With three players on the verge of breaking the sack record, with one running back on the verge of breaking the single season rushing record, one wide receiver on the verge of breaking the single season yardage and one kicker on the verge of breaking field goals made 50 yards +, does anyone think that it's been a pretty exciting year? With the focus on QBs so much, it's awesome to see these other records being challenged.
Well, it is a fairly rare occurrence that either one of the NFL's single-season records for rushing or receiving is legitimately challenged. Those are two of the most hallowed records in NFL history, held by two of the very greatest players ever to play in the NFL. The fact that both Jerry Rice's receiving record and Eric Dickerson's rushing record are likely going to be broken in the same season is quite remarkable. And it's only fitting that Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson are the players involved. Each of them is unquestionably the best player at their position, and that is what makes it cool. These aren't just very good, Pro Bowl-caliber players. Peterson and Johnson are dominant, elite, franchise-changing players like Rice and Dickerson were. I said sometime before last year that I thought Adrian Peterson would end up being considered one of the 5 greatest running backs in NFL history. What he has done this year defies medical and practical logic. I'm not sure which part of Peterson's performance this year is more incredible; that he has done this after tearing his ACL in Week 17 of last year, or that he has done this with Christian ****ing Ponder as his QB. Talk about defenses putting 12 men in the box!
Oh, and it certainly helps all other players in terms of coverage and recognition when there isn't a single quarterback having a historical, truly dominant season. That has been the trend recently; a superstar QB, sometimes even two of them, having a historical season. Brady in 2007 and 2010, Brees and Rodgers last year, etc. This year, the great QB's are playing at their usual elite level, but no one is having a jaw-dropping year a la Rodgers last year and Brady a few years back. So that means more focus on everyone else!
Johnson is clearly the best receiver in the league but is his season really that impressive? Stafford and the Lions throw more than any team in the league and Johnson is the most targeted receiver in the league. Stafford puts up a lot of yards when they're down in the fourth quarter because the defenses start playing a soft coverage. Some of the games are close but there are also quite a few games that aren't.
Even if Johnson breaks the record, I think what he did last season is far more impressive than what he is doing this season.