With the 2013 NFL season fast approaching, it's worth looking at some of the milestones players are nearing. Many significant milestones can be reached this season by multiple players. Milestones aren't the be-all, end-all to determine who had a successful career and who didn't, but they're definitely worth looking at. We'll start with the offense:
When you think of legendary NFL players, you'll probably think of a quarterback first. This season, one of the best ever will likely reach an important milestone as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is just 513 yards shy of having 60,000 career passing yards. It's also likely that Manning, who has had 4,000-plus yards 12 times in his 14 years of playing, will pass Dan Marino for second place in the all-time yardage charts. Marino has 61,361 yards, meaning Manning is just 1,875 yards away from moving into that second spot. Brett Favre's 71,838 yards seems safe at this point.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is nearing 45,000 passing yards, with just 194 to go. After that, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers all seem likely to hit 30,000 career passing yards with 156, 535 and 2,109 yards to go, respectively. Roethlisberger and Palmer could also move into the NFL's top 25 for career passing yardage, given that John Hadl, Phil Simms and Steve Young (No. 23, 24, and 25, respectively) are all around 33,000 yards.
As far as touchdowns are concerned, some significant milestones can be reached here, as well. Manning is 14 touchdowns away from 450 career touchdowns and Brady needs 16 this year to hit 350 touchdowns. Favre is, once again, the leader with 508. Roethlisberger, Palmer, Rivers and Tony Romo can hit 200 touchdowns with 9, 11, 11, and 23 to go, respectively.
At wide receiver, the most significant approaching milestone goes to Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts. Wayne is 32 receptions away from having 1,000 career receptions. He's already No. 10 in the NFL's all-time receptions list and would be the ninth player in NFL history to have 1,000 career receptions. Randy Moss needs just 18 receptions to reach that milestone, but he remains unsigned.
Keeping with receptions, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Wes Welker and Larry Fitzgerald could all reach 800 career receptions given that they are 28, 28, 32 and 36 yards away from the mark, respectively. Calvin Johnson, who has a whole lot of NFL in front of him, is 12 receptions away from 500.
Moss is again notable in that he needs 643 yards to move into second place on the NFL's all-time receiving yards list, but again, he'll need to find a team first. Johnson is nearing 8,000 career receiving yards, with just 164 to go. Smart money is on Johnson finishing somewhere in the top 25 when his career is up.
Roddy White and Welker need 275 and 420 yards, respectively, to reach 9,000 career receiving yards. Lastly, one more touchdown will move Fitzgerald to No. 25 on the NFLs all-time touchdown list. He's three away from hitting the 80 touchdown mark, while Wayne is two touchdowns shy of 80.
Both Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers are nearing 9,000 career rushing yards. Peterson needs 151 yards and Gore needs 161, totals that both could have wrapped up in a couple of games, if not sooner.
Peterson also is nearing a rushing touchdown milestone. He needs four touchdowns this year to make it 80 career rushing touchdowns, which would put him at a tie for 18th place in NFL history. Currently, he is tied with Pete Johnson for the No. 21 spot.
Chris Johnson needs 112 yards to reach 7,000 yards and DeAngelo Williams, Michael Vick and Ray Rice could each hit 6,000 rushing yards in 2013. Steven Jackson can hit 60 rushing touchdowns this season, he opens the season with 56. Jackson will reach 2,500 rushing attempts if he gets 105 carries this year, while both Peterson and Gore will hit 2,000 attempts if they carry the ball 246 and 89 times, respectively.