Quarterbacks get most of the attention, both good and bad, in the NFL. After all, they are at the helm of the offense. Plus, as the league gets increasingly pass happy, quarterbacks are relied upon more and more and are racking up crazier and crazier numbers. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the best single-season passing touchdown records for NFL teams have been set in the last decade. Those quarterbacks, and everybody else who owns a record for one of the NFL’s 32 teams, can be found right here.
The first-overall pick by the Bengals, Palmer had some good years in Cincinnati before a serious knee injury. After a disastrous tenure with the Raiders, Palmer revived his career in Arizona. In 2015 he threw for 35 touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl for the first time in a decade.
No surprise here. Ryan helped reshape the franchise in Atlanta after being drafted to replace Michael Vick. The Boston College product has done more than that. Ryan threw 38 touchdowns against seven picks in 2016, winning the NFL MVP almost out of nowhere.
You may think of Jackson as a running quarterback, and he very much is. In fact, in 2019 he set the NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback. You know what else he did that year? He threw 36 touchdowns, a Ravens record.
Finally, we have a player who set a record a bit in the past. Of course, Bills fans probably aren’t too happy about that. They had quarterback issues after Kelly retired, but it’s hard to replace a Hall of Famer. He threw 33 touchdowns in 1991.
Beuerlein’s 1999 season is a real baffler. In his career, he threw 147 touchdowns against 112 interceptions. Nobody paid Beuerlein much mind. Then he threw for 36 touchdowns and led the NFL in passing yards. In his next-best season, he threw a mere 19 touchdowns.
The Bears don’t have much of history of strong quarterback play. It’s been a long time since Sid Luckman was under center. That’s how a journeyman like Kramer ended up with the franchise’s touchdown record. He tossed only 29 touchdowns in 1995, which is tied for the lowest franchise record. The other team is the Houston Texans, which of course have only been in the NFL since 2002.
Carson Palmer once threw 32 touchdowns in a season, but Dalton one-upped him in 2013. The Red Rifle threw 33 touchdowns, but he also threw 20 interceptions that year. His interception rate did go down as his career continued though.
Speaking of franchises with quarterback issues, the Browns record does not belong to current potential savior Baker Mayfield or even a reliable player like Bernie Kosar. Instead it's Sipe, who led the league in both passing touchdowns and interceptions in 1979. In 1980 he followed that with a 30-touchdown season when he made his only Pro Bowl, and he also won the MVP.
Romo took over as Dallas’ starter in 2006, but 2007 was his first full year under center for the Cowboys and it was a great one for Romo and the team. Dallas went 13-3, and Romo threw 36 touchdowns. He never replicated that number again, but he remained a steady quarterback for many years.
It was a massive coup for the Broncos when Manning left the Colts to join the team in Denver. Some worried that his neck injury was going to derail his career. Instead, in 2013 he threw 55 touchdowns. That’s still the NFL record and one of only three 50-touchdown seasons in league history.
Stafford had trouble staying healthy his first couple of seasons in the NFL, but he eventually became a true ironman, at least until the 2019 season. The year 2011 was the first of eight seasons in a row where Stafford played all 16 games. It was also the season he threw 41 touchdowns as well as tossed for over 5,000 yards.
Although Stafford put up big numbers in 2011, he wasn’t the best quarterback in his own division. That same season, Rodgers threw for 45 touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, he also had only six interceptions. Unsurprisingly, he was named league MVP.
As we noted earlier, the Texans have only been around since 2002, so there has been less time for a record to be set. That’s why it’s not terribly surprising that Schaub has the record with only 29 in 2009. It wouldn’t be surprising if Deshaun Watson ends up besting that number soon enough.
Manning is the only player on this list twice. In Denver, he set the NFL record with 55 passing touchdowns. Before that he came oh-so-close to hitting the 50-touchdown mark for the Colts. Instead, Peyton had to settle for 49 touchdown passes in 2004, which was then the league record.
Jason Mendoza’s favorite player is often a bit of a punching bag, but it wasn’t all bad on the field for the third-overall pick. In his second season, Bortles threw for 35 touchdowns. Of course, he also led the NFL in interceptions with 18. That’s the Bortles we know and love.
Mahomes is just getting started. In his first year as an NFL starter, he tossed 50 touchdowns and was named the MVP. In his second season starting, he led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in 50 years. If this is only the beginning, could Manning’s record be in danger?
When Rivers set the Chargers franchise record, the team was still in San Diego. The long-time face of the team, who just signed with Indianapolis after being with the Chargers since 2004, hit his peak with 34 touchdowns in 2008. Rivers had great years in San Diego/ Los Angeles, but he never managed to lead the team to the Super Bowl.
You know the story. Trent Green was lost for the year prior to the 1999 season. Warner, whose football pinnacle had been playing in the Arena Football League, took over as the starter. He came out of nowhere to throw 41 touchdowns to lead the NFL. Warner won MVP, led the Rams to a Super Bowl and became a living legend.
In his first three full seasons as a starter, Marino led the NFL in passing touchdowns. The first of those seasons, though, was actually the best of the bunch. Marino shattered record books in 1984. He threw for over 5,000 yards and set a new record with 48 passing touchdowns. The Dolphins went 14-2 but didn’t win the Super Bowl, which was the case every year for Marino.
Throwing to Randy Moss and Cris Carter can certainly help out a guy. Culpepper took over as Minnesota’s starter in 2000 and hit the ground running. That year he led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 33, but 2004 was even better for him, as he tossed 39 touchdowns that season. After that, though, he never played another full season and never had even double-digit passing touchdowns in a year.
Speaking of Randy Moss. The Hall of Fame receiver joined the Patriots prior to the 2007 season, and the offense took off, smashing records en route to a 16-0 regular season. Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw for 50 touchdowns in one year, though memorably he and the Pats didn’t walk away with a Super Bowl ring.
Brees has the record for the most passing touchdowns in a career, so obviously he’s had some big seasons. He’s racked up 30-touchdown seasons left and right with New Orleans. Brees has also gone over 40 touchdowns twice, including his 46-touchdown campaign in 2011.
We’re kicking it really old-school here. Tittle is a Hall of Famer, but he retired in 1964. However, he was quite good until almost the end. In fact, he threw for 36 touchdowns, the Giants’ franchise record, in 1963 when he was 37.
Fitzpatrick has played for eight teams, so the odds of him having a record for one franchise was pretty decent. He spent only two seasons with the Jets, but one of them went well. In 2015 he threw for 31 touchdowns, a fairly paltry record for a team that has been around as long as the Jets.
We know they’ve technically moved to Las Vegas, but the Raiders haven’t played a game in their new home yet, so we’re sticking with Oakland for now. Rich Gannon has an MVP as a Raider, but it’s Lamonica who has the touchdown record. He was quite busy in 1969, leading the NFL in both passing touchdowns with 34 and interceptions with 25.
Wentz’s record could have been even better. He threw for 33 touchdowns vs. seven interceptions in 2017 and was primed to win the MVP Award. Instead, he suffered a serious injury that kept him out for the rest of the season, including for Philly’s Super Bowl run. Wentz’s record came in only 13 games.
Big Ben has watched the NFL, and the Steelers, get more pass heavy as his career has gone on. It’s paid off for the signal-caller, who set the record for touchdown passes in franchise history in 2018 when he was 36 and in his 15th season. Roethlisberger has come a long way from being a game manager early in his career.
Wilson is clearly one of the best third-round picks of all time. Once thought to be potentially too short for the NFL, Wilson has pushed the envelope in Seattle for years. He’s twice thrown for 34 passing touchdowns, which was the Seahawks’ record until 2018. That year, Wilson one-upped himself, throwing 35 touchdowns while tossing only seven picks. If not for Patrick Mahomes, he probably would have been MVP.
You knew it would be either Young or Joe Montana. Both guys are Hall of Famers and Niners legends. It’s Young, who took the reins from Montana, who has the record in the Bay Area. The BYU product had 36 passing scores in 1998, his final full season in the NFL.
Winston was nothing if not active in 2019. He made a bit of history and not in a good way. Throwing 33 touchdowns in a year is impressive, and a Tampa Bay record, but he also led the NFL with a whopping 30 picks. Turnovers have been an issue in his career, as the first-overall pick has 88 interceptions in 72 career games.
We go from the most recent season on the list to the earliest. Blanda set the Titans’ record back in 1961, when the team was still known as the Houston Oilers. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 36. Then Blanda became a bit less careful with the ball. Over the next four seasons, he led the league in interceptions every year.
The list ends with another blast from the past. Jurgensen built his Hall of Fame career largely in Washington, where he is still arguably the best quarterback in franchise history. He does have the touchdown record, after all. Jurgensen set it in 1967 when he tossed 31 touchdowns.