For us ancient fans, we remember a time when legends were born and a time when those days seemed like they might never return. As we enter the 2021 season, the entirety of Buffalo Bills fandom is buzzing with anticipation. Are new legends rising? If so, how will their name be etched into the fabric of Bills history (I’m talking the record books). Here’s a few threads in that tapestry to keep an eye on.
Passing yards and touchdowns
Josh Allen already took the single-season record from Drew Bledsoe with his 2020 campaign of 4,544 yards (by 185 yards). For pure volume, Allen can surpass his own record merely by virtue of adding a 17th game into the mix. He could also break his own record by beating his 284 yards-per-game average last season.
Drew Bledsoe also holds the single-game record of 463 yards. Allen hit 415 twice last season, one long bomb away from the record.
Allen also broke Jim Kelly’s old record of 33 passing touchdowns in a single season with 37 last year. With several players hitting the 50 mark in recent history, Allen has a great shot at breaking another one of his records.
For Allen, last year was already a legacy to be proud of in his young career. The goal should be to set new records high enough to last a generation or two.
Receptions and yards
Stefon Diggs already worked his way into the record books too with 127 catches, shattering the former record set by Eric Moulds in 2002 (100). His 1,535 yards beat out the former record (Moulds again but ‘98) of 1,368. These will be tough to top, although that 17th game could help.
Diggs could also be in play for single-game records, though these are often flukes. Andre Reed caught 15 passes in a single game back on 11/20/1994. Almost exactly 12 years later (11/19/2006) Lee Evans set the single-game yardage record at 265. Speaking of flukes, on 11/22/2009, a Ryan Fitzpatrick-to-Terrell Owens toss set the team record for longest touchdown at 98 yards. All of these would be cool to see broken and Diggs is the best bet.
Tyler Bass stands alone with eight attempts in a single game, and tied Steve Christie’s record of six field goals made in a single game. Bass also holds the record for longest field goal in the playoffs by a rookie kicker at 54 (this is a league record). Bass ALSO stands at the top with the most points scored in a single season by a Buffalo Bill at 141 last year. That beat out Christie’s 140 set in 1998. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Tyler Bass will have his work cut out for him in the accuracy department, with Rian Lindell’s 2006 holding top honors at the moment with 92 percent of field goals made. Bass has the leg to take down another Steve Christie record for longest field goal. Christie set the team mark in 1993 with a 59-yard kick against the Miami Dolphins. Bass has already knocked through a 58-yarder.
Another one to look out for is Dan Carpenter’s record of 34 field goals made in 2014. Though I’d rather see touchdowns of course. Bass only attempted 34 last year so a similar output this coming season would mean he would have to challenge Lindell’s accuracy record along the way.
Records not likely to be broken
- Single game rushing record of 273 yards (O.J. Simpson, 11/25/1976)
- Single season rushing record, 2,003 yards (Simpson in 1973)
- Ten interceptions in a single season (Billy Atkins in ‘61 and Tom Janik in ‘67)
- Bruce Smith’s 19 sacks in a single season
- Mario Williams and his 4.5 sacks in a single game
- Average kickoff return of 30.2 yards set by Terrence McGee in 2005
Feel free to weigh in down in the comments. Any other records you could see falling?