NFL Offensive One-Season Wonders for Every Team Since 1980

Jordan Cohn
August 05, 2020 - 12:22 pm

NFL players can come out of nowhere to make phenomenal plays in clutch moments of a game, forever giving them a cult following. Guys can dominate for entire games out of the blue, too, only to go back to their usual role as a backup.

But can guys really do it for an entire year without having success in any other season? Apparently, they can. And apparently, it happens more often than I thought it would have.

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We've looked at the guys who did it throughout MLB history, for which there were multiple contenders for all 30 teams, and the 32 NFL squads are no different.

For every team there are several candidates, except for in the rare cases when one guy sticks out above all the others in such an obvious and undebatable way. One way I narrowed down the choices a little bit was by limiting the selection to the past 40 years, though that still leaves a humongous group to choose from.

Without further ado, let's look at some of the strangest outliers for each NFL team since 1980.

All stats retrieved from Pro Football Reference.

LaMont Jordan celebrates for the Raiders. Photo credit (Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)
Steve Slaton enjoyed a brief stint of success with the Texans. Photo credit (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Peyton Hillis rumbled his way onto a Madden cover for the Browns. Photo credit (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Robert Edwards burst onto the scene in 1998 but had his career cut short by a scary injury. Photo credit (Matthew Stockman/Allsport via Getty Images)
Dieter Brock led the Rams to seven straight victories as a 34-year-old rookie. Photo credit (George Rose/Getty Images)
Steve Beuerlein was nothing short of phenomenal in 1999. Photo credit (Craig Jones /Allsport via Getty Images)
Marcus Robinson followed up his 1998 NFL Europe MVP season with an awesome 1999. Photo credit (Jonathan Daniel /Allsport via Getty Images)
Steve Smith became one of Eli Manning's favorite targets in 2009. Photo credit (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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