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Dan Marino's stay at No. 2 on passing list might be a short one

December 27, 2011 | 11:49 am

Dan Marino's passing record has been broken by Drew Brees, but the former Miami Dolphins great certainly had a nice long run at the top.

Marino passed for 5,084 yards in 1984, shattering the previous single-season passing record of 4,802 set by Dan Fouts of the San Diego Chargers just three years earlier. Marino would go on to make his only Super Bowl appearance that season, with the Dolphins losing to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers, 38-16.

That record basically went unchallenged for more than two decades until Drew Brees came heartbreakingly close in 2008. The New Orleans Saints quarterback passed for 5,069 yards to become only the second quarterback to reach the 5,000-yard milestone but fell 16 yards short of supplanting Marino in the record books.

Three years later, Brees has accomplished the feat with a game to spare. He is sure to add to his all-time record, which currently stands at 5,087, against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday with the No. 2 seed in the NFC still a possibility for the Saints.

So Marino's run at the top of the single-season passing list ends after nearly 27 years. His stay at No. 2 likely will be much shorter. New England's Tom Brady needs just 188 yards to pass Marino, and the Patriots are still playing for the top seed in the AFC.

Several other quarterbacks are having crazy-good seasons but would need even crazier days in the final week of the regular season to pass Marino -- Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers would have to put up 442 yards, New York Giants' Eli Manning 498 and Detroit's Matthew Stafford 568 (which would be an NFL record for most yards in a game).

So Marino would appear to be pretty secure in the top three on the all-time list. Not bad after more than a quarter of a century.

By the way, Manning has a shot at tying another all-time record held by Marino -- most 400-yard passing games in a season. Marino had four back in 1984; Manning has three going into Sunday's showdown with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East crown.


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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Dan Marino. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press