There's an argument to be made that Dan Marino was the NFL's first true modern quarterback. Drafted 27th overall by the Miami Dolphins in 1983, Marino made an immediate and lasting impact on the way the quarterback position was played, slinging it over 40 times a game while wracking up video game numbers before football video games even existed. In 1984, he was crowned NFL MVP, throwing for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, including four 400+ yard performances. When he finally retired in 2000, Marino held the all-time NFL records in attempts, completions, passing yards, and touchdowns.
Many of those records were soon surpassed by the Favres, Mannings, and Bradys of the world, as the NFL continued down the pass-happy path that Marino himself laid the bricks for. And in a few years, the likes of Rodgers and Mahomes will catch those guys the same way they caught Marino. That's just the nature of today's NFL, which Marino remarked on in an interview with First Things First this week, claiming that if he were playing today he might throw for 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns. Truth is, we kind of believe him.
For reference, in 2018 Patrick Mahomes put together one of the single greatest seasons in modern quarterbacking, throwing for 5097 yards and 57 touchdowns. That's just seven more yards and nine more touchdowns than Marino threw TWO AND A HALF DECADES EARLIER. Peyton Manning's most prolific numbers year came in 2013, when he threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, and Brady's in 2011, when he posted a 5,235/39 split. Aaron Rodgers has never eclipsed 5,000 yards. If you adjust Marino's 1984 season for football inflation, suddenly 6,000 and 60 doesn't seem so silly.
At the very least, it's good to be reminded that Dan the Man isn't just one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever walk the earth, he's one of the cockiest too. And that is worth far more than some stats on a spreadsheet . . .