List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating

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In the National Football League (NFL), the highest official passer rating that a quarterback (QB) can achieve is 158.3, which is considered a perfect passer rating. To qualify, a QB must attempt at least 10 passes, have zero interceptions, and have minimums of a 77.5% completion percentage, 11.875% touchdown passes percentage, and 12.5 yards per attempt. The passer rating was developed in 1971.[1][2]

Applying the formula to pre-1971 QBs, there have now (as of December 15, 2013) been 50 different players, on 61 occasions, who have achieved a perfect passer rating. Four of these ratings have occurred in the post-season. Seven QBs have achieved the feat more than once: Peyton Manning has thrown four, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner have thrown three, and Craig Morton, Dave Krieg, Ken O'Brien, and Tom Brady have two.

Ben Roethlisberger is the only QB with multiple perfect ratings in a single regular season, when he achieved the feat twice in 2007. The San Francisco 49ers had two different QBs achieve a perfect rating in the same season, with Steve Young (week 7) and Joe Montana (week 10) both earning perfect ratings in 1989.

Robert Griffin III and Drew Bledsoe are the only quarterbacks to have a perfect passer rating in their rookie seasons.

Four of these performances were in a losing cause, though Chad Pennington is the only QB to play from start to finish and earn both a loss and a perfect rating. Nine QBs have had a perfect 158.3 passer rating and also earned a 0.0 (lowest) passer rating during their careers: Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, James Harris, Bob Lee, Craig Morton, and Eli Manning.

List[edit]

Quarterback Date Team Opponent Result CMP ATT YDS TDS Notes
Mallouf, RayRay Mallouf[3] October 17, 1948 Chicago Cardinals @New York Giants W 63–35 14 18 252 4
Baugh, SammySammy Baugh[4] October 16, 1949 Washington Redskins New York Bulldogs W 38–14 16 20 254 4
Dawson, LenLen Dawson[5] September 7, 1963 Kansas City Chiefs Denver Broncos W 59–7 12 15 278 4 First AFL quarterback to have a perfect game.
Tittle, Y.A.Y.A. Tittle[6] November 10, 1963 New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles W 42–14 16 20 261 3
Ryan, FrankFrank Ryan[7] December 12, 1964 Cleveland Browns New York Giants W 52–20 12 13 202 5
Jurgensen, SonnySonny Jurgensen[8] October 24, 1965 Washington Redskins @St. Louis Cardinals W 24–20 12 14 195 3
Namath, JoeJoe Namath[9] October 22, 1967 New York Jets @Miami Dolphins W 33–14 13 15 199 2
Unitas, JohnnyJohnny Unitas[10] November 12, 1967 Baltimore Colts Atlanta Falcons W 49–7 17 20 370 4
Meredith, DonDon Meredith[11] December 12, 1967 Dallas Cowboys Cleveland Browns W 52–14 10 12 212 2 NFL Divisional
Morton, CraigCraig Morton (1)[12] October 5, 1969 Dallas Cowboys @Philadelphia Eagles W 38–7 14 18 261 3
Tarkenton, FranFran Tarkenton[13] October 25, 1970 New York Giants St. Louis Cardinals W 35–17 15 18 280 5
Lamonica, DaryleDaryle Lamonica[14] September 17, 1972 Oakland Raiders @Pittsburgh Steelers L 34–28 8 10 172 2 Did not start game
Shiner, DickDick Shiner[15] September 16, 1973 Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints W 62–7 13 15 227 3 Had an unofficial 0.0 game (9 attempts) the following week
Lee, BobBob Lee[16] October 14, 1973 Atlanta Falcons Chicago Bears W 46–6 11 13 181 2 Had a 0.0 game later that season
Harris, JamesJames Harris[17] October 20, 1974 Los Angeles Rams San Francisco 49ers W 37–14 12 15 276 3 1st African-American to do so
Anderson, KenKen Anderson[18] November 3, 1974 Cincinnati Bengals Baltimore Colts W 24–14 17 21 297 3
Hart, JimJim Hart[19] November 23, 1975 St. Louis Cardinals New York Jets W 37–6 11 13 242 2
Fouts, DanDan Fouts[20] September 26, 1976 San Diego Chargers St. Louis Cardinals W 43–24 15 18 259 4
Hunter, ScottScott Hunter[21] October 31, 1976 Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints W 23–20 10 11 138 2
Bradshaw, TerryTerry Bradshaw[22] December 19, 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Baltimore Colts W 40–14 14 18 264 3 AFC Divisional
Grogan, SteveSteve Grogan[23] October 29, 1978 New England Patriots New York Jets W 55–21 15 19 281 4
Sipe, BrianBrian Sipe[24] October 29, 1978 Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills W 41–20 12 15 217 3
Griese, BobBob Griese[25] December 18, 1978 Miami Dolphins New England Patriots W 23–3 12 13 171 2 Monday Night Football
Evans, VinceVince Evans[26] December 7, 1980 Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers W 61–7 18 22 316 3
Morton, CraigCraig Morton (2)[27] September 27, 1981 Denver Broncos San Diego Chargers W 42–24 17 18 308 4
Krieg, DaveDave Krieg (1)[28] December 24, 1983 Seattle Seahawks Denver Broncos W 31–7 12 13 200 3 AFC Wild Card
Bartkowski, SteveSteve Bartkowski[29] September 23, 1984 Atlanta Falcons Houston Oilers W 42–10 11 13 195 3
O'Brien, KenKen O'Brien (1)[30] November 2, 1986 New York Jets Seattle Seahawks W 38–7 26 32 431 4 1st QB (of 2) to combine 400 yard game with a perfect rating, 1st QB (of 2) to maintain completion % on 30+ attempts.
Young, SteveSteve Young[31] October 22, 1989 San Francisco 49ers New England Patriots W 37–20 11 12 188 3
Montana, JoeJoe Montana[32] November 12, 1989 San Francisco 49ers Atlanta Falcons W 45–3 16 19 270 3
O'Brien, KenKen O'Brien (2)[33] December 23, 1990 New York Jets New England Patriots W 42–7 11 12 210 2
Gannon, RichRich Gannon[34] October 15, 1992 Minnesota Vikings Detroit Lions W 31–14 8 10 146 2
Hebert, BobbyBobby Hebert[35] September 12, 1993 Atlanta Falcons New Orleans Saints L 34–31 14 18 243 3 Did not enter game until 4th quarter
Buck, MikeMike Buck[36] October 17, 1993 New Orleans Saints Pittsburgh Steelers L 37–14 10 11 164 2 Did not start game
Bledsoe, DrewDrew Bledsoe[37] December 26, 1993 New England Patriots Indianapolis Colts W 38–0 9 11 143 2 Rookie season, 11th start/12th game.
Erickson, CraigCraig Erickson[38] September 11, 1994 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Indianapolis Colts W 24–10 19 24 313 3
Krieg, DaveDave Krieg (2)[39] November 24, 1994 Detroit Lions Buffalo Bills W 35–21 20 25 351 3
Chandler, ChrisChris Chandler[40] September 25, 1995 Houston Oilers Cincinnati Bengals W 38–28 23 26 352 4
Blake, JeffJeff Blake[41] October 19, 1995 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W 27–9 18 22 275 3
Warner, KurtKurt Warner (1)[42] October 3, 1999 St. Louis Rams Cincinnati Bengals W 38–10 17 21 310 3
Warner, KurtKurt Warner (2)[43] October 1, 2000 St. Louis Rams San Diego Chargers W 57–31 24 30 390 4 2nd QB (of 2) to maintain completion % on 30+ attempts.
Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (1)[44] October 22, 2000 Indianapolis Colts New England Patriots W 30–23 16 20 268 3
Flutie, DougDoug Flutie[45] December 24, 2000 Buffalo Bills Seattle Seahawks W 42–23 20 25 366 3
Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (2)[46] November 10, 2002 Indianapolis Colts Philadelphia Eagles W 35–13 18 23 319 3
Collins, KerryKerry Collins[47] December 22, 2002 New York Giants Indianapolis Colts W 44–27 23 29 366 4
Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (3)[48] September 28, 2003 Indianapolis Colts New Orleans Saints W 55–21 20 25 314 6
Pennington, ChadChad Pennington[49] November 16, 2003 New York Jets Indianapolis Colts L 38–31 11 14 219 3 Only QB known to have started and lost game w/perfect rating
Green, TrentTrent Green[50] December 14, 2003 Kansas City Chiefs Detroit Lions W 45–17 20 25 341 3
Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (4)[51] January 4, 2004 Indianapolis Colts Denver Broncos W 41–10 22 26 377 5 AFC Wild Card
Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (1)[52] September 11, 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers Tennessee Titans W 34–7 9 11 218 2
McNabb, DonovanDonovan McNabb[53] September 23, 2007 Philadelphia Eagles Detroit Lions W 56–21 21 26 381 4
Brady, TomTom Brady (1)[54] October 21, 2007 New England Patriots Miami Dolphins W 49–28 21 25 354 6
Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (2)[55] November 5, 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers Baltimore Ravens W 38–7 13 16 209 5 Monday Night Football
Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (3)[56] December 20, 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers St. Louis Rams W 41–24 16 20 261 3 2nd 158.3 game, 1st QB with two perfect ratings in the same season
Warner, KurtKurt Warner (3)[57] September 14, 2008 Arizona Cardinals Miami Dolphins W 31–10 19 24 361 3
Manning, EliEli Manning[58] October 11, 2009 New York Giants Oakland Raiders W 44–7 8 10 173 2 Left game before half-time
Brees, DrewDrew Brees[59] November 30, 2009 New Orleans Saints New England Patriots W 38–17 18 23 371 5 Monday Night Football
Brady, TomTom Brady (2)[60] November 25, 2010 New England Patriots @Detroit Lions W 45–24 21 27 341 4 Thanksgiving Day game
Griffin III, RobertRobert Griffin III[61] November 18, 2012 Washington Redskins Philadelphia Eagles W 31–6 14 15 200 4 Rookie season, 10th game/start.
Foles, NickNick Foles[62] November 3, 2013 Philadelphia Eagles @Oakland Raiders W 49-20 22 28 406 7 2nd QB (of 2) to combine 400 yard game with a perfect rating. Tied NFL record of 7 TD passes in one game. 9th game as a starting QB (sophomore season, thirteen total appearances).
Smith, AlexAlex Smith[63] December 15, 2013 Kansas City Chiefs @Oakland Raiders W 56-31 17 20 287 5 A career high 5 TD passes for Smith. Second perfect passer rating thrown against the Oakland Raiders during the 2013 NFL season.

Perfect games by franchises[edit]

Franchises Number of Games
Colts, Falcons, Patriots 5
Patriots, Steelers, Jets, Giants 4
Cardinals, Rams, Redskins, Chiefs 3
49ers, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Eagles, Saints 2
Bears, Bills, Broncos, Buccaneers, Chargers, Dolphins, Lions, Raiders, Seahawks, Titans/Oilers, Vikings 1
Jaguars, Packers, Panthers, Ravens, Texans 0

Frequency of a perfect game[edit]

Games with a perfect passer rating are rare in the NFL. Before the start of the 2010 NFL season, there had been 14,633 regular season and 467 postseason games,[64][65] providing over 30,000 opportunities to reach the perfect rating milestone. With more teams/games and a general increase in passing efficiency, these performances increased in number in the 2000 to 2009 decade.

Of the rare number of times the feat has happened, only Ken O'Brien and Nick Foles have combined it with a rare 400 yard game.

The most perfect passer games in a single year are the four in 2007 (including two by Ben Roethlisberger). Only once – October 29, 1978 – have two QBs (Steve Grogan and Brian Sipe) earned a perfect passer rating on the same day.

Decade Perfect Games
1940s 2
1950s 0
1960s 8
1970s 13
1980s 7
1990s 10
2000s 17
2010s 4

Statistics[edit]

Only two quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect passer rating with 30 or more attempts. Ken O'Brien threw 26-for-32 in his perfect game for a completion rate of 81%, while Kurt Warner threw 24-for-30 in his perfect game for a completion rate of 80%. Craig Morton holds the record for completion rate in a perfect game, throwing 17-for-18 for 94.4% in his 1981 perfect game.

Only one quarterback, Nick Foles, has accomplished a perfect passer rating with seven touchdowns thrown. Peyton Manning threw for 7 touchdowns too but not while achieving a perfect passer rating. Two quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect passer rating with six touchdowns thrown. Peyton Manning was the first to achieve the record on September 28, 2003 against the New Orleans Saints, while Tom Brady matched the feat on October 21, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins. Thirteen quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect game with only two touchdowns thrown. It is impossible to achieve a perfect game with only one touchdown because of the 10 passing attempt minimum to qualify, combined with the minimum 11.875% touchdown-to-attempted-pass ratio.

Two quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect passer rating with more than 400 passing yards. Ken O'Brien threw for 431 yards on November 2, 1986 against the Seattle Seahawks. Nick Foles threw for 406 yards on November 3, 2013 against the Oakland Raiders. Only three quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect game with fewer than 150 passing yards. Scott Hunter threw for 138 yards on October 31, 1976 against the New Orleans Saints, Drew Bledsoe threw for 143 yards on December 26, 1993 against the Indianapolis Colts, and Rich Gannon threw for 146 yards on October 15, 1992 against the Detroit Lions.

Only two quarterbacks have accomplished a perfect passer rating in their rookie season. Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots achieved it against the Indianapolis Colts on December 26, 1993, and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins did it against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 18, 2012.

Greatest "perfect" games[edit]

Within the confines of the perfect passer rating, there is room for one performance to be statistically more dominant than another. Unlike a perfect game in baseball or a 300-point game in bowling, which are strictly the most effective result you can achieve in the game, the benchmark of perfection for an NFL passer is arbitrarily drawn.

The record for most touchdown passes in a perfect game was set by Nick Foles on November 3, 2013 against the Oakland Raiders. In this game he also threw for 406 yards on 22 completed passes with 28 attempted passes, which ranks 2nd most all-time yards thrown in a perfect game, tied for 6th most all-time completed passes in a perfect game, and 5th most all-time attempted passes in a perfect game.

Ken O'Brien on November 2, 1986 threw for 4 touchdowns with 436 yards on 26 completed passes and 32 attempted passes, which is the record for most all-time yards, completed passes, and attempted passes in a perfect game, and tied for 10th most all-time touchdowns in a perfect game.

Peyton Manning on September 28, 2003 threw for 6 touchdowns with 314 yards on 20 completed passes and 25 attempted passes. Similary, Tom Brady on October 21, 2007 threw for 6 touchdowns with 354 yards on 21 completed passes and 25 attempted passes. Both of these efforts rank lower than the Nick Foles November 3, 2013 game by every metric.

Kurt Warner on October 1, 2001 threw for 4 touchdowns with 390 yards on 24 completed passes and 30 attempted passes. This ranks lower than the Ken O'Brien November 2, 1986 game by every metric.

Peyton Manning on January 4, 2004 in an AFC Wild Card game threw for 5 touchdowns with 377 yards on 22 completed passes and 26 attempted passes. This ranks equal to or lower than the Nick Foles November 3, 2013 game by every metric, with the caveat that he did it with slightly more efficiency (needing only 26 attempts compared to 28, thus saving on 2 incomplete passes).

The games that can't be strictly ruled out (based on these primary statistics) when measured against each other are the Nick Foles November 3, 2013 game and the Ken O'Brien November 2, 1986 game. The comparison between these games would be 3 touchdowns for Foles against 30 yards, 4 completed passes, and 4 attempted passes for O'Brien.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Passer Rating Formula". Baseball-statistics.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  2. ^ "History Release » NFL's Passer Rating". Profootballhof.com. 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ "Ray Mallouf's Career Big Games", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  4. ^ "Sammy Baugh Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  5. ^ "Len Dawson Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  6. ^ "Y.A. Tittle Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  7. ^ "Cleveland Browns at New York Giants – December 12th, 1964", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  8. ^ "Sonny Jurgensen Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  9. ^ "Joe Namath Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  10. ^ "Johnny Unitas Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  11. ^ "Don Meredith Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  12. ^ "Craig Morton Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  13. ^ "Fran Tarkenton: Game Logs", NFL.com
  14. ^ "Daryle Lamonica Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
  15. ^ "Dick Shiner: Game Logs", NFL.com
  16. ^ "Bob Lee: Game Logs", NFL.com
  17. ^ "James Harris: Game Logs", NFL.com
  18. ^ "Ken Anderson: Game Logs", NFL.com
  19. ^ "Jim Hart: Game Logs", NFL.com
  20. ^ "Dan Fouts: Game Logs", NFL.com
  21. ^ "Scott Hunter: Game Logs", NFL.com
  22. ^ "Terry Bradshaw: Game Logs", NFL.com
  23. ^ "Steve Grogan: Game Logs", NFL.com
  24. ^ "Brian Sipe: Game Logs", NFL.com
  25. ^ "Bob Griese: Game Logs", NFL.com
  26. ^ "Vince Evans: Game Logs", NFL.com
  27. ^ "Craig Morton: Game Logs", NFL.com
  28. ^ "Dave Krieg: Game Logs", NFL.com
  29. ^ "Steve Bartkowski: Game Logs", NFL.com
  30. ^ "Ken O'Brien: Game Logs", NFL.com
  31. ^ "Steve Young: Game Logs", NFL.com
  32. ^ "Joe Montana: Game Logs", NFL.com
  33. ^ "Ken O'Brien: Game Logs", NFL.com
  34. ^ "Rich Gannon: Game Logs", NFL.com
  35. ^ "Bobby Hebert: Game Logs", NFL.com
  36. ^ "Mike Buck: Game Logs", NFL.com
  37. ^ "Drew Bledsoe: Game Logs", NFL.com
  38. ^ "Craig Erickson: Game Logs", NFL.com
  39. ^ "Dave Krieg: Game Logs", NFL.com
  40. ^ "Chris Chandler: Game Logs", NFL.com
  41. ^ "Jeff Blake: Game Logs", NFL.com
  42. ^ "Kurt Warner: Game Logs", NFL.com
  43. ^ "Kurt Warner: Game Logs", NFL.com
  44. ^ "RELEASE: SAINTS AT COLTS", The Official Website of the Indianapolis Colts
  45. ^ "Doug Flutie: Game Logs", NFL.com
  46. ^ "Manning and Colts show pulse, stun Eagles", ESPN.com
  47. ^ "Giants light up Colts' defense", ESPN.com
  48. ^ "Harrison catches three touchdowns in rout", ESPN.com
  49. ^ "Manning throws for 401 yards, TD", ESPN.com
  50. ^ "23 straight road losses for Detroit", ESPN.com
  51. ^ "Manning was 22-of-26 for 377 yards, 5 TDs", ESPN.com
  52. ^ "Parker-Roethlisberger combo overwhelms Titans", ESPN.com
  53. ^ "McNabb earns highest quarterback efficiency mark", Press of Atlantic City
  54. ^ "Brady's six TDs give him 27 TDs after seven games", ESPN.com
  55. ^ "Steelers click on both sides of ball, dominate Ravens at home", ESPN.com
  56. ^ "Davenport replaces injured Parker, rushes Steelers to victory", ESPN.com
  57. ^ "Warner, Boldin pair on 3 TDs as Cards top Dolphins – MSNBC Wire Services – nbcsports.msnbc.com", nbcsports.msnbc.com
  58. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/boxscore?gid=20091011019
  59. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/boxscore?gid=20091130018
  60. ^ New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions – Recap – November 25, 2010, ESPN.com
  61. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=321118028
  62. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=331103013
  63. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=331215013
  64. ^ Number of NFL games
  65. ^ ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition (Pg. 913)