Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/30/12
Every year, we are reminded how the NFL has become a passing league and if you don't have a franchise quarterback, you don't have a chance. Well, there is always a slim chance, but in recent years it has been the same names in the same game.With the passing boom of the 21st Century NFL, it feels as if defensive players appear to be at a slight disadvantage with all of the pass-happy rule changes. Could you picture guys like Dick "Night Train" Lane, or Ronnie Lott playing in today's NFL? They wouldn't stand a chance with the rule changes.It is a different game now than it used to be, and it will keep evolving as new research and data becomes available. It is a game where 5,000 yards passing in a season is possible. Not only is 5,000 yards now an attainable number, but multiple quarterbacks are hitting the once unreachable 5,000 yards.5,000 yards passing in perspectiveIt wasn't until a young quarterback from the University of Pittsburgh, Dan Marino, entered the league and then in his second season, the NFL had it's first ever 5,000 yard passing season. 5,084 yards to be exact. It was a feat that had never been accomplished before. Marino did it in his second season in the NFL in 1984. The closest he would come to 5,000 yards again would be 4,746 in 1986.Many great quarterbacks played this game before, during and after Marino and none of them were able to touch his record until Drew Brees challenged it during the 2008 season, finishing with 5,069 yards. 15 short of tying Marino's record.There wouldn't be another 5,000 yard passer until this past season, and then there were three. Matthew Stafford finished with 5,038 yards, Tom Brady 5,235 (151 yards more than Marino) and the new record-holder Drew Brees. Brees threw for a staggering 5,476 yards, shattering Marino's mark by 392 yards.This season, there are currently six quarterbacks that have a legitimate chance at hitting the once sacred 5,000 plateau. Which ones will actually show up during the remaining five games and challenge the mark.Coming up shortJoe Montana, maybe the greatest comeback guy ever and four-time Super Bowl champion could only manage a career-high of 3,944 yards in 1990. And he had Jerry Rice and John Taylor to throw to.Kurt Warner led the "Greatest Show on Turf" in St. Louis and he could only mange 4,830 yards in 2001, throwing to Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce.Warren Moon came close two times in his career. In 1990, Moon threw for 4,689 yards and the following year he did one-yard better with 4,690 yards.Dan Fouts took the San Diego "Super" Chargers up and down the field in 1981 to the tune of 4,802 yards.Johnny Unitas played in even an earlier era than the other four guys above. His best single-season mark was 3,481 yards.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris


Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker