NFL Passing Yardage Leaders By Year—1980s
As far as passing yardage in the NFL, the ‘80s were pretty much dominated by guys like Dan Marino and Dan Fouts, with a handful of others thrown in that you may or may not remember. Here is a complete list of passing yardage leaders in that decade.
1989-Don Majkowski, Green Bay Packers (4318)
1989 was the only season that Packers' QB Don Majkowski played a full 16 games, and he made them count. Majkowski completed 353 of 599 passes that season for a league-leading 4318 yards with 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
1988-Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (4434)
Dolphins' quarterback Dan Marino was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and up until 2007 was the all-time passing yardage leader and TD pass leader in NFL history until being passed in both categories by Brett Favre. Marino led the NFL in passing yards five times, four of those in the ‘80s. In 1988, Marino connected on 354 passes of 606 attempts, for 4434 yards (led the NFL), 28 TDs and 23 interceptions.
1987-Neil Lomax, St. Louis Cardinals (3387)
Neil Lomax played his entire career with the Cardinals, the first seven in St. Louis and the final year in Phoenix after the franchise moved. In 1987, Lomax led the NFL in passing yards with 3387. He completed 275 of 463 passes for the 3387 yards, with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.
1986-Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (4746)
1986 was Dan Marino's third straight year of leading the NFL in both passing yards and passing TDs. This season, he completed 378 of 623 passes for 4746 yards with 44 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, and a 60.7 completion percentage.
1985-Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (4137)
Marino had an "off" year by his own standards in 1985, completing 336 of 567 yards for an NFL-leading 4137 yards. He threw for 30 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
1984-Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins (5084)
1984 was the first of three straight years that Dan Marino led the NFL in passing yards and TDs, and he also broke the NFL record for passing yards with 5084, a single season mark that still stands today. Marino completed 362 of 564 passes that year for the 5084 yards with 48 TDs (a record that stood for twenty years) and 17 interceptions. He also boasted an amazing completion percentage of 64.2, the highest of his career.
1983-Lynn Dickey, Green Bay Packers (4458)
Lynn Dickey was nearing the end of his career when he put together a monster season in 1983, completing 289 of 484 passes for an NFL-leading 4458 yards. Dickey had 32 TD passes with 29 interceptions.
1982-Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers (2883)
1982 was the fourth straight year that Chargers' QB Dan Fouts led the NFL in passing yards, with 2883. That number might seem a bit low, but consider it was during a strike-shortened season in just nine games. Fouts completed 204 of 330 passes for the 2883 yards with 17 TDs and 11 interceptions.
1981-Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers (4802)
1981 was Dan Fouts' best season as a pro, as he connected on 360 of 609 passes for a career high and league-leading 4802 passing yards. Fouts had a career best 33 touchdowns that season, which also led the league, and 17 interceptions.
1980-Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers (4715)
In 1980, Dan Fouts completed 348 of 589 passes for a league-high 4715 yards, with 30 TDs and 24 interceptions. It was the second of four straight seasons that Fouts led the NFL in passing yardage.