Will anyone break Dickerson's record?

687056.jpg

Will anyone break Dickerson's record?

Look, if NFL owners get their way and there's an 18-game season sometime in the future, just forget this blog ever happened. I mean, I'm sure there were bloggers all over the joint back in 1976 saying, "Know which record's never gonna fall? The Juice getting 2,003 in '73. And you know what, when I think of O.J. Simpson I think America's gota real role model there!" And then the NFL expanded its season to 16 games in 1978 and, six years later, down went O.J.'s record (10 years after that, down went O.J.'s life and reputation). It was trampled by the Rec-Spec goggled, neckroll-wearing Eric Dickerson. He went for 2,105 yards in 1984 and the closest contender since was Jamal Lewis (2,066 in 2003). The only other recent attack was lodged by Chris Johnson in 2009 when he ran for 2,006. And I just don't see how this record's going to fall in a 16-game season. Not with the league trending further and further to a pass-first, pass-second, run-third league. Check the list of single-season rushing leaders on the indispensable website Pro Football Reference. Lewis and Johnson are the only players since 1998 (Terrell Davis, 2,008) to come within 100 yards of Dickerson's record. And there have only been six 2,000 yard seasons in NFL history (Barry Sanders had 2,053 in 1997). In terms of on-field statistics - not coaching longevity or career wins -- I think Dickerson's record is the toughest one to break. What do you people think? And if you're curious, the highest Patriots on the single-season rushing records list are Corey Dillon (44th with 1,635 in 2004), Curtis Martin (83rd with 1,487 in 1995) and Craig James (247th, 1,225 in 1985).

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Report: Ainge could prefer George to Butler with Nets pick

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. 

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.