What’s the NFL record for passing yards in a single game? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Joe Burrow had himself a day against the Baltimore Ravens.
In Cincinnati’s 41-21 victory at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, the Bengals quarterback racked up a staggering 525 yards, the most in team history (breaking Boomer Esiason’s record of 490 yards) and the fourth-most in NFL history. Burrow was just the 21st player to ever record 500 yards passing in a single game.
The second-year signal caller also became the first in league history to have multiple games of at least 400 yards passing against the same team in a single season. He passed for 416 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 7 win over Baltimore.
Burrow tore apart the Ravens’ defense even more on Sunday, going 18 of 21 for 299 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect passer rating (158.3) in the first half alone on Sunday. The former No. 1 overall pick didn’t slow down in the second half either, finishing 37 of 46 for 525 yards, four touchdowns and a 143.2 rating.
This 52-yard connection with running back Joe Mixon in the game’s final minutes gave Burrow the franchise record and put him over the 500-yard milestone:
Rather than trying to add a few more yards to Burrow’s total following the 52-yard completion, the Bengals opted to hand the ball off to Mixon and then take a knee to close out the game.
What’s the NFL record for passing yards in a single game?
Just how close was Burrow to breaking the NFL’s all-time record? Well, he would have needed another series (or a couple of offensive penalties to back the Bengals’ offense up) to have a chance to surpass it.
Playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1951, Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin threw for a record-setting 554 yards in a rout of the New York Yanks. Seventy years later, no one has even come within 25 yards of Van Brocklin’s mark.
But Burrow was very close to overtaking the No. 2 spot on the all-time list, as two players are tied for second with 527 yards. Hall of Famer Warren Moon passed for 527 yards to power a Houston Oilers win over the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990. And Matt Schaub matched that total over 20 years later to help the Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 2012 shootout.
The 25-year-old Burrow will now look to join Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks with multiple 500-yard games. Roethlisberger has achieved the feat three times, while Brees has done it twice.
Here’s a look at all 24 500-yard performances in NFL history (per Pro Football Reference):
1. Norm Van Brocklin, 1951: 554 yards
T-2. Matt Schaub, 2012: 527
T-2. Warren Moon, 1990: 527
4. Joe Burrow, 2021: 525
T-5. Ben Roethlisberger, 2014: 522
T-5. Boomer Esiason, 1996: 522
7. Dan Marino, 1988: 521
8. Matthew Stafford, 2012: 520
T-9. Jared Goff, 2019: 517
T-9. Tom Brady, 2011: 517
T-11. Derek Carr, 2016: 513
T-11. Phil Simms, 1985: 513
T-13. Eli Manning, 2012: 510
T-13. Drew Brees, 2006: 510
15. Vince Ferragamo, 1982: 509
T-16. Ben Roethlisberger, 2017: 506
T-16. Tony Romo, 2013: 506
T-18. Drew Brees, 2015: 505
T-18. Y.A. Tittle, 1962: 505
20. Elvis Grbac, 2000: 504
T-21. Matt Ryan, 2016: 503
T-21. Philip Rivers, 2015: 503
T-21. Ben Roethlisberger, 2009: 503
24. Dak Prescott, 2020: 502