Which National Football League player scored most touchdowns during his career?

The National Football League (NFL) player who scored most touchdowns during his career was wide receiver Jerry Rice Snr., a.k.a. ‘Flash 80’, who ‘broke the plane’ 208 times for San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks between October 6, 1985 and December 19, 2004.

Born in Starkville, Mississippi on October 13, 1962, Rice was a first-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 1985 and, two seasons later, was named NFL Player of the Year after setting a single-season record of 22 touchdown receptions, despite only playing 12 games. He would spend most of his career at Candlestick Park, scoring 187 touchdowns for the 49ers and playing on Super Bowl championship teams in 1988, 1989, and 1994. Indeed, he scored one touchdown in a 20-16 victory over Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII, three in a 55-10 drubbing of Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV and three more in a 49-26 defeat of San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

In 2001, Rice was traded, controversially, to Oakland Raiders, for whom he would score a further 18 touchdowns, including one in a 48-21 defeat by Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. Before halway in th 2004 season, he was traded, at his own request, to Seattle Seahawks, for whom he would play only a marginal role, scoring three touchdowns, before being released at the end of the season. Rice spent the 2005 preseason with Denver Broncos but, having failed to make the starting line-up, subsequently signed a symbolic, one-contract – nominally worth $1,985,806.49, but for which he received nothing at all – with San Francisco, thereby retiring as a 49er.

Where, and what, is Bucky the Bronco?

Starting with the ‘what’, it should come as no surprise that Bucky the Bronco is the mascot of the Denver Broncos American football franchise, which competes in the Western Division of the American Football Conference (AFL) in the National Football League (NFL). ‘Bucky’ is embodied by a 27′, 1,600lb statue of a lustrous white stallion – akin to that depicted on the Broncos’ logo – which, under normal circumstances, stands above the scoreboard at the South Stands end of Empower Field at Mile High, which has been the home of the one-time ‘Orange Crush’ since 2001. However, in January, 2023, the statue was lifted by crane and removed, temporarily, for the duration of renovations to the scoreboard.

Nevertheless, Bucky the Bronco is a precious relic of the adjacent, but now demolished, Mile High Stadium, where he had occupied a similar position since first erected in 1975. The statue is a replica of that of ‘Trigger’, a movie horse owned by ‘King of the Cowboys’ Roy Rogers, which Rogers commissioned as a landmark for the the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California. Following an approach by Broncos’ owners, Alan and Gerald Phipps, Rogers gave permission for a second statue to be cast from the same mould, after which the mould was destroyed. So, while Bucky the Bronco is not quite one-of-a-kind, he’s the next best thing.

Aficionados of gridiron football may recall that Denver Broncos once had a punter called Douglas ‘Bucky’ Gilts, who played for two seasons, in 1977 and 1978, including in the 27-10 defeat by Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII. However, the named of the statue is derived from the phrase ‘bucking bronco’, insofar as it symbolises the concept of a wild, untamed horse, albeit rearing rather than bucking.

Minnesota Vikings’ defensive end Jim Marshall is best known for what?

James Lawrence ‘Jim’ Marshall was a fourth round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 1960, before being released in September, 1961 and joining the Minnesota Vikings shortly afterwards. Alongside fellow defensive end Carl Eller and defensive tackles Alan Page and Gary Larsen, Marshall would find fame as part of the Vikings’ defensive line known as the ‘Purple People Eaters’. Indeed, in the history of the National Football League (NFL), which was founded, as the American Professional Football Association (APFA), in 1922, no defensive player has made more consecutive starts (270) or played in more consecutive games (282) than Marshall.

However, for all his longevity and durability, Marshall will always be best known for what can only be described as a ‘moment of madness’ during a mid-season game against San Francisco 49ers at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco on October 25, 1964. In the fourth quarter, with the Vikings leading 27-17, Marshall picked up a fumble by running back Billy Kilmer and sprinted towards the end zone, some 66 yards away, with both teams in hot pursuit. Even so, much to his apparent suprise, nobody gave chase as far as the end zone where, believing he had scored a touchdown, he threw the ball out of bounds.

Marshall said afterwards, ‘My first inkling that something was wrong was when a 49er player gave me a hug in the end zone.’ Something was indeed wrong. Oblivious to the frenzied screaming of his teammates from the sidelines, Marshall had become disorientated and carried the football 66 yards, unscathed, into the wrong end zone, resulting in a two-point safety for San Francisco. Thankfully, his gaffe did not affect the result of the game, with Minnesota winning 27-22 but, despite being regarded as one of the finer defensive linemen of his day, Marshall will always be remembered for his ‘wrong-way run’.

Which was officially the worst playoff team in NFL history?

According to Guinness World Records, the worst playoff team in the history of the National Football League (NFL), which dates back over a century, was the 2010 Seattle Seahawks. In their first season under Pete Carroll – who, at the time of writing, is still head coach at Lumen Field – the Seahawks recorded their third losing season in a row, having gone 4-12 in 2008 and 5-11 in 2009, but, remarkably, a 7-9 record was still enough to win the National Football Conference (NFC) Western Division. In so doing, they became the first team in a full, non-strike season to win any division of the NFL with a losing record.

In the final game of the season, the Seahawks beat the St. Louis Rams (now, of course, back in Los Angeles) at home to give themselves an identical .438 won-lost-tied percentage as the eventual runners-up. However, they qualified for the playoffs by virtue of marginally superior 4-2 record against their NFC West opponents, having previously beaten San Francisco 49ers at home and Arizona Cardinals home and away.

Unsurprisingly seeded fourth of the four division winners in the NFC, the Seahawks faced fifth seeds, and defending Super Bowl champions, New Orleans Saints at Lumen Field in the Wild Card Round on January 8, 2011. That game, which the Seahawks won 41-3 6, is best remembered for the so-called ‘Beast Quake’, a seismic tremor generated by the crowd during a 67-yard touchdown run by running back by Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch in the fourth quarter. In one of the greatest runs in league history, Lynch broke nine tackles on his way to scoring a touchdown, with less than four minutes remaining.

Having become the first team to win a playoff game with a losing record, the Seattle Seahawks faced second seed Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in the Divisional Round. They trailed 21-0 at the end of the first half and, despite a late rally, which saw them score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, they eventually lost 35-24.

Why was New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady suspended in 2015?

The National Football League (NFL) suspended New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season as punishment for his part in tampering with footballs during the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on January 18, 2015. On that occasion, Brady passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

However, a subsequent investigation by the NFL revealed that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots’ offence were significantly deflated, by up to two pounds per square inch (psi), below the required pressure, which should be between 12.5 and 13.5 psi. Once approved by the referee, footballs are placed in ball bags on the sidelines and, thereafter, no alteration is allowed, upon pain of a fine up to $25,000 and further disciplinary action. In this case, the New England Patriots were fined $1 million and lost two draft picks, while two equipment staff, believed to be responsible for the tampering, were suspended indefinitely.

Deflating a football could, potentially, provide a competitive advantage insofar that lower pressure changes the way in which the ball travels through the air, as well as making it easy to grip and catch. Brady, who had previously expressed a preference for the lower end of the approved pressure range, was deemed to have been ‘at least generally aware’ of the nefarious behaviour of his colleagues and was suspended accordingly. Patriots’ chairman Robert Kraft was, nonetheless, unequivocal in his support for his star quarterback, releasing a statement in which he said, ‘belief in him [Brady] has not wavered.’