All-Time NFL Playoff Records in Danger of Falling During Championship Weekend
Little-known NFL records are some of the best to watch fall. Played out are the records everyone knows of—the single-season rushing record Adrian Peterson nearly took down this season; the single-season receiving record Calvin Johnson did take down.
Not much stock is put into playoff records.
Did you know Brett Favre owns the NFL record for all-time passing yards in the postseason (5,855)? He has also thrown the most interceptions (30) and is second in touchdown passes (44).
Did you also know one of Favre’s playoff records could be broken this championship weekend?
Here is that record and some other notable NFL playoff records in danger of falling.
All statistics are gathered from Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise stated.
Career Passing Yards
The Record: 5,855 yards
The Record-Holder: Brett Favre (1993-09)
The Contender: Tom Brady, New England Patriots; 5,629
Tom Brady needs just 227 passing yards to jump from No. 4—behind Peyton Manning, Joe Montana and Favre—to No. 1 on this list.
The playoff records have been stacking up for Brady this postseason. Last week, he broke a tie with Montana for the most wins by a quarterback (17), and he already owns the records for completions (524) and attempts (833).
Brady also owns the record for the most game-winning drives in the postseason, with seven. He broke a tie with John Elway during last January’s AFC title game against the very Baltimore Ravens team he will face in this season’s AFC title game.
This record for the most career passing yards should fall Sunday, as Brady has thrown for at least 227 yards in all but one game this season. In fact, the last time he failed to top 200 yards passing was Week 8 of the 2011 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-17 loss.
Note: Brady’s next postseason fourth-quarter comeback will break a tie with John Elway, Eli Manning and Terry Bradshaw for second all time, tying him with Joe Montana for the most all time (five).
Career Defensive Interceptions
The Record: 9
The Record-Holder(s): Ronnie Lott (1981-91), Bill Simpson (1974-81), Charlie Waters (1970-81)
The Contender: Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens; 8
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has been intercepting passes in the NFL for over a decade. He came into the league as a 24-year-old rookie from the University of Miami and has been doing it from the start.
His first career interception came in his third career game in 2002 off the Denver Broncos’ Brian Griese.
His first career postseason interception came in 2003 in his first playoff game. That was off the late, great Steve McNair.
Reed has added seven more since then and needs one to tie the trio of players for No. 1. He needs two to become the first with double-digit interceptions for a playoff career.
Two will be difficult off Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but if he does so, he will tie another playoff record: the most postseason games with multiple interceptions (three).
He has intercepted Brady just once in his career. Is he up to the task?
The Record: 16
The Record-Holder: Willie McGinest (1994-05)
The Contender: Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens; 12
This is more of a two-game possibility for Terrell Suggs. The likelihood of getting to Brady four times is slim.
In fact, only once has Brady been sacked three times by one player in a game (Joey Porter in 2004 when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers). Porter is also the only player to record four sacks of a Patriots quarterback since Brady’s rookie season—a game in 2008 while with the Miami Dolphins; it was Matt Cassel, not Brady.
Suggs and the Ravens will have to beat Brady and the Pats for him to have a shot at the record this postseason. While that is not a sure thing—the Patriots are a 9.5-point favorite at home (per PickFactor.com)—the Ravens have been playing well this postseason, and Suggs brought Manning down twice last week in the divisional game.
It also is notable that Suggs’ next playoff game with multiple sacks will break a tie he shares with the Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley for the most in NFL history.
Both have four such games.
Career Extra Points
The Record: 57
The Record-Holder: Gary Anderson (1982-03)
The Contender: David Akers, San Francisco 49ers; 53
This one was found in the “Obscure Stats” file. Not really, but it may be one of the most little-known records in the NFL.
Gary Anderson kicked for five different teams over his 23-year NFL career and went to the postseason with all of them. David Akers hasn’t been around quite that long and hasn’t been passed around the league that much, but he has been productive in postseason play.
With five touchdowns Sunday—and barring the need for San Francisco to go for two—Akers will pass Anderson on the list of career extra points.
Is it an important statistic? No. But it is fun to keep track of.
Career Touchdown Passes
The Record: 45
The Record-Holder: Joe Montana (1981-94)
The Contender: Tom Brady; 41
Yet another NFL postseason record Brady has a shot to break this weekend, this one is a bit older than Favre’s yards record. It has stood since 1994; Favre last played in the postseason after the 2009 season.
Brady needs five touchdown passes to pass Montana. This could be a two-game watch-and-see, as Suggs’ sack record is. No quarterback has thrown for five touchdowns against a Baltimore defense since Ben Roethlisberger did it in November 2007.
The only other time it occurred since the Ravens became a franchise in 1996 was in November 2003 by Matt Hasselbeck and the Seattle Seahawks.
But the record could fall this postseason if Brady and his Pats reach the Super Bowl (or if Brady goes off Sunday against Baltimore).