Even though future first-ballot Hall of Famer Peyton Manning retired after the 2015-2016 NFL season, it's still safe to say that we're right in the midst of a golden age of quarterback play. The league saw a ridiculous 13 quarterbacks exceed the 4,000 yard NFL passing yards mark last year, 12 different quarterbacks throw for more than 25 touchdown passes, and 17 different quarterbacks finish with a passer rating above 90.
Who's in the line up for throwing the Most NFL Passing Yards in 2017?
So given how competitive — and deep — the quarterback position has become, who's the most likely to throw for the most yards during the 2017-2018 season? Recent history shows us that there's a heavy favorite to repeat such a feat, but he'll have competition. Here are our top three picks for quarterbacks to throw for the most yards this year:
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Ignore the fact that Aaron Rodgers only finished 7th in the NFL in total passing yards last season. Why? Because there wasn't a quarterback in the league playing better than him over the second half of the year. Over the last 8 games of last season, Aaron Rodgers threw for 2,389 yards — an average of just over 289 yards per game — and completed over 68% of his passes. If you factor in Green Bay's three playoff games, Rodgers' average goes up to over 308 yards per game, which would have been third in the NFL.
As we've stated before: Rodgers' supporting cast is only better than what it was last year, with Jordy Nelson being one year removed from his ACL injury, Davante Adams being one year more experienced, Randall Cobb coming into camp healthy (after an injury-plagued 2016 season), and tight end Martellus Bennett joining the Packers in the offseason, giving them the best tight end they've had in years. There's a strong potential that Rodgers will spend much of this year putting up an aerial assault against opponents.
His 10-to-1 odds to win the NFL's passing yards title this season is definitely a wager at Sportsbetting.ag to take a close look at.
There was a point in time where the idea of a quarterback throwing for 5,000 yards in a season was a mind-boggling feat, and yet the incomparable Drew Brees is coming off a year in which he exceeded the 5,000 yard mark for the fourth time in six years. Brees has led the NFL in passing yards in five of the past six seasons, and the one year he didn't lead the league (in 2013), he finished second. He is approaching PhD-level mastery in Sean Payton's passing offense, further evidenced by the fact that his Saints were the only team in the NFL with two receivers to finish among the top 10 in yards receiving (and one of those two wide receivers was a rookie — Michael Thomas — whose 92 catches last year was the second highest total in NFL history for a rookie).
The other thousand-yard receiver was Brandin Cooks, who was traded away to New England, but it seems like we're at the point where wide receivers are just plug-and-play for Brees. With Cooks' departure, that's going to mean more targets for wide receiver Willie Snead (who could be primed for a breakout season as he enters year three in the NFL) and Ted Ginn (if he can manage to hold on to the throws that Brees delivers in his direction).
Simply put: it would be a shock if Brees didn't throw for right around 5,000 yards this season, yet again.
You can easily make an argument that Tom Brady was right there with Matt Ryan in the MVP race in 2016, and that the main reason Brady didn't win it was because of his four-game suspension to start last year. Otherwise, Brady finished fourth in the NFL last year in passing yards per game, and his 8.23 yards per attempt last year was good for second in the NFL.
Now here's the scary part: Brady could be even better this year, because of Brady's improved supporting cast.
New England traded their first round draft pick to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who gives them their most potent deep threat since Randy Moss played in Massachusetts. Tight end Rob Gronkowski entered training camps looking healthy and spry. And the Patriots revamped their group of running backs to create more mismatches against opposing defenses who try to cover James White (third among all running backs in catches last year), Dion Lewis (who is further removed from his season-ending ACL injury in 2015), and free agent acquisition Rex Burkhead (who filled in admirably as a pass catching option in Cincinnati last year).
Watch Tom Brady's 28 Touch Down Passes from 2016-17 Regular Season
Brady has the potential to be operating within the most potent offense he's had since their incredible, almost-undefeated 2007 season. It wouldn't be any surprise to see him flirt with the 5,000-yard passing mark, which would put him right near the top of the rankings.
At 4.5-to-1, it's not the sexiest bet, but it could be a very safe one to make.