10 Most Unbreakable NFL Records
While some teams are in the hunt for high draft choices, others are aiming for the post-season and for the record books. Here’s some quick hit NFL records that may never be broken.
#1: Jerry Rice’s Receiving Records
The NFL is a sport that honors the ‘in the now’ moments, and there have been some amazing receivers since Jerry Rice retired. Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson to name two. Jerry Rice’s receiving records (197 touchdowns, 1,549 receptions and 22,895 yards) are an average of 10 touchdowns and 100 receptions per year, extended over a 15-year career. While some of Rice’s individual records have fallen (Randy Moss caught 23 TDs in one season in the Patriot’s 2007 campaign), the career and volume statistics are probably untouchable.
#2: Dick “Night Train” Lane’s 14 Interceptions in a Season
This record, set in a 12-game season in 1952, will probably never be broken. While the NFL’s passing offenses have matured, the number of games has increased, and the number of passing plays have improved, film study and rules changes keep defensive backs from running stride for stride with wide receivers the way they used to.
#3: Emmett Smith’s Rushing Yardage
Emmett Smith broke Walter Payton’s career rushing yardage total, and then tacked another 2,000 yards on top of it. Modern NFL offenses don’t run as much, and modern NFL running backs don’t have 18 year careers like Smith did.
#4: Most Sacks in a Single Game
Sacks as a whole are up, due to degradation in offensive line play over the last five years. It’s still unlikely that anyone will beat the 7 sacks Derrick Thomas got on Dave Kreig in 1990.
Don Shula’s 347 wins will require Bill Belicheck (229 wins) to get 10 wins per season for another 12 seasons to match it. No other coach is likely to get 200 wins.
#6: Quarterback Starts
Brett Favre’s 297 starts is a testament to grit and a couple of pain killer addictions. Given the reduction in modern offensive line play, and bigger and faster players on defense, this one is unlikely to be touched.
#7: Most Career Touchdown Passes
Peyton Manning took this record from Favre in 2015, and then added 25 TDs on top of it. This, like Rice’s TD total, requires a player to produce at a high level for 18 years or more. Tom Brady is currently at #3 with 438, and would need three 35 TD years to pass Manning. This one might not be out of reach as others on this list.
#8: Most INTs In A Single Season
This is one that won’t change – no NFL offense would keep a QB who threw 3 interceptions per game that George Blanda did in amassing 42 INTs in 1962.
#9: Average Rushing Yards Per Game
OJ Simpson ran for 2,003 yards in a single season, the first RB to ever do so. He did it on a Bills team with few other offensive options, and put up 144 yards per game over a 14 game season. Running games don’t get the love in the modern NFL that they used to, and the defenders are bigger and faster, so this one is unlikely to get touched.
#10: Devin Hester’s 20 Special Teams TDs
Devin Hester has lapped the field on kick return and punt return TDs; the second highest total is 12 to his 20. Hester is still active, and could pad these numbers, though touchbacks in the kicking game going to the 25 yard line, and changes to promote player safety, make it harder to believe this one will ever be broken.