Winning the Super Bowl remains the ultimate team goal, but a slew of players also can continue to make their own individual impression on NFL history. FOX Sports Senior NFL Writer Alex Marvez takes a look at 21 veterans who have a shot at breaking records or reaching significant milestones during the 2015 season.
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New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin
With eight more victories, Coughlin will surpass Bill Parcells (183) and Mike Shanahan (178) for 10th place in all-time career victories (including playoffs) as a head coach. Such standing would help buttress the case for Coughlin – who is 176-147 in 19 NFL seasons – to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson
A torn Achilles tendon in the 2014 season-opener sidelined Johnson for the year and kept him from surpassing Gary Spani as the leading tackler in Chiefs history. Now healthy again, Johnson is 15 stops away from breaking the mark and reaching 1,000 career tackles.
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Denver quarterback Peyton Manning
Manning is poised to break two more of Brett Favre’s all-time NFL records for passing yards (71,838) and completions (6,300). Manning is 2,148 yards and 374 completions away from those milestones, numbers he should surpass if he stays healthy — which may be harder without Ryan Clady.
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New England quarterback Tom Brady
Although set to miss games because of his Deflategate suspension, Brady shouldn’t need long to join Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Dan Marino as the only QBs to throw 400 touchdown passes. Brady currently has 392.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees
Like New England’s Tom Brady, Brees is on the cusp of 400 career touchdown passes (he’s four short). Brees also could surpass Sonny Jurgensen and Dan Marino by becoming the first QB in NFL history to lead the league in passing yards for six seasons.
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San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers
Sid Luckman (seven) and Steve Young (five) are the only quarterbacks to have led the league in average yards per pass in at least four seasons. Rivers could join those Hall of Famers in 2015.
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Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson
Peterson’s lengthy 2014 absence greatly damaged any chance he had of catching Emmitt Smith for the all-time rushing crown. Peterson, though, could join Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players with at least 10 rushing touchdowns in eight or more seasons.
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Indianapolis running back Frank Gore
Only four RBs — Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders and the late Walter Payton — have rushed for 1,000 yards in at least nine seasons. Gore can become the fifth in his first NFL campaign with the Colts.
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Houston running back Arian Foster
It would take a yeoman’s effort of 1,864 rushing yards in 2015 to break the record, but Foster is still closing in on Priest Holmes’ mark of 8,172 — the most gained by an undrafted player.
Chicago defensive end Jared Allen
Allen needs eight sacks to leapfrog Michael Strahan (141.5), Jason Taylor (139.5), Richard Dent (137.5) and John Randle (137.5) for fifth place in NFL history. Allen has 134 sacks in 11 seasons.
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Denver outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware
Ware could become the first player to lead the NFL in sacks for three seasons since the league made it an official statistic in 1982. With 127 sacks, Ware is seven behind Chicago’s Jared Allen for the NFL lead among active players.
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Houston defensive end J.J. Watt
No other player has registered two 20-sack seasons. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year can add to that total with another monster showing in 2015.
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Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski
Janikowski can become the most prolific long-distance kicker in NFL history with five more field goals of 50-or-more yards. That would lift Janikowski past Jason Hanson (52) for the league record.
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New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski
Gostkowski is well on his way to becoming one of the most celebrated kickers in NFL history. He can tie Gino Cappelletti and the late Don Hutson for most seasons leading the league in scoring at five.
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Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri
He may never be able to catch Morten Andersen, but Vinatieri can continue blazing his own trail in the NFL record book. With five points and 18 field goals, Vinatieri will take sole possession of third place in both categories.
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Dallas tight end Jason Witten
Only one tight end, Tony Gonzalez, has 1,000 career receptions. Witten needs 57 catches to become the second. Witten also can become the 31st player to post 11,000 receiving yards.
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Oakland safety Charles Woodson
With two interceptions, Woodson will tie Dick LeBeau and the late Dave Brown for ninth place all-time with 62. An interception-returned-for-a-touchdown would tie Rod Woodson for most scored in NFL history with 11.
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New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall
Although well-traveled, Marshall has produced at a high level with all three of his previous NFL teams. Marshall, Andre Johnson and Wes Welker are now competing to see which player becomes the first with six seasons of 100-plus catches.
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San Diego tight end Antonio Gates
Gates’ next touchdown catch will be his 100th, which is a plateau that only Tony Gonzalez has reached among tight ends. Gates needs 47 receiving yards to pass Shannon Sharpe (10,060) for third place all-time among tight ends behind Gonzalez and Dallas’ Jason Witten.
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Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson
With one more 200-yard receiving effort, Johnson will break Lance Alworth’s NFL career record of five. Johnson also can join Jerry Rice, Andre Johnson and Marvin Harrison as the only receivers with three 1,500-yard receiving seasons.
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Indianapolis wide receiver Andre Johnson
A change of scenery after 12 years in Houston shouldn’t keep Johnson from continuing his run at NFL milestones. With 91 catches this season, Johnson can jump six spots to No. 3 on the NFL’s all-time list.