Every NFL fan knows that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson are closing in on single-season yardage records. But did you know that Jets punt returner Jeremy Kerley is closing in on the single-season record for most fair catches?
Probably not. And I didn’t either, until I wasted way too much time thumbing through the NFL Record and Fact Book, finding nine single-season records that might be broken in the next nine days. Here they are, in order of importance:
Most Rushing Yards: Peterson has 1,812 yards this season, putting him 294 away from breaking Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105, set in 1984. Gaining 294 yards in two games isn’t easy, but it’s definitely doable for Peterson.
Most Receiving Yards: Johnson has 1,667 yards this season, putting him 182 away from breaking Jerry Rice’s record of 1,848, set in 1995. Johnson may break the record on Saturday night against the Falcons, and if he falls short of that he’ll have an excellent chance of doing it in Week 17.
Most Sacks: Houston’s J.J. Watt and San Francisco’s Aldon Smith are both at 19.5, three away from Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see both of them break it.
Most 50-yard Field Goals: Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh has already tied the NFL record owned by Morten Andersen and Jason Hanson, with eight 50-yard field goals this season. If Walsh connects from 50 or beyond in either of the Vikings’ last two regular-season games, he’ll own the record all to himself. Two other kickers, Tampa Bay’s Connor Barth and Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski, have six 50-yard field goals so far this season and have a shot at breaking the record in the next two weeks.
Most 100-Yard Receiving Games: In addition to the single-season yardage record, Johnson is closing in on the single-season 100-yard game record. Johnson has 10 games of at least 100 receiving yards this season. Michael Irvin’s NFL record is 11.
Most Pass Attempts: Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has 629 attempts this season, putting him 63 passes away from Drew Bledsoe’s single-season record of 691. Barring injury, Stafford is likely to break it while trying to help Megatron get a more significant record.
Highest Net Punting Average: Saints punter Thomas Morstead is currently averaging 44.7 net yards per punt. He’s well on his way to breaking the all-time record, which the 49ers’ Andy Lee set last year when he averaged 43.99 yards per punt.
Most Punts Inside the 20: Chiefs punter Dustin Colquit has put 41 punts inside the 20 this season, putting him one away from tying and two away from breaking the record of 42. That record is shared by three punters, all of whom did it within the last five years: Andy Lee in 2007, Ben Graham of the Cardinals in 2009 and Steve Weatherford of the Jets in 2010.
Most Fair Catches: OK, so we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. This isn’t quite up there with the most prestigious records in all of sports, but Jets punt returner Jeremy Kerley has fair caught 31 punt returns this season, putting him only two away from the all-time record of 33, set by Brian Mitchell of the Eagles in 2000. Most fair catches is just the kind of record this Jets team deserves.