"Throwing for 5,000 yards in the NFL right now is nothing. I don't want to take anything away from it. As much as people throw the football now, you better have 5,000 (yards) if you have Calvin Johnson." - Hall of Fame running back/NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk
Before 2011, only two quarterbacks had thrown for 5,000+ yards ever. Ever. The two that had were Dan Marino, with 5,084 in 1984 and Drew Brees, with 5,069 in 2008. In 2011, Stafford was joined by Brees and Tom Brady surpassing 5,000 yards. Stafford threw for 5,038, Brady for 5,235 and Brees broke Marino's record with 5,476 passing yards.
While Calvin Johnson is hands down the best wide receiver in the NFL, to knock something only three other men have done in the HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE is unprofessional. Yes, the NFL has become a passing league over the last five years.
But, this was Stafford's first full season and outside of Johnson, Stafford's receivers leave much to be desired. Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Titus Young and Tony Scheffler don't exactly match up to the cast that surrounded the 2012 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. If you take out Rodgers' number one (Greg Jennings), he had Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, Donald Driver and James Jones. And, oh yeah, Rodgers finished the regular season with 4,643 passing yards - very impressive, but not 5,000.
Bottom line, Faulk's comments were out of line. Maybe someone should cut down Marshall Faulk's numbers because he was part of one of the best offense in NFL history. Kurt Warner, Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim and Ricky Proehl made up the "Greatest Show on Turf" from 1999-2001. Faulk would have never finished with the seventh-most touchdowns (136) or the tenth-most rushing yards (12,279) of all-time without that supporting cast or offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system.
The beauty of all of this - Faulk's opinion of Stafford's accomplishment matters no more than my opinion of his.