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NFL's 23 perfect passer ratings remembered

Time creaked to a stop Wednesday afternoon in the NFL Media newsroom -- for baseball.


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This doesn't happen often, but neither does a perfect game.

When Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez accomplished the feat in a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, it marked just the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history.

The question bubbled up as Hernandez was mauled by teammates: Is there an NFL equivalent to the rare ebb and flow of baseball's perfect game?

Not a chance. Totally different worlds.

Football draws closest to baseball's statistical wonderland when a quarterback triggers a perfect passer rating of 158.3. It requires at least 20 attempts in a game, but it's a man-made rating system with which many find fault. Incompletions can slip in, mistakes can be made -- it's not really a symbol of perfection.

Oddly enough, these are equally rare events (although not really, because baseball has been around since the dawn of man): Still, 23 perfect games; 23 instances of a perfect passer rating. Pitchers and quarterbacks are a combined 46-0 in these contests.

After Hernandez locked it down, Dan Hanzus told a story of being at David Cone's perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1999. Most of you remember where you were when the last no-hitter or perfecto went down.

So, where were you the last time a quarterback dialed up the old 158.3? Be honest.

It's not the same. Football players don't even know a perfect passer rating is happening during a game, and neither do fans. A perfect pitcher, dipping into the later innings of his masterwork, feels the world closing in. Total fishbowl. Out-of-body focus is requisite.

Listen, we'll take football over baseball any day of the week, but here's one area where perfection has two different meanings.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

To refresh your memory, here's the list of quarterbacks with NFL single-game perfect passer ratings:

Perfect NFL passer ratings in a single game (minimum of 20 pass attempts)
Player, Team
Date, Opponent
Comp/Att.
Pct.
Yards
TD-INT
11/25/2010 vs. Lions
21/27
77.8
341
4-0
11/30/09 vs. Patriots
18/23
78.3
371
5-0
Kurt Warner, Cardinals
09/14/08 vs. Dolphins
19/24
79.2
361
3-0
12/20/07 vs. Rams
16/20
80.0
261
3-0
10/21/07 vs. Dolphins
21/25
84.0
354
6-0
Donovan McNabb, Eagles
09/23/07 vs. Lions
21/26
80.8
381
4-0
Trent Green, Chiefs
12/14/03 vs. Lions
20/25
80.0
341
3-0
09/28/03 vs. Saints
20/25
80.0
314
6/0
Kerry Collins, Giants
12/22/02 vs. Colts
23/29
79.3
366
4-0
11/10/02 vs. Eagles
18/23
78.3
319
3-0
Doug Flutie, Bills
12/23/00 vs. Seahawks
20/25
80.0
366
3-0
10/22/00 vs. Patriots
16/20
80.0
268
3-0
Kurt Warner, Rams
10/01/00 vs. Chargers
24/30
80.0
390
4-0
Kurt Warner, Rams
10/03/1999 vs. Bengals
17/21
81.0
310
3-0
Jeff Blake, Bengals
10/19/95 vs. Steelers
18/22
81.8
275
3-0
Chris Chandler, Oilers
09/24/95 vs. Bengals
23/26
88.5
352
4-0
Dave Krieg, Lions
11/24/94 vs. Bills
20/25
80.0
351
3-0
Craig Erickson, Buccaneers
09/11/94 vs. Colts
19/24
79.2
313
3-0
Ken O'Brien, Jets
11/02/86 vs. Seahawks
26/32
81.3
431
4-0
Vince Evans, Bears
12/07/80 vs. Packers
18/22
81.8
316
3-0
Ken Anderson, Bengals
11/03/74 vs. Colts
17/21
81.0
297
3-0
Johnny Unitas, Colts
11/12/67 vs. Falcons
17/20
85.0
370
4-0
Y.A. Tittle, Giants
11/10/63 vs. Eagles
16/20
80.0
261
3-0

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