There are many different ways to judge how great a player is – how many touchdowns they have scored, their interception rate, their career sacks number. When we look at the great quarterbacks, one of the key stats is career passing yards.
Ahead of the end of the season and the upcoming playoffs and Super Bowl – we want to know who holds the record for most career passing yards.
Do you see any of the active players in this top 10 making it to the Super Bowl this year? Check out Fanduel’s Super Bowl betting odds.
NOTE – this list does not include playoff yards.
#10 – Aaron Rodgers – 55,222 yards
Green Bay Packers (2005–present)
Rodgers has been the starting quarterback for the Packers since Brett Farve left in 2007. Before that he spent two years on the bench.
As well as being 10th on this list of career passing yards Rodgers also holds the record for most consecutive passes without interception – 402. Not bad, eh?
#9 – Eli Manning – 57,023 yards
New York Giants (2004–2019)
Eli is the first of two Manning brothers to make it onto this list. But don’t let that distract you from what an achievement this is.
Manning is tied for the record for the longest completed touchdown pass (99 yards) and also holds the record for most passing yards in a single postseason – 1,219.
#8 – Matt Ryan – 59,519 yards
Atlanta Falcons (2008–present)
Ryan is the second of four still active players on this list.
Thanks to the Falcons not making it to the playoffs for the last 5 years, Ryan often flies under the radar. But he is an incredible passer who should be celebrated more. He was named NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2016.
#7 – Dan Marino – 61,361 yards
Miami Dolphins (1983–1999)
None of you will be shocked to see Marino on this list – but you are probably shocked to see him this low down. Marino paved the way for everyone else on this list – he was the first quarterback in NFL history to reach both 50,000 and 60,000 career passing yards. When he retired he held the record for most career passes.
Marino showed us all what was possible.
#6 – Philip Rivers – 63,440 yards
San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004–2019)
Indianapolis Colts (2020)
Rivers holds the record for most career passing yards and most career touchdowns for a quarterback who never made a Super Bowl appearance.
#5 – Ben Roethlisberger – 63,844 yards
Pittsburgh Steelers (2004–present)
Roethlisberger is the third of the active players on this list – but he still sits 20,000 passing yards behind the leader of this list.
Roethlisberger does hold the record for most games with 500+ passing yards – 4 games. As well as 3 other passing-related NFL records.
#4 – Brett Favre – 71,838 yards
Atlanta Falcons (1991)
Green Bay Packers (1992–2007)
New York Jets (2008)
Minnesota Vikings (2009–2010)
Favre was an incredible player that will be remembered by everyone for the way he changed the quarterback play style. Farve held this record when he retired – he still holds the records for most consecutive starts and longest touchdown pass (tied) – 99 yards.
#3 – Payton Manning – 71,940 yards
Indianapolis Colts (1998–2011)
Denver Broncos (2012–2015)
Manning squeaks into third place, only beating Favre by 102 yards.
Payton is the second Manning brother on this list (their mother must be very proud). Manning still holds the record for most passing yards in one season – 5,477 yards – as well as most touchdowns in a season – 55 touchdowns.
#2 – Drew Brees – 80,358 yards
San Diego Chargers (2001–2005)
New Orleans Saints (2006–2020)
If we jump up 9,000 yards from Manning’s total we get to Drew Brees. Brees retired 2 seasons ago and we have missed his awe-inspiring presence on the pitch. He led the NFL in passing yards during 7 different seasons.
#1 – Tom Brady – 84,194 yards
New England Patriots (2000–2019)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020–present)
No one is at all surprised to see Brady at the top of this list. He really is one of a kind and has a real shot at becoming the Greatest of All Time. Some believe he already is.
In conclusion, the all-time career passing yard record is held by Tom Brady. As are many of the other NFL career records. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger are the only other still active players on this list.