On Tuesday night, LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points — a record that stood for over 30 years. Regardless of how anyone feels about the basketball GOAT debate (of which LeBron is the only answer), this accomplishment is one that has to be admired.
The NFL record book is littered with great players as well. The outgoing Tom Brady has notched 649 career passing touchdowns, which could someday fall given the league’s emphasis on the pass. However, it remains to be seen if that will be next major milestone to be achieved by an active player.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What will be the next major NFL career milestone to fall?
My answer: As great as Brady is, it does feel like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen could eventually reach his passing touchdown and yardage (84,214) marks. Most of the other active quarterbacks are too far in their careers to catch up, and this already assumes they will keep performing into their upper 30s.
One record that seems really tough to catch is Jerry Rice’s 208 career touchdowns, which definitely requires some longevity. Same with Rice’s 22,895 career receiving yards, a pace that would need Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins to keep going for another 10 years; maybe Tyreek Hill or Justin Jefferson gets there eventually, but again, that is an ambitious projection.
Emmitt Smith owns the career rushing yards record at 18,355, and given the durability (or lack thereof) at the position today, it would really take an amazing stretch to reach this mark. With so many running back committees, as well as emphasis on pass catching, it feels unlikely that anyone will get close to this number anytime soon.
Of these categories, at least, it seems like quarterbacks have the best chance to surge up the record books given the current state of the game. It would be cool to see some elite receivers continue to rack up the stats, but the injury risk is a big factor as well, making Rice’s numbers very hard to match.