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NFL Passing TD Leaders By Year—1970s

Updated on March 12, 2008

Terry Bradshaw

Ken Stabler

Joe Namath


NFL Passing TD Leaders By Year-1970s

It wasn't just guys named Bradshaw, Stabler and Staubach who were the top quarterbacks of the ‘70's. A few other names that led the NFL in touchdown passes that decade have also made it onto this list. Here is that complete list from the ‘70's.

1979-Steve Grogan, New England Patriots and Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns (28)

Steve Grogan played for 16 seasons in the NFL, but it was in 1979, his fifth in the league, that he tied for the lead in TD passes with Cleveland's Brian Sipe, with 28. Grogan completed 206 of 423 passes for a career high 3286 yards, and the 28 TDs with 20 interceptions. Meanwhile, Sipe was leading a resurgence in Cleveland. He was 286 of 535 for 3793 yards, and the 28 TDs with 26 interceptions.

1978-Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers (28)

Terry Bradshaw had a long and successful career, all with the Steelers, but you may find it hard to believe that Bradshaw did not have more than 20 TD passes until 1978, his ninth season in the league. But that year, Bradshaw led the NFL with 28 TD passes. He completed 207 of 368 passes for 2915 yards, 28 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

1977-Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins (22)

Bob Griese played on those great Dolphins' teams of the ‘70's, but amazingly, only led the NFL in touchdown passes one time, in 1977 with 22. Griese completed 180 of 307 pass attempts for 2252 yards, with the 22 TDs and just 13 interceptions. Griese is currently a broadcaster and his son, Brian, is an NFL QB with the Chicago Bears.

1976-Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders (27)

Though he went on to have two seasons with 3000 or more passing yards later on, Raiders' lefty QB Ken Stabler led the NFL in passing touchdowns with a career high of 27 in 1977. That season, Stabler completed 169 of 294 passes for 2737 yards, and the 27 TDs to 17 interceptions.

1975-Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings and Joe Ferguson, Buffalo Bills (25)

Fran Tarkenton played quarterback for 18 seasons, splitting time between the Vikings and Giants. And he put up great numbers, but only had enough TD passes to lead the NFL once, with 25 in 1975. That number tied Tarkenton with Buffalo's Joe Ferguson for the league lead. In all, Tarkenton completed 273 of 425 passes for 2994 yards and the 25 TDs to 13 picks; Ferguson was 169 of 321 for 2426 yards with 25 TDs and 17 interceptions.

1974-Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders (26)

Stabler is the only QB on this list to lead the league in TD passes twice in the decade. 1974 was the first of those two, when Stabler completed 178 of 310 passes for 2469 yards, with 26 TDs to just 12 interceptions.

1973-Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys and Roman Gabriel, Philadelphia Eagles (23)

While Dallas' Roger Staubach had 25 and 27 TD passes his final two years in the NFL, those numbers did not lead the league. But in 1973, Staubach did lead the NFL with 23 touchdown throws, on 179 of 286 passing for 2428 yards and 15 interceptions. Meanwhile, that only tied Staubach for the league lead with Philadelphia's Roman Gabriel, who completed 270 of 460 passes for 3219 yards (league high) with the 23 TDs and 12 interceptions.

1972-Joe Namath, New York Jets and Billy Kilmer, Washington Redskins (19)

Joe Namath may best be remembered for leading the Jets to a Super Bowl III win, and while he had an incredible season in 1967 (4007 yards and 26 TDs), Namath did not lead the league in TD passes until he had 19 in 1972. That season, Namath completed 162 of 324 passes for 2816 yards and 19 TDs with 21 interceptions. That same year, Washington's Billy Kilmer tied Namath in the TD category-Kilmer was 120 of 225 for 1648 yards, with 19 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions.

1971-John Hadl, San Diego Chargers (21)

You may not be all that familiar with the name John Hadl, but the QB had a 16-year NFL career, mostly with the Chargers, including two seasons that he led the NFL in passing TDs. The second of those years was 1971, when Hadl completed 233 of 431 passes for 3075 yards and 21 TDs with 25 interceptions.

1970-John Brodie, San Francisco 49ers (24)

John Brodie was a prolific NFL quarterback, with 31,548 passing yards and 214 career touchdown passes. He led the league in TD throws twice, including in 1970, when Brodie completed 223 of 378 passes for 2941 yards with 24 TDs to just 10 interceptions.


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