The world’s greatest football players set eye-catching new records each season as they bid for glory in the NFL. However, some records are so emphatic that they may never be broken. We have rounded up some of the most impressive records that players and teams have set over the past 100 years:
Most Consecutive Starts – Brett Favre (297)
The legendary quarterback was a model of consistency in the NFL and his stellar career was rarely blighted by injuries. Favre hit headlines when he broke Jon Jaworski’s NFL record of 116 consecutive appearances, but he was only just getting started. He ended up featuring in 297 games in a row, and 321 if you include playoffs. Favre also broke Dan Marino’s record for touchdown passes, but Peyton Manning eventually surpassed him on that front.
Most Receptions – Jerry Rice (1,549)
Rice holds every important receiving record imaginable, including most receptions, most receiving yards (22,895), most receiving touchdowns (119), most consecutive one-plus pass receptions (274), most five-plus reception games and most 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14). He also holds the record for the most overall touchdowns (208) and most career yards from scrimmage (23,540).
Best Regular Season Record – New England Patriots (16-0)
The Pats put together a perfect 16-0 season in 2007, but still ended up losing the Super Bowl to Eli Manning’s New York Giants. The only other team with a perfect season was of course the Miami Dolphins of 1972, and they did win the Super Bowl. Can any other team enjoy an unbeaten regular season in the 16-game era? The Chiefs are Super Bowl favorites in the NFL betting, but it is hard to imagine them winning every game next season.
Most Sacks in a Game – Derrick Thomas (7.0)
Dave Krieg could be forgiven for shuddering whenever he hears the name Derrick Thomas. The Seattle Seahawks QB was on the end of a record-breaking beatdown from Thomas, who sacked him seven times in a single game in 1990. No player has achieved more than 5.5 sacks in a game since then.
Most Interceptions in a Game – Jim Hardy (8)
The opening game of the 1950 season was one to forget for the Cardinals QB, who threw a record-breaking eight interceptions against the defending NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Most Receptions in a Season – Michael Thomas (149)
Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison blazed a trail of destruction across the NFL when he made an astonishing 143 receptions in 2002. That left him 31 catches clear of his closest competitor, Hines Ward. Antonio Brown and Julio Jones could not topple his record, and it looked pretty safe. However, New Orleans Saints wide receiver broke that mark in 2019 when he achieved 12 catches for 136 yards in his final game of the season, taking his total to 149.
Most Consecutive Away Wins – San Francisco 49ers (18)
The Niners surged to an impressive 18 consecutive wins on the road between 1988 and 1990. Joe Montana and Steve Young were battling it out for the starting QB role, while Rice was in his pomp, and the 49ers won consecutive Super Bowls during this golden era.
Most Points in a Quarter – Don Hutson (29)
The fabled receiver delivered one of the greatest individual performances of all time during the 1945 season. Hutson scored 29 points – four touchdowns and five PATs – in the second quarter of a game against the Detroit Lions, leading the Green Bay Packers to a 57-21 and vindicating his decision to come out of retirement to play that season.
Most Receiving Yards in a Game – Willie Anderson (336)
Flipper was the star of the show during a 20-17 win for the Rams in 1989. His team looked all but certain to lose to the New Orleans Saints, but Anderson scored a game-tying touchdown deep into the fourth quarter. It went into overtime and Anderson added 40 yards to his total, ultimately receiving for 336 yards. He finished the season with a career-high 1,146 yards off just 44 receptions.
Most Rush Yards in a Season – Eric Dickerson (2,105)
The Hall of Fame running back was electric during the 1984 season. He set a new league record of 2,105 rushing yards in just his second year as a pro, and also led the league for rushing touchdowns. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson actually came within 10 yards of breaking Dickerson’s record in 2012, but he could not quite make it.
Most Rush Yards in a Career – Emmitt Smith (18,355)
Smith rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 11 out of 15 seasons in the NFL. He led the league for rushing yards four times in five years during an iconic period for the Dallas Cowboys, and he remains the league leader for career rush yards.
Most Seasons – George Blanda (26)
The evergreen Blanda holds an embarrassment of pro football records. He played in the most seasons (26), led the league for points during the most seasons (8), made the most kicks (943), and he was also the oldest player to appear when he took to the field at the age of 48 in 1975. Blanda is also a joint record holder for the most passing TDs in a game (7), and the most consecutive seasons leading the league for pass completions (3). He does, however, hold one unwanted distinction – most passes intercepted in a season (42).