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.
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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.
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
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 Schaub||Houston Texans||November 18, 2012||527|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||October 26, 2014||522|
|Matt Stafford||Detroit Lions||January 1, 2012||520|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||September 12, 2011||517|
|Jared Goff||Los Angeles Rams||September 29, 2019||517|
|Derek Carr||Oakland Raiders||October 30, 2016||513|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||November 19, 2006||510|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||December 10, 2017||506|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||November 1, 2015||505|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||February 4, 2018||505|
|Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons||Octover 2, 2016||503|
|Phillip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||October 18, 2015||503|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||December 20, 2009||503|
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 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.
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The Patriots lost the game 41-33, giving the Eagles their first Superbowl in franchise history.