NFL | Feb 24, 2022

NFL’s Most Shocking Records

By Freya Lockwood

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With the NFL 21/22 season coming to an end and the Super Bowl having just taken place, what better way to celebrate than to reminisce about the most shocking NFL records to date.

Let’s begin with the smallest and tallest players in NFL history.

Jack Shapiro - 5’ 1’’

Yes, you read that correctly, the smallest NFL player in history was Jack Shapiro at just 5 foot and 1 inch. That is 5 inches smaller than the current smallest player, J.J. Taylor, Running back for the New England Patriots.

Jack Shapiro, also known as ‘soupy’ (because he liked eating soup) played just one game for the Staten Island Stapletons in 1929, a short career, a little like himself, but enough to get him a world record. Of course, this being that he is the smallest ever professional NFL player.

Richard Sligh - 7’

Sligh, former professional player for the Oakland Raiders in 1967, although, he did not have the tallest tale to tell. Sligh only played a total of eight games for the team in the American Football League, and was just a reserve for the raiders during the second NFL Super Bowl.

So, some may not truly consider him to be an NFL player, considering he played in the AFL and was a reserve during the NFL.

If you too feel this way, then maybe you will accept Dan Skipper, 6 foot 9 inches, as the tallest NFL player in history. Skipper currently plays in offensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, therefore, he is in fact the current tallest NFL player, not just the tallest in history, if you don’t want to include Sligh.

So, we know who the tallest and smallest NFL players are but who is the fastest?

Bob Hayes

Also known as ‘Bullet Bob’, Bob Hayes played for the Dallas Cowboys after winning two gold medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Just a year later, he joined the Cowboys, making him the fastest ever NFL player.

You would expect nothing less from an Olympic gold medallist that tied the world record of 9.2 seconds in the 100-yard dash and tied for the world's second-fastest time in the 60-yard dash.

Not only has he set record times, he is the only man to have won an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl, pretty impressive. Hayes won Super Bowl VI with the Dallas Cowboys. Along with Lance Alworth they had a combined total of 69 passes for 1,327 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Isaiah Thompson

In 2011, Isaiah Thompson ran a 6.06 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, making this the slowest NFL 40-yard dash in history.

Unfortunately, because of this he was not drafted for the NFL, despite going to the combine to help his draft stock.

Due to not being drafted, you may believe that Thompson does not hold the record for the slowest 40-yard dash... so, the slowest NFL player may actually be Johnnie Troutman as he was in fact drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2012.

Troutman ran the 40-yard dash in 5.76 seconds. Troutman had surgery for a pectoral injury just before being drafted and running the 40-yard dash, so he had quite the disadvantage at the time.

Unfortunately, due to his injury he spent the whole of the 2012 season on the reverse-non-football injury list, it wasn't until the 2014 season that Troutman was promoted to the starting position at right guard.

Eric Dickerson

In 1984, Dickerson broke the rushing record having rushed 2,105 yards in total that season, averaging 131.6 rushing yards per game while playing for the Los Angeles Rams.

Dickerson belongs to the 2,000-yard club, a group of eight NFL running backs who have rushed for 2000 yards or more in a single season. The other members include O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Jamal Lewis, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and the most recent member being Derrick Henry.

Now we move on to the player that has the record set for the most consecutive games as a quarterback.

Brett Favre

Who other than Green Bay Packers number four, Brett Favre. Favre currently holds the record of 297 straight games by a quarterback.

This is one of the most unbreakable records you might come across, considering the player that had broken the record before him had played over a 100 less games than Favre. Although, Peyton Manning has come pretty close to this record with 208 games, albeit still a long way to go.

Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice has set a range of records during his career as a professional footballer in the NFL. During his 21 years in the NFL, he broke the record for almost all significant receiver records, these being 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards and 197 touchdowns.

Jim Hardy

In 1950, quarterback for the Chicago Cardinals Jim Hardy made 8 interceptions in a single game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the cardinals lost this game and by quite a large amount, the final score was 45-7.

After hearing this you would be surprised to hear that Hardy was in fact selected to the pro bowl that year.

Prior to Hardy’s death, he was the oldest living member of the inaugural 1946 Los Angeles Rams, I suppose a nicer record to hold.

The interception records do not stop there!

George Blanda

Whilst playing for the Houston Oilers, George Blanda made 42 interceptions in one season. He was only able to complete 47.1% of his passes this season.

Despite this, the Oilers were able to win 11 of their 14 games and Blanda managed to last 26 seasons in the NFL.

Derrick Thomas

In 1990, pro footballer for the Seattle Seahawks at the time, Derrick Thomas sacked quarterback Dave Kreig a shocking seven times.

This record has been held for more than 20 seasons, it has been a struggle for anyone to get close to this many sacks. In 1998, Thomas was close to beating his record against the Oakland Raiders, with six sacks.

Osi Umenyiora also reached six sacks in a game for the New York Giants in 2007 against the Philadelphia Eagles and in 2012, Aldon Smith got pretty close with five and half sacks against the Chicago Bears.

Buffalo Bills

Despite making it to the Super Bowl four times in the row, Buffalo Bills managed to lose all four consecutively between 1990-1993. Unfortunately, these have been their only opportunities to win a Super Bowl trophy. Let's hope that they get another chance soon, and if they do, let's hope they don't blow it… again…

Justin Tucker

Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker, currently holds the record for the longest successful field goal in NFL history. Against the Detroit Lions, Tucker set the record at 66 yards on September 26th, 2021.

Tom Brady

As we thought Tom Brady's career was coming to an end for a split second, what better way to finish the list on the legend and the numerous records that he has set.

All together, Brady holds almost 20 records both post and regular season. Here is a list of records where he ranks 1st:

Passing yards - 64,520

Passing Touchdowns - 624

Quarterback season wins - 243

Pass completions - 7,263

Games started - 316

Game winning drives - 67 (combined post and regular season)

Fourth-quarter comebacks - 51 (combined post and regular season)

Our list of crazy NFL records has come to and end and I hope you were just as shocked to read them as we were!