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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.

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:

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