The NFL has quickly become a quarterback-driven league, as teams have begun to air it out more and more. We're now exposed to some gaudy passing statistics on a weekly basis.
One quarterback who frequently puts up those big numbers is Tom Brady. Entering the Patriots' Week 6 matchup with the Cowboys, Brady has thrown for a league-high 1,874 yards this season, which means he's currently on pace to shatter Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record.
Marino's record of 5,084 yards was set in 1984. Only one quarterback has thrown for more than 5,000 yards since then, and that's Drew Brees, who compiled 5,069 yards in 2008. This season, though, there are a number of quarterbacks who could threaten Marino's long-standing record.
As The Associated Press points out, if the league's passers continue at their current pace this season, Brees, Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Cam Newton would surpass Marino's total. Philip Rivers and Matthew Stafford would come close to the mark.
In fact, Marino expects his record to fall very soon.
While several quarterbacks could come close or even eclipse the mark this season, though, Brady might be the favorite to do so. With New England relying heavily on the pass and Brady's fantastic connection with his receivers, he's always a threat to put up 300-plus yards. He's thrown for at least 300 yards in four of the Patriots' five games thus far, including putting up 517 yards and 423 yards in the team's Week 1 and Week 2 games, respectively.
Brady's career high for passing yards in a season came in 2007, when he set the single-season touchdown record and put together arguably the best season by a quarterback in NFL history. He threw for 4,806 yards that year, which is the fourth-highest total in league history. Last season, Brady tossed for exactly 3,900 yards.
Wes Welker could reach some historic milestones himself if him and Brady continue to connect like they have. Marino considers the Brady-Welker connection to be similar to the connections he had with Mark Clayton and Mark Duper in his playing days.
Normally it wouldn't be wise to put too much stock into crazy early-season stats, but given what we know about Brady, this could be different.
Will Tom Brady break Dan Marino's passing yards record this season?