The final weekend of the NFL’s longest regular season promises to be a memorable one. The No. 1 seed remains up for grabs in the AFC, while five other AFC teams remain in the hunt to grab the final two wild-card spots. The tightly-contested league MVP award may be decided this weekend, as Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp, Tom Brady and others will look to strengthen their cases.
The first Week 18 in NFL history may also include several league records being broken. Let’s take a look at which single-season records could fall and the players who could break them.
Most receiving yards
Current record holder: Calvin Johnson (1,964 yards in 2012)
Cooper Kupp enters Sunday’s game against the 49ers with 1,829 yards through 16 games. He’ll need 136 yards to break the record held by Johnson, who this past summer was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kupp caught 11 of 13 targets for 122 yards in the Rams‘ Week 10 win over the 49ers.
Current record holder: Michael Thomas (149 in 2019)
Kupp’s 138 catches this season is already the third-highest total in NFL history. Kupp, who will need 12 catches this weekend to break Thomas’ record, has caught more than 11 passes in a game on one occasion this season; he caught 13 of 15 targets in the Rams’ Week 14 win over the Cardinals.
Current record holder: Michael Strahan (22.5 in 2001)
Despite missing two games earlier this season, T.J. Watt has gotten himself to within one sack of tying Strahan’s record after recording four sacks of Baker Mayfield during Monday night’s win over the Browns. Of Watt’s 21.5 sacks, only 5.5 have come away from Heinz Field. Watt has not recorded a sack in any of his last three road games. He did collect 3.5 sacks off of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens (the Steelers‘ opponent this Sunday) back in Week 13.
Current record holder: Drew Brees (471 in 2016)
Tom Brady enters Sunday’s game with 456 completions through 16 games. Needing 16 more completions to break Brees’ record, Brady has completed at least 18 passes in every game this season. Brady completed 18 passes against Sunday’s opponent — the Carolina Panthers — when the two teams faced each other back in Week 16.
Most passing yards
Current record holder: Peyton Manning (5,477 in 2013)
Brady needs 488 passing yards on Sunday to break the mark held by his former rival. The last time Brady threw for that many yards in a game, it was when he threw for a Super Bowl record 505 yards in New England’s 41-33 loss to Philadelphia. Brady’s most prolific passing performance this season was back in Week 3, when he threw for 432 yards in a 10-point loss to the Rams.
Current record holder: Matthew Stafford (727 in 2012)
Brady’s 682 attempts leaves him 46 attempts away from breaking Stafford’s record. Brady has attempted at least that many passes in a game seven times this season. He put the ball in the air 50 times during last Sunday’s 28-24 win over the Jets.
Current record holder: Night Train Lane (14 in 1952)
This one is very unlikely to be broken or tied. Lane set the record as a rookie in what was a 12-game regular season. Trevon Diggs, who needs three interceptions to tie and four to break Lane’s record, has recorded an interception in 10 different games. He has just one multi-pick game, though, which occurred against the Panthers back in Week 4. Diggs had one interception against this Saturday’s opponent — the Eagles — back in Week 3.