Fittingly, the final week of the 2011 NFL regular season was filled with great drama, exciting moments, and record-setting performances. The Week 17 action capped a thrilling NFL season. Mementos from two specific players from the season finales arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the past few days. They are among the many pieces of memorabilia from the 2011 season to be added to the Hall of Fame’s collection as permanent reminders of history-making moments.
Darren Sproles of the New Orleans Saints amassed 168 combined net yards in a season finale 45-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers. His total yardage consisted of 54 yards on kick returns, 46 on punt returns, 40 rushing yards and 29 receiving. His output that day allowed him to set the single-season net yardage record as he finished the 2011 season with a record-breaking 2,696 combined net yards. The jersey he wore in the game against the Panthers on Jan. 1, 2012 was sent to the Hall of Fame.
A football from a memorable record-setting day in Green Bay is now also in the Hall of Fame’s collection in Canton. Quarterback Matt Flynn, in just his second NFL start, had a performance for the ages when he filled in for starter Aaron Rodgers who was resting for the playoffs. Flynn relished the opportunity by leading the Packers to a 45-41 shootout win over the Detroit Lions. He set the Packers record for passing yards in a game (480) and became the first QB in the franchise’s history to throw six touchdowns in a game.
One of the footballs from the game arrived at the Hall of Fame this week. Aside from Flynn’s big day, the Lions’ Matthew Stafford threw for a team-record 520 yards and five touchdowns that day. It marked the first time both QBs passed for at least 400 yards and threw 5 TDs in the same game. The Lions and Packers combined for a new NFL single-game record of 971 net passing yards.
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