In the most unusual seasons played in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, a semblance of normality could be found in the headlines that marked the culmination of NFL statistics.
Big names like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady have added their CVs to their Hall of Fame, and young stars like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, and receiver Davante Adams continue to build impressive careers.
But it wouldn’t be NFL season if the rising stars didn’t show up. They weren’t hard to find, as Buffalo Bill’s quarterback Josh Allen and Minnesota Viking receiver Justin Jefferson can confirm.
Here are the leaders of the regular season 2020 in the main categories of offense and defense.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Reports of Rodgers’ relapse after a bad (for him) 2019 season are greatly exaggerated as he has once again proven himself worthy of the attention of the most valuable player. Rodgers’ 48 touchdown passes led the league, and he joined Peyton Manning as second player to have multiple seasons with 45 touchdown passes. Brady wasn’t far behind when he turned 40. That makes him the fifth quarterback with at least 40 touchdown passes in several seasons. The Young Guns have also felt their presence: Mahomes (38 touchdown passes), Allen (37), Deshaun Watson (33) of Houston and Justin Herbert (31) of the Chargers combined to throw at least 30 touchdowns in the same season for the first time in league history who have thrown four quarterbacks under the age of 26 for at least 30 touchdowns.
1. Rogers, Packers: 48
T-2. Brady, the Buccaneers: 40
T-2. Russell Wilson, Seahawks: 40
5 : Mahomes, Chiefs: 38
5. Allen, Bills: 37
As Mahomes retired in week 17, Watson won his first crown by setting franchise records for yards and touchdown passes (33) in one season.
During Allen’s monster season, he finished fifth for yards and touchdowns, but he also added eight rushing scores, becoming the first player in NFL history to score at least 4,500 yards, 35 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in one season.
1. Watson, the Texan: 4,823
2. Mahomes, Chiefs: 4,740
3. Brady, the Buccaneers: 4,633
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons: 4,581
5. Allen, Bills: 4,544
Percentage of completion
Rodgers achieved the highest completion rate of his career, breaking the 70% barrier for the first time in a full season as a starter in his career. In addition, Rodgers has dethroned Rassen in this category, a position that Brees has taken for each of the last three seasons. Watson also broke the 70% barrier for the first time in his career, far exceeding his previous record of 68.3%.
1. Rogers, Packers: 70.7%
2. Bree, Saints: 70.5%
3. Watson, the Texan: 70.2%
4. Allen, Bills: 69.2%
5. Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers: 69.1%
Fault! The file name is not specified. AP Photo/Wade Payne
The king remains king because Henry has easily played out the competition, playing the best season of his career and one of the best seasons in the history of the championship. Henry became the eighth player in the history of the NFL to reach 2,000 running yards in a season and the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07 to lead the league in running yards in consecutive seasons. The Viking Dalvin Cook kept pace, but missed two games, including the season finale against the Detroit Lions.
1. Henry, Titans: 2,027
2. Cook, the Vikings: 1,557
3. Jonathan Taylor, Colts: 1,169
4. Aaron Jones, Packers: 1,104
T-5. David Montgomery, Bears: 1,070
T-5. James Robinson, Jaguars: 1,070
Not surprisingly, Cook and Henry had the best chance of finishing in 2020, which satisfied the fantasy players who were in the lineup almost every week.
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Alvin Kamara’s six touchdowns in Week 16 tied him up with Cook for second place, while Cam Newton of the Patriots was the only one not in the top five.
1. Henry, Titans: 17
T-2. Cook, the Vikings 16
T-2. Camara, saint: 16
T-4. Nick Chubb, Browns: 12
T-4. Newton, Patriots: 12
T-4. Josh Jacobs, Raiders: 12
At first sight, it’s hard to find a player who plays more than Bill’s fullback Stefon Diggs in his first season with the team. Diggs set franchise records in receiving and receiving yards and became the first Bills player to lead the NFL in receiving yards. Jefferson was a match for Diggs as he scored the most receiving yards of any Super Bowl-era rookie and was the fourth best rookie with at least seven games and over 100 receiving yards in NFL history. Travis Kelce broke George Kittle’s record for receiving construction sites.
1. Diggs, Bills: 1,535
3. Kelce, chiefs: 1,416
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals: 1,407
4. Jefferson, the Vikings: 1,400
T-5 : Davante Adams, Packers: 1,374
T-5. Calvin Ridley, Falcons: 1,374
Fault! The file name is not specified. Mark Konieczny/USA Sports Today
Diggs scored the sixth most receptions in a season in NFL history, while Hopkins continued his consistent dominance with most receptions of his career in his first season in Arizona. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that in 2020 the top five pass catchers only achieved eight out of 775 targets.
1. Diggs, Bills: 127
T-2. Hopkins, the cardinals: 115
T-2. Adams, Packers: 115
4. Darren Waller, Raiders: 107
5. Kelce, chiefs: 105
Adams finished the season with the third highest number of touchdowns in NFL history for only Hall of Famers Randy Moss (23) and Jerry Rice (22).
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This result is by far the best in Adams’ career, but he is not the only one in the top group to have set a personal record: Chiefs Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen (Minnesota), Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), Kelce, Green Bay, Robert Tonyan and A.J. Brown (Tennessee) also scored individually.
1. Adams, Packers: 18
2. Hill, chiefs: 15
3. Tylenus, the Vikings: 14
4. Evans, the Buccaneers: 13
T-5. Kelce, chiefs: 11
T-5; Tonyan, Packers: 11
T-5. Brown, Titans: 11
a few meters from the scrum
Perhaps the most impressive part of Henry’s monstrous era is the suffering he endured after the first contact. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Henry had 836 yards after contact in 2020, the second highest number in the last 10 seasons. Henry’s departure only after contact would have put him in the top 20 of the general classification for the season.
1. Henry, Titans: 2,141
2. Cook, the Vikings: 1,918
3. Camara, saint: 1,688
4. Diggs, Bills: 1,536
5. Montgomery, Bears: 1,508
Fault! The file name is not specified. Joseph Majorana/United States Monday sports
Although he missed the final, Steelers sprinter T.J. Watt won his first title, putting him and his brother J.J. at the top of the rankings. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald continued to do what he does best: He spent his fourth straight season with at least 11 bags and the fifth in his career. The most surprising name on the list is Trey Hendrickson of the Saints, who has never had more than 4.5 bags for this season.
1. Watt, the Steelers: 15
T-2. Donald, Rams: 13.5
T-2. Hendrickson, Saints: 13.5
T-4. Haason Reddick, Cardinals: 12.5
T-4. Za’Darius Smith, Packers: 12.5
The Dolphins’ cornerback Xavien Howard became the first player with double-digit interceptions since Antonio Cromartie in 2007. This puts Howard on an equal footing with Dick Westmoreland, who has had the franchise record since 1967.
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The Patriots cornerback, J.C. Jackson, finished second behind Howard, but that left him tied up with Ty Lowe for second place.
1. Howard, Delphine: 10
2. Jackson, Patriots: 9
3. Tyrant Mathieu, cooks: 6
T-4. Harrison Smith, Viking 5.
T-4. Quandre Diggs, Seahawks: 5
T-4. Justin Simmons, Broncos: 5
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey has had a major contract extension this season and has won every drop, becoming the first defender to lead the league in forced errors since 2012. In fact, Humphrey’s eight forced fumbles were his best defensive performance, as Charles Tillman has had 10 carries this season.
1. Humphrey, Ravens: 8
2. Reddick, the cardinals: 6
T-3. Donald, Rams Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers; Marcus Peters, Ravens; Za’Darius Smith, Packers; Yannick Ngakoue, Ravens; Miles Garrett, Browns; Chase Young, Washington football team; Javelin Guidry, Jets; Foye Oluokun, Falcons: 4
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