I can’t picture Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson sitting on Santa’s lap. (Certainly not at the same time.) But if either did you have to figure all he would be asking for this year is a record. Not the kind you listen to. The kind that states your case for NFL immortality.
The big records are under siege.
The biggest one fell a year ago — biggest nationally because it was about quarterbacks, biggest here because it was about Dan Marino.
The season passing yards record of 5,084 that Marino held since 1984 was wiped clean by both Drew Brees (5,476 yards) and Tom Brady (5,235).
Now the two next-biggest season marks are under assault.
The Lions’ Johnson has a very good chance to surpass Jerry Rice’s durable 1995 receiving yards record of 1,848. He needs only 182 yards in his final two games to do it.
And, yes, you do get to say “only” when referring to a guy with seven consecutive 100-yard games, which has tied that record shared by Charley Hennigan (1961) and Michael Irvin (’95).
The Vikings’ Peterson is probably less likely but still has a good chance to break Eric Dickerson’s even more-durable rushing yards record of 2,105 set in 1984. He needs 294 in his last two games.
And if that seems unlikely, you obviously don’t have Peterson on your fantasy team. He has eight consecutive 100s and 1,313 yards over that stretch — the most in any eight-game span by any back ever.
(There is even chatter among NFL literati that Peterson might now be a league MVP candidate, but let us not get carried away. Define “candidate.” Peyton Manning remains a huge favorite for that award, although Peterson has a good chance to edge Manning for Comeback Player of the Year.)
A third long-standing season record also is under challenge without the attention. The Texans’ J.J. Watt and 49ers’ Aldon Smith each has 19 1/2 sacks with two games left. Michael Strahan’s record of 22 1/2 has stood since 2001.
Scatter-shooting the league:
• Updated playoff odds: AFC — Broncos, Texans, Patriots and Ravens have clinched. Four teams are alive for two remaining spots, with computer model of makenflplayoffs.com putting the likelihood at Colts 100 percent, Bengals 62.6, Steelers 35.1 and Dolphins 2.3. NFC — Falcons, Packers and 49ers have clinched. Eight teams remain alive for three remaining spots, with likelihood put at Seahawks 88.7 percent, Redskins 60.8, Cowboys 50.4, Giants 43.7, Vikings 32.9, Bears 23.2, Rams 0.2 and Saints 0.1.
• Pro Bowl fan voting ended with Broncos’ Manning on top nationally (993,045 votes) and punter Brandon Fields the only Miami leader at his AFC position. DE Cameron Wake (third) and DT Randy Starks (fifth) were only other Dolphins to end in the top five. Players and coaches vote Friday. Teams are announced the day after Christmas.
• Manning remains a strong MVP betting favorite at 2-3 odds. Super Bowl favorite is now a virtual four-team dead heat among 49ers (at 9-2), Patriots (19-4), Broncos (5-1) and Texans (11-2).
• Manning last week became the fifth QB to have a 4,000-yard season with two different teams, after Drew Bledsoe, Brett Favre, Warren Moon and Kurt Warner.
Seattle is the first team since 1950 Giants to score 50-plus in consecutive games. Seahawks’ point difference of plus-91 (108-17) is biggest two-game margin since Bears’ plus-95 in 1941.
• Texans’ Andre Johnson (799) seems certain to reach 800 catches in his 137th game Sunday. Only Marvin Harrison (131) got there faster.
• The 62 interception-return TDs by 55 different players already both are league records with two weeks to play.