New Falcons Era Has Several Records On The Brink

My favorite part about statistics are the records. I love records, and I love when longstanding records are challenged.

So here's a fun little post to start your morning.

Unfortunately, baseball team records (for literally everything) seem to be easier to come by than football team records, or at least from what research I've done.

And upon further research, I have lied to you. I've found all kinds of stats, including, but not limited to, every single passing attempt ever made by the Falcons in recent memory. The fourth-worst single season passing effort in Falcons history was made by Deion Sanders.

All joking (PFR seriously has that ^ ) aside, take the jump with me and we'll have a little fun with records.

According to PFR, there are two dominant quarterbacks in Falcons lore: Matt Ryan and Steve Bartkowski. Of the 10 best single season passing efforts in Falcons history, both men own three of them, with Matty's most recent season (2010) being the best passing season in all of Falcons history.

Yeah, you read that right. I have no earthly idea how they calculated that, but it's written here, plain as day. All three of Matty's seasons are in the top 10 in Falcons history (1, 7, 8). Jeff George's 1995 season (2) was no slouch, either.

Good grief, Matty, you're winning over our hearts and our notebooks, already!

But I'm a simple young man. I like my records with big numbers. Bartkowski's career passing yards record won't be touched for a little while. (Worst passer in Falcons history was Deion Sanders, according to PFR)

Bartkowski has 23,470 yards. Matty is #5 on the list with 10,061. With 4,006 yards this year, Matty would vault past Chris Miller to #2 on the list. That is a record that is safe...for now.

One record worth mentioning is the all-time leading receiving yardage record: 7,349 yards by Terance Mathis. For all you stat guys out there, Roddy White is 1250-ish yards away from being the Falcons all-time leading receiver, a number that, even with the addition of Julio Jones, is still very reachable.

(Worst single season receiving effort by a Falcon was former RT Todd Weiner. Second worst was Eric Weems. Deion was about 10th worst. I'm having way too much fun with this.)

No doubt Roddy will go down as the greatest receiver the Falcons have ever had, and rightfully so, he's been a champ ever since he stepped his game up a few years ago. Roddy also has 4 of the top 10 receiving seasons in Falcons history (Including the #1 single season receiving effort in all of Falcons history.). Gonzo's 2009 season is also in the top 10. As a TE. Impressive, for sure.

Onto rushing. Gerald Riggs is the all-time leading Falcons rusher with 6,631 yards. Doesn't seem like much, not with all the hubbub about 10,000 yard rushers, but it is a lot of mileage on one guy. Riggs owns 3 of the top 5 single season rushing efforts on PFR, with Turner's '08 effort and Jamal's super '98 season being mixed in there. Riggs's best season was in '85 (#2), but both Jamal's (#1) and Turner's (#3) seasons received All-Pro votes. For a moment, I was confused, but if I remember right (without cheating/looking), '85 was Eric Dickerson's 2000 yard season, which would make sense. I also feel like someone else (maybe O.J.) had an insane season that year, too.

Deion is the 9th worst rusher in Falcons history. Great Granddad Steve DeBerg is the third worst rusher in Falcons history. That's some nice company you have there, Deion. (I do this not to hate on Deion, but to poke fun at silly stats)

Turner is 5th in Falcons history with 3,941 yards as a Falcon. It would require a rather heroic effort (~1,400 yards) to move up to fourth, where Jamal Anderson sits. Another 700 yards would put him into second, and then another 700 yards would make him the all-time leading rusher for the Falcons. That would require at least two seasons of high output, and while I love Turner, I don't know that he has it in him if we push him for 300 carries a season. Turner actually only has a handful of yards more than Michael Vick, and Jerious Norwood is 14th in rushing yardage.

As for coaching, Dan Reeves is our winningest coach with 49 wins. Smitty has 33. A 12-4 wild card season (Saints feeling good about themselves) plus a Super Bowl win would tie that record. I think it's safe to say Reeves will not be the winningest coach we have for much longer.

PFR also has a thing called Approximate Value that attempts to put a number to how great someone's career was. It's a pretty interesting thing. Anywho, the all-time leader for that is Mike Kenn at 145 (which is pretty high, I believe.)

But that's for stat people. What's MORE fun is looking at who contributed practically nothing. (Again, not to hate, but because stats are fun.) Aside from the 80 billion people whose Falconly AV is at 1, the "lowest" was former TE Keith Zinger! Also, long snapper Joe Zelenka was a 1. Although maybe that's a good thing, because if you don't hear about him, he's doing it right. I gazed over some of the names, and I noticed Daren Stone, the safety who had the youtube video of himself jumping over a car. Super athletic, though he turned out to be nothing. Why that is (2007 season of doom, probably) who knows.

Well, I had fun looking this stuff up, and hopefully you found some of it interesting. Sleep deprivation aside, it would be neat to see some of the best seasons with random stats like carries per game and whatnot.

But for discussion, I'm curious as to what you all think about records. Are they made to be broken? What are your thoughts?

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