8 NFL Records That Can Still Fall in 2014 Season
As we were reminded Sunday in both Dallas and Denver, records are meant to be broken.
But Murray may not be done when it comes to rewriting the NFL record book in 2014. And he may not be alone in that regard as a few other performers as well as a few teams may have the opportunity to make their mark by season’s end.
Here’s a look at eight league records that could still be set this upcoming season. Every team and numerous performers have played at least six games in 2014, so it’s not too early to speculate. But we do realize that there’s an awfully long way to go.
Let the chase begin.
Most Rushing Yards, Season
Record: 2,105 yards
Record Holder: Los Angeles Rams RB Eric Dickerson (1984)
Amazingly, it’s now been 30 years since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson set the league mark for rushing yards in a season. As we know, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made a run (literally) at the mark in 2012, finishing with 2,097 yards on the ground.
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has rushed for 913 yards in his first seven games this season. He would have to average 132.4 yards per game the remainder of 2014 to tie Dickerson’s impressive mark.
Even if Murray falls short of the NFL record, he could become just the eighth player in league annals to rush for at least 2,000 yards if he totals 1,087 yards in his final nine outings.
Most Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games
Record Holder: Detroit Lions RB Barry Sanders (1997)
This past Sunday in Dallas, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray set a new NFL record by rushing for at least 100 yards in his first seven games.
It’s a tremendous and unprecedented feat. But when it comes to hitting a C-note on the ground in consecutive outings, Murray is only halfway home.
Back in 1997, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders was held below 100 yards rushing in his first two games that season. Then the electrifying performer ran the table the remainder of the season, totaling 100-plus yards on the ground in his last 14 appearances. It was one of many impressive accomplishments for the league’s third all-time rushing leader.
Most Consecutive 300-Yard Passing Games
Record Holder: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (2011-12 and 2013)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck leads the NFL with 2,331 yards through the air in 2014.
The league’s first overall pick in 2012 has been amazing in his third season. His 19 touchdown passes are tied for the most in the league.
But back to that yardage figure as Luck has thrown for at least 300 yards in five straight games and six of his seven contests this season.
Can the third-year signal-caller keep this up for another month or so? Luck is four consecutive 300-yard performances away from tying the mark set by Drew Brees not once but twice during his days with the Saints.
Most 300-Yard Passing Games, Season
Record Holder: New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (2011)
If you read the previous slide, you know that Saints quarterback Drew Brees owns the NFL record for most consecutive 300-yard passing games, a mark he has set twice in his career.
The first time was in 2011-12, when Brees closed 2011 with seven straight 300-yard performances and then opened the following season with two more. Earlier in ’11, he had already thrown for 300 or more yards in six of his first nine outings—hence the NFL record of 13.
This season, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has played in seven games and thrown for 300-plus yards in six of those contests. Could he tie or surpass Brees’ impressive record from three seasons ago?
Most Receptions, Running Back, Season
Record Holder: Arizona Cardinals RB Larry Centers (1995)
For those of you counting, a player has caught at least 100 passes 81 times in the NFL’s first 94 years.
However, only twice has that player been a running back. The last was San Diego Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson, who totaled 100 receptions in 2003.
The first was Larry Centers, who racked up 101 catches with the Arizona Cardinals in 1995, a season which saw an NFL record nine players catch at least 100 passes.
Why bring this up? Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte leads the NFL with 52 receptions in just seven games this season. That’s quite a start for the versatile performer and even somewhat surprising considering the team boasts wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Most Touchdown Receptions, Season
Record Holder: New England Patriots WR Randy Moss (2007)
It was somewhat surprising that Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas wasn’t a part of NFL history this past Sunday night.
While quarterback Peyton Manning was busy throwing four touchdown passes on his way to setting the new career mark for scoring tosses (510), none went the way of Thomas. The talented performer leads the NFL with nine touchdown receptions in a mere six games, although he was held out of the end zone versus the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
Still, Thomas is off to an awesome start. The league mark for touchdown receptions by any player in a season is 23, set by New England Patriots wideout Randy Moss seven years ago.
In case you’re wondering, it’s another Patriots player who owns the league record for most touchdown grabs by a tight end. In 2011, Rob Gronkowski caught 17 scoring passes for the Pats. And Gronk also owns the record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a season because he was also credited for a rushing score in 2011, giving him 18 touchdowns three years ago.
Most Points Allowed, Team, Season
Record Holder: Baltimore Colts (1981)
Seven weeks into 2014, we have seen our share of porous defense. And it’s been in one division a bit more than others.
Of the bottom five teams in the league in terms of most points allowed per game, four come from the NFC South.
While there’s an awfully long way to go, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already allowed 204 points this season and have played in just a half-dozen contests. Keep in mind that in 2013, the Seattle Seahawks gave up 231 points in 16 games.
Lovie Smith’s club has already surrendered 56 and 48 points in separate outings this season. As for the record, the 1981 Colts own that “honor.” That season, Baltimore won its first and its last game and dropped 14 straight contests in between. And along the way, it allowed a whopping 533 points that year.
Fewest Turnovers, Team, Season
Record Holder: New England Patriots (2010) and San Francisco 49ers (2011)
It’s impossible to predict how many takeaways and turnovers a team will finish the season with.
Still, we do know that 15 of the 32 clubs won’t be able to tie or break the record for fewest turnovers in a season.
The mark was first set by Bill Belichick’s Patriots in 2010 and Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers one season later.
So after seven weeks of play, 17 teams have committed 10 turnovers or less. But we’ll single out the San Diego Chargers, who have coughed up the ball just three times in seven contests in 2014. All three of those turnovers came via interceptions by quarterback Philip Rivers.
We bring that up because it means that Mike McCoy’s club has not lost a fumble as the Chargers approach the halfway point of the season.