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Top 5 Unbreakable NFL Records

Updated on May 30, 2014

Jerry Rice


5. Jerry Rice's Career Receiving Yards

Jerry Rice finished his career with 22,895 receiving yards. He played in the NFL for 20 seasons, and he is widely considered the best receiver to ever play football. Jerry Rice was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, and that year was his first year of eligibility. That fact just shows how good Jerry Rice is. Over his NFL career, he averaged 75.6 yards per game, but he is only seventh on that list. The only other active players to have a higher career average are Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, and Julio Jones, but the question is will they be able to stay healthy enough for long enough to be able to come close to Jerry Rice's record.

Andre Johnson is the closest active NFL Wide Receiver to Jerry Rice's record, but Andre only has about 13,000 receiving yards, and Andre is 33 years old and beginning to slow down. Calvin Johnson is arguably the best receiver in the NFL today. Calvin currently has 9,328 career receiving yards. Calvin Johnson just had a record setting season where he broke Jerry Rice's record of most receiving yards in a single season. The record is now 1,964 receiving yards in a single season. If he keeps up at the rate he is already at, Calvin would have to play for another 10 seasons in order to come close to Jerry Rice's record. It doesn't look like anyone will come close to beating Jerry Rice's record anytime soon.

Receiving Yards In a Career

Jerry Rice
Calvin Johnson
Andre Johnson
22,895 receving yards
9,328 receiving yards
12,661 receiving yars
75.6 yards/game
88.0 yards/game
82.2 yards/game
1144.75 yards/season
1332.57 yards/season
1151 yards/season
20 Seasons in the NFL
7 Seasons in the NFL
11 Seasons in the NFL

4. NIght Train Lane's Single Season Interceptions

Dick "Night Train" Lane was in his rookie season when he caught 14 interceptions, setting an NFL record that still stands today. The most impressive thing about this record is that he did it in only 12 games as opposed to the 16 games players play today. Dick Lane averaged about 1.2 interceptions per game. Dick "Night Train" Lane was in his first season in the league and he only played 12 games, but still got the record for most interceptions in a season.

Dick Lane would have intercepted about 19 passes if he played during the time the NFL had 16 regular season games. The next closest record is tied by three players, and two of those players played during a 12 game season, and the other played during a 16 game season, but they all are tied for having 13 interceptions in one season.

3. Don Shula's Career Victories

Don Shula won 328 regular season games over the course of his coaching career. The next closest coach is George Halas with 318 career wins. Don Shula was 33 years old when he got his first head coaching job for the Baltimore Colts. When he was hired in 1963, Don Shula was the youngest head coach ever in the history of the NFL. Don Shula is probably most known for being the head coach of the undefeated Dolphins in 1972. Don Shula coached the Dolphins for 26 years, and during his 33 years as a head coach, he had only two losing seasons.

For a head coach to beat Don Shula's record of 328 career victories, he must start coaching at a very early age and be very consistent. Don Shula started coaching at a very young age, and he coached for 33 seasons, and he only had two losing seasons. So let's say that a head coach was hired by a team at the age of 35. The head coach doesn't want to coach football for too long, so that he can enjoy retirement. You would need to coach for 33 seasons and average 10 wins a season to beat Don Shula's record, but usually if a head coach is very young, they don't have enough experience, so they won't be able to produce a consistent amount of wins. Nowadays, it is very hard for a coach to be consistent. The head coach with the most career wins, that still coaches, is Bill Belichick with 199 wins, and he coaches the New England Patriots, but Bill Belichick is already 62 years old, and would need to coach for another 13 seasons and win 10 games each year to pass Don Shula's record.

Career Touchdowns

Do you think Jerry Rice's record of career touchdowns will ever be broken.

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2. Jerry RIce's Career Touchdowns

Jerry Rice owns the record for most touchdowns in a career. This record isn't just receiving touchdowns, but it is a combination of however Jerry Rice could score. Jerry Rice has 208 career touchdowns. The next closest active player is Adrian Peterson, and he has 91. Jerry Rice scored 197 receiving touchdowns, 10 rushing touchdowns, and 1 passing touchdown. Jerry Rice played for 20 seasons, and he owns a lot of the receiving records like career receptions, career receiving yards, and career receiving touchdowns. Usually the top touchdown scorers in the league are running backs, but there is an exception to that. The next two touchdown scorers behind him are both running backs, Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson, respectively.

Jerry Rice played in the NFL for 20 seasons and over the 20 seasons he scored an average of 10 touchdowns per season. So if a player were to come in the league and average 10 touchdowns that would be possible, but to average 10 touchdowns a season for 20 seasons that would be hard to do. People consider Jerry Rice to be the best receiver ever and even the best player in the history of football. Jerry Rice's record of 208 career touchdowns doesn't seem like it will be broken any time in the next 15 years.

Brett Favre


1. Brett Favre's Consecutive Starts

Brett Favre started 321 consecutive games (including playoffs) and the next closest streak ever is 289 by Jim Marshall. Brett Favre started consecutively from 1992-2010. Most players today might take a game off at the end of a season especially if they already have a playoff spot, but Brett Favre did not. The next closest quarterback on the list of consecutive games started is Peyton Manning with 227 games, but that streak was broken due to his neck injury. The toughness it must have taken for Brett Favre to endure pain and injury every single week shows that he lived to play the game he love. Brett Favre endured countless injuries just to make sure he could lead his team the next Sunday. Some of the injuries Brett Favre endured are as follows: a pulled groin, torn biceps, sprained right hand, broken right thumb, right elbow-tendinitis, sprained right thumb, severely sprained right ankle, first-degree left-shoulder separation, and plenty of bruises and concussions.

Say a player comes into the league and he plays QB, which is the position with the least likelihood of being put on the Injury Reserve. As a quarterback you play 16 games in the regular season each year and you get a playoff win every year. You play for 15 seasons, which is a pretty long career, and over your career you get 255 consecutive starts (including playoffs). To beat Brett Favre's record of 321 you would need to play for almost 19 seasons and win a playoff game every year. To beat his record at any position you would need to start your entire career and not miss a single game.

Can you guess what teams Brett Favre played for?

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Honorable Mentions

It is very hard to choose a list of just 5 records. There are so many records in the NFL that will probably never be broken, but I chose my list based on how hard that record is, how close the next person or team is to beating the record, and I considered the circumstances, like how many games there were in a season. Do you agree with my list of Top 5 Unbreakable NFL Records? If not, what other records do you think deserve to be in this list? Should it be the Dallas Cowboys' 20 consecutive winning seasons, Derrick Thomas' seven sacks in one game, or the Miami Dolphins' undefeated season.


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    • Ty Tayzlor profile image


      4 years ago from Anywhere

      Don Hutson should have an honorable mention with most seasons leading the league in touchdowns.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Usually my philosophy regarding records is that no matter how incredible, somebody might break them, but I can think of one that will probably never be broken: Brian Mitchell's return yards record, because of rule changes and the phasing out of the return game, it's pretty much set in stone.

      Great article.

    • Kevinjackson47 profile image

      Kevin Jackson 

      4 years ago from North Carolina

      Jerry Rice is the greatest WR of all time and helped 2 QBs get to the HOF


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