NFL Power Rankings: 6 Craziest Paces Being Set by NFL Superstars

Jake Little@@jakelittleContributor IIIOctober 12, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: 6 Craziest Paces Being Set by NFL Superstars

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    It appears that the defenses of the NFL have suffered tremendously from the lack of a preseason.

    With many NFL players enjoying fantastic statistical seasons, football offenses are enjoying some of the most productive play in a long time.

    Many individual players have already set career-bests, and we are only entering Week 6!

    The following is a list of six of the craziest paces being set by NFL superstars. 

Tom Brady-Passing Yards

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    Tom Brady is having a phenomenal year, even by his own standards. He leads the league in passing yards, with 1,874. This translates to an average of 374.8 yards per game. 

    To put this into perspective, if Tom Brady continues on the pace that he is at, he will throw for a total of 5,996 yards. Doing so would shatter the previous record of most passing yards in a season. Currently, that record belongs to Dan Marino, who threw for 5,084 yards in the 1984 season.

    Brady has been nothing but impressive since coming to the NFL, and at the age of 34, the former Michigan quarterback is on pace for his best season so far.  

Matt Forte-Combined Rushing and Receiving Yards

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    In the Chicago Bears' first five games, Matt Forte has rushed for 440 yards, which is nothing too impressive. However, once you learn the the Bears running back has also caught 30 passes for a total of 345 yards, this suddenly becomes much more intriguing. 

    The former Tulane running back in on pace for a 1,104 yard receptions alone! On the ground, Forte is on track to rack up 1,408 yards, which would give him a combined total of 2,512 yards.

    Should Forte continue at this pace, he would become the fourth running back in the history of the NFL to gain 1,000 yards both receiving, and on the ground. Chris Johnson did it in 2009, Marshall Faulk achieved this feat in 1999, and Roger Craig did it in 1985.

    What separates Forte from those two however, is that Forte is on track to combine for 2,512 yards, which would break the current NFL record of 2,509 set by Johnson in 2009.  

Calvin Johnson-Touchdowns

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    No one in the NFL has scored more touchdowns than Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.  

    Johnson has scored an unbelievable nine touchdowns so far this season, which puts him on pace to finish with 28 touchdowns, if you round down. That would be a new NFL record, crushing Randy Moss's current record of 23, set in 2007. 

    There are no signs that Johnson is going to slow down. He is clearly Lions quarterback, Matthew Stafford's, favorite target, as he has been on the end of nine of Stafford's 10 touchdown passes this season.

    If the Lions continue to play at the level that has helped them get off to a 5-0 start, expect Johnson to break a few records by the end of the season.  

Cam Newton-Passing Yard (Rookie)

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    It is safe to say that Cam Newton has performed beyond expectations during the first five games of his NFL career. Despite the Panthers being 1-4, Newton has done amazing job for his team.

    The Heisman trophy winner has thrown for an incredible 1,610 yards in his first five starts for the Panthers. This puts him at an average of 322 yards per game.

    If Newton maintains this average, he will break, not only the record for most passing yards in a season by a rookie, but also the most passing yards in a season by any quarterback.

    At this pace, the Auburn star will finish the season with a total of 5,152 yards. The current record for most passing yards in a quarterback's rookie season is 3,739, which was set in Peyton Manning's 1998 rookie year.  

Wes Welker-Receiving Yards

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    Everybody knew that Wes Welker was good. Having said that, no one could have predicted that Welker would start out the season the way he has. 

    The New England Patriots receiver has a league-best 740 receiving yards. Over the course of five games, that averages out to 148 yards per game. At this pace, Welker will finish the season with 2,368 receiving yards. 

    The current record holder for most receiving yards in a season is Jerry Rice, who had 1,848 yards with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995.

    While it is unlikely that Welker will continue at this pace, don't expect his numbers to drop too steeply. His 740 receiving yards, make up 39 percent of Tom Brady's total passing yards. Clearly Brady prefers Welker to his other receivers, which bodes well for Welker's chances at breaking the record.   

Sebastian Janikowski-Field Goals (50 Yards or More)

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    With five field goals of 50 yards or more to his name this season, Sebastian Janikowski has already hit more field goals from that range in his first five games, than any kicker did in the entirety of last season.

    The Polish Cannon already tied the record for the longest field goal made, when he hit a 63 yard try in Denver. He is now on track to hit 16 field goals of at least 50 yards or more. 

    Should he reach 16, he would become the new record holder for field goals of that range. The record is currently shared by Morten Andersen and Jason Hanson, each of who hit eight from at least 50 yards.

    While it is unlikely that Janikowski does stay on pace to end with 16 of such field goals, it would certainly not be surprising to see him break the record of eight.