One of the biggest themes this year in the NFL was the performance of the passer. It was an assault on the record books and Quarterbacks dominated most of the headlines.
Here is a look at some of the best of the passers from the 2011 regular season.
In 1984, Dan Marino, the famed QB of the Miami Dolphins became the first passer in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 passing yards in a single season. That year, he threw a total of 5,084 yards breaking the previous record of 4,802 yards held by Chargers QB Dan Fouts set in 1981.
It would take until 2008, 24 years later, for another QB, Drew Brees, to again reach 5,000 passing yards in a season. In that season, the Saints QB, threw 5,069 yards, just 15 yards short of the record, becoming only the second player to ever reach that milestone.
It's clear that achieving 5,000 passing yards in a season is a significant feat for a QB. Coming into the 2011 NFL season, I'm not sure many would've guessed that not only would Dan Marino's 27 year record fall but a total of three QBs would pass the 5,000 level.
Well, it happened.
Drew Brees is now the all-time single season passing leader with an incredible 5,476 yards thrown (342.2 yards per game) vaulting over Marino's record.
Brees wasn't the only player to top Marino's record as Tom Brady, who holds the record for most touchdowns thrown in a season (50 TDs in 2007), threw for 5,235 yards. And in only his third season in the league, Lions QB Matt Stafford threw for a total of 5,038 yards.
An incredible passing display this season, which begs the question, will we see a 6,000 yard passing season?
Arguably, the biggest story of the NFL season, at least around Weeks 12-15 was the emergence of Denver QB Tim Tebow and the Broncos amazing comebacks in the second half of games.
Love him or hate him, Tebow has been an extremely popular figure ever since his days as Florida's QB. And his legend only grew after taking over the starting job in Denver in Week 7 after the team started the season 1-4.
After Denver's Week 6 bye, Tebow started Week 7 with a win over Miami, while far from impressive statistically, Denver won. Something they continued to do by winning 6 of the next 7 games. And they did so often dramatically, including a thrilling comeback victory in Week 14 against the Bears.
Tebow and the Broncos seemingly captured the nation. He even set off an internet meme for his signature down on one knee move, known as Tebowing.
While Tebow isn't know for his throwing ability or his statistical prowess, as he was ranked 27th in QB rating and last in completion percentage, he is seemingly great at clutch performances and inspiring.
It will be interesting to see how his career unfolds.
While winning the Superbowl in 2010 basically removed all remaining doubt or maybe even memory of the Favre-Rodgers situation in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers performance during the 2011 season solidified him as a Green Bay great.
2011 saw Rodgers take Green Bay on an amazing undefeated run of 13 straight. And while the quest for the perfect season fell short with a loss against the Chiefs in Week 15, it was a record setting season for Rodgers.
Rodgers set the record for the highest single season QB Rating with an amazing 122.5 - he continues to hold the highest career passing rating with a 104.1. He also set the seasonal record of most games in a season with a 100+ passer rating at 13 and tied the record for most games with a rating of 140+ at 4 games.
Definitely a regular season to remember for Green Bay and their fans.
Other Notable QB Achievements in 2011:
What will we see in 2012?