Since Dan Marino had the first 5,000 yard season in 1984 7 times someone has thrown for 5,000 yards in a season. Peyton Manning holds the current record at 5,477 yards from 2013. So I'll be making my guess based upon the current record holder's record breaking season. The record is only 1 yard above Drew Brees who set the previous record at 5,476 in 2011. The record was set at above a pace of about 342 yards a game. In order to reach 6,000 yards a QB would have to average 375 yards a game. Only about 33 more yards a game. Peyton manning set the record with 450 completions. To have reached 6,000 yards he'd of only needed 2.75 more completions a game or 44 more on the year. Bringing his total to 494 completions which would also be a record above Drew Bree's 468 in 2011. He would of needed 26 more completions than has happened before. It would've certainly been possible had the league approved a change to the game that has been brought up before...
Now looking at 2,500 yards rushing seems to be a more daunting task. The current record is 2,105 in 1984 by Eric Dickerson. So I'll be making my guess based upon his record setting season. As far back as 1934 that PFR goes only 7 running backs have rushed for 2000 yards. No one has done it twice. The closest would be Barry Sanders who rushed for 2,053 yards in 1997 and 1,883 yards in 1994. Eric Dickerson set the record in 16 games at 131.6 yards a game on 379 attempts. That's averaging 5.6 yards an attempt, and Dickerson would never again average above 4.6. To have gotten to 2,500 yards he would've needed to average 156.25 yards a game, 27.90~ attempts a game at 5.6YPA, and about 447 total attempts! That's an additional 68 attempts or 31 more than the current record holder (Larry Johnson at 416 in 2006). It would likely be possible if the league approved a change to the game that has been brought up before...
My verdict on 6,000 passing yards is that it is certainly within the realm of **possible** and more likely than 2,500 rushing yards. At the rate Peyton Manning was at he would only of needed roughly 3 more completions a game or 1 more game worth of completions on the year. Someone currently like Drew Brees who is a great QB, but playing from behind a lot. And doesn't seem to have a solid bell cow back to take a lot of carries. He's been forced to throw a lot, and someone in a similar situation may one day break the record.
Like stated before, 2,500 yards is a tall tall order. At a solid 5.6YPC needing 446 carries does **not** seem very likely in today's NFL. Of the top 10 leaders in carriers (including a 3 way tie at 7th) only 4 times has it happened since 2000, and once since 2006. Although it does appear as if there could be a resurgence of rushing dominance in the near future. Right now 2,500 yards is a pipe dream. Needing roughly 31 more attempts than has ever happened.
However, there is a game changing proposal that has been catching more attention the last two offseasons. Roger Goodell's mission of expanding the season to 18 games. With 18 games Peyton would only of needed to average 261.5 yards in the two additional games to reach 6,000 already averaging 342.3. With two more games Eric Dickerson would've needed to average 34 carries at 5.6YPC in two games or 190.4 yards per game to reach 2,500. Both certainly possible, but 2,500 still very unlikely. 6,000 yards seems to be more of a matter of time than a very unlikely scenario.
What do you think? Do you think a current QB or RB could hit the milestone in the next 5 years? Is it going to take two extra games to reach 6,000? Will anyone ever reach 2,500 yards or will it forever be unreachable?
Please let me know what you think as well if my logic/stats seem flawed. This is my first time making a longer analytical post. Thank you for reading and commenting!