Erik Kramer has held the single-season passing yards and passing touchdowns record for the Chicago Bears since 1995. The 3,838 yards and 29 touchdowns he put up that year are the fewest among single-season bests from all 32 franchises.
The Houston Texans franchise leader in passing TDs for one year is also 29 and that was set by Matt Schaub 2009. That makes the Bears and Texans the only two franchises with a single-season passing TD leader less than 30.
The next fewest franchise leaders on the list are Brian Sipe with 30 touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns in 1980, and 31 TDs for the Washington Redskins’ Sonny Jurgensen in 1967 and the New York Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick 31 in 2015.
Kramer is the only franchise leader in the NFL where less than 4,000 passing yards leads for the team. The next three closest franchise leaders are the Jets’ Joe Namath with 4,007 in 1967, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz with 4,039 yards last year, and Sipe’s 4,132 passing yards for Cleveland in 1980.
Kramer’s passing yards record equates to only 239.9 yards per game, which in this day and age should be reachable by just average production. For some perspective, there were 18 quarterbacks that bettered that mark in 2019 and 22 that had more per game in 2018.
We asked the WCG crew if they think Kramer’s records will fall in 2020 with either Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky slinging the rock for the Bears, and while we were hopeful, none of us really see it as a possibility.
Will Erik Kramer’s franchise records 3,838 passing yards or 29 passing touchdowns (set in 1995) be broken in 2020?
“If Foles could play all 16 games, then I could definitely see him breaking the yardage record, and if that falls the TD record should as well. But... I don’t see Foles, or Trubisky for that matter, staying healthy for a full year.
In two years of Matt Nagy running the show, the Bears have averaged 3,660 passing yards each season with Trubisky and Chase Daniel under center. Could Foles and Trubisky find another 12 yards per game? If so, then combined they’ll pass the 3,838.” ~ Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.
“Not by one quarterback. Combined? Possibly.“ ~ Ken Mitchell
“In a word: No. The Bears are clearly orienting themselves as a run-heavy, ACE-set team. Their offense lives and dies with Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, and whatever push the five big boys up front can manage. For better or worse. This isn’t a high statistical bar for any quarterback, especially, Foles to reach, but the Bears aren’t going to give him enough opportunity to surpass it.” ~ Robert Zeglinski
“No. I fear it won’t ever be broken. Maybe in my daughter’s lifetime though. She’s almost four months old.” ~ Sam Householder
“The last two years, I’ve predicted that Mitchell Trubisky would break Kramer’s franchise records in both passing yards and touchdowns. If I recall, I also did that at least once for Jay Cutler. Needless to say, that has not worked out well and despite Kramer’s numbers showing just how rough of a QB patch the Bears have had, I’m not going to predict it to happen this year either.
The obvious reason would be that neither Trubisky or Foles are ultimately good enough to do it. I would also argue that neither player has exactly shown he can play a full 16 game season consistently and produce the needed numbers to make that happen. I will say this, though. It would be pretty “Bears” for one of the two guys to do it (especially Foles) because more than likely, neither of them are the long-term answer at the quarterback position.” ~ Aaron Leming
“I really, really hope so. Chicago is one of the last remaining teams who have never seen a 4,000+ yard season from any QB. I don’t care if it’s Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles, let them battle it out and then tailor the play calls to the winners’s strengths. Oh, and don’t forget to run the damn football, too.” ~ Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter
“By one quarterback? Not a chance. But I have no doubt that Nitch Troles will barely beat out both numbers as the bittersweet icing on the cake of Bears quarterback despair.” ~ Patti Curl
“No. Regardless of who wins the QB competition, I’ll approach it with “believe it when I see it” attitude.” ~ Jack Salo
“I seriously, seriously doubt it. I couldn’t have less faith in Trubisky’s ability to hit that mark, so it’s basically all up to Foles, and while I’d love for him to enter a fever-dream state between Week 1 and when he lifts the Lombardi, chances are that he’ll miss a few games due to either injury or playing Trubisky and that alone will doom his bid for 4,000 yards. But if Foles does somehow play all 16 games... he might actually do it — he’d only need 240 yards/game to break the record, and he certainly surpassed that mark throughout his recent run in Philadelphia (where he compiled 282.5 yards/game while leading one of the more stacked offenses in recent memory). Given that I expect the Bears’ personnel deficiencies to challenge Foles moreso than his time as an Eagle, I think we’ll find ourselves asking about Kramer once again in 2021.” ~ Robert Schmitz
“No. I don’t expect Foles or Trubisky - whoever wins the starter competition - to start in all 16 games, and even if they did, I find it hard to think they would play well enough to top Kramer’s numbers.” ~ Jacob Infante
Now we want you guys to give your thoughts?