List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating
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.
Applying the formula to pre-1971 QBs, there have now (as of December 15, 2013[update]) 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.
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. Ten 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, Eli Manning, and Geno Smith.
|Mallouf, RayRay Mallouf||October 17, 1948||Chicago Cardinals||@New York Giants||W 63–35||14||18||252||4|
|Baugh, SammySammy Baugh||October 16, 1949||Washington Redskins||New York Bulldogs||W 38–14||16||20||254||4|
|Dawson, LenLen Dawson||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||November 10, 1963||New York Giants||Philadelphia Eagles||W 42–14||16||20||261||3|
|Ryan, FrankFrank Ryan||December 12, 1964||Cleveland Browns||New York Giants||W 52–20||12||13||202||5|
|Jurgensen, SonnySonny Jurgensen||October 24, 1965||Washington Redskins||@St. Louis Cardinals||W 24–20||12||14||195||3|
|Namath, JoeJoe Namath||October 22, 1967||New York Jets||@Miami Dolphins||W 33–14||13||15||199||2|
|Unitas, JohnnyJohnny Unitas||November 12, 1967||Baltimore Colts||Atlanta Falcons||W 49–7||17||20||370||4|
|Meredith, DonDon Meredith||December 12, 1967||Dallas Cowboys||Cleveland Browns||W 52–14||10||12||212||2||NFL Divisional|
|Morton, CraigCraig Morton (1)||October 5, 1969||Dallas Cowboys||@Philadelphia Eagles||W 38–7||14||18||261||3|
|Tarkenton, FranFran Tarkenton||October 25, 1970||New York Giants||St. Louis Cardinals||W 35–17||15||18||280||5|
|Lamonica, DaryleDaryle Lamonica||September 17, 1972||Oakland Raiders||@Pittsburgh Steelers||L 34–28||8||10||172||2||Did not start game|
|Shiner, DickDick Shiner||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||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||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||November 3, 1974||Cincinnati Bengals||Baltimore Colts||W 24–14||17||21||297||3|
|Hart, JimJim Hart||November 23, 1975||St. Louis Cardinals||New York Jets||W 37–6||11||13||242||2|
|Fouts, DanDan Fouts||September 26, 1976||San Diego Chargers||St. Louis Cardinals||W 43–24||15||18||259||4|
|Hunter, ScottScott Hunter||October 31, 1976||Atlanta Falcons||New Orleans Saints||W 23–20||10||11||138||2|
|Bradshaw, TerryTerry Bradshaw||December 19, 1976||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Colts||W 40–14||14||18||264||3||AFC Divisional|
|Grogan, SteveSteve Grogan||October 29, 1978||New England Patriots||New York Jets||W 55–21||15||19||281||4|
|Sipe, BrianBrian Sipe||October 29, 1978||Cleveland Browns||Buffalo Bills||W 41–20||12||15||217||3|
|Griese, BobBob Griese||December 18, 1978||Miami Dolphins||New England Patriots||W 23–3||12||13||171||2||Monday Night Football|
|Evans, VinceVince Evans||December 7, 1980||Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||W 61–7||18||22||316||3|
|Morton, CraigCraig Morton (2)||September 27, 1981||Denver Broncos||San Diego Chargers||W 42–24||17||18||308||4|
|Krieg, DaveDave Krieg (1)||December 24, 1983||Seattle Seahawks||Denver Broncos||W 31–7||12||13||200||3||AFC Wild Card|
|Bartkowski, SteveSteve Bartkowski||September 23, 1984||Atlanta Falcons||Houston Oilers||W 42–10||11||13||195||3|
|O'Brien, KenKen O'Brien (1)||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||October 22, 1989||San Francisco 49ers||New England Patriots||W 37–20||11||12||188||3|
|Montana, JoeJoe Montana||November 12, 1989||San Francisco 49ers||Atlanta Falcons||W 45–3||16||19||270||3|
|O'Brien, KenKen O'Brien (2)||December 23, 1990||New York Jets||New England Patriots||W 42–7||11||12||210||2|
|Gannon, RichRich Gannon||October 15, 1992||Minnesota Vikings||Detroit Lions||W 31–14||8||10||146||2|
|Hebert, BobbyBobby Hebert||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||October 17, 1993||New Orleans Saints||Pittsburgh Steelers||L 37–14||10||11||164||2||Did not start game|
|Bledsoe, DrewDrew Bledsoe||December 26, 1993||New England Patriots||Indianapolis Colts||W 38–0||9||11||143||2||Rookie season, 11th start/12th game.|
|Erickson, CraigCraig Erickson||September 11, 1994||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Indianapolis Colts||W 24–10||19||24||313||3|
|Krieg, DaveDave Krieg (2)||November 24, 1994||Detroit Lions||Buffalo Bills||W 35–21||20||25||351||3|
|Chandler, ChrisChris Chandler||September 25, 1995||Houston Oilers||Cincinnati Bengals||W 38–28||23||26||352||4|
|Blake, JeffJeff Blake||October 19, 1995||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 27–9||18||22||275||3|
|Warner, KurtKurt Warner (1)||October 3, 1999||St. Louis Rams||Cincinnati Bengals||W 38–10||17||21||310||3|
|Warner, KurtKurt Warner (2)||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)||October 22, 2000||Indianapolis Colts||New England Patriots||W 30–23||16||20||268||3|
|Flutie, DougDoug Flutie||December 24, 2000||Buffalo Bills||Seattle Seahawks||W 42–23||20||25||366||3|
|Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (2)||November 10, 2002||Indianapolis Colts||Philadelphia Eagles||W 35–13||18||23||319||3|
|Collins, KerryKerry Collins||December 22, 2002||New York Giants||Indianapolis Colts||W 44–27||23||29||366||4|
|Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (3)||September 28, 2003||Indianapolis Colts||New Orleans Saints||W 55–21||20||25||314||6|
|Pennington, ChadChad Pennington||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||December 14, 2003||Kansas City Chiefs||Detroit Lions||W 45–17||20||25||341||3|
|Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning (4)||January 4, 2004||Indianapolis Colts||Denver Broncos||W 41–10||22||26||377||5||AFC Wild Card|
|Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (1)||September 11, 2005||Pittsburgh Steelers||Tennessee Titans||W 34–7||9||11||218||2|
|McNabb, DonovanDonovan McNabb||September 23, 2007||Philadelphia Eagles||Detroit Lions||W 56–21||21||26||381||4|
|Brady, TomTom Brady (1)||October 21, 2007||New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||W 49–28||21||25||354||6|
|Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (2)||November 5, 2007||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens||W 38–7||13||16||209||5||Monday Night Football|
|Roethlisberger, BenBen Roethlisberger (3)||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)||September 14, 2008||Arizona Cardinals||Miami Dolphins||W 31–10||19||24||361||3|
|Manning, EliEli Manning||October 11, 2009||New York Giants||Oakland Raiders||W 44–7||8||10||173||2||Left game before half-time|
|Brees, DrewDrew Brees||November 30, 2009||New Orleans Saints||New England Patriots||W 38–17||18||23||371||5||Monday Night Football|
|Brady, TomTom Brady (2)||November 25, 2010||New England Patriots||@Detroit Lions||W 45–24||21||27||341||4||Thanksgiving Day game|
|Griffin III, RobertRobert Griffin III||November 18, 2012||Washington Redskins||Philadelphia Eagles||W 31–6||14||15||200||4||Rookie season, 10th game/start.|
|Foles, NickNick Foles||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||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.|
|Smith, GenoGeno Smith||December 28, 2014||New York Jets||Miami Dolphins||W 37–24||20||25||358||3||Only perfect rating in 2014 and it came in week 17.|
Perfect games by franchises
|Franchises||Number of Games|
|Colts, Falcons, Jets||5|
|Patriots, Giants, Steelers||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
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, 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.
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.
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. Only one QB, Ben Roethlisberger, has accomplished a perfect passer rating twice in one season, against the Ravens on November 5, 2007; and against the St. Louis Rams on December 20, 2007.
Greatest "perfect" games
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.
If using the NCAA formula for QB passer rating, the performance by Frank Ryan on December 12, 1964 against the New York Giants would be highest rated perfect game. Ryan's 12 completions on 13 attempts for 202 yards and 5 touchdowns would result in a NCAA QB pass rating of 349.75, heavily influenced by Ryan's 38.5% TD percentage. It would also result in an NFL pass rating of 309.46 if the NFL formula was unconstrained.
- Perfect game (baseball)
- Shutout (ice hockey)
- 300-point game (bowling)
- Maximum break (snooker)
- Nine dart finish (darts)
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a passer rating of zero
- List of NFL quarterbacks who have passed for 400 or more yards in a game
- "Passer Rating Formula". Baseball-statistics.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "History Release » NFL's Passer Rating". Profootballhof.com. 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Ray Mallouf's Career Big Games", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Sammy Baugh Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Len Dawson Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Y.A. Tittle Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Cleveland Browns at New York Giants – December 12th, 1964", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Sonny Jurgensen Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Joe Namath Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Johnny Unitas Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Don Meredith Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Craig Morton Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Fran Tarkenton: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Daryle Lamonica Gamelogs", Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Dick Shiner: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Bob Lee: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "James Harris: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Ken Anderson: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Jim Hart: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Dan Fouts: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Scott Hunter: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Terry Bradshaw: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Steve Grogan: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Brian Sipe: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Bob Griese: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Vince Evans: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Craig Morton: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Dave Krieg: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Steve Bartkowski: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Ken O'Brien: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Steve Young: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Joe Montana: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Ken O'Brien: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Rich Gannon: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Bobby Hebert: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Mike Buck: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Drew Bledsoe: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Craig Erickson: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Dave Krieg: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Chris Chandler: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Jeff Blake: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Kurt Warner: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Kurt Warner: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "RELEASE: SAINTS AT COLTS", The Official Website of the Indianapolis Colts
- "Doug Flutie: Game Logs", NFL.com
- "Manning and Colts show pulse, stun Eagles", ESPN.com
- "Giants light up Colts' defense", ESPN.com
- "Harrison catches three touchdowns in rout", ESPN.com
- "Manning throws for 401 yards, TD", ESPN.com
- "23 straight road losses for Detroit", ESPN.com
- "Manning was 22-of-26 for 377 yards, 5 TDs", ESPN.com
- "Parker-Roethlisberger combo overwhelms Titans", ESPN.com
- "McNabb earns highest quarterback efficiency mark", Press of Atlantic City
- "Brady's six TDs give him 27 TDs after seven games", ESPN.com
- "Steelers click on both sides of ball, dominate Ravens at home", ESPN.com
- "Davenport replaces injured Parker, rushes Steelers to victory", ESPN.com
- "Warner, Boldin pair on 3 TDs as Cards top Dolphins – MSNBC Wire Services – nbcsports.msnbc.com", nbcsports.msnbc.com
- New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions – Recap – November 25, 2010, ESPN.com
- Number of NFL games
- ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition (Pg. 913)