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  • 4 Teams Without a 4000-yard Passer


    28 of the 32 NFL teams have a 4000-yard passer. Only the Bears, Eagles, Seahawks and Buccaneers have never had a player reach that plateau. Which of these teams has the best chance to come off that list this year?

    1. Bears (Erik Kramer 3838 yards in '95). Jay Cutler is certainly capable, he threw for 4526 for the Broncos in 2008. He was on pace for over 3700 yards last year before a thumb injury finished his season. With Matt Forte and an above average stable of running backs, the Bears running game might cost Cutler a shot at 4000. But Forte is a good a receiver as he is a runner, and the Bears have added Brandon Marshall, who accounted for 1264 of Cutler's 4526 yards in '08 on a career-high 104 catches. I give the Bears a 37% chance* of breaking into the 4000 yard club.

    2. Buccaneers (Brad Johnson 3811 in '03). While every other stat went down for Josh Freeman last year, his passing yards increased from 3451 to 3592 (which tends to happen when you're constantly behind in the 2nd half). This is a make or break year for Freeman, who looked like one of the top QBs in the league in '10 (25 TDs - 6 INTs), but came crashing back to earth last year. He has the receivers in newly acquired Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark and a rebuilt offensive line featuring G Carl Nicks. His hopes for a 4000 yard season are also bolstered by a questionable defense. The Bucs will be behind in the 2nd half a lot again this year, that means a lot of attempts. I give the Buccaneers a 33% chance* of breaking into the 4000 yard club.

    3. Eagles (Donovan McNabb 3916 in '08). Michael Vick went from story of the year in '10 (21 TDs - 6 INTs and 9 rushing TDs) back to the most talent average QB in NFL history last year. But he also set a career high with 3303 passing yards. Vick certainly has the receivers to hit 4k, but not the accuracy or health. I give the Eagles a 22% chance* of breaking into the 4000 yard club.

    4. Seahawks (Matt Hasselbeck 3966 in '07). The Seahawks have a better chance of having 3 quarterbacks start a game than they do of having a 4000 yard passer. Matt Flynn has 2 career starts, he has averaged 365.5/start, which projects to 5848 yards over a full season. But those 2 games were with the Packers, not the Seahawks. And we don't even know that Flynn will be the starter. I give the Seahawks a 4% chance* of breaking into the 4000 yard club.

    Honorable Mention - Jets. Joe Namath threw for 4008 yards in 1967. Not only was that the first 4000 yard season in NFL history, it was the only one until Dan Fouts did it in 1979. It was also the Jets' last 4000 yard season. Mark Sanchez' yards, TDs and rating have gone up each of his 3 years. He topped 3400 yards last year and has started 47 of 48 possible career games. But he just isn't very good and now has to look over his shoulder at the most celebrated below average backup QB in NFL history. I give the Jets a 12% chance* of re-entering the 4000 yard club.


    *by 'chance' I mean a totally made up number meant to give the article legitimacy.

    Comments 24 Comments
    1. darvon's Avatar
      I will take the odds on the Seahawks and bet UNDER. Can you cover $1M?
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      Strange to think that the Eagles, with their storied history and the great QBs they've had like McNabb, Jaworski, and Cunningham, have never once had a 4,000 yard passer.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      if Cutler stays healthy, the Bears.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      None, says I. Lovie Smith won't want to throw that much. If Cutler didn't do it under Martz, he'll never do it.

      Bucs are an unknown quantity, but I'm not getting a good vibe from Schiano. I can't see him going crazy throwing the ball. Seattle doesn't even know who its starter is; four grand from a mystery man seems unlikely. Vick has the bet chance of doing it. Reid's not the issue. Vick's fondness for running might be. I think he has the accuracy, myself.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Bears and Eagles have the best chance. Andy Reid does not feel a need to establish the run. If Vick stays healthy, I say the Eagles. Cutler and Marshall have a legitimate shot as well, but I see Mike Tice putting more value on being balanced offensively than Reid does from a philosophical standpoint.
    1. edave's Avatar
      I would have thought Cutler was on a pace for 4,000 last year, interesting. I still think the Bears can do it, but not having Johnny Knox is going to make it harder. It's worth noting that Tice was in charge in Minnesota when Culpepper had his huge season (2004).

      Kaba, Cunningham was Bobby Douglas reborn, he loved to run. Same problem that Eagles are hoping Vick can put behind him.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by edave View Post
      I would have thought Cutler was on a pace for 4,000 last year, interesting. I still think the Bears can do it, but not having Johnny Knox is going to make it harder. It's worth noting that Tice was in charge in Minnesota when Culpepper had his huge season (2004).

      Kaba, Cunningham was Bobby Douglas reborn, he loved to run. Same problem that Eagles are hoping Vick can put behind him.
      Eh...

      This is a common misconception about Cunningham. I saw an interview with him awhile back where he said Buddy Ryan not only encouraged him to run, Ryan demanded that he run. A lot. The Eagles hired a consultant to work with Cunningham on his speed and trained him up with agility drills to improve his mid-field elusiveness. Cunningham said he waould have preferred to be a pocket passer (as he ended up being in Minnesota).
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Good example of why Buddy Ryan was a crappy head coach. With Cunningham running all the time, their offensive structure sucked.
    1. edave's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
      This is a common misconception about Cunningham. I saw an interview with him awhile back where he said Buddy Ryan not only encouraged him to run, Ryan demanded that he run. A lot. The Eagles hired a consultant to work with Cunningham on his speed and trained him up with agility drills to improve his mid-field elusiveness. Cunningham said he waould have preferred to be a pocket passer (as he ended up being in Minnesota).
      Wow, amazing, thanks for that information.

      Sad, because he was pretty accurate and had an absolute cannon.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Sorry to see my Eagles on there; Was it too many Reid timeouts? LOL! Oh Well. The Bears do have the best chance to make it out of those listed. They have their biggest chance yet with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall reuniting. It will cause many weeks of sideline camera fun with the possibilities of personality integration (LOL!) but nonetheless there's some chance that they truly ball out in the receiving game. Certainly can't sleep on the Bears in 2012.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      You need a bad Defense to hit 4000+. Neither the Bears, Eagles or Seabirds qualify for that. Those teams trust their D late in games they are winning.

      The Bucs have the best shot.
    1. mikesteelnation1's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      You need a bad Defense to hit 4000+. Neither the Bears, Eagles or Seabirds qualify for that. Those teams trust their D late in games they are winning.

      The Bucs have the best shot.
      Not true, iwatt.

      2 times in the last 3 years big Ben has thrown for over 4,000 yards with the #1 defense in BOTH spoints allowedand yards. Of note the eagles as a team passed for over 4,000 tds, but due to injury vick missed games. Same reason I don't see the eagles breaking the streak this year either.

      I think the bears have the best chance, actually. Cutler has the ability to do it, and now a few more weapons.

      No way on the hawks. Hollywood Pete can't even somewhat decide who should be getting the first team snaps. Can't see the Bucs doing it either.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mikesteelnation1 View Post
      with the #1 defense in BOTH spoints allowedand yards.
      The Steelers have always been stingy when it comes to spoints allowedand



      Takes a very clever person to make fun of a typo.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mikesteelnation1 View Post
      Not true, iwatt.

      2 times in the last 3 years big Ben has thrown for over 4,000 yards with the #1 defense in BOTH spoints allowedand yards. Of note the eagles as a team passed for over 4,000 tds, but due to injury vick missed games. Same reason I don't see the eagles breaking the streak this year either.
      You are using a future HoF QB to bolster your argument. Ben has averaged 8.0 YPA for his career. He's better known for his vertical apssing game (though last eyar against the Pats he showed he can handle the short game as well). Still, he is a 2 time SB winning QB with a 10-4 playoff record. I'm not about to start using him as an example. Finally, his passing numebrs have increased in conjunction to loosing a good running game. Ever since the OL started to melt off, they have started passing much more. Or since Mendenhall became the primary back.

      I stand by my point. Ben is an outlier.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      A list of all the 4,000 yard passers.

      Mostly, names you'd expect. But Neil Lomax? Bill Kenney? Scott Mitchell?

      The first QB to throw for 4-grand was Dan Fouts, playing under the strangely under-appreciated Don Coryell in 1979. Air Coryell was really ahead of its time. I say again that Jim Hart ought to get more love, too. Pity Coryell never had a stellar defense (although as a Redskins fan, this pleased me enormously at the time.)
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Joe Namath threw for 4008 in 1967 (see original post).

      About 4 years ago, you lost if you there for over 350 yards. Nor it's almost par for the course.

      Personally, I hope Cutler doesn't go for 4000. It means he's throwing too much. He's got a heck of an arm, and the confidence to get us killed with it.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Shoot, I missed Namath. Muh bad.
    1. edave's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      I stand by my point. Ben is an outlier.
      I was going to add that Rodgers had over 4,000 in 2009 when the defense was still highly rated but I know what your response will be...

      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Rodgers is an outlier.
      So how about something different. The only 'losers' in last years 4,000 yard club were Carolina and San Diego.

      Drew Brees 5476
      Tom Brady 5235
      Matthew Stafford 5038
      Eli Manning 4933
      Aaron Rodgers 4643
      Philip Rivers 4624
      Tony Romo 4184
      Matt Ryan 4177
      Ben Roethlisberger 4077
      Cam Newton 4051

      The Bears have a deep threat this year, don't you think they'll use him?
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Cam had the worst pass defense in the league, forcing him to play catchup.

      Rodgers in 09, IIRC, faced a murderer's row of QBs during the season.

      The suprising one on the list is Ryan.

      Stop trying to reverse jynx my Bears!!!!
    1. edave's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Stop trying to reverse jynx my Bears!!!!
      I really wasn't. At this point I'm more worried about the Bears in the division than the Lions.

      Chicago has issues on the OL and an unproven group of WR/TEs. Other than that, they look really good.

      I should also have put Dallas on the 'loser' list above.