By Ken Crippen
Cold, Hard Football Facts Record Tracker

Individual Single-Season Historical Records in Jeopardy

As the season progresses, the Cold, Hard Football Facts will keep an eye out for individual single-season records that could fall. Toward the end of the season, we'll look at team records.
As it stands right now, we are on pace to break eight individual single-season records.
Projected 2011 Totals Att Comp Yards TD INT
Tom Brady 709 496 7,077 58 26
*Red denotes projected record
NFL Records within reach:
Attempts: 691 – Drew Bledsoe (1994)
Completions: 450 – Peyton Manning (2010)
Yards: 5,084 – Dan Marino (1984)
Touchdowns: 50 – Tom Brady (2007)
Projected 2011 Totals Att Yards TD Fumble Rusher Rating
Darren McFadden 325 2,096 16 5 123.48
*Bold denotes projected record
NFL Records within reach:
Attempts: 416 – Larry Johnson (2006)
Yards: 2,105 – Eric Dickerson (1984)
Touchdowns: 28 – LaDainian Tomlinson (2006)
Projected 2011 Totals Rec Yards TD
Wes Welker 165 2,442 21
Mike Wallace 112 2,010 10
Steve Smith 85 1,861 10
*Bold denotes projected record
NFL Records within reach:
Receptions: 143 – Marvin Harrison (2002)
Yards: 1,848 – Jerry Rice (1995)
Touchdowns: 23 – Randy Moss (2007)
Projected 2011 Totals Sacks
DeMarcus Ware 26
Jared Allen 24
Jason Pierre-Paul 24
*Bold denotes projected record
NFL Record: 22.5 – Michael Strahan (2001)
Projected 2011 Totals INT
Kyle Arrington 16
Morgan Burnett 16
*Bold denotes projected record
NFL Record: 14 – Night Train Lane (1952) (12-game season)

This Week in NFL History

September 28, 1951:

The 1951 NFL season started with the Los Angeles Rams playing the visiting New York Yanks. In that game, Los Angeles quarterback Norm Van Brocklin completed 27 passes for an NFL record 554 yards and five touchdowns. The previous record was set in 1949 when Chicago Bears’ quarterback Johnny Lujack passed for 468 yards against the Chicago Cardinals.
The record still stands today. 
  1 2 3 4 F
New York Yanks 0 7 0 7 14
Los Angeles Rams 21 13 7 13 54
Scoring Summary:
LAR Hirsch 41-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Fears Kick)
LAR Hoerner 22-yard run (Fears Kick)
LAR Smith 67-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Fears Kick)
LAR Van Brocklin 1-yard run (Fears Kick)
LAR Hirsch 47-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Kick Failed)
NYY Young 79-yard punt return (Johnson Kick)
LAR Hirsch 26-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Fears Kick)
NYY Tait 30-yard fumble return (Johnson Kick)
LAR Hirsch 1-yard pass from Van Brocklin (Fears Kick)
LAR Towler 1-yard run (Kick Failed)

Historical Game of the Week

The Buffalo Bills are the media darlings of week 3. With their win over the Patriots, they stand at 3-0 and in sole possession of the AFC East lead. Therefore, they will be the focus if this week’s Historical Game of the Week.
Let's dig deep into Buffalo’s (and the NFL’s) archives to talk about two teams that very few know: The Buffalo Rangers and the Los Angeles Buccaneers.

Date: October 24, 1926
Location: Bison Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Attendance: 3,000

The 1926 season was a turning point for professional football in Buffalo. Queen City mainstay Tommy Hughitt and 1925 coach Walt Koppisch were distant memories, but the pain of a 1-6-2 season still lingered in the minds of the local fans. Jim Kendrick was brought in to replace Koppisch and brought a radical idea with him. Instead of supplying the team with local talent, Kendrick decided to stock his club with players strictly from Texas and southwestern United States locations. The newly renamed Buffalo Rangers – sometimes referred to as the “Texas” Rangers – had a lot of work to do.
James Marcellus Kendrick started playing professional football in 1922 when he signed with the Canton Bulldogs, while also playing a few games for the Toledo Maroons. Over the next few years, Kendrick jumped to the Louisville Brecks, Chicago Bears, Hammond Pros, Buffalo Bisons and Rochester Jeffersons, before becoming a player-coach for the 1926 Ranger team.
Buffalo faced Brick Muller’s Los Angeles Buccaneers, a team that was primarily a road team and never actually played a game in Los Angeles. Harold “Brick” Muller was a member of the 1920 University of California team that went undefeated and untied throughout the season. He received All-American honors in 1920 and 1921, making him the first player from the west coast to achieve that distinction.
This would be the first time in local history that a Pacific Coast team played in Buffalo, even though this “Pacific Coast” team was stationed out of Chicago. Both teams were coming off of a win, as the Los Angeles team beat Canton 16-13 the previous week and Buffalo beat the Dayton Triangles 7-6. In preparation for this contest, Buffalo coach Jim Kendrick bolstered his roster by adding Lester Caywood from Oklahoma and cutting Firpo McGilbra, George Nix and Tex Kelly. On Wednesday of that week, Buffalo also signed Joe Willson, captain of the 1925 University Of Pennsylvania team (Willson was in camp earlier in the season, but had to resign to devote time to his business commitments. Willson was also a departure from Kendrick’s philosophy of only southern talent on the club.).
A steady downpour during the game against the Buccaneers made the field muddy and the ball slippery. Buffalo was able to get close to the Los Angeles goal line four times in the first half, but was unable to score and the Buccaneer offense was not a threat to the Ranger goal line throughout the game.
The highlight to the contest was to be Muller’s passing ability. In practice, he regularly hurled the ball 65 yards in the air for completions, but that day was a different story. Due to the wet conditions, Muller only attempted one pass, and it fell to the ground incomplete.
Here is how the first quarter played out: After an exchange of punts, Elmer Slough intercepted a Buccaneer pass on the Ranger 30-yard line. Kendrick then punted to midfield. Los Angeles started their offensive drive with a Tuffy Maul run for eight yards. George Kirk then recovered a Los Angeles fumble on the Ranger 40-yard line. Kendrick punted to the Buccaneer 20-yard line. Los Angeles then proceeded to fumble the ball, with Allison recovering on the Los Angeles 25-yard line. Mule Wilson ran twice, gaining 10 yards. On his third attempt, Wilson gained six yards but fumbled and Al Young recovered. The teams exchanged punts throughout the rest of the first quarter. Kendrick attempted a 25-yard field goal, but it was blocked. Buffalo was able to get within the opponent’s 20-yard line twice in the second quarter, but again was not able to score.
Neither team was able to do much in the second half of the game, as only the Rangers were able to get a first down. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Buffalo Rangers went on to a 4-4-2 record, while the Buccaneers were 6-3-1.

Crippen’s Top Five/Bottom Five

Green Bay Packers (3-0): The Super Bowl champions continue their winning ways, beating division-rival Chicago. With two of their wins being on the road, there is no reason to drop them off the perch. Next two opponents: Home against Denver, At Atlanta.

2. Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Their win against Pittsburgh to start the season was impressive, as well as their dismantling of the St. Louis Rams. However, they struggled against Tennessee, who is still trying to find their way. I temporarily have them ahead of the Buffalo Bills, but Buffalo is making a strong case to swap positions. Next two opponents: Home against New York Jets, BYE.

3. Buffalo Bills (3-0): The team is showing confidence and swagger. They do not get flustered when trailing and never give up. Fred Jackson leads all rushers for the season with a 140.93 Rusher Rating and the Bills’ offense is averaging 37.7 points-per-game, which leads the league. Next two opponents: At Cincinnati, Home against Philadelphia.

4. New England Patriots (2-1): Tom Brady was on a tear the first two games of the season, but a terrible second half against Buffalo drops the team in the overall standings. The team goes as Brady goes. You need a balanced attack and the Patriots need to take the pressure off Brady. With their loss to the Bills, I cannot put them higher in the standings. Next two opponents: At Oakland, Home against New York Jets.

5. Oakland Raiders (2-1): Darren McFadden is making a case for MVP this year. His 6.4 yards-per-carry and 123.47 Rusher Rating has pushed the Raiders to lead the league in rushing yards-per game. Their 30.7 points-per-game is good, but not compared to giving up 27.3 points-per-game. Their defense needs to improve to give Oakland a better chance at moving up in the standings. Next two opponents: Home against New England, At Houston.
Miami Dolphins (0-3): The Dolphins cannot score points. They can generate yards, as shown by their top-15 ranking in passing yards-per-game and rushing yards-per-game, but it is not translating into scores. Next two opponents: At San Diego, BYE.

29. Minnesota Vikings (0-3): Blowing three straight double-digit leads gets you placed near the bottom of the league. The team is not bad, from a talent standpoint. However, they need to play 60 minutes of football if they expect to win. Next two opponents: At Kansas City, Home against Arizona.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-3): The Rams showed so much promise last year. This year is a different story. Sam Bradford has only completed 50.9 percent of his passes and the team is only averaging 12 points-per-game. Next two opponents: Home Against Washington, BYE.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (0-3): They have been blown out in two of their first three games. The fact that they have a top ten ranking in rushing yards-per-game is what is keeping them from last place in the rankings. Next two opponents: Home against Minnesota, At Indianapolis.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-3): Indianapolis is in the bottom two-thirds of the league in points-per-game (15.3), yards-per-game (254.0), passing yards-per-game (164.0), and rushing yards-per-game (90). Next two opponents: At Tampa Bay, Home against Kansas City.