Drew Brees' TD Streak and the 5 Most Unbreakable NFL Records
Brees' historic 54-game streak came to an end at the worst time possible for the Saints, but it is a remarkable record that likely ranks among the most unbreakable in NFL history.
When Johnny Unitas set the original record back in 1960 at 47 games, it was considered one of football's most unbreakable, comparable to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
With Brees having broken it earlier this season, followed by the end to the streak, let's look at some of the most unbreakable records in NFL history.
Most Career Rushing Yards
Here's a testament to how much times have changed: Walter Payton finished with the most career rushing yards at 16,726 upon retiring in 1987. Emmit Smith broke that record in 2002, then finished with 18,355 upon his retirement in 2004.
The closest active running back to the record is Rams running back Steven Jackson, who currently has 9,817. In order for Jackson to break the record, he's going to have to continue averaging his 77.9 yards per game for another seven years.
No disrespect to Jackson, but what are the odds that he plays for another seven years? Even if he does, what are the odds that he gets enough carries in this new pass-heavy NFL where running backs are all but disposable pieces?
Steven Jackson may be the closest to Emmit's record, but one would think that the back with the best chance of catching Emmit is Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who right now has 7,988 yards rushing in his first six seasons in the NFL.
For him to break the record, he will have to continue averaging his 95.1 yards rushing per game for another six and a half seasons. This does make him more likely to break the record, but again, NFL trends indicate that even this seems to be a long shot.
If a running back has a tremendous day, the single-game yards record could be broken (ironically, Adrian Peterson owns that record with 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers back in 2007).
A running back having a superhuman season and breaking the single-season record of 2,105 yards held by Eric Dickerson is very much in the realm of possibility.
But it takes consistency over a very long period of time (at least a decade) for the career rushing record to fall, and that's something that hasn't been the case for NFL running backs in quite some time.
Longest Punt in NFL History
This is technically cheating since this record was set in the AFL and it is the longest possible punt in terms of net yardage. Even if you punted the ball from one end zone to see it land in the other, it's a 79-yard punt because it would be a touchback.
But it is a record that is so quirky and needs so many things to go correctly that I had to include this on the list.
This isn't like a "longest play from scrimmage" record that just needs a missed tackle and great blocking to be set. This one needs a strong leg and bad special teams play from the other team.
New York Jets punter Steve O'Neal set the record for longest punt in an AFL game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in 1969.
The ball traveled 75 yards in the air (just long enough for a decent amount of hangtime) before bouncing onto the field, then rolling another 23 yards to the Denver 1-yard line.
The closest punt to that record was 49ers punter Andy Lee's 82-yard punt back in 2008.
Most Wins by a Head Coach
Bill Belichick is the closest, with 200 victories all time. In order for Belichick to catch Don Shula, he will have to continue averaging 11 victories a season for the next 13 years. If he continues on his pace, he will be 73 years old when he breaks the record.
Shula was 63 when he broke the record.
Next on the list is Mike Shanahan, who has 170 victories. If he continues on his average of nine wins per season for the next 18 years, he will break the record at the age of 78 years old.
I don't doubt both coaches will be around for the foreseeable future. In fact, I have suspicion at times that Belichick is actually a robot.
However, nothing is a certainty in the NFL. In Shanahan's case, Robert Griffin III may have bought him some more time from Daniel Snyder, but if Washington continues to miss the playoffs, his position could be in jeopardy.
And in Belichick's case, does he continue with the Patriots after Tom Brady retires? What if the Patriots win him his fourth Super Bowl this season?
It's not looking like there's a coach who could break this record. If anyone is likely to break it, it's 40-year-old Mike Tomlin. He's averaging 11 wins a season and has 66 victories already on a team that has employed three head coaches since 1969.
His target date, assuming he holds onto that average, is 2037. He would be 65 years old.
The Undefeated Season
I truly wanted to avoid writing about these guys for as long as possible (I'm a Miami Dolphins Featured Columnist, and yes, I'm even sick of them).
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to go through a regular season and the playoffs without losing a single game. Other teams will win more games in a season, with the 16-game schedule implemented in 1978, but a perfect season seems unlikely.
If it was going to happen, it would've been the 2007 New England Patriots. That talented team benefited from playing in a terrible AFC East that season (7-9, 4-12, 1-15 were the three other records).
However, despite this, they ultimately fell short.
Will anyone even get to the Super Bowl undefeated again? I have my doubts, especially considering that only two teams in history have done that.
If there's any record I can't wait to see get matched, it's this one.
Most Consecutive Games with a Passing Touchdown
Now that the streak is over, let's look back at how remarkable it was.
Drew Brees threw a touchdown pass in every game for three seasons. Some quarterbacks go multiple games in a row without completing a touchdown pass.
Since Brees is the most vital part of the Saints offense, defenses knew that they had to stop him. But for 54 straight games, no team could keep him from registering a passing touchdown.
It took 52 seasons for someone to break the original record held by Johnny Unitas. This is definitely the most unbreakable record in NFL histo...Hold on a second. Tom Brady has the longest active streak now at 43.
This puts him on pace to break the record in Week 6 (or Week 7 if the Patriots get a bye week prior to Week 6) of the 2013 NFL season.
Records are meant to be broken, whether it takes 52 years or 52 weeks.