The 15 Most Unbreakable Records in NFL History

Jordan Cohn
May 22, 2020 - 8:59 am
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When Peyton Manning retired following the 2015-16 season, he held numerous passing records.

Some of them were achieved just a couple of years before his retirement, when he stunned the NFL universe with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns in 2013, both NFL records. When he called it quits a little later, he was the league's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (539) and passing yards (71,490), among others. Additionally, he was named MVP five times throughout his career, whereas no one else has earned more than three.

Impressive records, yes. But unbreakable records? We found out part of that answer last season, when Drew Brees eclipsed both his career passing yards and touchdowns records. And while Manning's single-season records still stand, Patrick Mahomes came awfully close on both fronts in just his first full-time year, recording 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2018. Neither of those can be considered unbreakable, especially considering some of the unprecedented, high-powered offensive output we see in today's NFL. After all, when Jameis Winston comes within 400 yards of breaking the single-season passing yards record, it becomes increasingly clear that these records are meant to be broken. Guys like Mahomes and Matt Stafford are well underway at making a serious run at some of the all-time records.

That rule doesn't apply to all NFL records, however. Though the new wave of Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson is capable of wreaking some serious havoc on the record books - the latter did that last year when he broke Michael Vick's long-standing single-season rushing record -- there are some records that are just so far outside the realm of what seems possible that we can officially deem them unbreakable.

That is, until they're broken, and we make fools out of ourselves.

Without further ado, here are the 15 most unbreakable records in NFL history. Because some of the records that occurred before the merger in 1970 apply to a completely different game than what we see today, only records that were achieved after the merger are on this list.

All stats retrieved from Pro Football Reference.

Because of a midseason trade, Emmanuel Sanders played in 17 games during the 2019 NFL regular season. Photo credit Getty Images
Adam Vinatieri is hoping to return and tack on some more field goals in 2020. Photo credit Getty Images
There may not be a more fearsome linebacker in NFL history than the Ravens' Ray Lewis. Photo credit Getty Images
Anquan Boldin put on a show in his 2003 NFL debut. Photo credit Getty Images
The Tom Brady-Randy Moss connection was one of the most lethal we've ever seen. Photo credit Getty Images
Tony Gonzalez became a yearly fixture in the Pro Bowl. Photo credit Getty Images
Though the 1985 Bears won the Super Bowl, the 1984 squad holds the all-time sack record. Photo credit Getty Images
The NFL may never see a return ace as devastating as Devin Hester. Photo credit Getty Images
LaDainian Tomlinson won the 2006 MVP award, due in part to his insane scoring numbers. Photo credit Getty Images
Don Griffin and Ronnie Lott were both imposing forces in the secondary of the 1986 49ers. Photo credit Getty Images
Though Favre was a great QB, his interception numbers are pretty shocking. Photo credit Getty Images
Emmitt Smith holds a number of rushing records, many of which seem unreachable in today's NFL. Photo credit Getty Images
Paul Krause (far right) had a spectacular knack for picking off the opponent. Photo credit Getty Images
It's no surprise that Tom Brady owns at least one unbreakable record. Photo credit Getty Images
Bill Belichick's run in the 2000s and 2010s was arguably the best of any coach in NFL history. Photo credit Getty Images
Rice owns several receiving records, but his total touchdown count is the one that definitely can't be caught. Photo credit Getty Images

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