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Most Passing Yards in an NFL Game

The most passing yards in an NFL game was 554 by Norm Van Brocklin back in 1951. Van Brocklin played for the Los Angeles Rams at the time and defeated the New York Yanks that day 54-14. The New York Yanks were a team – that’s how long ago this was. The Yanks only won one game that year in 1951 and were sold back to the league after the season.

Related: Longest Field Goal in NFL History

The game

Norm Van Brocklin lead his Rams to a victory that day by completing 27 passes (out of 41) for 554 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. That is good enough for a quarterback rating of 128.3.

Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams throwing for the most passing yards ever in a game

Los Angeles jumped out to a 34-0 lead before halftime and never looked back. They totaled 735 yards to the Yanks 166! Can you believe that? A football team actually put up over 700 yards of offense in a single game and allowed fewer than 200. I don’t care what era that is from, that’s an impressive performance.

The Rams went on to win the championship that year against the Cleveland Browns 24-17.

Most Passing Yards in the Superbowl Era

The title of most passing yards thrown in an NFL game in the Superbowl Era (1966-present) goes to Matt Schaub. He accomplished this on November 18, 2012 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, while playing for the Houston Texans.

Schaub threw for 527 yards on 43/55 passing. Add in five touchdowns and two interceptions, just like Van Brocklin back in 1951. Unlike the blowout game Van Brocklin hit his high number in, Schaub tossed his 527 in a competitive game that the Texans pulled out at the end 43-37.

Active Quarterbacks who have hit the 500 yards mark

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots throwing the ball next to Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints celebrating a touchdown pass

Let’s get a little more current. Here are the instances where NFL quarterbacks who are still active today have hit 500 yards in a game.

Matt SchaubHouston TexansNovember 18, 2012527
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh SteelersOctober 26, 2014522
Matt StaffordDetroit LionsJanuary 1, 2012520
Tom BradyNew England PatriotsSeptember 12, 2011517
Jared GoffLos Angeles RamsSeptember 29, 2019517
Derek CarrOakland RaidersOctober 30, 2016513
Drew BreesNew Orleans SaintsNovember 19, 2006510
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh SteelersDecember 10, 2017506
Drew BreesNew Orleans SaintsNovember 1, 2015505
Tom BradyNew England PatriotsFebruary 4, 2018505
Matt RyanAtlanta FalconsOctover 2, 2016503
Phillip RiversSan Diego ChargersOctober 18, 2015503
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh SteelersDecember 20, 2009503

As you can see, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Drew Brees have all hit 500 yards on multiple occasions. Roethlisberger leading the way, throwing for the big 5-0-0 three times in his career!

Tom Brady getting stripped of the football in Superbowl LII by the Eagles

Tom Brady is the only person to throw for 500 yards in a playoff game, and he did so in the Superbowl. Brady went 28/48 and threw for three touchdowns in Superbowl LII but was outdueled by Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Related: Tom Brady Nutrition and Workout

The Patriots lost the game 41-33, giving the Eagles their first Superbowl in franchise history.


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