National Football League records are not as sacred as Major League Baseball records. But among the NFL’s most notable records are these performances.
1. Biggest margin of victory: 73 points
On December 8, 1940, the Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship game, 73-0, the biggest margin of victory in league history. Three weeks earlier, the Bears had lost to Washington, 7-3.
“It was just one of those days,” Bears coach George Halas told the Associated press. “Everything we did, we did it right. Everything they did, they did it wrong.”
Washington owner George Marshall said, “Some of our boys apparently played on their reputation… That tackle, my, my. It looked like some of our guys had their pens in their pockets trying to figure out who was going to get what share of the playoff money.
2. Most touchdown passes in a game: 7
On October 28, 1962, in a 49-34 win over Washington, New York Giants quarterback YA Tittle scored seven touchdowns, one of eight quarterbacks in league history to do it. The other seven were Sid Luckman (1943) of the Chicago Bears, Adrian Burk (1954) of the Philadelphia Eagles, George Blanda (1961) of the Houston Oilers, Joe Kapp (1969) of the Minnesota Vikings, Nick Foles (2013) of the Eagles, Peyton Manning (2013) of the Denver Broncos and Drew Brees (2015) of the New Orleans Saints.
Tittle wasn’t interested in making eight touchdown passes when he had the chance, telling the Associated Press, “Not with a minute to play. It would sound like too much individualism.
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3. Most passing yards in a game: 554
On September 28, 1951, the Los Angeles Rams did not injure starting quarterback Bob Waterfield in their season opener against the New York Yanks. But Norm Van Brocklin was more than up to the task, completing 27 of 41 passes for 554 yards and five touchdowns. The Rams won, 54-14, in front of 30,310 fans at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
“It was the most beautiful display of passing I have ever seen,” Yanks coach Jimmy Phelan told the Los Angeles Times. “The Rams put their running backs under the ball almost as deep as the ends and sure enough Van Brocklin was hitting them in the eye pretty much every time he threw the ball.
Sarcastic Rams coach Joe Stydahar said, “Our defensive team played a great game.”
4. Most touchdowns in a match: 6
On December 25, 2020, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara rushed for a record six touchdown in the Saints’ 52-33 win. Chicago Cardinals’ Ernie Nevers (1929), Cleveland Browns’ Dub Jones (1951) and Chicago Bears’ Gale Sayers (1965) also scored six touchdowns in a single game. But Kamara is the only player to accomplish the feat since 1970, the season when the NFL absorbed some American Football League teams.
Kamara’s performance ended Minnesota’s playoff hopes in a humiliating way, prompting Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to tell the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “Yes, that’s a bad defense. The worst I have ever had. “
Attendance at the game at the New Orleans Superdome was limited to 3,000 fans due to COVID-19.
5. Most bags in a set: 7
On November 11, 1990, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas played one of the greatest games for an NFL defenseman. But it could have been even better. With four seconds remaining, he had Seattle’s Dave Krieg on hand for his eighth sack, but the quarterback escaped and pitched for a touchdown, giving Seattle a 17-16 victory.
“At the end of the day, it can mean a lot,” Thomas said. “But today that doesn’t mean anything. Our goal is to win the game.” Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer said: “That kind of effort is the thing you build championships on.”
Sacks didn’t become an official NFL statistic until 1982.
Thomas, who died in a car crash in 2000, was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
6. Most rushed yards in a game: 296
On November 4, 2007, against the San Diego Chargers, Minnesota rookie running back Adrian Peterson broke Jamal Lewis’ running record for a one-yard game. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” Peterson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after the 35-17 victory of the Vikings. “With the mindset I had and the guys I have in front of me, I know anything is possible.”
7. Most receiving yards in a game: 336
On November 26, 1989, defending NFL champion Henry Ellard suffered a hamstring injury for the Los Angeles Rams game against New Orleans. This put pressure on Flipper Anderson, who delivered an epic performance: 336 yards on 15 catches in the Rams’ 20-17 overtime win.
Anderson, who entered the game averaging over 30 yards per catch, was shocked: “I never even dreamed of having a day like this,” he told Los Angeles Times.
Rams coach John Robinson said: “It was the greatest performance I have ever seen by a wide receiver.”
8. The longest field goal of a match: 64 yards
On December 8, 2013, at high altitude in Denver, where the soccer balls travel further, Broncos kicker Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard basket. His boot surpassed the old record, set in 1970 at around sea level by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints.
The temperature during the game was 18 degrees, lower when Prater started his record. “I think the 10 degree weather takes the altitude away,” he said after the Broncos’ 51-28 win over the Tennessee Titans.
9. Longest kick in a match: 98 meters
On September 21, 1969, with his New York Jets backed up to the 1-yard line against Denver, rookie Steve O’Neal released a punt that traveled 60 yards in the air and was missed by the returner. Bill Thompson at 33 Broncos. The ball finally came to rest on the Denver 1-yard line. At 98 yards, it was the longest punt in NFL history.
“I had to hurry my kick, but I knew I had hit it really well,” O’Neal told the Asbury Park Press. The punt was the highlight for defending champion Jets, who lost 21-19.
10. Most solo tackles in a game: 20
On November 4, 2007, New York Jets rookie linebacker David Harris delivered an epic performance with 20 tackles, the most solo tackles in an NFL game by a player. But the record was barely mentioned in post-game coverage in New York. The record from Hackensack, New Jersey, suggested that Harris’ tackle figure was inflated and some would be removed after playing the game’s movie. Solo tackles were not tracked as an official NFL stat until 1994 , so the relative novelty of the statistic may have influenced the coverage.
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