Top 10 unbreakable records in the NFL
Over the years the NFL fans have seen some sensational players, exceptional coaches, outstanding teams and some amazing records. Emmitt Smith’s record for 4,409 carries for 18,355 yards or Marvin Harrison’s record of taking 143 Catches in 2002 are astounding figures and the likes of which we might never see again.
We have come up with our list of the Top 10 Unbreakable NFL record and it is some list with some unbelievable achievements.
1.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 26 Consecutive Losses
In 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL as AFC West members and appointed John McKay as their head coach. The project was supposed to be a promising one, with McKay highlighting the importance of patience, experienced players and intelligent draft picks. But with different rules back then, the Buccaneers could only manage to get old veteran players or those that had not been offered contracts by their original teams. This team of misfits was obviously going to struggle to win matches but nobody predicted what was about to happen.
The Bucs failed to win a match the entire season and that sequence of poor results continued into the second campaign for a 26 consecutive loss streak. It ended when they finally beat the New Orleans Saints in the thirteenth week of their second season. The team could not manage to throw a touchdown pass for their first five games and ended the season with at least 17 players injured. They were officially considered the worst team in NFL history with a 0-14 record, until the Detroit Lions broke that record during the 2008 season with a 0-16 record. The Buccaneers however kept their losing streak going the next season as well, earning themselves a place in the record books for all the wrong reasons.
2.Vince Lombardi: 90% Postseason Winning Percentage
Vince Lombardi once said “winning is a habit.” Nobody knew more about wining than Lombardi himself, a true legend of football. One of the most successful coaches in NFL history, Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967. Under him, the Packers won five National Football League championships in seven years, including three consecutive titles as well as winning the first two Super Bowls. His achievements got him the respect and admiration of his peers who honored his memory by renaming the NFL Super Bowl trophy ‘the Vince Lombardi Trophy’ in 1970.
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Vince Lombardi achieved something that no one has been able to match to this day. Don Shula has the record for most wins by a coach with 328, followed by George Halas and Tom Landry but neither could match Lombardi’s 90% post season winning percentage. He won 96 regular season games in his ten years in charge with a 72.8% winning rate, including his time with the Washington Redskins who he led to their first winning season in thirteen years.
He also managed to record an 84.0% winning percentage in pre season games, but it was his 90% winning rate in the postseason that was a truly remarkable achievement. He only lost one postseason game out of the ten that his teams played and won five championships along the way. The match that he did lose was to the Philadelphia Eagles by only four points with the final score being 17-13. To this day, no other coach has even come close to breaking Lombardi’s record and it seems like no one ever will.
3.Brett Favre: 297 Consecutive Games played by a quarterback
It is hard to find a football fan who hasn’t heard the name Brett Favre. He started his career as a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, before joining the Green Bay Packers the following year. He started his first game on September 20th, 1992 and on that day a football star was born.
Favre started every game for the Packers, the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings for the next 20 years and set a record for most consecutive starts with 297 or 321 including playoff games. He only managed to miss out on 8 games where he had to retire injured, otherwise Favre became a constant unwavering figure at the Green Bay Packers and his later teams.
238 quarterbacks started in the NFL during the same time and seventeen of them were his own backup at one point in their careers. The streak came to an end when a shoulder injury made it impossible for him to start a game against the New York Giants on December 13th, 2010. Favre retired in January 2011. He also holds more than ten other NFL records including most pass touchdowns (508), most pass yards (71,838), most pass completions (6,300), most pass attempts (10,169), most pass interceptions (336), most starts (298) and most wins (186).
4.Otto Graham: 10 Championship Game Appearances
Otto Graham was a quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and the NFL. He left the Navy to join the Browns and became an important part of their squad, perhaps the most important, as he led them to a record 10 championship games and helped them win seven of them. He is considered one of the most influential players in the game’s history due to his personal achievements and his personal drive that was behind the Brown’s meteoric rise to the top of football.
Between 1946 and 1955, the Brown’s were one of the best teams in the league and Graham was their leader on and off the pitch. The Browns managed to post 114 wins with 20 losses and four ties. That stretch of success also included a 9-3 record in the playoffs. Graham also has the record for career average yards gained per pass attempt with nine. He also holds the record for the highest career winning percentage for an NFL starting quarterback at 81.4%. Graham’s ten championship games appearances record is still to be matched.
5.Don Hutson: 8 Touchdown Titles
Don Hutson joined the Green Bay Packers in 1935 and retired eleven seasons later in 1945. During that time he managed to become arguably the best wide receiver the game has ever seen. He is credited by many people for revolutionizing the role of the receiver. For Packers fans he is remembered as the man who was instrumental in the franchise winning three NFL championships in 1936, 1939 and 1944. When he retired he had a claim over 18 different NFL records and he was inducted in to the Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Of his numerous records, arguably Don’s greatest achievement was the eight seasons he led the division in touchdowns scored. For eight years, Don led the number of touchdowns in the league, an astonishing achievement considering the fact he was a receiver and not a running back. This record still stands as no other player has enjoyed the same kind of sustained success that Don enjoyed during his playing days.
6.Sid Luckman: Best season for a quarterback
The T-Formation is the cornerstone of modern day football with most teams employing the formation or its numerous variations. However in the 1940s, the formation did not exist. It was George Halas, the owner and coach of the Chicago Bears, who came up with it in 1939. To make it work, he needed a quarterback who could do his new radical formation justice and in Sid Luckman, he found the best man for the job.
Luckman became the first quarterback to excel in the T-Formation. He used it to devastating effect an example of which was the 1940 NFL championship game between the Bears and the Washington Redskins. The Browns trounced the Redskins 73-0. The formation was an instant hit and more teams started to try it out. They could not use it to great effect because they did not have a player of Luckman’s caliber in their ranks.
Luckman holds the record for the best season by a quarterback and his statistics show how great a player he really was. He completed 110 passes out of a possible 202 for 2194 yards, including 28 touchdowns against only 12 interceptions. He had a record 13.9% touchdown rate with 10.9 yards per pass attempt with a pass rating of 107.5. He is tied for the most passing touchdowns record in one game, with seven, while throwing for 443 yards in the same game. It was the first time in NFL history that someone had crossed the 400 yards mark in one game. Due to his influence on the game and his amazing performances, the Bears won four NFL championships during his time with the team.
7.Don Shula: 347 Coaching Wins
If we talk about the coaching achievements of Lombardi, then the name of Don Shula cannot be too far behind. Shula’s 33 years in professional football saw him reach heights that, no coach has since, and no coach will ever reach. Shula played as a cornerback for seven seasons before retiring as a player and becoming an assistant coach at the University of Virginia in 1958.
He got his first professional coaching job as the defensive backfield coach for the Detroit Lions before becoming the Baltimore Colts Head Coach in 1963. After a mixed time with the Colts, he left to join the Miami Dolphins in 1970. It was with the Dolphins that his career really took off. With the Dolphins, Shula won two Super Bowls (VII, VIII) and the NFL Championship in 1968. He also won the AFC Championship five times, in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1982 and 1984. Shula picked up fourteen division titles too with the Colts and the Dolphins.
Due to his tactical knowledge and his balance of team players, Shula set a number of coaching records throughout his career. He only registered two losing seasons in his entire 36 year career and won 347 games, a record that is yet to be matched. George Halas is second with 318 and Tom Landry is third with 250 wins. He also holds the record for most years and most consecutive years as a head coach with 33 years at the top level. He coached for 526 games in total, which is another record that will take some beating.
It was calculated that for a coach to beat Shula’s record for most matches won, he would have to win at least ten games for 35 seasons. It is pretty safe to say Shula’s record will remain intact, forever.
8.Jerry Rice: 1,549 Catches, 22,895 Yards, 197 Touchdowns
The only person who could give Don Hutson and his numerous NFL records a run for their money would be Jerry Rice. Actually Jerry Rice just might win. Considered by many as the best wide receiver the game has seen and perhaps the best football player of all time, Jerry Rice shattered records left, right and center. He still holds almost every NFL record for a wide receiver.
Jerry Rice started his career with the San Francisco 49ers before going on to play for the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks. With the 49ers, Rice won three Super Bowls, two NFC championships and was named in the NFL All-Pro team 12 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He has more than 20 NFL records to his name including the fastest player to gain 23,000 yards from scrimmage, most career all purpose touchdowns with 208 (197 receptions, 10 rushing, 1 fumble), most career games played by a position player with 303 games, most career Yards from Scrimmage with 23,540 yards (22,895 receiving, 645 rushing) etc. His most prolific records are however considered to be his career receptions, career receiving yards and career touchdown receptions.
Rice made 1549 receptions with 22,895 yards received and 197 touchdowns receptions in his career. This was 447 catches, 6,961 yards and 44 touchdowns more than any other player in the NFL at the time. It was calculated that if a receiver were to catch a 100 passes for 1,500 yards and thirteen touchdowns for fifteen consecutive seasons, he would still not be close to breaking Rice’s record. That is some record.
9.George Blanda: 26 professional seasons
George Blanda was a professional football player who played as a quarterback and kicker for the Chicago Bears in the NFL, the Houston Oilers and the Oakland Raiders in the American Football League (AFL). A very good player, he was never in the same mould as players like Sid Luckman and Don talent wise but George Blanda had his share of records too.
He is one of two people to play in four different decades and holds the record for being the oldest professional footballer when he played a game aged 48 years and 109 days. He was the first player to score over 2000 career points and holds the record of scoring a point every season for 26 seasons. His biggest record was however that to this day, he has played the most number of professional seasons as a football player with 26. The run began in 1949 and ended in 1975. He also has the record for the most interceptions thrown in a single season (1962) with 42 interceptions.
10.Ernie Nevers: Most Points Scored by One Player in a Game
Born in 1902, Ernie Nevers had the distinction of playing professional football as well as professional baseball. He played as a fullback for the Duluth Eskimos and later the Chicago Cardinals. He was a complete sportsman by heart who dedicated his life to the development of sports. It was however with the Cardinals that Nevers established an NFL record that, due to the evolution of the game since his time, will never be broken.
Nevers was the player and coach for the Cardinals match against their local rivals the Chicago Bears in 1929. History was made when Nevers scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points to get forty points in one game. Due to the new football philosophy of focusing more on the team game than individuals, this feat may never be repeated as only Clinton Portis came close to matching it in 2003 with five touchdowns. This is a record that should keep Nevers name in the record for years to come and maybe possibly forever.