6 NFL Single-Season Records That Could Be Broken in 2014

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Records are made to be broken. At least that’s what nearly every athlete who has a record that’s about to be overtaken says. Year in and year out, it seems like there is at least one NFL single-season record that is in danger of being broken in the second half of the season. The single-season rushing yards record has grabbed most of the headlines and been the topic of sports talk shows nationwide, but it is far from the only single-season record that could fall in 2014.

All statistics are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.

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Passing yards

Peyton Manning broke this record in 2013 en route to the best single season by a quarterback in NFL history, and now, his replacement in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, is on pace to break this record a year after Manning set it. To break Peyton’s record of 5,477 passing yards in a season, a quarterback would need to average 343 yards per game — Luck’s exact yards per game average in 2014 — over a 16-game season. While Luck is the top contender and is showing no signs of slowing down, Manning is right on his heels. With a strong second half of the 2014 season, the Denver Broncos quarterback could very easily make a run at breaking the record he set just a year ago.

Current record holder: Peyton Manning (5,477 yards)

2014 contenders:

  1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
    • 343 yards per game in 2014
    • On pace for 5,488 yards in 2014
  2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
    • 322 yards per game in 2014
    • On pace for 5,152 yards in 2014
  3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
    • 316 yards per game in 2014
    • On pace for 5,056 yards in 2014

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Sacks

This record has stood since 2001, when Michael Strahan recorded his controversial record-breaking sack of Brett Favre. It seems like someone has had a chance to break this record every year since, with Jared Allen being the closest to doing so, coming within 0.5 sacks of the record in 2011. Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is on pace to break this record in 2014 but will need to keep up his torrid pace to do so. Despite having a lower sack total at this point, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller may have the best chance at breaking this record this season. If the Broncos jump out in front of their remaining opponents as expected, Miller will have more opportunities to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback than other edge pass rushers around the league.

Current record holder: Michael Strahan (22.5 sacks)

2014 contenders:

  1. Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
    • 12.0 sacks in 2014
    • 1.5 sacks per game in 2014
    • On pace for 24 sacks in 2014
  2. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
    • 9.0 sacks in 2014
    • 1.13 sacks per game in 2014
    • On pace for 18 sacks in 2014
  3. Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings
    • 9.0 sacks in 2014
    • 1.0 sack per game in 2014
    • On pace for 16 sacks in 2014
  4. DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos
    • 8.0 sacks in 2014
    • 1.0 sack per game in 2014
    • On pace for 16 sacks in 2014

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Rushing yards

As most football fans already know, there is only one real contender for this record in 2014, and that is Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. Murray is averaging 125.9 yards per game in 2014, slightly off the 132 yards per game pace he needs to break Eric Dickerson’s record that has stood since 1984. If Murray can stay healthy for all of 2014, he will likely have a legitimate shot at this record in late December.

Current record holder: Eric Dickerson (2,105 yards)

2014 contender:

  1. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
    • 1,133 yards in 2014
    • 125.9 yards per game
    • On pace for 2,015 yards in 2014

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Receptions

There is realistically only one contender to break this record in 2014, and even he would be considered a long shot at this point. Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown is averaging 7.9 receptions per game so far in 2014, which is more than one reception per game off the pace needed to break the record. Brown needs 73 more receptions this year, which would average out to 10.43 catches per game for his remaining seven games. While this is doable for a player like Brown, it is highly unlikely to actually happen.

Current record holder: Marvin Harrison (143 receptions)

2014 contender:

  1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
    • 71 receptions in 2014
    • 7.9 receptions per game in 2014
    • On pace for 127 receptions in 2014

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Rushing attempts

This record is also all about DeMarco Murray and is 100% dependent on Murray’s health. If Murray stays healthy all year and continues to carry the load like he has for the Cowboys, he is likely to go on to break this record. To break this record, he will need to average 28 carries per game going forward.

Current record holder: Larry Johnson (416)

2014 contender:

  1. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
    • 225 rushing attempts in 2014
    • 25 carries per game in 2014
    • On pace for 400 carries in 2014

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Field goals made

This record requires a kicker to have an excellent season but is also heavily dependent on factors that are out of any kicker’s control. First, a kicker has to play for a team with an offense that is good enough to get into field goal range consistently. Second, said offense needs to have the tendency to stall inside of the opponents’ 35-yard line.

Stephen Gostkowski is on pace for 43 field goals in 2014 but could easily see his actual total be much lower or higher by the end of the season. The same can be said for Adam Vinatieri, who is on pace for 36 field goals, and Justin Tucker, who is on pace for 34 field goals in 2014.

Current record holder: David Akers (44)

Contenders:

  1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
    • 24 field goals made in 2014
    • 2.67 field goals made per game in 2014
    • On pace for 43 field goals made in 2014
  2. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
    • 20 field goals made in 2014
    • 2.22 field goals made per game in 2014
    • On pace for 36 field goals made in 2014
  3. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
    • 19 field goals made in 2014
    • 2.11 field goals made per game in 2014
    • On pace for 34 field goals made in 2014