In the realm of American football, achieving a perfect passer rating is an extraordinary and uncommon accomplishment. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy recently earned entry into this exclusive club by achieving a flawless passer rating of 158.3 in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This accomplishment not only highlights Purdy's exceptional skill and precision but also marks a historic moment for the 49ers, as it is the first instance of a quarterback from the team achieving this since Joe Montana in 1989.
The Significance of Passer Rating
Passer rating serves as a metric for evaluating the performance of passers, predominantly quarterbacks, in gridiron football. The NFL passer rating formula encompasses five variables: pass attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdown passes, and interceptions. A perfect passer rating of 158.3 necessitates a quarterback meeting several criteria in a single game, including attempting at least 10 passes, having zero interceptions, a minimum completion percentage of 77.5%, a minimum of 11.875% of their passes resulting in touchdowns, and a minimum of 12.5 yards per attempt. Passer rating is a pivotal statistic in football, exhibiting a strong correlation with a team's success. As stated by Sports Illustrated's Kerry Byrne, "you cannot be a smart football analyst and dismiss passer rating."
How Many QBs Have Had A Perfect Rating?
As of the 2023 NFL season, 66 different players, playing in 80 distinct games, have achieved a perfect passer rating in the National Football League (NFL). A perfect passer rating of 158.3 requires a quarterback to meet several criteria during a single game, including attempting at least 10 passes, having zero interceptions, a minimum completion percentage of 77.5%, a minimum of 11.875% of their passes score touchdowns, and a minimum of 12.5 yards per attempt.
Eight quarterbacks have achieved the feat more than once: Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning each have four; Kurt Warner and Tom Brady each have three; and Lamar Jackson, Craig Morton, Dave Krieg, and Ken O'Brien each have two.
Drew Bledsoe, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Mariota are the only quarterbacks to achieve a perfect passer rating in their rookie seasons, with Mariota being the only quarterback to post one in his NFL debut
Purdy's Performance Evaluation
In the matchup against the Buccaneers, Purdy completed 21 of his 25 passing attempts for 333 yards and three touchdowns, with zero interceptions. This stellar performance culminated in his perfect passer rating, the highest achievable mark in the NFL. Beyond the numbers, Purdy showcased a superior level of skill and control, dismantling the Buccaneers' defense with a combination of deep strikes and precisely placed intermediate passes. His performance played a crucial role in the 49ers' 27-14 victory, breaking a three-game losing streak and boosting the team's 2023 record to 7-3.
Comparing Purdy, Young, Montana, and Allen
Purdy's accomplishment aligns him with some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. In 1989, both Steve Young and Joe Montana achieved perfect passer ratings, making them the only other 49ers quarterbacks to do so until Purdy. Over the past three seasons, only Purdy and Buffalo Bills' quarterback Josh Allen have attained a perfect passer rating. Allen accomplished this feat in 2023 against the Miami Dolphins, boasting a stat line of 21 completions, 320 yards, and 4 touchdowns.