In its 90 year history, the National Football League has had its share of record-breaking performances, superhuman feats and notable dynasties. In that time, however, a season in which multiple quarterbacks performed at MVP-like levels has been somewhat elusive. That is, until 2011.
This season, Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s record for single-season passing yards with 5,476. He also set records for completions (468) and percentage (71.2). His performance helped lead the Saints to becoming the league’s most prolific offense with an NFL best 7,474 total yards. The majority of which, 5,476 to be exact, came from the arm of Brees.
Matthew Stafford emerged as a superstar, this season, for a Detroit Lions’ squad that improved phenomenally over their last 2 years. With 5,038 yards passing, 41 touchdowns and a passer rating of 97.2, Stafford breathed life into the Lions’ offense and took them into the postseason for the first time since 1999. Along the way, he broke several team records including most touchdown passes in a season, most attempts, most completions and now has nine career games with over 300 passing yards.
The Green Bay Packers began the season with 13 straight wins, riding the arm of Aaron Rodgers. Totaling 4,643 yards wit 45 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions on the year, Rodgers led the Packers to a 15-1 record and the top seed in the playoffs.
In all actuality, these three performers have been the most talented and honor-worthy in the league. All three have performed at Pro-Bowl levels and have garnered the respect and adoration of their respective fans and colleagues. Despite the growing debate over the validity of the age-old mantra of “run to set up the pass,” Rodgers, Brees and Stafford have proven that a strong-armed quarterback can outshine even the most lackluster of running games.
As the playoffs draw near, this talented trio looks to lead their teams deep into what they hope will be an appearance in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, only one will emerge victorious, solidifying himself as, at least for a single season, a champion, an elite-level quarterback and the epitome of what a franchise player should look like.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network “Featured Contributor” and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.