Another NFL regular season is in the books and as usual, plenty of records were broken. In this day and age where offense is king, it seems actually harder for teams and players to not set new records each year.
While most are probably aware of some of the marks set by Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliot among others, what were some of the records set in 2016 that drew a little less notoriety?
10. First quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in his first two seasons
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In his second season out of Florida State, Winston continued to move forward in his progression of becoming one of the league’s top quarterbacks.
Compared to his rookie season in 2015, Winston saw an increase in his completion percentage (60.8), passing yards (4,090), and passing touchdowns (28). His performance this year also helped the Buccaneers finish with their highest amount of wins in a season (9) since 2010.
9. Least total touchdowns scored by a playoff team since the league began playing 16-game seasons in 1978
Houston Texans – 25
The Texans may have won their second straight AFC South division title in 2016, but it had nothing to do with an explosive offense.
Not only did their offense only manage to score a total of 25 touchdowns this year, but Houston actually allowed more points than they scored in 2016. Needless to say, there is good reasoning behind why they have 80-1 odds to win Super Bowl 51.
8. Most career games with at least 400 passing yards
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – 15
Since landing with the Saints in 2006, Brees has evolved into one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever step foot onto an NFL field.
Even at 37-years-old, Brees continued to sling the ball up and down the field in the 2016 season. For the fifth time in his career, he finished the year with at least 5,000 passing yards and 34 touchdown passes.
There are some rumblings that New Orleans may be willing to trade the quarterback this offseason. They should be able to get a lot in return for Brees, who does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
7. First tight end to record three straight seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton has received a ton of recognition for leading the Panthers over the last few seasons, but he likely would not be as successful without the help of his talented tight end in Olsen.
In addition to finishing the year with at least 1,000 receiving yards yet again, the tight end also led Carolina in catches for the fourth straight season. The Panthers should be able to get a few more good years out of Olsen, who turns 32 in March.
6. Most completed passes in a season by a rookie quarterback
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles – 379
North Dakota State is not necessarily known for producing top notch NFL quality talent, but the Eagles saw something in Wentz last year and decided he was worth the second overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He got off to a great start, leading Philadelphia to wins in their first three games of the season. However, his rookie inexperience was able to show its ugly head during the team’s final 13 games of the year and the Eagles only managed to finish with a 7-9 record.
Despite his struggles, Philadelphia should still be excited about the future of Wentz. The young quarterback was able to show a few glimpses of greatness throughout the 2016 season.
5. Most consecutive seasons winning a division title
New England Patriots – 8
What the Patriots have been able to do in the last 15 years has been absolutely mind boggling. Given how much parity there is throughout the league each season, the fact that New England has been able to remain a consistent contender for so long is extremely impressive.
Overall, the Patriots have won 13 AFC East division titles in the last 15 seasons. During that same time span, four NFL teams have not even finished atop their division once.
4. First player to gain at least 1,200 total yards in 11 consecutive seasons
Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
At an age when most running backs are no longer able to perform at a high level, Gore continues to defy the odds at 33-years-old.
He is arguably one of the most underrated backs in NFL history and has been since he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005. Even after Gore landed with the Colts 2015, the running back has continued to find ways to produce.
This season, Gore became the first Indianapolis running back to finish with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a season since Joseph Addai in 2007.
3. Highest single-season passer rating by a rookie quarterback
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys – 104.9
When quarterback Tony Romo went down with a serious injury in the 2016 preseason, most fans of the Cowboys felt their team’s season was already over.
But little did they know, Dallas had a very talented rookie quarterback in Das Prescott who was poised to make a name for himself. 16 games later, the Cowboys are the NFC’s top seed in the playoffs and Romo will likely be looking for a job elsewhere in 2017.
2. Most games won when trailing entering in the 4th quarter
Detroit Lions – 8
Picked by many to finish near the bottom of the league before the 2016 season even began, the Lions proved a ton of doubters wrong by making it all the way to the playoffs.
They did so by keeping games close with a talented defense and relying on a quarterback in Matthew Stafford who can lead an offense to a score with less than a minute on the clock. No one is expecting Detroit to win the Super Bowl this year, but do not be surprised if they upset a team or two during the postseason.
1. Most total catches during a four-year span
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – 481
It was a bit off year for Brown in 2016. He only managed to catch 106 passes for 1,284 yards this season, both of which are actually four-year lows for the Steelers wide receiver.
But honestly, what is there to be said about Brown that has not already been said before? He has been one of the league’s best wide receivers of the past four seasons and is well on his way to becoming one of the NFL’s greatest ever.
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