NFL Quarterbacks Break Records but Have Passing Stats Become Meaningless?

David BurnettCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn sets team passing records
Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn sets team passing recordsJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

No question, the 2011 NFL season will be remembered as the year of the quarterback.  More NFL passers set team or league records this season than at any other time in league history.  

But when I saw that Green Bay's backup quarterback Matt Flynn set single-game team records by passing for nearly 500 yards and six touchdowns while substituting for MVP front-runner Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, I became convinced that something must be done to correct the utterly unfair imbalance that NFL offenses now have over defenses.  

I understand the NFL's desire to pump up scoring and make games more entertaining to fans, but enough is enough.  It's become far too easy to complete passes these days.  Defenses are more limited than ever in defending against quarterbacks and receivers.  

Quarterbacks can hardly be touched without roughing the passer penalties being called, and defensive backs have very few weapons they can use against pass receivers without risking pass interference or holding penalties. 

This imbalance also renders passing statistics if not meaningless, at least overly-inflated.  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shattered Dan Marino's 27-year-old yardage record by nearly 400 yards, but we also saw two other quarterbacks—Tom Brady and Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford—throw for over 5,000 yards as well. It's the football equivalent of the juiced baseball. 

While I appreciate the quarterbacking skills of Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Stafford and Eli Manning, who finished just a whisker under 5,000 yards, it's pretty obvious that it should be harder to complete a pass these days. 

It also has me wondering just how prolific Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and even former record-holder Dan Marino would be today if passing rules were as liberal then as they are today.  

Do you really believe that Matt Flynn is that much better than Bart Starr, Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers?  Of course you don't.  But statistics don't lie, or do they?