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Monday, January 2, 2012
NFC North Week 17 Quarterback Report

By Kevin Seifert

Stand up, give yourselves a pat on the back and a round of applause. Two NFC North teams combined for the most prolific passing game in NFL history Sunday. In the wind and snow of Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions combined for an NFL-record 971 net yards passing.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (520 yards) and the Packers' Matt Flynn (480 yards) produced two of the top three individual passing games of the 2011 season. (The New England Patriots' Tom Brady threw for 517 yards in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.) Let's take a closer look:

Matt Flynn
Week 17 passer rating:
Week 17 QBR: 91.7
Tell-tale number: Since 1960, only two other quarterbacks have thrown for 480 yards and six touchdowns in a game. Both are in the Hall of Fame. One was Y.A. Tittle for the New York Giants in 1962. The other was Joe Namath for the 1972 New York Jets.

Matthew Stafford
Week 17 passer rating:
Week 17 QBR: 86.2
Tell-tale number: Stafford's 520 yards were the most in a game since Boomer Esiason threw for 522 yards in 1996, and the fifth-most in league history. The huge yardage total also pushed Stafford to 5,038 yards this year. Remember, entering the season, the NFL record for passing yards in a season was 5,084, set by Dan Marino in 1984. Both Drew Brees (5,476) and Tom Brady (5,235) eclipsed Marino's mark this season. But at 23, Stafford finished just 46 yards behind Marino.

Josh McCown
Week 17 passer rating:
Week 17 QBR: 15.4
Tell-tale number: Sunday was McCown's first win as a starter since Dec. 2, 2007, when he played for the Oakland Raiders. His performance came against a Minnesota Vikings defense that finished the season allowing a 107.6 passer rating to opponents, the second-highest mark in NFL history.

Joe Webb
Week 17 passer rating:
Week 17 QBR: 19.7
Tell-tale number: The Vikings scored only three points with Webb behind center, but he did throw for 200 yards in about 2 1/2 quarters of play.

Christian Ponder
Week 17 passer rating:
Week 17 QBR: 1.1
Tell-tale number: Ponder's second-quarter interception was his 13th in 10 starts and a total of 274 attempts. But don't forget that Stafford threw 20 interceptions on 377 attempts in 10 starts as a rookie in 2009. The more important number will be the presumed improvement Ponder makes in 2012. Since his rookie season, Stafford has thrown 17 interceptions in 759 attempts over 19 starts.