Some of us sit here waiting for week 16 of the NFL season to get underway with little to no excitement. Many of our favorite teams are not in playoff contention, and most of our fantasy football squads have by now been knocked out as well.
If one of those statements, or God forbid both of those statements, ring true for you, I’m here to point out why you should still be tuning into the NFL’s upcoming slate of action just as religiously as you have every week before.
Simply put: there are some historic records in real jeopardy of being broken by a handful of the most exciting players in the league.
But first, in terms of watchability, it’s important to mention that the playoff races are very tight, so there are a ton of important games throughout the regular season’s final two weeks in that regard. Most interestingly, there is a 3-way tie atop the NFC East between the 8-6 Redskins, Cowboys, and the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants.
The AFC North is also tight, as the Ravens sit at 9-5, the Bengals at 8-6, and the Steelers at 7-7. Throw in extremely close wild card races in both conferences, and you’ve got yourself a pretty interesting week 16 and 17 on your hands. But you can say that for pretty much every regular season.
What you can’t say every regular season is that these long-standing single-season records are in serious danger.
Single-Season Rushing Record
In 1984, the Rams’ Eric Dickerson ran for a record-breaking 2,105 yards in the regular season, a mark that still stands 28 years later. Through 14 games, Minnesota Vikings’ stud RB Adrian Peterson sits with 1,811 yards, only 294 behind Dickerson’s record.
Considering Peterson is averaging over 164 yards his past 8 contests, and a whopping 192 over his last 3 games, it’ll likely come down to the wire for “All Day.”
Single-Season Receiving Yards Record
The most receiving yards one wide receiver has ever compiled throughout one regular season was back in 1995, when the legendary Jerry Rice ended with 1,848. With two games remaining this season, the Detroit Lions’ Calvin “Megatron” Johnson has 1,667 receiving yards, only 181 shy of Rice’s mark.
Johnson needs to average 91 yards over the next two games to break the record – a very feasible number, especially since he’s averaged 147 over his last 7 games.
The Lions are out of the playoff race, so why not throw it up to Megatron more times than not? I not only think Calvin will break the record, I think he’ll break it with time to spare.
Single-Season Sack Record
Last year, the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Jared Allen had 22 sacks, almost getting to Michael Strahan’s single season record of 22.5 set back in 2001. In today’s NFL of offense, offense, and more offense, that may be surprising to see.
But what’s been even more impressive is that two young up and coming defensive studs in the NFL are challenging the record yet again.
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers both have 19.5 sacks with two games to go. For the record to be set, one of them will need 3.5 more sacks over the next 2 weeks.
To be fair, you do have to remember that JJ Watt and Aldon Smith could play very well but not have any sacks throughout the next 2 games – that’s why defensive records are different than offensive records – there’s just more to keep track of.
Moral of the story? Don’t be the one to miss out on history … it could be made more than a couple times in the near future.
For more on these records potentially being broken from some of NFL.com’s finest, check out this link!