NFL: League Per-Game and Total Passing Yards By Season (1932-2013)

Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Passing Quarterbacks Still Rule the NFL Today, Despite the Recent Proliferation of the New, Young, Multi-Tooled Prototype (Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III)

Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Passing Quarterbacks Still Rule the NFL Today, Despite the Recent Proliferation of the New, Young, Multi-Tooled Prototype (Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III)

Let’s pile on more evidence that the NFL has gone pass-happy the past 30 years. Here is a rundown of every season’s total passing yards across the league and, for greater accuracy, the average passing yards per game – since 1932.

You need the latter to account for the increase in the number of active teams over time. Back in 1932, there were only eight teams who combined for just over 5,000 yards. Tom Brady (twice), Drew Brees (twice) and Dan Marino have each thrown for 5,000 yards in a single season by themselves.

Last season, the NFL’s 32 teams combined for over 118,000 passing yards, the most ever.

Since about 1980, the NFL has seen an explosion in passing. 1981 was the first year the league averaged over 200 yards thrown a game. It’s been par for the course 28 of the last 32 seasons now and each of the last 20, regardless of how many teams in the league.

The average number of passing yards per game has also increased steadily the last five years in a row.

Where will 2013 fit into this paradigm? We’ll come back at the end of the season and see how it “passed.” In the meantime, you can see this season’s passing yardage totals here at my source, pro-football-reference.com.

PASSING YARDS PER GAME (LEAGUE-WIDE)

SEASON YARDS/GAME TEAMS
2012 231.3 32
2011 229.7 32
2010 221.6 32
2009 218.5 32
2008 211.3 32
2007 214.3 32
2006 204.8 32
2005 203.5 32
2004 210.5 32
2003 200.4 32
2002 212.2 32
2001 205.8 31
2000 206.9 31
1999 212.3 31
1998 205.0 30
1997 201.8 30
1996 207.4 30
1995 220.8 30
1994 213.6 28
1993 200.6 28
1992 187.6 28
1991 199.1 28
1990 194.8 28
1989 210.9 28
1988 200.7 28
1987 203.9 28
1986 205.5 28
1985 204.5 28
1984 205.9 28
1983 204.6 28
1982 199.4 28
1981 204.4 28
1980 196.0 28
1979 180.4 28
1978 158.8 28
1977 141.9 28
1976 152.0 28
1975 162.8 26
1974 153.2 26
1973 140.9 26
1972 152.1 26
1971 155.7 26
1970 161.4 26
1969 177.5 16
1968 168.5 16
1967 179.5 16
1966 178.3 15
1965 183.8 14
1964 173.6 14
1963 185.7 14
1962 193.8 14
1961 180.5 14
1960 170.6 13
1959 169.8 12
1958 180.4 12
1957 153.4 12
1956 147.6 12
1955 159.8 12
1954 191.6 12
1953 173.8 12
1952 160.0 12
1951 162.7 12
1950 165.7 13
1949 161.0 10
1948 173.9 10
1947 180.6 10
1946 143.1 10
1945 143.8 10
1944 129.3 11
1943 141.4 10
1942 123.7 10
1941 121.8 10
1940 125.3 10
1939 128.8 10
1938 105.8 10
1937 93.0 10
1936 83.0 9
1935 79.7 9
1934 59.3 11
1933 77.9 10
1932 55.2 8

PASSING YARDS (TOTAL, LEAGUE)

SEASON TOTAL YARDS TEAMS
2012 118,418 32
2011 117,601 32
2010 113,450 32
2009 111,851 32
2008 108,177 32
2007 109,722 32
2006 104,861 32
2005 104,168 32
2004 107,797 32
2003 102,628 32
2002 108,661 32
2001 102,080 31
2000 102,606 31
1999 105,289 31
1998 98,384 30
1997 96,875 30
1996 99,567 30
1995 105,976 30
1994 95,694 28
1993 89,874 28
1992 84,064 28
1991 89,203 28
1990 87,249 28
1989 94,474 28
1988 89,895 28
1987 85,646 28
1986 92,081 28
1985 91,622 28
1984 92,238 28
1983 91,673 28
1982 50,256 28
1981 91,553 28
1980 87,788 28
1979 80,809 28
1978 71,158 28
1977 55,620 28
1976 59,596 28
1975 59,256 26
1974 55,781 26
1973 51,298 26
1972 55,355 26
1971 56,682 26
1970 58,745 26
1969 39,755 16
1968 37,751 16
1967 40,219 16
1966 37,436 15
1965 36,028 14
1964 34,034 14
1963 36,406 14
1962 37,987 14
1961 35,373 14
1960 26,618 13
1959 24,452 12
1958 25,972 12
1957 22,092 12
1956 21,251 12
1955 23,009 12
1954 27,593 12
1953 25,025 12
1952 23,033 12
1951 23,435 12
1950 25,856 13
1949 19,324 10
1948 20,871 10
1947 21,670 10
1946 15,736 10
1945 14,377 10
1944 12,925 11
1943 11,308 10
1942 13,608 10
1941 13,397 10
1940 13,788 10
1939 14,168 10
1938 11,641 10
1937 10,227 10
1936 8,960 9
1935 8,453 9
1934 7,117 11
1933 8,878 10
1932 5,300 8

Photo: AP/US Presswire via nfl.com

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Posted on September 10, 2013, in NFL Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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