The New Orleans Saints had their playoff dreams cut short as the Minnesota Vikings pulled off an upset with a last-second touchdown. Despite the gut-wrenching ending, several Saints players will remember this as a special season as they marched their way into the NFL record book.
Quarterback Drew Brees and the running back tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram all set single-season records this year. Brees reclaimed the title for highest passing completion percentage; Kamara had the highest yards per rush average for a rookie runner; and Kamara and Ingram became the first duo from the same team to each have more than 1,500 yards from the line of scrimmage. Brees, who is fourth in the league with 4,334 yards passing, extended his NFL-record of consecutive seasons with 4,000 or more yards passing to 12.
Brees wasn’t the only familiar name among league leaders for the 2017 season: ageless wonder Tom Brady continued to excel at age 40, throwing for a league-high 4,577 yards; the Steelers’ Antonio Brown once again led the NFL in receiving yards; and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson topped all passers with 34 touchdowns.
Brady etched his name into the record book a few more times, passing Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for most regular seasons wins by a starting quarterback with 196 as well as 89 regular-season career road wins, passing Manning’s previous mark of 85. And when Brady threw for 340 yards in Week 11 at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, he became the first NFL player with a 300-yard passing game in three countries: USA, England, and Mexico. Brady also led the Patriots to their 17th consecutive winning season and eighth straight year with at least 12 wins, both of which set new league records.
Kamara wasn’t the only rookie running back to top a statistical category. Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt was the leading rusher. And Steelers rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster had 1,157 all-purpose yards (917 receiving, 240 kickoff-return) to become the youngest player (21 years old) in NFL history to record 1,000 all-purpose yards in a season.
Rams coach Sean McVay, at 31 years old, became the youngest head coach in NFL history to lead his team to a playoff berth. In McVay’s first game, a 46-9 win over the Colts, the Rams became the first team in NFL history to record two interception-return touchdowns and a safety in a season opener.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith passed for a career-high 4,042 yards and 26 touchdowns with five interceptions this season. With this, he recorded an NFL-record fifth consecutive season with at least 3,000 passing yards and fewer than 10 interceptions. He also led the league in passer rating at 104.7, the highest of his 12-year career.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2017 NFL regular season’s leaders in 15 key statistical categories on offense, defense, and special teams.