The passing game is the focus of today’s NFL offenses. There’s more to quarterbacking than throwing the ball. A look at 20 great seasons at the position.
Let’s erase any confusion from the get-go. The following are the 20 greatest single-season performances by quarterbacks in NFL annuals. That’s why you may see a player’s name on here more than once. It is not a list of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history based on their entire careers.
Also considered is that the rules when it comes to the offense have changed multiple times in recent years, starting with major alterations in 1978. That’s one reason some of the older quarterbacks on this list and in their careers have higher interception totals than the more modern-day quarterbacks.
These performances also include some postseason work, as well as how a player or quarterback performed when it came to running the football. That has become more prevalent with today’s signal callers.
Here are the best individual quarterback seasons NFL fans have ever seen:
20. Matt Ryan, Falcons (2016)
It was somewhat shocking to watch veteran quarterback Matt Ryan struggle throughout the 2022 season with the Indianapolis Colts. The third overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons was a steady performer for that franchise for 14 seasons, although that franchise has yet to win an NFL championship.
In 2016, the pieces all came together for Ryan under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He connected on 69.9 percent of his passes for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns. He threw only seven interceptions and lost just two fumbles.
In three postseason contests, Ryan connected on an impressive 71.4 percent of his throws. The 2016 NFL MVP passed for a combined 1,014 yards and nine scores and wasn’t picked off vs. the Seahawks, Packers, and Patriots. Of course, there was that costly lost fumble in the Super Bowl LI loss to New England.