NFL 2014 Season: The Year of the Record Breakers
Peyton Manning’s 509th Touchdown
If you were paying attention two weekends ago, you witnessed history three separate times on the football field. The most attention grabbing was Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning’s 509th touchdown against the 49ers. It’s funny – as fans we’re so spoiled by Manning’s consistent greatness that we sometimes fail to fully appreciate what he’s done. This wasn’t a record that was broken by longevity alone – Manning hit 508 in 56 fewer games than Brett Favre, the previous record holder, and he has over 100 more touchdowns than any other quarterback, current or retired. Manning really is a once in a generation quarterback, and quite possibly the best ever. If you need further evidence, check this out.
DeMarco Murray Most Consecutive 100-Yard Games
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray received his fair share of attention this week, too. Dallas’ 2014 breakout-star broke Jim Brown’s 56-year-old record for consecutive 100-yard games, which stood at six. In some ways, his record is just as impressive as Manning’s feat, since Murray set a rushing record in today’s pass-happy NFL and because the previous record was set by the great Jim Brown five decades earlier. Plenty of Hall of Fame running backs have played since Jim Brown, but no one could replicate Murray’s feat. Then again, just as Manning celebrated his teammates in his interview following the record-breaking game, Murray gave credit where credit was due, buying his entire offensive line $1,300 iMacs.
Russell Wilson First QB to Throw for Over 300 Yards, Rush for Over 100
Finally – in case you needed another reminder that the days of the pure-pocket passer die with Manning and Brady – on Sunday, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson became the first NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100. Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham and Cam Newton all approached the milestone before Wilson, but the Seattle quarterback was the first to successfully reach it. Of course, success is a relative term – though Wilson’s name goes in the record book for the accomplishment, his team lost the game, thanks in large part to ridiculous plays like this one.
Potential Upcoming Records
But as impressive as these three records are, it’s more exciting to consider what might still happen this season. Murray, for instance, is in the running (had to) to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing mark, which stands at 2,105 yards. As we know, Adrian Peterson fell eight yards short in 2012, and Murray would have to add another 1,192 yards to his current total of 913 to do it, but it’s possible. I’m betting those iMacs for his linemen won’t hurt his chances.
Another running back could set records through the air in 2014. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte leads the league – wide receivers and tight ends included – in receptions this year, with 52 so far. The record for receptions for a running back was set in 1995 at 101, so Forte is certainly in striking distance with 9 games left to play.
On the receiving end of many of those Manning touchdowns this year, Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has nine touchdowns through six games so far in 2014, meaning Thomas has to average 1.4 touchdowns through the rest of the season to match Randy Moss’ 2007 record total of 23. With Manning throwing him the ball, you know it’s a possibility.
But the most surprising record that could fall in 2014? It’s got to be the record for fewest turnovers, which the Patriots set in 2010 with just 10 turnovers. Now, when you think of the Patriots, that record makes sense – they’re a well-coached, risk-averse team. But the San Diego Chargers, led by Phillip Rivers? I wouldn’t have guessed it. Remember, turnovers include interceptions, and yet the Chargers have only turned over the ball three times this season – all of them Rivers interceptions. So, two things here: one, how have they not lost a single fumble? And two, how was Rivers, the NFL leader in interceptions two years ago, only thrown three interceptions? To say I’m impressed is an understatement. Rivers is having an MVP-type season.