer. Without really digging into it there are major things to account for right off the bat.

    1. Today's QB's attempt way more high % passes right at or behind the line of scrimmage thus inflating their completion percentage. I mean its pretty easy to complete a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage. It's all about relative accuracy

    2. Most of the rule changes that have occurred since then favor the offense and passing game

    3. The average team completion percentage in 1988 was 54% in 2013 its currently at 61% likely because of the 2 reasons above and more.

    By your logic Terrel Pryor's 58.9 % bests Marino's 58.4% thus making him a more accurate or as accurate of a passer. LOL

    If you were being sarcastic then forget all this.

  3. Joe Says:

    If Marino played with todays defense-handcuffing rules in todays offenses, he would throw for 6,000 yards.

    His 1984 season is more impressive than anything being done today.

  4. Jay Says:

    Agree with Dave and Joe above. Also, keep in mind that if you breath heavily enough on a modern-era QB, you'll draw a 15-yard flag and a heavy fine. It's a lot easer to deliver an accurate pass knowing this. Brees couldn't carry Marino's jock.

  5. Bob Smith Says:

    None of you are a bigger fan of Marino's than I am, I can guarantee you that, but it is just as much as a pleasure watching a relatively short QB like Brees as it was watching Danny. And short or not, Brees is the best pure passer that I have ever watched. It was fun watching Bob Griese back in the day also because of all of the playoff success we had back then, but he couldn't throw it around like Unitas and Starr. My point-there have always been great passers in the NFL but none of them were allowed to throw it as much as Marino did-until now. But-Dan still holds the NFL Record for years Leading the League in Pass Attempts at 5 years.

  6. Bob Smith Says:

    To finish that thought about Marino being able to throw it whenever he wanted to-it allowed him to set a lot of passing records in the Reg. season, but look at his passing in our 3 championship game losses with Dan as the QB-he had a comp. % under 50%, 4 TD's but 6 INT's, an avg. passer rating of 60, and he led our offense to an avg. of only 12 p.p.g. And some still wonder why he couldn't win more than 1 Ring (the '84 Conf. Champ.).