With Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger retiring, Falcons QB Matt Ryan moves up NFL’s active passing yards leaderboard

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With news of Tom Brady’s retirement predictably dominating headlines, it is easy for Matt Ryan’s career to get lost in translation. After all, nobody has broken more records and won more Super Bowls than Brady; he’s the gold standard of quarterback play in the NFL.

Still, Ryan is no scrub. The long-time Falcons quarterback has slowly climbed the record book during his tenure in Atlanta. He’s seventh all-time in passes completed (5,242) and will likely finish the 2022 season in the top five. Ryan is ninth all-time in passing touchdowns (367) and 13th all-time in passer rating (94.2). He’s also the eighth-ranked quarterback in career passing yards, surrounded by Hall of Famers.

1 Tom Brady 84,520
2 Drew Brees 80,385
3 Peyton Manning 71,940
4 Brett Favre 71,838
5 Ben Roethlisberger 64,085
6 Philip Rivers 63,440
7 Dan Marino 61,361
8 Matt Ryan 59,735
9 Eli Manning 57,023

As it stands right now, Matt Ryan is the NFL’s active passing yards leader.


Roethlisberger won’t be able to add to his 64,085 yard total, which means he’ll finish no better than fifth all-time in that category. Even if Brady never threw another pass before the 2021 season, his all-time passing yards mark was likely never going to be broken.

However, Ryan still has a few seasons to add to his 59,735 yard total, which gives him a real chance to pass Big Ben, Dan Marino, and Philip Rivers for fifth place. Ryan is just 4,351 yards from fifth place; in the last ten seasons, he’s hit that mark eight times and only failed to eclipse 4,000 yards only once, which occurred in Arthur Smith’s first season, where the entire offense was pedestrian.

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