25 Incredible NFL Records and the Players Who Set Them [2024]

Every hardcore football fan likes to brag about knowing more NFL records than their friends. After all, such knowledge decides most trivia game nights or fantasy football league outcomes.

Not sure if you know enough? That’s where we can help. We’ve gathered all the essential records you should know about. So keep reading to discover all the stats and trivia that will make you the most knowledgeable NFL fan in your group!

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Highlights of the Article

  • There has been only one team with a “perfect season” in NFL history.
  • Calvin Johnson leads the league in receiving yards per season, with 1,964 in 2012.
  • Tom Brady has the most career combined passing yards and touchdowns in NFL history.
  • In 2020, Justin Herbert broke multiple NFL rookie QB records.
  • The total postseason wins record is held by the New England Patriots.
  • Emmitt Smith holds the NFL rushing record for most rush yards.
  • Peyton Manning’s records include the most yards and touchdowns in a season.
  • Jerry Rice holds the most significant NFL receiving records.
  • One of the most interesting NFL records is Tampa Bay’s 26 straight losses.
  • Records show that George Blanda spent 26 years in the NFL.

Top NFL Records of All-Time

nfl facts

The Super Bowl era started after the merger of the NFL and AFL in 1970. Since then, the game has evolved and changed multiple times. Read on for some of the best NFL records set since the merger.

1. NFL’s all-time records show that there has been only one team with a “Perfect Season.”


Although four teams in the NFL finished the regular season undefeated, only one went on to dominate the National Football League playoffs, too. The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team in history to have a “perfect season,” finishing the year undefeated.

How many NFL teams could boast such a feat? Only a handful of franchises managed to mount a reasonable defense and have record-breaking quarterbacks when their leading players got injured, but none of them could manage a perfect season score.

The team led by coach Don Shula had a clinched division early and finished it with a 17–0 record, winning AFC East against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Super Bowl VII by defeating the Washington Redskins. The unexpected success was primarily due to the work of its “No-Name Defense,” made up of lesser-known players and a 38-year-old backup quarterback, Earl Morrall.

The 1972 Dolphins will likely remain the only team in NFL history to dominate the league so convincingly with a team that essentially had no superstars.

2. Jerry Rice holds the most significant NFL receiving records.


Jerry Rice is one of the best receivers the game has ever seen. Over the course of more than 20 seasons, he broke nearly all receiving records, such as most receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14), and receiving touchdowns (197).

3. Emmitt Smith holds the NFL rushing records for most rush yards and seasons with over 1,000 rush yards.


Emmitt Smith holds the record for total rush yards, with 18,355 during his career. He also has the record for most seasons with over 1,000 rush yards – 11. He was a major reason for the Cowboys’ dominance in the 1990s and had spent 13 seasons with the team.

4. One of the most interesting NFL all-time records is Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 26 straight losses.


Tampa Bay’s entry into the NFL was something to forget. In 1976, the expansion team moved from AFC West and went for a conference record of 0-14 in their first season. They then went on to lose the first 12 games of the 1977 season, too, playing in the NFC Central league.

However, the team eventually ended the streak by beating the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

Since 2001, the Buccaneers have been competing in the NFC South league and are one of the only two NFL franchises (the other being the Baltimore Ravens) that were unbeaten in multiple Super Bowl appearances.

5. Bill Belichick holds multiple NFL coaching records and is edging closer to Don Shula’s all-time wins record.

(CBS Sports)

Don Shula’s total of 347 coaching wins puts him in first place. But Bill Belichick has already passed him and others in several all-time NFL coaching records:

  • Most playoff wins by a coach: 31
  • Most Super Bowl wins: 6
  • Most conference titles: 9
  • Most divisional titles: 17
  • Most postseason games as a coach: 43
  • Most consecutive ten-win seasons: 17

Essential NFL Single-Season Records

While only one team had a “perfect season,” many players and teams had seasons to remember. Let’s see some of the most interesting ones below.

6. NFL season rushing records show that Eric Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards in 1984, the most of any player.


While multiple players have reached 2,000-rush-yard seasons, nobody has been able to beat Dickerson’s 1984 record. In recent years, Derrick Henry came 79 yards short in 2020. However, with the addition of the 17th game in 2021, we might see this record broken in the future.

7. In terms of single-season receiving records, Calvin Johnson reigns supreme, with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012.

(Pro Football Reference)

Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson, aka “Megatron,” had beaten one of Jerry Rice’s records in 2012. That year, he had multiple 2,000+ yard games. No player has been able to beat Johnson’s record since, but we hope to see 2,000+ receiving yards in future seasons too.

8. NFL single-season sack records show Michael Strahan’s 22.5 sacks in 2001 puts him in the No.1 spot.


Michael Strahan’s 2001 season is one he is unlikely to ever forget. He broke the record for most sacks in a season, with 22.5, which earned him the Defensive Player of the Year award. Note that sacks made before 1982 are considered unofficial, but if we were to count them too, Strahan would trail Al Baker’s 1978 record, which stands at 23.

9. In 2020, Travis Kelce broke multiple NFL tight end records, including the most receiving yards in a season.

(USA Today)

Kansas City’s Travis Kelce finished the regular season with 1,416 yards by a tight end, which is a record for the NFL. During that season, he also broke the record for most receptions in a conference championship game (13). He became one of only three players with at least seven catches in ten consecutive games.

Top NFL QB Records

Let’s face it; the quarterback is the one we all watch. When kids want to play football, most want to become a QB. So, let’s take a look at some extraordinary records for the popular offensive position that have been set over the years.

10. When it comes to NFL passing records, Tom Brady holds the record for total career passing yards at 91,452 yards.

(Tom Brady Records)

Tom Brady is the leader in total passing yards – 91,452 at the time of writing. But that’s not all – some of the other Tom Brady NFL records include the number of games started by a quarterback (343), the number of wins by a quarterback (263), the most combined touchdown passes (661), and more. He’s also the only NFL player to beat all 32 teams in the league at least once.

11. One of Tom Brady’s many NFL quarterback records is 632 passing touchdowns.

(Pro Football Reference)

Tom Brady, referred to by many as the GOAT, keeps breaking records. One of the most significant ones he holds is for the total career passing touchdowns. With 632 as of the time of writing, he is well ahead of second-place Drew Brees, who has contributed 571 total points this way.

12. Peyton Manning’s NFL QB records include the most yards and touchdowns in a season.

(USA Today)

For Peyton Manning, 2013 was an amazing year from a statistical point of view. He broke the records for most passing yards in a season (5,477) and for single-season passing touchdowns (55). This earned him the MVP award, which he’s won more than any other player – a total of five times.

13. In 2020, Justin Herbert broke multiple NFL rookie QB records.

(USA Today)

2020 was a historic year for the Charger’s QB, who wasn’t even supposed to be a starter. He missed on the total yards record by a mere 39 yards but set several others:

  • Most touchdowns: 36, out of which 31 were passing and five rushing
  • Most completions: 396
  • Most 300-yard games: 8
  • Most games with at least two touchdown passes: 10
  • Most games with at least three touchdown passes: 6

14. Cam Newton’s NFL records include the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback – both in a single season and over his career.


In 2011, Newton set the season record during his rookie season with 14 rushing TDs. He also holds the record for the most rushing TDs overall by a QB, with 70 touchdowns. The record runner-up, Steve Young, has scored only 43 rushing touchdowns.

15. In 2013, Nick Foles set multiple single-game records, including the most TD passes and a perfect passing rating.


On November 3, 2013, in the Eagles’ win against the Raiders (49-20), Nick Foles managed to tie the record for the most TD passes in a game – seven. At the same time, he recorded a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He is currently the only QB that has managed such a feat.

NFL Playoff Records You Should Know About

Every team’s goal at the beginning of the season is to reach the playoffs. That’s where the real battles begin, and in the end, only the best team is proclaimed a Super Bowl Champion. Read below for some of the best playoff records.

16. New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for the most Super Bowl wins.


The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots have won six Super Bowl titles each. The Steelers’ last title came in 2009, while the Patriots’ last title was in 2019, NFL records show. The Patriots won all of their titles within the last 20 years, while the Steelers racked up four of their wins between 1975 and 1980.

17. Tom Brady’s NFL records also include the most Super Bowl rings, appearances, MVPs, passing records, and playoff wins.

(USA Today)

We put Brady here once again because, when it comes to playoffs, nobody comes near him. So, what NFL records does Tom Brady hold when it comes to the Super Bowl? Quite a few, actually:

  • Most Super Bowl rings: 7
  • Most Super Bowl appearances: 10
  • Most Super Bowl MVPs: 5
  • Most passing yards in a Super Bowl: 2,838
  • Most playoff wins: 35

18. One of the most embarrassing NFL playoff records held by a team is the Cleveland Browns’ 17-season playoff drought.

(New York Times)

Cleveland Browns’ playoff drought that lasted for 18 years between 2002 and 2020 is the largest streak any team has recorded in NFL history. The team finally qualified in 2020, passing the torch to the New York Jets, who haven’t made the playoffs in ten years.

19. One of the most impressive all-time playoff records, the total postseason wins, is held by the New England Patriots.


As of the start of the 2022 season, the New England Patriots lead the NFL in regard to total playoff wins. With 37 wins, they are one win ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, who are currently tied for second place.

20. The Buffalo Bills hold several postseason NFL records, including consecutive Super Bowl appearances.


Between 1991 and 1994, the Buffalo Bills made it to the Super Bowl for four consecutive years, which is still an unbeaten NFL record. Unfortunately, despite an impressive winning percentage, home crowds would not see a Super Bowl title during this era. They lost all four finals, including a dramatic 20-19 loss to the New York Giants in the 1990-91 Super Bowl XXV.

They also boast the biggest playoff comeback (from a 32-point deficit) set in 1992 against the Houston Oilers.

Notable Pre-Merger NFL Records

While most official records we have these days happened post-merger, there are some from before that era that still hold up today. Keep reading to learn about the most impressive records achieved in the NFL prior to 1970.

21. NFL’s single-game passing records show that Norm Van Brocklin holds the record for most pass yards in a game.

(Pro Football HOF)

On September 28, 1951, in the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Yankees, LA quarterback Norm Van Brocklin threw five touchdowns and ended the game with 554 yards, the most in the NFL. He completed 27 out of 41 attempted passes.

22. George Blanda boasts the longest career in the game, having spent 26 years in the NFL.

(Pro Football HOF)

George Blanda’s career stretched into four decades (1949-1975) for a total of 26 years. He played as a quarterback and a kicker. He won the American Football League MVP in 1961 and, at the age of 43, he was declared the AP Athlete of the Year in 1970.

23. One of the most impressive NFL records is Otto Graham’s 10 consecutive championship games.


Otto Graham played QB for the Cleveland Browns in the All-American Football Conference (1946-1949) and the NFL (1950-1955).

The team won 105 games in ten years, lost 17, and tied 5 in the NFL regular season. They went to 10 straight championship games, winning seven of them.

24. When it comes to career NFL interceptions, records show that Paul Krase dominates the league with 81 interceptions.

(Pro Football HOF)

Paul Krause’s 16-year career saw him break multiple records and go to four Super Bowls with the Minnesota Vikings. He managed 12 interceptions in his rookie season and 81 overall, which is the current NFL record, ahead of Emlen Tunnell’s 79. No active player is close to beating this record.

25. The legendary Vince Lombardi holds one of the most unbelievable NFL head coach records – only one loss in playoff games.

(Pro Football HOF)

Vince Lombardi is a symbol for the NFL, and the Super Bowl trophy carries his name. The legendary coach changed the game with his winning mentality and was the ultimate motivator, and many books were written about his philosophy.

He put the Packers in the news, taking them from a 1-10-1 season to five-time NFL champions, including the first two Super Bowls. He has only one postseason loss and an overall playoff record of 9-1.


The NFL is a spectacular league, which is why it draws millions of fans from all around the world. In fact, the Super Bowl was the most-watched sporting event in the US in 2020. Each year, players and teams try to break existing NFL records, but only a few succeed.

The New England Patriots, with their star player Tom Brady, dominated the last 20 years of the game and broke multiple records, but there were many more legendary players and teams in the league’s history.

As the saying goes, “records are meant to be broken,” so while we enjoy the fantastic athletic achievements presented here, we’re also looking forward to new talented players breaking them in the future.


What NFL quarterback holds the most records?

When it comes to QB records, Tom Brady and Drew Brees come to mind. Both hold notable records and are considered to be among the best players of all time. But who has more records, Brees or Brady?

Well, Brady has Drew beat in the most passing yards and touchdowns, Super Bowl rings, playoff wins, and MVPs, but Drew still has the most completions, 5,000-yard seasons, and consecutive games with a touchdown. Ultimately, both men are greats of the game, but Brady edges out his famous rival in our books.

Who has the most wins in the NFL?

The Green Bay Packers hold the record for most wins in the NFL. Combining the regular season and the playoffs, the Packers have a total of 818 wins at the time of writing. In terms of league results only, Chicago Bears hold the record there, with 783 wins, just one more than the Packers.

What are some notable NFL Combine records?

The NFL Scouting Combine is the chance for NCAA athletes to showcase their physical abilities to the NFL teams potentially interested in drafting them. Here are a few notable records:

  • Bench press: Justin Ernest benched 225 lbs 51 times in 1999.
  • 40-yard dash: John Ross completed the dash in 4.22 seconds in 2017.
  • Vertical jump: Gerard Sensabaugh achieved a vertical jump of 46 inches on the nose in 2005.
  • 20-yard shuttle run: Jason Allen completed a 3.81-second run in 2006.
Who has the most NFL kicking records?

Adam Vinatieri holds multiple kicking records. He is the leader in most points scored (2,673), most field goals made (599), and most field goals attempted (715).

What teams hold the NFL all-time records for a win and loss percentage?

At the start of the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers hold the record for an all-time winning percentage at 57.3%. They only recently overtook the Dallas Cowboys, the world’s highest-valued sports team, that’s currently in second place with a winning percentage of 57.2%. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the last spot with a 40.2% winning percentage.