By Bryan Jeon
Touchdown passes, season – 50, Tom Brady, New England
Touchdown receptions, season – 23, Randy Moss, New England
Most points in a season, team – 589, New England (36.8 PPG)
16-0 – New England, 2007
Most completions, season – 440, Drew Brees, New Orleans (27.5 completions/game)
Kick returns for touchdowns, season – 6, Devin Hester, Chicago (two kickoff returns, four punt returns)
Most catches by tight end, career – 820, Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City
Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning‘s 2004 record of 49 touchdown passes, but didn’t have a higher passer rating. Manning holds the record with a 121.1 rating, Brady finished with 117.2 after throwing for 356 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs in the win over the Giants.
Randy Moss broke Jerry Rice‘s 1987 record of 22 touchdown catches after his second TD of the game, a 65-yard bomb to put the Pats up for good. Now, the debate will continue over how great that record is when Rice put up his numbers in a strike-shortened, 12-game season.
The Pats also scored the most points in a season, breaking Minnesota’s record of 556, set in 1998. Guess who was a rookie on the team that year. You’re looking at him…Randy Moss.
Brees had a season-high 35 completions on a career-high 60 attempts Sunday in breaking Rich Gannon‘s 2002 record of 418 completions in a season.
Devin Hester is something special in just his second year in the NFL, arguably one of the most impactful players in the game. The Miami (FL) product broke his own record Sunday, set in his rookie season last year with 5, when he returned a 64-yard punt for a score. His 11 career kick returns for touchdowns are just two shy of the NFL career record, set by Brian Mitchell with 13. Hester added a 55-yard touchdown reception in leading Chicago to a win over the Saints and should play a much more expansive role in the offense next season. Amazing that both teams from last year’s NFC championship game will not be in the playoffs this season, finishing with identical 7-9 records.
Tony Gonzalez broke Shannon Sharpe‘s career receptions record for a tight end of 815 with 7 receptions on Sunday in an overtime loss to the Jets. Gonzalez also holds the record for career touchdown catches by a tight end with 66.
4,806 yards – Tom Brady, New England (50 TD, 8 INT, 117.2 rating)
Brady had another flawless game Saturday, adding 356 yards and two scores to his perfect season. Brees finished in second with 4,423 yards on the season.
1,474 yards – LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (315 att, 4.7 YPC, 92.1 YPG, 15 TD)
L.T. wins his second straight rushing title, beating out Minnesota rookie Adrian Peterson by 133 yards. He finished the season with 16 carries on 56 yards in a win over the Raiders.
1,510 yards – Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (104 rec, 10 TD, 94.4 YPG)
Wayne played just enough Sunday night to overtake the receiving title from Randy Moss, who finished with 1,493 yards. In just over a quarter of play against the Titans, Wayne had 12 catches for 87 yards, and he took full advantage of teammate Marvin Harrison missing 11 games this season to reach 100 receptions for the first time in his 7-year career as well as having a career-high in yards.
NFL Starting Debut
23-of-31, 224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – JaMarcus Russell, Oakland
The richest rookie in NFL history sure has a lot of proving to do in his sophomore year after being awarded a 6-year, $61-million contract. The quarterback out of LSU has 6 turnovers in his last two games (4 INTs, 2 fumbles lost), one returned for a touchdown. He’ll be given all the opportunities in the world for the next five years, as the Raiders finished the season at 4-12.
A Look Ahead (Wild-Card Weekend)
Saturday – Washington (9-7) at Seattle (10-6), Jacksonville (11-5) at Pittsburgh (10-6)
Sunday – NY Giants (10-6) at Tampa Bay (9-7), Tennessee (10-6) at San Diego (11-5)
Byes: Dallas (13-3), Green Bay (13-3), New England (16-0), Indianapolis (13-3)