Over the past twenty-five years, the NFL has continually changed its rules to open up the passing game. As a result of that, and also of tactical and strategic advances initiated by Bill Walsh, passing statistics have been improving across the board. Most of the rule changes have goverened how much defensive backs can hit receivers down field. These rules were strengthened after the New England Patriots beat up the Indianapolis Colts' wide receivers in a 20-3 win at Gilette Stadium.
Everybody knows that several of the best individual statistical seasons for quarterbacks and wide receivers have occurred in the past five years or so. What I wasn't prepared for was this statistic on the NFL's all-time leaders in quarterback rating.
Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's all-time leading passer, and eight of the top ten and 22 of the top 27 rated quarterbacks of all-time are currently active. Without question, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are two of the best quarterbacks every to play the game, but the greatness of this current crop of wide receivers and quarterbacks needs to be viewed in the context of the rules under which they played.