Culpepper's incredible season has been lost in glow of Manning's record
Posted: Wednesday December 29, 2004 1:47PM; Updated: Thursday December 30, 2004 12:00PM
Daunte Culpepper takes a passer rating of 110.1 into the final game of the season.
Peter Read Miller/SI
Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper is having one of the greatest seasons by a quarterback in NFL history and thanks to PeytonManning's pursuit of some obscure touchdown record, nobody is even noticing.
With one game left, Culpepper has passed for 4,418 yards, which is already 12th-best in NFL history and puts him on pace for 4,712 yards. That would be the seventh-best total in NFL history.
Culpepper has 37 TD passes, which is the seventh-most in NFL history, behind only Manning this year, Marino in 1984 and 1986, Kurt Warner in 1999 and Brett Favre twice in the mid-1990s.
And Culpepper has completed 69.8 percent of his passes, which if he maintains it would be fifth-best in NFL history, behind only Kenny Anderson in 1982, Sammy Baugh in 1945 and Steve Young and Joe Montana once each.
No quarterback in NFL history has ever thrown for as many yards with as many touchdowns in the same season as Culpepper.
No quarterback in NFL history has thrown for as many yards with such a high completion percentage.
No quarterback in NFL history has thrown for as many touchdowns with such a high completion percentage.
If Culpepper continues at his current pace in the Vikings' final game, at Washington -- and throws fewer than five interceptions -- he will finish the season with the fewest interceptions among any quarterback in history to throw for more than 4,700 yards.
Right now, the fewest INTs by a quarterback with 4,700 yards is 17, shared by Dan Fouts in 1981 and Marino in 1984. Culpepper has only 11, so he should annihilate that record.
Culpepper takes a passer rating of 110.1 into the Redskins game. Only three quarterbacks in NFL history have finished a season with a higher rating -- Milt Plum of the Browns (110.4 in 1960), Montana (112.4 in 1989) and Young (112.8 in 1991). Manning is currently at 123.9 and Baugh compiled a 109.9 mark in 1945, so at worst Culpepper will finish with the sixth-best passer rating in NFL history.
More obscure, bizarre and ridiculous from the NFL's Week 16:
Jets RB Curtis Martin has 1,544 rushing yards this year without a single run longer than 25 yards. No running back in NFL history has ever run for 1,500 yards without benefit of a run of 25 yards or longer. The most rushing yards in NFL history by a running back without a 25-yarder is 1,311 by Eric Dickerson of the Colts in 1989. Dickerson's long run that year went 21 yards.
The last NFL back to even rush for 1,000 yards without a 25-yard run was Errict Rhett of the Buccaneers, who in 1995 ran for 1,207 yards with a long gainer of 21 yards.
The shortest long gain in NFL history by a 1,000-yard rusher? Three backs have gone over 1,000 yards with a long run of 19 yards, two of them in the same season: Marcus Allen of the Raiders (1,014 in 1983), Franco Harris of the Steelers (1,007 in 1983) and Jerome Bettis of the Rams, who in 1993 had 1,025 yards -- the most yards ever by a back without a 20-yard run.
A corollary to this stat: Colts RB Edgerrin James is the first running back with 1,550 or more rushing yards without a run longer than 40 yards since Colts RB Edgerrin James had 1,709 in 2000 with a long run of 30 yards. He's the only back in the last seven years to run for 1,550 or more yards without a 41-yard run -- and he's done it twice.
Chiefs QB Trent Green on Sunday joined Manning, Favre, Marino and Fouts as only the fifth QB in NFL history with back-to-back 4,000-yard passing seasons. Green has 4,218 yards with one game left and is on pace for 4,499, which would be 13th-most in NFL history but only third-most in the NFL this year.
Green leads the NFL with seven 300-yard games after leading the NFL with five 300-yard games last year. The last QB to lead the NFL in 300-yard passing performances in consecutive years was Warner, who replaced Green as the Rams' starting quarterback in 1999. Green has thrown for 300 or more yards in 12 of his last 26 starts.
If Green can nudge his passer rating from 99.2 to 100.0 against the Chargers, he will become only the fifth quarterback in NFL history with two seasons at 100 or higher. Young did it five times, Montana three times and Warner and BartStarr twice each.
Only 13 quarterbacks in NFL history and none in the last four years have finished a season with a passer rating of 104.7 or better and never more than one in any season. With one week left, four quarterbacks -- Manning, Culpepper, Drew Brees and Donovan McNabb -- all have ratings of 104.7 or higher.
If all four finish at 104.7 or higher, there would be more QBs in 2004 with passer ratings of 104.7 or better than in the NFL during the 25-year period from 1967 through 1991.
The Packers won both games against the Vikings this year by identical 34-31 scores, winning both on Ryan Longwell field goals as time expired. This is the seventh time in NFL history a team has defeated a division rival twice in the same season by the same score, the first time since 1991, when the Falcons swept the Rams, 31-14 and 31-14 ... In those two games, Favre and Culpepper were a combined 93-for-139 for 1,249 yards with 14 touchdowns, one interception and a composite 125.8 passer rating ... From Packers stat geek Mark Eckel of The Old Originals Quizo Team: In the last 25 years, only two receivers have posted two 100-yard receiving games against the Packers in the same season. They are Randy Moss (130, 136 in 2000) and Nate Burleson (141, 110 this year), who happen to be teammates with the Vikings ... The Cards are ranked 13th in the NFL in defense. They haven't been in the top 14 in either team offense or defense since 1994 (fourth in defense) ...
At one point, the Dolphins and Browns Sunday night combined to go 20 straight possessions without either team scoring a point ... Unless he catches 48 passes against the Saints Sunday, Panthers WR Ricky Proehl will finish his 15th NFL season with the most receptions in NFL history (639 through Sunday) without a 70-catch season. Proehl passed Harold Carmichael (590 catches without a 70-yard season) last year. Proehl has seven seasons with at least 50 catches (65, 60, 60, 58, 56, 55, 51) but none with 70 ... Favre has 3,892 passing yards with one game left and needs 108 against the Bears for his fourth 4,000-yard season and his first since 1999. If he gets it, he will become only the third QB in NFL history to have a 4,000-yard season five or more years after his last one. Drew Bledsoe went six years between 4,000-yard seasons (1996, 2002) and Steve Young went five (1993, 1998) ...
Burleson's 110 yards Sunday were the most by a receiver with just two catches since 49ers WR Terrell Owens was 2-for-116 against the Saints on the last day of the 2001 season ... ... Eagles RB Dorsey Levens has a higher per-carry average in his 30s (4.2) than in his 20s (3.9) ... Steelers QB BenRoethlisberger has completed 66.4 percent of his passes. Even if he goes 0-for-40 against the Bills, he'll still break Marino's record for highest completion percentage by a rookie (58.5 percent in 1983) ... Courtesy of Eagles stats guru Rich Burg: In 12 seasons before joining the Eagles, QB Jeff Blake played in 114 games, none on Monday Night Football. Since joining the Eagles, Blake has played in two games, both on Monday Night Football.