List of National Football League annual pass completion percentage leaders

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This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks who have led the regular season in pass completion percentage each year.[1] The record for completion percentage in a season is held by Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints who completed 74.4% of his passes in 2018. Five quarterbacks have led the NFL in completion percentage in four different seasons (Sammy Baugh, Bart Starr, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Drew Brees), and one player (Len Dawson) achieved the same feat in the AFL. Otto Graham led the AAFC in 1947 and the NFL three times (1953-1955).

Completion percentage leaders[edit]

Drew Brees set the single-season completion percentage record five times and holds the career record.
Set record* Tied record^
Year Player Completion % Team Ref
1933 Arnie Herber 40.3%* Green Bay Packers [2]
1934 Arnie Herber 36.5% Green Bay Packers [3]
1936 Ed Matesic 46.4%* Pittsburgh Pirates [4]
1937 Ed Danowski 49.3%* New York Giants [5]
1938 Ed Danowski 54.3%* New York Giants [6]
1939 Parker Hall 51.0% Cleveland Rams [7]
1940 Sammy Baugh 62.7%* Washington Redskins [8]
1941 Cecil Isbell 56.8% Green Bay Packers [9]
1942 Sammy Baugh 58.7% Washington Redskins [10]
1943 Sammy Baugh 55.6% Washington Redskins [11]
1944 Frank Filchock 57.1% Washington Redskins [12]
1945 Sammy Baugh 70.3%* Washington Redskins [13]
1946 Sammy Baugh 54.0% Washington Redskins [14]
1947 Sammy Baugh 59.3% Washington Redskins [15]
1948 Sammy Baugh 58.7% Washington Redskins [16]
1949 Sammy Baugh 56.9% Washington Redskins [17]
1950 Bob Waterfield 57.3% Los Angeles Rams [18]
1951 Bobby Thomason 56.6% Green Bay Packers [19]
1952 Norm Van Brocklin 55.1% Los Angeles Rams [20]
1953 Otto Graham 64.7% Cleveland Browns [21]
1954 Otto Graham 59.2% Cleveland Browns [22]
1955 Otto Graham 53.0% Cleveland Browns [23]
Bobby Layne Detroit Lions
1956 Ed Brown 57.1% Chicago Bears [24]
1957 Y. A. Tittle 63.1% San Francisco 49ers [25]
1958 John Brodie 59.9% San Francisco 49ers [26]
1959 Milt Plum 58.6% Cleveland Browns [27]
Billy Wade Los Angeles Rams
1960 Milt Plum 60.4% Cleveland Browns [28]
1961 Milt Plum 58.6% Cleveland Browns
1962 Bart Starr 62.5% Green Bay Packers [29]
1963 Y. A. Tittle 60.2% New York Giants
1964 Bart Starr 59.9% Green Bay Packers [30]
1965 John Brodie 61.9% San Francisco 49ers
1966 Bart Starr 62.2% Green Bay Packers [31]
1967 Johnny Unitas 58.5% Baltimore Colts
1968 Bart Starr 63.7% Green Bay Packers [32]
1969 Sonny Jurgensen 62.0% Washington Redskins
1970 Sonny Jurgensen 59.9% Washington Redskins
1971 Virgil Carter 62.2% Cincinnati Bengals
1972 Norm Snead 60.3% New York Giants
1973 Ken Stabler 62.7% Oakland Raiders
1974 Ken Anderson 64.9% Cincinnati Bengals [33]
1975 Len Dawson 66.4% Kansas City Chiefs [34]
1976 Ken Stabler 66.7% Oakland Raiders [35]
1977 Fran Tarkenton 60.1% Minnesota Vikings
1978 Bob Griese 63.0% Miami Dolphins
1979 Dan Fouts 62.6% San Diego Chargers
1980 Joe Montana 64.5% San Francisco 49ers
1981 Joe Montana 63.7% San Francisco 49ers
1982 Ken Anderson 70.6%* Cincinnati Bengals [36]
1983 Ken Anderson 66.7% Cincinnati Bengals [37]
1984 Steve Bartkowski 67.3% Atlanta Falcons
1985 Joe Montana 61.3% San Francisco 49ers
1986 Eric Hipple 63.0% Detroit Lions
1987 Joe Montana 66.8% San Francisco 49ers
1988 Wade Wilson 61.4% Minnesota Vikings
1989 Joe Montana 70.2% San Francisco 49ers
1990 Jim Kelly 63.3% Buffalo Bills
1991 Dave Krieg 65.6% Seattle Seahawks
1992 Steve Young 66.7% San Francisco 49ers [38]
1993 Troy Aikman 69.1% Dallas Cowboys
1994 Steve Young 70.3% San Francisco 49ers [39]
1995 Steve Young 66.9% San Francisco 49ers [40]
1996 Steve Young 67.7% San Francisco 49ers [41]
1997 Steve Young 67.7% San Francisco 49ers [42]
1998 Brett Favre 63.0% Green Bay Packers
Steve Beuerlein Carolina Panthers
1999 Kurt Warner 65.1% St. Louis Rams
2000 Kurt Warner 67.7% St. Louis Rams
2001 Kurt Warner 68.7% St. Louis Rams
2002 Chad Pennington 68.9% New York Jets
2003 Peyton Manning 67.0% Indianapolis Colts
2004 Brian Griese 69.3% Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2005 Carson Palmer 67.8% Cincinnati Bengals
2006 David Carr 68.3% Houston Texans
2007 Tom Brady 68.9% New England Patriots
2008 Chad Pennington 67.4% Miami Dolphins
2009 Drew Brees 70.6%^ New Orleans Saints [43]
2010 Drew Brees 68.1% New Orleans Saints
2011 Drew Brees 71.2%* New Orleans Saints [44]
2012 Peyton Manning 68.6% Denver Broncos
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons
2013 Philip Rivers 69.5% San Diego Chargers
2014 Tony Romo 69.9% Dallas Cowboys
2015 Kirk Cousins 69.8% Washington Redskins
2016 Sam Bradford 71.6%* Minnesota Vikings [45]
2017 Drew Brees 72.0%* New Orleans Saints [46]
2018 Drew Brees 74.4%* New Orleans Saints [47]

Top 25 Single Season Completion percentage leaders[edit]

The NFL requires players to reach certain minimums to qualify as a leader in per-game stats, percentage stats, and passer rating. Since 1978 the minimum number is 14 pass attempts per team game (224 per season). These are the completion percentage leaders as compiled by Pro football reference.[48]

As of week 10, 3 new quarterbacks are now in the top 25 and Matt Ryan has qualified for the third time.

Updated through November 11, 2019
Rank Player Completion % Team Season
1 Drew Brees 74.4% New Orleans 2018
2 Drew Brees (2) 72.0% New Orleans 2017
3 Sam Bradford 71.6% Minnesota 2016
4 Drew Brees (3) 71.2% New Orleans 2011
5 Derek Carr 70.8% Oakland 2019
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 2019
7 Drew Brees (4) 70.6% New Orleans 2009
Ken Anderson Cincinnati 1982
9 Sammy Baugh 70.3% Washington 1945
Steve Young San Francisco 1994
11 Joe Montana 70.2% San Francisco 1989
Deshaun Watson Houston 2019
13 Kirk Cousins 70.1% Minnesota 2018
14 Drew Brees (5) 70.0% New Orleans 2016
15 Tony Romo 69.9% Dallas 2014
Matt Ryan Atlanta 2016
17 Kirk Cousins (2) 69.8% Washington 2015
18 Carson Wentz 69.6% Philadelphia 2018
19 Philip Rivers 69.5% San Diego 2013
20 Matt Ryan (2) 69.4% Atlanta 2018
Matt Ryan (3) Atlanta 2019
22 Brian Griese 69.3% Tampa Bay 2004
23 Drew Brees (6) 69.2% New Orleans 2014
Daunte Culpepper Minnesota 2004
25 Troy Aikman 69.1% Dallas 1993
Rank Player Completion % Team Season

Other leagues[edit]

All-America Football Conference (AAFC)[edit]

Year Player Completion percentage Team
1946 Charlie O'Rourke 57.7%[49] Los Angeles Dons
1947 Otto Graham 60.6%[50] Cleveland Browns
1948 Frankie Albert 58.3%[51] San Francisco 49ers
1949 George Ratterman 57.9%[52] Buffalo Bills

American Football League (AFL)[edit]

Year Player Completion percentage Team
1960 Tom Flores 54.0%[53] Oakland Raiders
1961 Babe Parilli 52.5%[54] Boston Patriots
1962 Len Dawson 61.0%[55] Dallas Texans
1963 Tobin Rote 59.4%[56] San Diego Chargers
1964 Len Dawson 56.2%[57] Kansas City Chiefs
1965 Len Dawson 53.4%[58] Kansas City Chiefs
1966 Len Dawson 56.0%[59] Kansas City Chiefs
1967 Len Dawson 57.7%[60] Kansas City Chiefs
1968 Len Dawson 58.5%[61] Kansas City Chiefs
1969 Len Dawson 59.0%[62] Kansas City Chiefs

Most titles[edit]

Titles Player Years Team
8 Sammy Baugh 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945–1949 Washington Redskins
Len Dawson 1962, 1964–1969, 1975 Dallas Texas, Kansas City Chiefs
5 Joe Montana 1980, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1989 San Francisco 49ers
Steve Young 1992, 1994–1997 San Francisco 49ers
Drew Brees 2009–2011, 2017-2018 New Orleans Saints
4 Bart Starr 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968 Green Bay Packers

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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