But if teams keep throwing the ball at the current rate, the 2,000-yard barrier could be in reach.
Buffalo’s Diggs led the NFL last year with 1,535 yards receiving.
AIR IT OUT
There have been 12 times a quarterback reached 5,000 yards passing in a season, with the recently retired Drew Brees having done it five times himself.
Brees set the record with 5,476 yards in 2011 only to have Peyton Manning break it by a yard two years later.
Three quarterbacks have reached the 5,000-mark the past three years, with Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger doing it in 2018, Jameis Winston in 2019. All three were on a pace to nearly eclipse Manning’s mark with an extra game.
Manning also set the TD mark with 55 in that 2013 season. Mahomes got to 50 in 2018 when he threw for 5,097 yards and could threaten both marks with the 17th game.
Michael Strahan set the sacks record in 2001 — with help from a dive by Brett Favre — when he got 22 1/2 to break Mark Gastineau’s mark of 22 set in 1984.
Jared Allen (2011) and Justin Houston (2014) both matched Gastineau’s 22 in recent years, with Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt coming close at 20 1/2.
A 17th game could help someone pass Strahan and remove the controversy from the record that was achieved only when Favre just fell to the ground in the closing minutes of the season finale.
The 4,000-yard passing season became common in recent years even with only 16 games as the game opened up and teams passed more than ever. In all, there have been 198 4,000-yard seasons in NFL history, with seven franchises having at least 10 and the Packers and Colts having 16 each.
There is only one team that hasn’t cracked that mark: the Chicago Bears. It might be tough for the Bears to end that drought even with 17 games because Andy Dalton begins the season as starter but could lose the job at some point to rookie Justin Fields.
The Bears hope Fields will get there some day and pass the franchise record of 3,838 yards set by Erik Kramer in 1995.
There are a handful of records that will be tough to break with 17 games but perhaps none more than Night Train Lane’s mark of 14 interceptions in 1952. No one has even reached 11 in a season since Everson Walls in 1981 as quarterbacks have become much more careful with the ball.
Miami’s Xavien Howard last year became the first player since 2007 with 10 in a season but even a 17th game probably won’t be enough.
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