- Keeping things positive for a second straight week, the Sixpack joins other columns from around the SB Nation NFL team site universe to discuss records. Since it seems like I can’t write a Sixpack without referencing a terrible movie, allow me to carry on that tradition. Although, unlike Kevin Costner’s character in The Guardian, when I announce that it’s “Record Day,” I am not doing it with sarcasm and mockery. And thankfully, Ashton Kutcher is neither seeking to make records nor is he looking to defend any records today. In the interest of segmenting the conversation, I will try and create some different buckets, and I will ask a few staff writers to maybe tackle one or two this week.
- When All-Time Means Forever — Are there records that have stood long enough to make you actually believe they will never fall? So many things have changed in the NFL over the last decade or two or three that some records get put under immediate threat of assault, while others get put behind glass. For example, will there be another Redskin that plays in 295 games in burgundy and gold? Darrell Green drove that one right down the fairway and up onto the green. Unless Tress Way can string together another...231 games (because I have serious doubt that any other position player is going to touch this record), we might never see that again. I can’t even blame this on the advent of free agency. Darrell is tied for 13th on the all-time list with Phil Dawson (ahem...a kicker). In fact, unless I am reading it wrong, George Blanda, Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Bruce Matthews are the only non-kickers ahead of Darrell. That allows me to, once again, say, “Holy crap...how did an offensive lineman play 296 games?!?!?!?!?!?” I tip my hat to you, Mr. Matthews.
- Records We Need Broken...That Won’t Be For Some Time — I give you the following three records that stand unbroken, and are under no immediate threat: John Riggins’ 7,472 rushing yards, Joe Theismann’s 25,206 passing yards and Art Monk’s 12,026 receiving yards. Alfred Morris was on his way to putting Riggo in his sights. Santana Moss tasted top five status on the receiving yards list, but Father Time cut his bid over 4,000 yards short. Kirk Cousins would have been a lock to pass Theismann on his next Redskins contract...but, you know, ummmm, no need to relive that episode in our lives. We could also throw up Art Monk’s 888 total catches in this category, because this falls into the category of “If these records get shattered, something amazing must have happened.” This conversation is an important one to reference when talking Redskins history because it tells the tale of the difference in rooting for this team across multiple generations. Think about it: when we were rooting for Riggins, Theismann and Monk, we were winning Super Bowls. Today, there is nobody knocking on any of these doors in D.C., and while it might not be a prerequisite for Lombardi Trophies to have an all-time great on your team, doesn’t it seem like there pretty much always is one? Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed are tracking on both catches and yards but are years away from settling into striking position. Riggins’ record seems like it should have been toppled by now, because the number seems so low relative to the others. As it turns out...they are the hardest yards to stack up! The good news for Redskins fans here is that we have a new running back that stands to be the recipient of as many carries as he can successfully handle. Any chance for Derrius Guice to begin the long journey towards making his mark in the Redskins record books comes from a successful rookie campaign. As for Alex Smith, even if you think he will throw up 4,000 yards a season in Jay Gruden’s offense; and even if you think the two will be successful enough for Smith to get at least three full seasons; and even if you think ( as I do) that he has more than three productive seasons left in his body, the odds of him throwing for over 25,000 yards in burgundy and gold are slim. I am not sure we should even be paying attention to catches at this point in time where it concerns Art Monk’s records.
- Single Season Records — As none of these mini-discussions is all-encompassing, please feel free to inject other examples of each of these kinds of records below. On the single season topic, we start to be able to really see possibilities. For example, could Alex Smith potentially make a run at Kirk Cousins’ 4,917 yard single season passing record set in 2016? (Not likely...but possible.) Could Derrius Guice make a run at Alfred Morris’ 2012 single season rushing record of 1,613 yards? Could anyone currently on the roster challenge the 2013 mark of 113 catches by Pierre Garcon to set a new single season best? Tell you what, maybe the question here is: Which of these records is most vulnerable in 2018—assuming one just...might...be...vulnerable? I think what makes the conversation remotely worthwhile is that all these single-season records were set in the very recent past. The way the NFL works on offense, you really can’t dismiss out-of-hand that one of these could fall...even if the odds may be against it.
- Defense, Defense, Defense — We will finish on scoring, but first, maybe we touch on the other side of the ball. Darrell owns the interception record—as he should—with 54 interceptions as a Redskin. Dexter Manley is your career sacks leader with 91 (quick question: what SHOULD that number be and why?), but here is where it gets interesting. Ryan Kerrigan has 71.5 sacks as a Redskin. I don’t see him getting 20 sacks this season to set the record (or 22.5...ahem), but he is signed through 2020, and he does seem to get approximately 10 sacks a season almost without fail. Crowning a new all-time sack artist would be a pretty big deal. Hell, if and when Ryan overtakes Charles Mann, who sits at 82 career sacks, it will be worth celebrating. We’re talking about a record that has stood for almost 30 years, and sacks are crazy meaningful. Redskins fans should—and will—stand up and applaud Kerrigan as he tracks toward this mark.
- “Touchdown...Washington Redskins!!!” — Just the way Frank Herzog would like it. Listen, I am not here to suggest we will get a running back to break John Riggins’ single season record of 24 scores. Jordan Reed’s 11 touchdowns in 2015 came close to tying a mark of 12 scores held by Charley Taylor, Rickey Sanders, Jerry Smith and Hugh Taylor, and he is clearly going to be a target for Alex Smith in the red zone this season, but his ability to stay on the field is the big factor there. I will give you two scoring records that I think deserve monitoring this season—at least for fun. In 1967, Sonny Jurgensen threw 31 touchdown passes. I think 50 years is a good run, don’t you? Alex Smith’s career best is 26 touchdown passes, and he did last year. I am not saying it is the greatest bet on the board, but it is at least worth noting that in Jay Gruden’s offense, there are potentially well over 30 touchdown passes to be had. Kirk threw 29 of them in 2015, 27 last year and 25 in 2016, so we know that this offense puts 31 in the realm of possibility. Alternatively, we have Alfred Morris’ rookie record of 13 rushing touchdowns. I know how much we all understood and appreciated what Morris did for our offense in 2012, and that came from a player that wasn’t given the starting job until the end of August. Derrius Guice seems pretty penciled in right now as that starter, and he is a scoring threat at all times. It would be fair to suggest that we will face at least one defensive coordinator capable of taking Guice away should our guy prove to be that dangerous. This means that for Derrius to have a chance at the record, he is going to have to have at least a couple multi-touchdown games...which I don’t think is unrealistic at all. To get this debate started, I will ask you this: which of these two records has the best chance of falling?
Which of these two records do you think has a better chance of being broken in the 2018 Redskins season?
This poll is closed
Sonny Jurgensen’s single season passing touchdown mark of 31
Alfred Morris’ single season rookie rushing touchdown record of 13