W6 Poll

01/01/2005

Week Six poll: Most unbreakable record

As we remember Johnny Unitas' amazing 47-game TD passing streak, profootballhof.com dredged up a few other pro football records that should pass the test of time. Which is the most unbreakable? As usual, we let you decide. Get some background below before casting your vote ... and check back on our previous winners from Weeks One-Five.

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Unitas' 47-game TD streak

Johnny Unitas

What might be most amazing about Unitas' streak of throwing a TD pass in 47 straight games is not its length, but rather the fact that he began the run in his rookie season. On Dec. 9, 1956 against the L.A. Rams, Unitas threw for 1 TD and 147 yards in a losing effort. He would throw 101 more scoring passes over the next 46 games before the Rams would snap his streak some four years later in 1960. During the 47-game span, Unitas threw for the minimum 1 TD only 15 times...and went on a "streak within the streak" in which he threw 2 or more for 12 games in 1959! Kurt Warner -- or anyone else -- has his work cut out for him.

Marino's 48 TD passes

Dan Marino

In 1984, Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino fired 48 TD passes in just his second season in the NFL. This precocious achievement still stands as a record to this day, with Marino's 1986 season (44) the next-best total, followed by Kurt Warner's magical 1999 campaign (41). Marino set another record that year by throwing for 5,084 yards on the year, more than 200 better than Dan Fouts' high mark of 4,802 in 1981. Marino and the Dolphins' season ultimately fell short, however, as they were defeated by San Francisco in Super Bowl XIX, 38-16. 

Jerry Rice: TD receptions

Jerry Rice

Considering that he passed Steve Largent for the all-time mark over 70 TDs ago, San Francisco's Jerry Rice would appear to have a stranglehold on the all-time TD reception record. At 169 entering play this year (with three more in the season's first five weeks), Rice is the equivalent of 4-6 solid seasons ahead of second-place Cris Carter (114 as of 10-2-2000) and 72 ahead of Largent. Rice also set the standard for yearly TD receptions when he hauled in 22 in 1987; the next best mark is 18 by Mark Clayton (1984) and Sterling Sharpe (1994). Rice will take a legion of records with him when he ultimately retires -- this one may be the safest.

Jim Brown's career YPC

Jim Brown

Among football's age-old debates is determining the best running back ever. The argument usually breaks down along generational lines, with those who saw Jim Brown voting for the ex-Cleveland great and younger fans taking Walter Payton or Barry Sanders. But it is difficult to argue with Brown's 5.22 career yards per carry average. Brown's total of 12,312 yards proved to be mortal, but only because he played for just nine seasons. Mercury Morris is second in YPC at 5.14 and Gale Sayers is third at 5.00. Among active players in the all-time Top 20 list, Emmitt Smith is closest to Brown at 4.30 YPC, nearly a full yard behind! 

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Note: Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.

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