Last season Tom Brady posted 4,806 yards while throwing an NFL-record 50 touchdowns (he rushed for two more) with just eight interceptions.
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If you could have Dan Marino, circa 1984 or 1986 or Tom Brady's fabulous 2007 fantasy season which would you take?
In 1984 Marino threw for 5,084 yards, 48 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. In 1986 he had another outstanding season posting 4,746 yards, 44 touchdowns and 23 INTs.
Last season's phenomenal effort for Tom Brady saw him post 4,806 yards while throwing an NFL-record 50 touchdowns (he rushed for two more) with just eight interceptions.
If you use a basic scoring method of 25 yards equals one point and six points for a throwing or rushing TD you get the following results; 1984 Marino = 457 pts, 1986 Marino 407 pts, 2007 Brady = 488.
Brady is the obvious winner...right?
Maybe. Brady certainly scored the most points, but he didn't have the largest differential between league leader and runner up. In other words, Marino's 1986 season beat his nearest quarterback competitor by more points than did Brady.
Let me show you the numbers.
While Brady scored 488 points in 2007, in this era of passing runner-up Tony Romo posted a solid 358 points on 4,211 yards, 36 TD, 19 INT and two rushing TD. He lost to Brady by a 130 points.
Meanwhile, Marino was tossing the football in a "less-friendly" passing environment. In 1986 when he threw for a 4,746 yards, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason had the second-best points total with 3,959 yards, 24 TD, 17 INT and one rushing TD to score 274 points. That means in 1986 Marino beat his nearest rival by 133 points (407-274) or three more than Brady beat Romo.
It's an even bigger margin if your league gives a quarterback bonus points for throwing 300 yards in a game. If a three-point bonus is given to a QB for every 300-yard game then Marino's 1986 season beats Brady by six points (142-136).
Marino's 1986 season was also better than Brady if you compared his total to the 10th best quarterback. Assuming a 10-team league, you could compared the best starting QB to the theoretical worst starting QB. In 1986 Marino beat No.10 Dan Fouts by 228 points while last season Brady beat No.10 Kurt Warner by 218 points.
But Brady did beat Marino's magnificent 1984 season. In 1984 Marino had five 300-yard games and four 400-yard passing games, but Neil Lomax had a pretty good season too and his 4,614 yards, 28 TD, 16 INT and three rushing TD performance dropped the 1984 season to third on the all-time list.
Therefore, while Brady scored the most points ever, in my opinion Marino's 1986 season was just a little bit better.
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