I don't have a snappy introduction for you. It's Friday. Parsing through the erroneous Aaron Hernandez reports has sucked the snark right out me. This is a post about records. And with that, let's jump right in.
Let's start with franchise records. With a young team and lots of new faces in the skill positions, these are safe ... for now. It's worth looking at anyway as we start to consider a St. Louis Rams that is finally trending up.
Jim Everett holds the record for passing yards with 23,758 yards. Roman Gabriel leads the franchise with 154 touchdowns. Sam Bradford is pretty far behind both long-time team quarterbacks with 9,378 yards and 45 touchdowns. If the improvements to the offensive line and wide receivers do what we anticipate them to do, Bradford could quickly climb up the leader board.
Rams quarterbacks have only topped the 4,000-yard mark four times. Kurt Warner did it twice, including the franchise-best 4,830 yards in 2001. Everett and Marc Bulger have also done it once as Rams. Warner threw 41 touchdown passes for the team record in 1999, which was also his other 4,000-yard season. A more dubious record is Bob Waterfield's (he was married to Jane Mansfield though) 24 interceptions in 1949.
Bradford's chances for breaking these records? It's certainly better than it's ever been with the kind of talent he has at receiver now. The best part is that guys like Jared Cook, Tavon Austin and others can stretch the field and add yards after the catch; that's a key for accumulating those kind of numbers. As for 41 touchdowns ... we'll see. As those players get older, more used to the league, it's very likely.
Steven Jackson became the all-time leading rusher in 2010. He left the Rams after the 2012 season with a total of 10,135 yards. Eric Dickerson is in second place with 7,245 yards. Marhsall Faulk has the record for rushing touchdowns with 58. Jackson and Dickerson both have 56. Considering the most veteran of Rams running backs right now is entering their second seasons, this one's going to stand for a long time.
You know who has this record because he owns it for the entire NFL. Eric Dickerson's 2,105 rushing yards in 1984 are the gold standard. Adrian Peterson came close to breaking the NFL record last year. The Rams, with a committee situation at running back, are not likely to even flirt with that number.
Isaac Bruce's 14,109 yards and 84 touchdowns are safe for a few years too considering the relative age of the roster at the receiver position. We shouldn't get too hyped up about a guy who still hasn't seen the field as a professional, but Tavon Austin sure does have the kind of skills you look for in a record-breaker. Can he stay healthy long enough to do it?
Do you realize that the Rams haven't had a receiver top 1,000 yards since 2007? That also happened to be the last year Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce were on the team. Bruce set the franchise record with 1,781 in 1995, the team's first year in St. Louis, in case you forgot. His 13 touchdowns that year are tied for the second-best mark. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch has the single-season record with 17, a mark he set in 1951.
This is sort of tainted statistic because the league wasn't counting them during the hey day of the Fearsome Foursome. Leonard Little leads the franchise with 87.5 sacks. Chris Long has 42 career sacks, good enough for fifth on the team's all-time list.
Kevin Carter's 17 sacks in 1999 -- it's easy to overlook how good that defense was -- is the single-season record, BUT Deacon Jones' unofficial total of 26 sacks in 1967, in just 14 games, would be untouchable ... if only it were officially recognized.
Obviously, there are a lot more records, from game to game and season to season. These are only the most recognizable ones. Hopefully, we'll be talking much more about records falling this season ... the good kind of records anyway.