Ottawa Redblacks' quarterback Henry Burris set the CFL's single-game completion record Thursday, notching 45 completions in Ottawa's 39-17 win over Montreal. That record was just part of a great overall performance from the 40-year-old Burris, as he threw for 504 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions while also scrambling seven times for 13 yards and two further touchdowns. He was efficient, too, as it only took him 53 passing attempts (giving him a remarkable 84.9 per cent completion rate). This was quite probably the best performance of Burris' career and the best single-game showing of any CFL quarterback this season, but how does it stack up against some of the best other passing performances in the league's history? To get an idea, let's examine some of the CFL's other single-game passing records and compare the quarterback's overall performance to what Burris did Thursday.
Most passing yards: Matt Dunigan, 713, for Winnipeg in a 50-35 win over Edmonton, July 14, 1994: Amazingly, this game wasn't even televised (so there aren't any clips of it), and it was seen by just 21,686 fans in Winnipeg at the old Polo Park Stadium. The stat sheet also isn't on the CFL website, but Ed Tait of The Winnipeg Free Press managed to track one down from former Bomber coach Mike Kelly (their offensive coordinator at the time) for this great oral history of Dunigan's record-setting night. It has Dunigan completing 33 of 52 passes (63.5 per cent) for 713 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. That puts him well ahead of Burris in yardage and slightly ahead in scoring (one more total touchdown), but significantly behind him in accuracy. Interestingly, Burris actually had one more attempt than Dunigan, which shows that he was throwing shorter routes; Tait's piece mentions that Edmonton was trying to single-cover speedy Winnipeg outside receivers Alfred ("Action") Jackson and David Williams, who both wound up breaking the club single-game receiving yardage record with seven catches for 308 yards and four touchdowns and 10 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown respectively, so that illustrates why Dunigan was throwing so many deep balls down the outside. On the whole, Dunigan's legendary 1994 night is probably slightly better than Burris' showing Thursday, but it's close; Dunigan's came with higher risks and rewards, while Burris' was closer to a mistake-free game.
Advantage: Dunigan.Read More »from How does Henry Burris' single-game completion mark compare to other records?