Looking into our statistical crystal ball towards the end of the summer, we are presented with several possible outcomes that could see some new career leaders throughout the four major sports over the upcoming decade, in four significant categories.
Peyton Manning’s all-time passing yardage total in the NFL is set to fall, Abdul-Jabbar’s career scoring total in the NBA is attainable, Gretzky’s 894 goals in the NHL may be bested, and Pete Rose’s 4,256 hits could be rivaled, way down the line.
Injuries and rule changes aside, these projections are based on the body of work presented at the time of publication, and the current number of games scheduled in each respected sport (September 2016).
Drew Brees will eclipse Peyton Manning
The sheriff rode off into the sunset earlier this year with a second ring, and the all-time career passing yardage total in the NFL. Archie Manning’s son moved the needle to 71,940 yards over the course of a hall of fame career with the Colts and Broncos.
Presently, sitting fourth on the all-time list, is Drew Brees with 61,326 yards (…one game into the 2016 campaign). Brees is currently 37-years young, and has climbed this list in the past few seasons like a man possessed. The former Purdue quarterback hasn’t thrown for less than 4,000 yards since 2005. He’s rewriting the history books in a pass happy NFL, while accelerating the pace in his mid-30’s, which would see him pass Manning in the 2018 NFL campaign.
Probability of Brees passing Manning’s record – 93.9%
LeBron James might pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul Jabbar amassed 38,387 points over a 20-year career with the Bucks and Lakers. His record setting mark has held strong through the 1990’s and into the 21st century, proving to be insurmountable for the likes of Karl Malone, Micheal Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
LeBron James has climbed to eleventh on the all-time list, pilling up 26,833 points and counting. King James is only 31, and is a physical marvel who is yet to get injured in the pros. If he continues playing healthy ball into his late 30’s, James will not only tap dance up to Kareem’s record, he will moonwalk over it with relative ease, as future players will be chasing the ghost of James for decades to come.
Probability of James outscoring Abdul-Jabbar – 78.6%
Alex Ovechkin could potentially outscore Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky scored 894 regular season goals in the NHL. The Great One’s scoring prowess early in his career was freakishly cartoon-like. Dude sniped 92 goals during the 1981-82 campaign. His conversion to an unselfish play-maker later in his career, quelled his goal scoring totals, but he still finished 93 goals ahead of Mr. Hockey.
Alex Ovechkin is the most prolific goal scoring talent of this generation and has 525 to his credit so far. His 0.626 goals per game among 500-goal scorers, is third all-time, behind only Mike Bossy (0.762) and Mario Lemieux (0.754). The ‘Great 8’ is only 30, and has averaged close to 50 goals a season while staying incredibly healthy over his career. The desire to get past the second round in the NHL playoffs must drive Ovi, who now sits 369 behind Gretzky, while slowly but surely inching him closer to the career NHL goal scoring summit.
Probability of Ovechkin outscoring Gretzky – 57.3%
José Altuve may retire with more hits than Pete Rose
There are only two baseball players who boast more than 4,000 hits in the history of the game: Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. Rose busted out an astonishing 4,256 knocks in his storied career, and has sit atop this list for decades without anyone coming close to challenging his record (Derek Jeter finished 791 shy of the mark).
José Altuve has been one of the fastest players ever to reach 1,000 hits, and before commencing play in tonight’s game (Sep. 12), he has accumulated 1022 career raps in close to five seasons. The 5′ 5″ second base All-Star from Venezuela, is turning heads and becoming a household name, while compiling an MVP-caliber campaign in 2016. It’s super early to shine a spotlight on 4,256, but many speculate that Altuve hasn’t hit his full potential yet. He’s only got 3,234 hits left to equal Rose (mild sarcasm), and at his current pace, Altuve could possibly reach the milestone at some point during the 2033 campaign.
Probability of Altuve outhitting Rose – 43.1%
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