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Top 10 Most unbreakable NFL Records

Publish Date: 05/13/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Records are made to be broken; at least, that’s what they say. Are they? Some records are so outrageous they will never be broken; today, we will look at them. Rule changes, length of season, and style of play today compared to years before will all play a part in determining which records may be impossible to break.


This is simple: look around at all of the seemingly impossible records and then take a deep dive to see if they are that unbreakable. Some of the records are great, and some are records that nobody would want. Today, we will look at the good and the bad.

10) Most Consecutive losses: 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-26

This record should be avoided, yet it remains remarkable in its own way. Before Tony Dungy arrived in Tampa in the mid-1990s, the Buccaneers had long been considered a joke within the league due to their orange creamsicle uniforms, logo on helmets and general lousy play – never quite making an impactful statement or finding success on any level.

Between 1976 and 1977, Tampa’s expansion baby Bucs lost 26 consecutive games without exception—no typo. They were terrible, their franchise inept, and lacking talent compared to more established teams. That organization went through one of the longest growing pains stages ever in sports; today, Tampa boasts two Super Bowl championships to its name.

Expansion teams nowadays are given a much better chance to compete than they were 50 years ago, so an expansion team will no longer have to worry about breaking a record like this. The Buccaneers did make the playoffs in 1979.

Video: Buccaneers 70's Losing Streak HD

Buccaneers 70’s Losing Streak HD

9) Single-Game Rushing Attempts: Jamie Morris-45

One can occasionally witness games where teams rush the ball upward of 40 times in one game; however, Morris’ record of 45 carries for Washington in 1988 will likely always remain the top mark. Most teams today only wish to run 20-25 times in one game, so running it 40+ times with one player is not going to happen again; the game has changed too much for that.

Video: 1988 Redskins

1988 Redskins

8) Single-season touchdown record: LaDanian Tomlinson — 31

LaDainian Tomlinson made an immediate, impactful debut in 2001 as a unique talent, standing apart from the others. However, Tomlinson quickly set the record for most single-season touchdowns in one season with 31 (he ran 28 and caught three out of the backfield). At that time, there weren’t too many quarterbacks capable of throwing 30+ touchdown passes, let alone nearly rushing for that many himself; Tomlinson remains unsurpassed, as no one is likely to challenge this record in his lifetime!

Video: L.T. Rushing King: FULL 2006 Season Highlight!

L.T. Rushing King: FULL 2006 Season Highlight!

7) Single-Game Sack Record: Derrick Thomas-7

Thomas was considered one of the greatest pass rushers and defensive ends of his era. During the 1990 season, he saddled Seattle Seahawks Dave Krieg seven times during a game, setting an unprecedented standard that other players have since have not come close to matching!

While there are numerous excellent pass rushers today, modern offenses are designed for the quarterback to get the ball out quickly, which helps Thomas record to stay safe.

Video: Derrick Thomas Highlights

Derrick Thomas Highlights

6) Most defensive Interceptions in a career: Paul Krauss- 81

He led the league in interceptions once during his career.

His success can be attributed to an era when quarterbacks were known for throwing the ball long without much protection. Today’s quarterbacks tend to be more wary, not throwing into dangerous areas like coverage. As such, any defensive player today would find it extremely challenging to reach this record.

Video: Paul Krause Highlights

Paul Krause Highlights

5) Most Consecutive Starts: Brett Favre-297

At any position, this statistic is stunning! You would think with athletes becoming bigger, faster and stronger over the years that someone would reach this mark by now; unfortunately, this has yet to happen – Jim Marshall of DE fame was closest in terms of total starts at 270 during his DE career from 1960-80; for QBs however, it’s Phillip Rivers (retiring after 2021 campaign) at 240!

Sure, Favre had some illegal pain-killer help, but what would you expect from a guy like Favre? He was tough, and nobody ever claimed he was smart. Favre’s record was great, but he was protected like he was the NFL’s chosen son.

Video: Brett Favre played 297 Packer Games in a Row

Brett Favre played 297 Packer Games in a Row

4) Most Consecutive Road Wins: San Fransisco 49ers- 18

Winning in the NFL can be tough, and doing it on the road even more so. So, it is truly remarkable that San Francisco won 18 consecutive away games between 1988 and 1990, and their record still stands today; the parity in the league now makes this record seemingly impossible to break.

The 49ers from 88-90 were one of the greatest teams of all-time winning two Super Bowls and losing in the NFC Championship game in 1990.

Video: John Taylor two 90+ yard Touchdown receptions: MNF (1989)

John Taylor two 90+ yard Touchdown receptions: MNF (1989)

3) Most career Interceptions: Brett Favre- 336

Brett Favre was a great regular-season quarterback, but he was also a gunslinger, which means that, in the end, he was more likely to fail than succeed.

Favre currently holds the record for career interceptions—something he likely will hold for the rest of his life, given that today’s quarterbacks are much more cautious about throwing into coverage and will often scramble out of the pocket when no viable throwing options are available.

Video: Brett Favre throwing game-ending interceptions

Brett Favre throwing game-ending interceptions

2) Most Career Rushing Yards: Emmitt Smith- 18.355

With the passing game explosion we’ve witnessed over the past 15 years, rule changes regarding touching quarterbacks and receivers, and running back positions becoming less valued over time, Smith could remain as the all-time rushing leader for many decades to come. He currently holds the record for most career rushing touchdowns (164) also which looks to be untouchable also.

Smith played during an era that favoured running backs like himself; although his quarterback Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin provided great quarterbacking and receiving, respectively, it was the Hall of Fame rusher who proved most crucial to the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s – with one of the finest offensive lines ever assembled.

Video: Emmitt Smith Highlights

Emmitt Smith Highlights

1) Career Receiving Yards: Jerry Rice- 22,895

The greatest wide receiver ever won three Super Bowl rings while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. During his illustrious career, he set numerous records, including his lifetime receiving yards record, which will likely never be broken.

Although teams are throwing the ball more often and rule changes are designed to protect offensive players, it will still be incredibly challenging for any wide receiver to even come close to breaking this record. Furthermore, wide receivers don’t typically stick around long in the NFL, which increases the likelihood that this record will stand. Rice was the best wide receiver in NFL History.

Video: How Good Was Jerry Rice Actually?

How Good Was Jerry Rice Actually?

Honorable Mentions

Most Receiving Yards in a Single-game: Willie Anderson-336

At first glance, this record may appear breakable, yet Anderson has held onto it since 1989. Calvin Johnson came close in a 2013 game but ultimately fell seven yards shy. Sure there are some great receivers in the game today, but for one man to catch enough balls to break this record is almost unthinkable.

The Ball is thrown a lot more nowadays but most teams have a lot more than one main option.

Most Seasons Playing: George Blanda-26

George Blanda played for 26 consecutive years between 1949 and 1975 – an astounding achievement! A lot of it came in the AFL; nonetheless, even in any professional league, it is remarkable. Tom Brady comes close but would need another few years before matching George Blanda – something unlikely at his age and stage in life.

The scary thing is that Blanda was still impacting games even in his 26th season, sure the last few years were mainly as a kicker, but impressive nonetheless.

Most career sacks: Bruce Smith-200

Bruce Smith terrorized quarterbacks for 19 seasons, amassing 200 sacks. Reggie White came the closest with 198; Von Miller has 121.5 career sacks, so reaching 200 would require an incredible feat at this point in time. Miller is currently the closest to 200 and he has no chance of reaching that number.

Smith averaged ten sacks a year for twenty years and he was still raking in sacks in the last years of his career.

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