Is history in sight for any accolades on offense?
We took a look at some team records that could fall at the hands of the 2021 Buffalo Bills, but there’s a lot of history to be made outside the confines of the franchise. What league records might be in play for this year’s offense?
Let’s look at some of the records first, then see if Josh Allen has a shot at any of them. The single-season record for completed passes goes to Drew Brees who in 2016 hit on 471 passes (29.4 per game). A lot of this is due to Brees’s excellent completion percentage where he holds the top THREE seasons (2017-2019). The 2018 year was the absolute peak at 74.4 percent. Peyton Manning’s 2013 season set the stage for yards with 5,477 on the season, or 342.3 per game. That same year Manning threw 55 touchdowns, which is also the record.
I flirted with this discussion in the Josh Allen improvement article, but let’s spell it out here too. For many of these metrics, Allen has a decent shot due to the addition of a 17th game. Allen completed 24.8 passes per game in 2020. While that’s nearly five shy of the pace set by Brees, it’s only three completions per game when you factor in the extra game. And Allen could improve his volume quite a bit. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has gone on record with a desire to improve the running game, but not necessarily to do it more often.
That would bode well for yards per game as well. Factoring in another contest, Allen needs about 38 yards more per game to break Manning’s record. He’d need about 60 more to break Manning’s per-game average. Allen would need about a touchdown-and-a-half more per week to break Manning’s pace, but only one more touchdown per game to break the mark of 55 in a season.
Completion percentage is pretty straightforward. Allen would need to add another 5 percent to surpass Brees. In 2020, Allen would have needed only two more completions per game. All in all, history is hard to make, but Josh Allen isn’t that far off in many ways.
Always keep an eye out for flukes, because a crazy game can lead to history and Allen could break it by beating one of these single-game records:
- 47 completed passes (Ben Roethlisberger, 1/10/2021)
- 554 yards (Norm Van Brocklin, 1/28/1951)
- Seven touchdowns (eight-way tie)
- 96.7 percent completions (Drew Brees of course, 12/16/2019 on 30 attempts)
Given the way the Bills play and their current personnel, none of these seem likely but they’d be shooting for:
- 2,105 yard season (Eric Dickerson, 1984)
- 28 TDs in a single season (LaDainian Tomlinson, 2006)
- 143.1 yards per game (O.J. Simpson, 1973)
- 45 attempts in a single game (Jamie Morris, 12/17/1988)
- 296 yards in one game (Adrian Peterson, 11/4/2007)
- Six touchdowns in one game (Ernie Nevers—1929, Alvin Kamara—12/25/2020)
Theoretically, multiple players are competing for these but Stefon Diggs is the favorite to claim receiving records. Michael Thomas had 149 catches in 2019. Calvin Johnson set the yardage mark in 2012 with 1,964. Randy Moss’s 2007 season is the high-water mark for touchdowns with 23. And in 1982, the yards-per-game record was set at 129 by Wes Chandler.
Stefon Diggs had 127 catches last season. At that pace, he’d still fall a bit shy of the 149 needed. But only one-catch-per-game shy. To beat Calvin Johnson’s yardage, it’ll be a much heaver lift with Diggs needing an additional 20 yards per game WITH a 17th game added. To match Johnson’s pace, he’d need close to 30 more yards per game. To match Wes Chandler, Diggs would need 33.5 yards more per game.
The touchdown record seems the safest with how much Allen likes to distribute the ball. Diggs would need to triple his production from last year in this area to hit 24 and take the record.
For single-game records, the marks to beat are:
- 21 receptions set by Brandon Marshall on 12/13/2009
- On 11/26/1989, Flipper Anderson set the yardage record with an insane 336 yards
- The most receiving touchdowns in a single game is a three-way tie at five
What do you think Rumblers? Will any Buffalo Bills player(s) enter the history books this year by breaking a league record?