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How many passes can you throw in an NFL game?

A quarterback dropping back time after time and slinging the ball all over the field from start to finish may be a difficult concept for football’s forefathers to grasp. After all, for the first few decades of the sport, the forward pass ranged from illegal to frowned upon.

Then Davey O’Brien came along and turned the sport upside down with a 60-pass performance way back in 1940, when the forward pass was generally frowned upon and not far removed from being an altogether illegal transgression.

O’Brien’s single-game high score was untouchable for decades until some pioneers of volume passing came along when the 1960s rolled around. There are certain circumstances that have led to these heroic volume passers launching their score to another stratosphere, such as trying to climb back from a large deficit or a ground game that’s stuck in neutral.

But the hidden benefit is earning a spot on this list of royalty — an honor so noble there was even one quarterback who, though barely ever seeing the field, went hard for the high score seemingly every time out. Or how the current man atop the throne did so as a 37-year-old against the most ferocious defense in history in a game that was close until the end.