Sun, 29 Nov 2020

How it happened: Lynn Dickey's near-perfect day

08 Jul 2020, 18:12 GMT+10

Packers QB completed more than 90 percent of his passes in the Superdome

In this new series, takes a look back at one of the team's single-game records and how the individual set the mark. The series begins with Lynn Dickey's 90.5% completion rate at New Orleans on Dec. 13, 1981.

GREEN BAY - Two incomplete passes. On the road no less.

That's the impressive day Packers quarterback Lynn Dickey had back in a late-season 1981 game at the New Orleans Superdome.

In hitting on 19-of-21 passes, or 90.5%, Dickey set the franchise record for completion percentage in a game with at least 20 pass attempts.

The Packers easily defeated the Saints, 35-7, for a third straight victory on the way to an 8-8 finish. That part has long faded into the mediocrity of the era.

But all these years later, including 28 seasons (and counting) of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers as starting QBs, Dickey's 90.5% still sits alone in team annals.

He also threw five TD passes among those 19 completions, tying the franchise record at the time, which has since been surpassed by Matt Flynn and Rodgers (twice) throwing six TDs in a game.

Interestingly, according to the data recorded in the NFL's official play-by-play of Dickey's pinpoint-accurate day, even his two incompletions were on target.

The first came on the Packers' opening touchdown drive, a pass in the red zone for tight end Paul Coffman that's listed as "broken up" by Saints rookie safety Frank Wattelet.

The second came before the midway point of the second period, noted as "dropped" by running back Terdell Middleton.

At that point, Dickey was 6-of-8, and he'd go on to complete 13 straight the rest of the way.

While the effort produced just 218 yards passing and was not reminiscent of some of Dickey's mad-bombing days as the '80s progressed, the efficiency wasn't just a result of dinking and dunking, either.

He hit TD passes of 24 and 30 yards to John Jefferson and 25 yards to James Lofton. Running backs Gerry Ellis, Harlan Huckleby and Middleton did their share of short work, combining for seven receptions for 38 yards, but Jefferson was the day's leader with four grabs for 91.

The second TD to Jefferson produced the game's final points and was Dickey's last pass of the game with 9:47 left in the fourth quarter. Rich Campbell took over for the last two possessions, all running plays.

Dickey was sacked twice, but it mattered little. The five TD passes pushed his passer rating to 149.5, second in franchise history at the time.

Dickey would top that and set a team mark with a 152.1 rating vs. Pittsburgh in 1983. That has since been surpassed three times, once by Favre and twice by Rodgers.

He made another run at his own completion standard in '83, also indoors at the Houston Astrodome. In that year's opener against the Oilers, he set a (then) team record with 18 consecutive completions on his way to a 27-of-31 effort, 87.1%, that still ranks second to his 90.5.

For the record, Rodgers' top single-game percentage, which ranks third on the list, is 86.4, vs. Carolina in 2014. He went 19-of-22 and was identical to Dickey's 19-of-21 before Rodgers' final throw of the day was incomplete, leading to a field goal in the final seconds of the third quarter. He was then pulled from the blowout victory.

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