Shutdown Corner - NFL

Will Brees, Brady or Rodgers break Dan Marino’s passing record?

Shutdown Corner looks at which records could fall over the final four games of the 2011 NFL season.

1. Will Dan Marino's 27-year record for passing yardage in a season be broken?

Record: 5,084

Contenders (with projected 16-game totals): Drew Brees(notes) (5,371), Tom Brady(notes) (5,221), Aaron Rodgers(notes) (5,125)

Three of the New Orleans Saints' final four games will be played in a dome, thus invalidating all the talk about cold weather games deflating Drew Brees' numbers. (The lone outdoor game is this week in Nashville, forecast temperature: 44 degrees.) Brady and Rodgers will likely be playing in chilly temps for the duration. The former may not need to play much in Week 17 while the latter may be out on the field hoping to get the Packers to 16-0.

Brees already has over 4,000 yards, a feat which has been accomplished in a full 16-game season 90 times in the history of the league. It's a prestigious list; up until 1995, Neil Lomax, Don Majkowski and Jim Everett were in the top 15.

Verdict: Yes for Brees and Brady, no for Rodgers.

2. Will the Green Bay Packers go 16-0?

Remaining games: Oakland, @Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit

Ignore the fact that the Packers will be favored in every remaining game. Of course they'll be favored: They're 12-0. Even if the schedule was @New England, @Pittsburgh, @Baltimore and @New Orleans, Green Bay would be giving some points. All of which is a long way of saying, when you're undefeated in early December, looking at the schedule doesn't give much help in predicting how it's all going to shake out.

In theory, Aaron Rodgers and company passed their biggest test while winning in New York. The bigger test will come from a Detroit team in Week 17 that could be fighting for its playoff life.

What's forgotten about that 2007 regular-season finale between the 15-0 New England Patriots and the New York Giants is that New York wasn't really playing for anything either. The Giants had already clinched the top wild-card spot and were set to play a road game at Tampa the following week regardless of whether they won or lost against New England. The motivation to go 16-0 will be high for Green Bay, but the motivation to make the playoffs for Detroit would be greater. If that's the case, I'd like Detroit to pull out the upset.

Verdict: No

3. Will the Indianapolis Colts go 0-16?

Remaining games: @Baltimore, Tennessee, Houston, @Jacksonville

Ignore the fact that the Colts will be underdogs in every remaining game. Of course they'll be underdogs: They're 0-12. Even if the schedule was @Toledo, @UCLA, @Wake Forest and @East Tennessee State, Indianapolis would still be getting points. All of which is a long way of saying, the Colts are awful and won't win a game. And the Curse of Orlovsky lives on.

Verdict: Yes

4. Will Tim Tebow(notes) win the Super Bowl?

Verdict: Of course He will.

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