Top 10 post-merger passing seasons

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 25, 2008



(Updated through 2007)
 
In many respects, the modern NFL did not come into being until the AFL-NFL merger of 1970.
 
So, in deference to the creation of the modern NFL, we created this list of the Top 10 post-merger passing seasons. Based upon our "myth-breaking work of staggering genius," this list rates quarterbacks not on their raw passer rating number, but upon how their passer rating compared with the league-wide rating in a given season. Basically, we ranked each quarterback based upon the percentage by which he exceeded the league-wide rating that year.
 
This is a much fairer comparison than simply ranking players based upon raw passer rating numbers, since passing has grown increasingly easier over the years, as evidenced by our look at the "evolution of passer rating." 
 
This list gives us greater historical perspective and rewards those players whose numbers may not have been impressive by today's standards, but who played in an era that made passing far more difficult than it is today.
 
For further reading see:
 
Top 10 post-merger passing seasons*
 
Year
League Rating
 
Passing Leader (Team)
 
Rating
 
% > League
1971
62.2
Roger Staubach (Dallas)
104.8
68.5%
1976
67.0
Ken Stabler (Oakland)
103.4
54.3%
1989
75.6
Joe Montana (San Francisco)
112.8
49.2%
1974
64.2
Ken Anderson (Cincy)
95.7
49.1%
1970
63.8
John Brodie (San Francisco)
93.8
47.0%
2004
82.8
Peyton Manning (Indy)
121.4
46.6%
1973
64.9
Roger Staubach (Dallas)
93.3
45.8%
2007
80.9
Tom Brady (New England)
117.2
44.9%
1977
60.7
Bob Griese (Miami)
87.8
44.6%
1994
78.4
Steve Young (San Francisco)
112.8
43.9%
 
* Because our intent is to show how passer ratings have inflated over the years, our list includes only those QBs who led the league in passer rating in a given season. There are players who might have qualified for these lists but were not included for our purposes because they did not lead the league in passer rating in a given season.
 
 
 

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