Sorry for the late column everyone. I was out of town all weekend and that left me behind schedule with my writing for Monday. Or maybe I’m just early for next week. Anyway, here we go.
There isn’t much newsworthy stuff that I can talk about without beating old stories into the ground, so let’s throw a curveball and talk about some NFL records. There are some which will probably never be touched and some that could fall this year. I was reminded of this when I looked at LaDanian Tomlinson’s stats and I realized that if he wasn’t close to some rushing records, no one will come close for a very, very long time. Even Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Chris Johnson aren’t even close to LT’s numbers, much less Emmitt Smith’s career numbers. Peterson is almost 7,000 yards and 81 touchdowns shy of LT’s career numbers. That means Peterson would have to average roughly 1400 yards and 16 touchdowns per season over the next 5 to meet LT’s numbers. LT was incredibly durable and even he started to fall off during his 8th season. Peterson just finished his 5th and is coming off of a knee injury, something LT never had.
Needless to say, career rushing records are pretty safe. If LT was roughly 4700 yards and 19 touchdowns away, we won’t see anyone close for a long time. The NFL is becoming a pass heavy league and you need to look no further than the 2 teams in the Super Bowl to see how unimportant the running game was to their success. Dominant running teams are becoming a thing of the past. Most career and single season rushing records will be safe for the foreseeable future.
Single season passing and receiving records on the other hand are very much in danger. Heck, we’ve seen the single season touchdown and yardage record broken by QBs the past few years. Brady’s single season touchdown record of 50 could go down and one of several QBs could be the culprit. I think Brees’ 5,476 yards from last year will be tougher to break though, but that’s just a hunch.
On the receiving side of things, I think Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards could be overtaken. Calvin Johnson was less than 200 yards away last season and while many WRs have been that close, I think Calvin could pull it off. Larry Fitzgerald could as well if he got comparable QB play. Calvin could also threaten Randy Moss’ single season record of 23 TDs. If passing records are being broken left and right, it’s not unreasonable to think some receiving records are threatened as well.
Defensively, there’s one record which could be broken in Week 1 or never. What record could that be? Career safeties forced. Jared Allen has 4, which is tied for the best ever. This record could fall at any time or never. Safeties are such a situational play that you may only get a handful of opportunities in a season to get one.
While we’re on the topic of Jared Allen, the single season sack record will also be threatened. With teams passing at higher rates, there are more sack opportunities. Another record Allen (and DeMarcus Ware) could very easily, if not probably break, will be most seasons leading league in sacks. Both Ware and Allen are tied with 2. If one of them leads the league in sacks (like I said, this record will probably be broken) they will have led the league in sacks more times than any other player. That’s elite company. Reggie White, Michael Strahan, Bruce Smith…none of them led the league in sacks more than twice.
2012 could be a year of many broken records. I’m excited. Anyone think any of the single season records could be broken? Any records that I missed that have a good shot to fall?
Extra Long Quick Hits
-I’d like to thank former Pitt player and current Detroit Lion for my latest NFL players are idiots. I was editing and I looked at PFT on my phone and saw 2 articles. One, Berry is expected to compete for a starting gig. Then a few minutes later, an article was posted saying that he was arrested for DUI. He’s now the 6th Detroit Lion to get arrested this year. Way to bring shame upon yourself, team, family, and alma mater ya jagoff.
-LT created a stir when he said he’d rather make it to the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl. A lot of people got angry. I don’t get the anger. It takes an entire team to win a Super Bowl. It only takes you to make the Hall of Fame. Sure, teammates help, but it’s mostly about your individual accomplishments. There are hundreds of players who did nothing that have Super Bowl rings. That backup OG who only saw time on the FG team, yeah, he’s a champion!
-The NFL top 100 list is almost over and while I think the list is pointless, I think it’s most interesting to see who the best non-QB will be. It’s obvious #1 will be a QB, but who is the best non-QB in the NFL? I would say it’s Darelle Revis who basically shuts down half of the field on defense. That’s my pick but my blue and gold glasses could be blinding me.
-Ochocinco issued a “warning” to Roger Goodell that essentially says he’s going to get fined a lot this season. Chad, hire me as your PR guy. I have a great strategy: tell everyone that you keep getting fined because you support the injured players that are taken care of by the funds received via fines. Now, you’re a bizarre Robin Hood, robbing the rich (yourself) to give to the needy who made the game it is today. Now, players who avoid fines hate retired players. I’ll take 10% of your salary now Chad.
-RG3 got extorted? How’s this for extortion? RG3, pay me $1 million or I’ll tell everyone you play for the Washington Redskins. That’s pretty embarrassing info for the world to know. You don’t’ want that out there.
-2012 Prediction: The Wannstache led Buffalo Bills defense improves by leaps and bounds and finishes in the top half of the NFL in most relevant stats.
-I love the NHL but I couldn’t be less excited by the NHL draft. Why? I never saw those players play. I think anyone who professes to know much about a guy who played in the Ontario Hockey League is full of crap. What makes the NFL draft great is that you can see these guys play. While I don’t watch a lot of small schools, I know players on the big time programs. I’m frequently wrong like everyone else, but I saw RG3 tear TCU’s defense apart. I never saw Nail Yakupov on anything but a highlight tape. Anyone who has an ounce of scouting knowledge knows highlight tapes aren’t always useful and the only other source out there was other people’s opinions, which again, are not useful.
-Bonus 2012 prediction: Peyton Manning ages and takes a step back from top tier QB. He’s still a very good QB, but he will no longer be considered a peer to Brees, Rodgers, and Brady.