Many people were taken aback when it was discovered that many of the NFL’s long-standing records were still intact after the league’s inaugural season with 17 games. The legendary rushing record held by Eric Dickerson was able to survive another season. Peyton Manning’s records for passing yards and touchdown passes were also unaffected, but Michael Strahan watched Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt match — but not pass — his record for sacks in a season. Watt is on Michael Strahan’s record for having the most sacks in a season.
Dickerson, Manning, and the rest of the team made it through the 2021 season, but in 2022 they might not have the same amount of luck. In 2022, which will be the second regular season in league history to consist of 17 games, there are several records that are on the verge of being broken. Let’s take a look at which single-season records are in danger of being broken, as well as the players who have the best chance of doing so.
Most yards gained through reception
Calvin Johnson is the current holder of the record (1,964 yards in 2012)
During the previous season, Cooper Kupp came incredibly close to breaking Chris Johnson’s record. The player who won the Super Bowl MVP award the previous year concluded the 2021 season with 1,947 yards while also leading the NFL in receptions with 145. Kupp has a good chance of being the first player in NFL history to amass 2,000 receiving yards in the upcoming season, provided that he and quarterback Matthew Stafford are able to avoid injury.
The majority of receptions
Michael Thomas is the current holder of the record (149 in 2019)
During the previous season, Kupp was only four receptions away from matching Thomas’ record. In addition to his quick synergy with Stafford, Kupp’s exceptional hands were a large part of the reason for the phenomenal stats he posted the previous year. In every game he played last year, he missed only two opportunities to catch at least 80 percent of his targets.
The current holder of the record is Michael Strahan (22.5 in 2001), followed by T.J. Watt (22.5 in 2021)
Despite being sidelined for two games with an injury, Watt managed to tie Strahan’s record. Watt not only tied the record for the most sacks ever recorded, but he also led the National Football League in tackles for loss for the second year in a row. Along the way to capturing his first Defensive Player of the Year honour, he was also responsible for five forced fumbles. Watt should be in a position to break the record once again this season given the increased depth the Steelers have at linebacker as well as on the defensive line. This season’s Steelers should be in a better position to defend their Super Bowl title.
The most yards gained by running
Eric Dickerson is the current holder of the record (2,105 in 1984)
Last year, Derrick Henry was on pace to break Dickerson’s record after rumbling for 937 yards in the first eight games of the season when he suffered an injury that ended his season prematurely. Henry is the favourite to break this record in 2021, but don’t count out Jonathan Taylor, who is now playing for the Colts and is in his third year. Taylor won the running title for the league last fall.
Tom Brady is the current holder of the record (485 in 2021)
Last season, Brady smashed a record that had been held by Drew Brees for the previous five years. In 2022, he may break his own record. During the previous season, he had at least 20 pass completions in every game but one. During the Buccaneers’ loss to the Rams in the regular season, quarterback Tom Brady threw for 41 completions. The Buccaneers will play host to the Rams on November 6.
The most yards gained by passing
Peyton Manning is the quarterback who currently holds the record (5,477 in 2013)
Last year, when Brady set a new career high in passing yards, he threw for 5,316 yards, putting him within striking distance of the record held by his former opponent. At the end of the season, Brady finished with more than 300 more passing yards than the Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who concluded the year as the second-leading passer in the league.
Matthew Stafford is the current holder of the record (727 in 2012)
During the previous season, Brady came within eight completions of matching the record set by Stafford. In each of Tampa Bay’s 17 games during the regular season, quarterback Tom Brady attempted at least 30 passes. The Buccaneers’ heartbreaking defeat to the Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs was his fourth game in which he threw at least 50 passes. In that game, he attempted a season-high 54 attempts, which was also the fourth game in which he threw at least 50 passes.
The majority of interceptions
Night Train Lane is the current holder of the record (14 in 1952)
Lester Hayes, a former lockdown cornerback for the Raiders, came the closest to catching Night Train’s record in 1980 when he intercepted 13 passes while playing for the team. Trevon Diggs, a cornerback with the Cowboys, had a breakout season in 2017, recording 11 passes defensed. J.C. Jackson, who is now playing cornerback for the Chargers but spent his previous season with the Patriots and intercepted eight passes during that season, can also be regarded one of the favourites to perhaps surpass Night Train’s long-standing record.
Justin Tucker is the current holder of the record (66 yards in 2021)
In the previous season, the All-Pro kicker for the Ravens made a field goal from 66 yards, so there is no reason to believe that Tucker would hesitate to attempt a field goal from 67 yards if the opportunity arose this year. Tucker, who was just a rookie when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2012, is coming off of what is perhaps the best season of his career to this point. During the previous season, he was successful in kicking field goals nearly 95 percent of the time, including all six of his attempts from at least 50 yards out.