During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week 4 victory over the New England Patriots on Oct. 3, 2021, Tom Brady became the NFL's career passing yardage leader, surpassing Drew Brees. Here is who Brady literally passed or has stayed ahead of on his way to the top.
Note: This list covers regular-season games only. Stats for active players (marked by *) are through the 2021 regular season.
NFL All-Time Passing Yards Leaders List
10. Aaron Rodgers* (55,360 yards)
A three-time MVP, Rodgers' career high in passing yards came in 2011 when he threw for 4,643.
9. Eli Manning (57,023 yards)
While it doesn’t add to his career totals, Manning holds the record for most passing yards in a postseason with 1,219.
8. Matt Ryan* (59,735 yards)
"Matty Ice" cracked this list in just a little over 12 seasons, thanks in part to his career average of 269.1 passing yards per game.
7. Dan Marino (61,361 yards)
Marino was the first to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season, a feat only achieved by four other quarterbacks.
6. Philip Rivers (63,440 yards)
Rivers' 63,440 career passing yards are the most for any quarterback who never played in a Super Bowl.
5. Ben Roethlisberger* (64,088 yards)
"Big Ben" holds the record for most games with more than 500 passing yards, having reached that milestone four times.
4. Brett Favre (71,838 yards)
As with the two ahead of him, Favre retired from pro football holding the top spot on this list.
3. Peyton Manning (71,940 yards)
Manning’s 5,477 passing yards in 2013 is still an NFL record.
2. Drew Brees (80,358 yards)
Brees threw for more than 5,000 yards in a season four times in his career.
1. Tom Brady* (84,520 yards)
With Brady seeming ageless and playing as well as he ever has, there is no telling how high this number will be when he retires. He's also thrown for nearly 12,500 yards in 45 career playoff games to give him more than 97,000 in his career. As further proof that he's showing no signs of slowing down, he led the league with 5,316 passing yards this season, the most of his career and the third-highest total in NFL history. Yes, he did this in 17 games as the schedule expanded, but he's also 44 years old.