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Matthew Stafford was not really the fastest quarterback to 25,000 yards

The notion that Matthew Stafford is the fastest quarterback to 25,000 passing yards is a bit misleading.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A short 5-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Theo Riddick in the third quarter made history. With that completion, Stafford eclipsed 25,000 career passing yards, and was able to do so in the fewest games (90) of any quarterback. The Detroit Lions even went as far as to recover the ball to commemorate the event (although it turns out they may have grabbed the wrong ball). Matthew Stafford became the quickest quarterback to 25,000 yards in NFL history, a very impressive feat.

...except it really isn't true. While it is technically correct that it took Stafford the fewest games to reach the benchmark, he was aided by a fact that has little to do with his talent: he has thrown a ridiculous amount of passes through 90 games.

Here's a look at the quarterbacks that reached 25,000 yards the "quickest":

Games Attempts Yards Y/A
Matthew Stafford 90 3590 25123 7.00
Dan Marino 92 3283 25101 7.65
Peyton Manning 97 3412 25141 7.37
Kurt Warner 97 3100 25230 8.14
Aaron Rodgers 98 3085 25196 8.17
Matt Ryan 99 3485 25061 7.19

Among the six quarterbacks who reached 25,000 yards in the fewest games, Stafford has attempted the most passes and over 500 more than Aaron Rodgers (almost eight more attempts per game). As a result, his yards per passing attempt is lower than all the quarterbacks listed. The fact that Stafford took the fewest games to get to 25,000 yards gives the illusion of efficiency, when -- in reality -- Stafford was less efficient on a pass-to-pass basis than the other five quarterbacks listed above.

So the reason Stafford is the fastest player to 25,000 passing yards has more to do with the Lions' pass-heavy offense than Stafford's talent. That isn't to say Stafford hasn't played a part in reaching that goal, but he doesn't really deserve to be ahead of the likes of Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers when discussing efficiency.

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