List of National Football League career passing yards leaders

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This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks by total career passing yards. This list includes the top 50 quarterbacks who have the most career passing yards during the regular season.

Regular season career passing yards leaders[edit]

Key
^ Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
* Denotes player who is still active in the NFL

Through end of 2018 season

Rank Player Team(s) by season Yards
1 Drew Brees* San Diego Chargers (20012005)
New Orleans Saints (2006–present)
74,437
2 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts (19982011)
Denver Broncos (20122015)
71,940
3 Brett Favre^ Atlanta Falcons (1991)
Green Bay Packers (19922007)
New York Jets (2008)
Minnesota Vikings (20092010)
71,838
4 Tom Brady* New England Patriots (2000–present) 70,514
5 Dan Marino^ Miami Dolphins (19831999) 61,361
6 Ben Roethlisberger* Pittsburgh Steelers (2004–present) 56,194
7 Eli Manning* New York Giants (2004–present) 55,981
8 Philip Rivers* San Diego / Los Angeles Chargers (2004–present) 54,656
9 John Elway^ Denver Broncos (19831998) 51,475
10 Warren Moon^ Houston Oilers (19841993)
Minnesota Vikings (19941996)
Seattle Seahawks (19971998)
Kansas City Chiefs (19992000)
49,325
11 Fran Tarkenton^ Minnesota Vikings (19611966, 19721978)
New York Giants (19671971)
47,003
12 Matt Ryan* Atlanta Falcons (2008–present) 46,720
13 Carson Palmer Cincinnati Bengals (20032010)
Oakland Raiders (20112012)
Arizona Cardinals (20132017)
46,247
14 Vinny Testaverde Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19871992)
Cleveland Browns (19931995)
Baltimore Ravens (19961997)
New York Jets (19982003, 2005)
Dallas Cowboys (2004)
New England Patriots (2006)
Carolina Panthers (2007)
46,233
15 Drew Bledsoe New England Patriots (19932001)
Buffalo Bills (20022004)
Dallas Cowboys (20052006)
44,611
16 Dan Fouts^ San Diego Chargers (19731987) 43,040
17 Aaron Rodgers* Green Bay Packers (2005–present) 42,944
18 Kerry Collins Carolina Panthers (19951998)[a])
New Orleans Saints (1998)
New York Giants (19992003)
Oakland Raiders (20042005)
Tennessee Titans (20062010)
Indianapolis Colts (2011)
40,922
19 Joe Montana^ San Francisco 49ers (19791992)
Kansas City Chiefs (19931994)
40,551
20 Johnny Unitas^ Baltimore Colts (19561972)
San Diego Chargers (1973)
40,239
21 Matthew Stafford* Detroit Lions (2009–present) 38,526
22 Joe Flacco* Baltimore Ravens (20082018)
Denver Broncos (2019–present)
38,245
23 Dave Krieg Seattle Seahawks (19801991)
Kansas City Chiefs (19921993)
Detroit Lions (1994)
Arizona Cardinals (1995)
Chicago Bears (1996)
Tennessee Oilers (19971998)
38,147
24 Boomer Esiason Cincinnati Bengals (19841992)
New York Jets (19931995)
Arizona Cardinals (1996)
Cincinnati Bengals (1997)
37,920
25 Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles (19992009)
Washington Redskins (2010)
Minnesota Vikings (2011)
37,276
26 Matt Hasselbeck Green Bay Packers (19982000)
Seattle Seahawks (20012010)
Tennessee Titans (20112012)
Indianapolis Colts (20132015)
36,638
27 Jim Kelly^ Buffalo Bills (19861996) 35,467
28 Jay Cutler Denver Broncos (20062008)
Chicago Bears (20092016)
Miami Dolphins (2017)
35,133
29 Jim Everett Los Angeles Rams (19861993)
New Orleans Saints (19941996)
San Diego Chargers (1997)
34,837
30 Jim Hart St. Louis Cardinals (19661983
Washington Redskins 1984)
34,665
31 Steve DeBerg San Francisco 49ers (19781980)
Denver Broncos (19811983)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19841987, 19921993[b])
Kansas City Chiefs (19881991)
Miami Dolphins (1993)
Atlanta Falcons (1998)
34,241
32 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys (20032016) 34,183
33 Alex Smith* San Francisco 49ers (20052012)
Kansas City Chiefs (20132017)
Washington Redskins (2018–present)
34,068
34 John Hadl San Diego Chargers (19621972)
Los Angeles Rams (19731974[c])
Green Bay Packers (19741975)
Houston Oilers (19761977)
33,503
35 Phil Simms New York Giants (19791993) 33,462
36 Steve Young^ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19851986)
San Francisco 49ers (19871999)
33,124
37 Troy Aikman^ Dallas Cowboys (19892000) 32,942
38 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals (19711986) 32,838
39 Kurt Warner^ St. Louis Rams (19982003)
New York Giants (2004)
Arizona Cardinals (20052009)
32,344
40 Sonny Jurgensen^ Philadelphia Eagles (19571963)
Washington Redskins (19641974)
32,224
41 Mark Brunell Green Bay Packers (19931994)
Jacksonville Jaguars (19952003)
Washington Redskins (20042006)
New Orleans Saints (20082009)
New York Jets (20102011)
32,072
42 John Brodie San Francisco 49ers (19571973) 31,548
43 Steve McNair Houston / Tennessee Oilers / Titans (19952005)
Baltimore Ravens (20062007)
31,304
44 Norm Snead Washington Redskins (19611963)
Philadelphia Eagles (19641970)
Minnesota Vikings (1971)
New York Giants (19721974, 1976)
San Francisco 49ers (19741975)
30,797
45 Randall Cunningham Philadelphia Eagles (19851995)
Minnesota Vikings (19971999)
Dallas Cowboys (2000)
Baltimore Ravens (2001)
29,979
46 Joe Ferguson Buffalo Bills (19731984)
Detroit Lions (19851987)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19881989)
Indianapolis Colts (1990)
29,817
47 Jon Kitna Seattle Seahawks (19972000)
Cincinnati Bengals (20012005)
Detroit Lions (20062008)
Dallas Cowboys (20092011; 2013)
29,745
48 Roman Gabriel Los Angeles Rams (19621972)
Philadelphia Eagles (19731977)
29,444
49 Ryan Fitzpatrick* St. Louis Rams (20052006)
Cincinnati Bengals (20072008)
Buffalo Bills (20092012)
Tennessee Titans (2013)
Houston Texans (2014)
New York Jets (20152016)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20172018)
29,357
50 Jake Plummer Arizona Cardinals (19972002)
Denver Broncos (20032006)
29,253
  • Note: Y. A. Tittle passed for 33,070 yards in his professional career. However, 4,731 of those yards came in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The NFL does not recognize statistics and records accrued in the AAFC.[1][2] As such, his career passing yards total in the NFL stands at 28,339.[3]

Players with at least 3,000 post season career passing yards[edit]

Through end of 2018 season[4]

Rank Player Team(s) by season Yards
1 Tom Brady* New England Patriots (2000–present) 11,179
2 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts (19982011)
Denver Broncos (20122015)
7,339
3 Brett Favre^ Atlanta Falcons (1991)
Green Bay Packers (19922007)
New York Jets (2008)
Minnesota Vikings (20092010)
5,855
4 Joe Montana^ San Francisco 49ers (19791992)
Kansas City Chiefs (19931994)
5,772
5 Ben Roethlisberger* Pittsburgh Steelers (2004–present) 5,256
6 John Elway^ Denver Broncos (19831998) 4,964
7 Drew Brees* San Diego Chargers (20012005)
New Orleans Saints (2006–present)
4,759
8 Dan Marino^ Miami Dolphins (19831999) 4,510
9 Aaron Rodgers* Green Bay Packers (2005–present) 4,458
10 Kurt Warner^ St. Louis Rams (19982003)
New York Giants (2004)
Arizona Cardinals (20052009)
3,952
11 Jim Kelly^ Buffalo Bills (19861996) 3,863
12 Troy Aikman^ Dallas Cowboys (19892000) 3,849
13 Terry Bradshaw^ Pittsburgh Steelers (19701983) 3,833
14 Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles (19992009)
Washington Redskins (2010)
Minnesota Vikings (2011)
3,752
15 Steve Young^ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19851986)
San Francisco 49ers (19871999)
3,326
16 Joe Flacco* Baltimore Ravens (20082018)
Denver Broncos (2019–present)
3,223
17 Russell Wilson* Seattle Seahawks (2012–present) 3,010

Players with the most career passing yards including playoff games[edit]

Active players are in bold; minimum 60K yards.

1 Tom Brady 81,693
2 Peyton Manning 79,279
3 Drew Brees 79,196
4 Brett Favre 77,693
5 Dan Marino 65,871

Historical passing yards leaders[edit]

Ten players are recognised as having held the record as the NFL's career passing yardage leader.[5] The longest record holder was Fran Tarkenton who held the record for 19 years.

Reign Player Team(s) while leader Career passing yards Season(s)
19321942
(11 years)
Arnie Herber^
[6]
Green Bay Packers 639 1932
1,295 1933
2,094 1934
2,823 1935
4,062 1936
4,746 1937
5,082 1938
6,189 1939
6,749 1940–1942
19431958
(16 years)
Sammy Baugh^
[7]
Washington Redskins 8,379 1943
9,228 1944
10,897 1945
12,060 1946
14,998 1947
17,597 1948
19,500 1949
20,630 1950
21,734 1951
21,886 1952–1958
19591963
(5 years)
Bobby Layne^
[8]
Pittsburgh Steelers 22,063 1959
23,877 1960
25,082 1961
26,768 1962–1963
19641967
(4 years)
Y. A. Tittle^
[3]
New York Giants 28,339 1964–1967
19681975
(8 years)
Johnny Unitas^
[9]
Baltimore Colts (19681972)
San Diego Chargers (1973)
33,160 1968
35,502 1969
37,715 1970
38,657 1971
39,768 1972
40,239 1973–1975
19761994
(19 years)
Fran Tarkenton^
[10]
Minnesota Vikings 41,801 1976
43,535 1977
47,003 1978–1994
19952006
(12 years)
Dan Marino^
[11]
Miami Dolphins 48,841 1995
51,636 1996
55,416 1997
58,913 1998
61,361 1999–2006
20072014
(8 years)
Brett Favre^
[12]
Green Bay Packers (2007)
New York Jets (2008)
Minnesota Vikings (20092010)
61,655 2007
65,127 2008
69,329 2009
71,838 2010–2014
20152017
(3 years)
Peyton Manning
[13]
Denver Broncos 71,940 2015–2017
Since 2018
(1 year)
Drew Brees
[14]
New Orleans Saints 74,437 2018

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Collins was traded during the 1998 season; he played four games for the Panthers and seven for the Saints.
  2. ^ DeBerg was traded during the 1993 season; he played three games for the Buccaneers and eight for the Dolphins.
  3. ^ Hadl was traded during the 1974 season; he played six games for the Rams and eight for the Packers.

References[edit]

General
  • "NFL Passing Yards Career Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
Footnotes
  1. ^ Pavlick, Ed (1980). "Pro Football Records Should Include the AAFC" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (7). Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Roberts, Jerry (2015). Pass Receiving in Early Pro Football: A History to the 1960s (illustrated ed.). McFarland. p. 137. ISBN 078649946X. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Y.A. Tittle". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  4. ^ "NFL Passing Yards Career Playoffs Leaders". ProFootballReference.com. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Bryan Frye (March 9, 2016). "History of the Career Passing Yards Record". Grid Fe. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "Arnie Herber stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sammy Baugh stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "Bobby Layne stats". NFL.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Johnny Unitas stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Fran Tarkenton stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  11. ^ "Dan Marino stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "Brett Favre stats". Pro football reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "Peyton Manning stats". PFRef.com. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "Drew Brees stats". PFRef.com. Retrieved December 23, 2018.