For the first few games of the season, it was clear who was going to lead the NFL in passing yards—Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. But when he went down with a broken ankle, the door was open for a new leader to emerge—and one has, Matt Ryan.
But can Matt Ryan hold onto the top spot, or will someone close the gap and overtake him? The odds at William Hill favor Ryan, but there are a couple of guys that are hot on his tail:
- Most Regular Season Passing Yards
- Matt Ryan +300
- Russell Wilson +350
- Patrick Mahomes +400
- Deshaun Watson +600
- Joe Burrow +900
- Aaron Rodgers +1600
- Tom Brady +1800
- Matthew Stafford, Josh Allen +2000
- Kyler Murray +2800
- Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill +3300
- Derek Carr, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers +4000
- Jared Goff +5000
- Carson Wentz, Ben Roethlisberger, Gardner Minshew +6600
Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Justin Herbert are the only three still active that are averaging over 300 yards a game (307.8, 307.3, and 303.3). So, Herbert and Wilson should have the best chance of catching Ryan. But since he did not start the season for the Chargers, Herbert is going to have his work cut out for him if he is going to close the gap.
It is not hard to see Wilson do it, though. Their current totals heading into Week Nine are 312 yards apart. However, Ryan has played in eight games while Wilson has only had seven. Factor in his season average for an eighth game and their totals are neck and neck.
With the Seahawks having trouble keeping their running backs healthy once again, they will probably lean heavily on Wilson and the passing game going forward.
But there is another guy who could very well take over the lead in the weeks ahead—Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs have the most dangerous passing attack in the league with Mahomes and all the talented skill position guys on their roster.
All it would take for him to catch up (he is 147 yards behind Ryan) would be another 400+ yard day like he had against the Jets last week while Ryan throws for his season average. With Mahomes and the Chiefs, there is a possibility for 400+ yards in the passing game every week.
While those guys have the best chance, there are a few who are not far off the pace. Deshaun Watson is right there, and with the Texans not running the ball well, he is always going to be throwing the ball. Aaron Rodgers can’t be counted out either. Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford are not too far off either.
So—who should you bet on?
As the current leader, Matt Ryan looks like the safe pick, but that designation belongs to Russell Wilson. Wilson is throwing the ball better, and with Seattle’s running back issues, he is probably going to be throwing the ball even more. Since the Seahawks have something to play for still, they are going to be pushing a lot harder than the Falcons, too.
Other than that, Mahomes is a great pick, of course, and it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers pull ahead by the end of the season, either.