Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders Announce Rod Marinelli as Defensive Line Coach

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Rod Marinelli has been named the defensive line coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the club announced Wednesday. Marinelli is entering his 25th season as an NFL coach, having spent the previous seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, including the last six as defensive coordinator/defensive line coach. Marinelli brings 44 years of coaching experience to the Raiders, including 24 in the NFL.

In his seven seasons with the Cowboys, Marinelli helped the club capture three NFC East titles (2014, 2016 and 2018), having advanced to the divisional round in each of those three seasons. Marinelli’s defense finished in the top-10 three times (2017-19) in total yards allowed during those seasons, while leading the league in rush defense in 2016 with the fifth-best rushing average allowed (83.5 avg.) in franchise history.

Last season, the Cowboys ranked ninth in the NFL and third in the NFC in opponent yards per game (327.0 avg.), as the team improved its pass defense ranking from 13th in 2018 to 10th in 2019, allowing just 223.5 yards per game. The unit also finished 11th in the league in points allowed per game, ending with an average of 20.1, marking the fourth consecutive season averaging less than 21 points allowed per game. Under Marinelli, DE Robert Quinn led the defensive unit with 11.5 sacks on the year, tying for ninth-most in the NFL. LB Jaylon Smith finished sixth in the NFL with a career-high 142 tackles. 

For five consecutive seasons (2014-18), Marinelli’s defense improved its total ranking from the year prior, finishing seventh in 2018 after ranking eighth in 2017. The defensive unit also forced 20 turnovers on opposing offenses for the third consecutive season in 2018, en route to landing three Cowboy defenders’ Pro Bowl honors including two second-team All-Pro selections. 

Prior to joining the Cowboys in 2013, Marinelli spent four seasons with the Chicago Bears, serving as the team’s assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2009 before spending the next three seasons (2010-12) as the club’s assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. Over his three years leading the defensive unit, the team forced a league-best 59 fumbles and recorded 65 interceptions, third-most in the NFL over that span, while returning a league-high 13 interceptions for touchdowns. His defense also allowed just 904 points during that same time frame, the fourth-fewest in the NFL.

Before his tenure with the Bears, Marinelli spent three seasons within the division with the Detroit Lions as the team’s head coach from 2006-08. Ahead of his arrival in Detroit, Marinelli spent the first 10 years (1996-2005) of his NFL coaching career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first five seasons, he was the club’s defensive line coach, spending the last four (2002-05) with the added title of assistant head coach alongside former Buccaneers and current Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden.

Over his 10 seasons with the Buccaneers, the defensive line tallied an NFL-best 328.5 sacks. His tenure in Tampa Bay was highlighted by a 2002 campaign that saw the team capture a Super Bowl XXXVII victory led by the NFL’s best defense, as the Buccaneers held opposing offenses to a league-low 252.8 yards and 12.3 points per game. Prior to 2019, the team’s top-five single-season sack totals all came under Marinelli’s tenure (1997, 1999-2000, 2002 and 2004), with a franchise-best 55 sacks recorded in 2000 that still holds today. From 1999-2003, the team logged a sack in 69 consecutive games, marking a new NFL record.

Before making the move to professional football, Marinelli coached for 20 years at the collegiate level, serving as the defensive line coach at USC (1995), the assistant head coach/defensive line coach at Arizona State (1992-94), the defensive line coach at the University of California for seven seasons (1983-89), while also adding the title of assistant head coach during his final two years (1990-91) with the program. Prior to Cal, Marinelli started in the collegiate ranks with Utah State in 1976, where he spent six seasons (1976-81) as the defensive line coach before transitioning to the offensive line and special teams in 1982.

Prior to his coaching career, Marinelli played offensive tackle in college, beginning at Utah in 1968 and finishing at California-Lutheran from 1970-72 after having his playing days split by a tour of duty in Vietnam. As a senior in 1972, Marinelli earned All-American honors for Cal-Lutheran on the offensive line.

A native of Rosemead, Calif., Marinelli’s first coaching job came as an assistant at his alma mater at Rosemead High School (1973-75). 

Rod Marinelli’s Coaching Background

Years                     College/Pro Team                           Position Coached

1976-81                Utah State                                           Defensive Line Coach

1982                       Utah State                                           Special Teams Coach/Offensive Line Coach

1983-89                California                                             Defensive Line Coach

1990-91                California                                             Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach

1992-94                Arizona State                                     Head Coach

1995                       USC                                                        Defensive Line Coach

1996-2001            Tampa Bay Buccaneers                  Defensive Line Coach

2002-05                Tampa Bay Buccaneers                  Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach

2006-08                Detroit Lions                                      Head Coach

2009                       Chicago Bears                                    Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach

2010-12                Chicago Bears                                    Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator

2013                       Dallas Cowboys                                Defensive Line Coach

2014-19                Dallas Cowboys                                Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach

Press Release Courtesy of the Las Vegas Raiders Media Relations

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS​​

NEW FACES ON CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKENDThe NFL will have a new Super Bowl Champion for a 15th consecutive season as four teams vie to secure their place in Super Bowl LIV. In the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, the TENNESSEE TITANS (11-7) take on the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-4), while the GREEN BAY PACKERS (14-3) travel to Levi’s Stadium to take on the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-3) in the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax. 

Of the teams appearing on Championship Sunday, three teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – missed the postseason in 2018, marking the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons.

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

ON THE ROAD AGAINWith a 28-12 victory over the No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, the TENNESSEE TITANS (11-7) became the sixth No. 6 seed to advance to a Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990 and first since the GREEN BAY PACKERS and NEW YORK JETS in 2010. 

With a win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday (3:05 PM ET, CBS), Tennessee would join the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS and the 2005 PITTSBURGH STEELERS as the only No. 6 seeds to appear in the Super Bowl since 1990 when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. Both the Packers and Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl in those seasons.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Super Bowl since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASONTEAMCONFERENCEADVANCED TO
2010Green BayNFCWon Super Bowl XLV
2005PittsburghAFCWon Super Bowl XL
    
2019TennesseeAFC??

Additionally, Tennessee could also join the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only teams to defeat each of the top three seeds in their conference in a single postseason since 1990. 

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

KING HENRY CONTINUES HIS REIGN: Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for a postseason franchise-record 195 yards in the Titans’ Divisional Playoff win last week. After rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on Wild Card Weekend against New England, Henry became the first player with at least 180 rushing yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.  

With at least 150 rushing yards on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS (1998-99) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 123 rushing yards on Sunday against Kansas City (3:05 PM ET, CBS), Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN RIGGINS (610 rushing yards in 1982) and TERRELL DAVIS (581 in 1997) as the only players with at least 500 rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history.  

The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRUSHING YARDS
John RigginsHOFWashington1982610
Terrell DavisHOFDenver1997581
Terrell DavisHOFDenver1998468
Marcus AllenHOFLA Raiders1983466
Eddie GeorgeTennessee1999449
    
Derrick HenryTennessee2019377*
*Entering Sunday

Henry has 561 rushing yards in four career postseason games. With at least 112 rushing yards on Sunday, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS (672 yards) for the most rushing yards through a player’s first five career postseason games in NFL history. 

Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in the regular season in 2019. With a win on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRELL DAVIS (1998) and EMMITT SMITH (1992-93, 1995), as well as SHAUN ALEXANDER (2005) as the only single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season. 

The single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRUSHING YARDSSUPER BOWL
Shaun AlexanderSeattle20051,880XL
Terrell DavisHOFDenver19982,008XXXIII
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas19951,773XXX
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas19931,486XXVIII
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas19921,713XXVII


— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

AFC GOES THROUGH CHIEFS KINGDOMThe KANSAS CITY CHIEFS advanced to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history with a 51-31 win over Houston in the Divisional Playoffs. In the victory, Kansas City became the first team to win a game by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 20 points in the same game in NFL history. 

Kansas City’s comeback in the Divisional Playoffs marked the second comeback of at least 16 points in the postseason this year after the HOUSTON TEXANS erased a 16-point deficit in an overtime win over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend. This marks the second time in which there have been two comebacks of at least 16 points in a single postseason in NFL history (2002).

Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES led the comeback with 321 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception for a 134.6 passer rating and added 53 yards on the ground, becoming the first player with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes, and 50 rushing yards in a single postseason game in NFL history. 

If Mahomes, who has eight touchdown passes in three career postseason games, has at least three touchdown passes on Sunday against Tennessee (3:05 PM ET, CBS), he would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (11) for the most touchdown passes through a player’s first four career postseason games in NFL history. 

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their first four postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMTOUCHDOWN PASSES 
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams11 
Dan MarinoHOFMiami10 
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay10 
Alex SmithSan Francisco, Kansas City10 
    
Patrick MahomesKansas City8* 
*In three games

Additionally, with at least four touchdown passes, Mahomes would become the first player with at least four touchdown passes in consecutive postseason games in NFL history. 

Chiefs tight end TRAVIS KELCE recorded postseason career-highs in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and receiving touchdowns (three) last week, becoming the third tight end with at least three touchdown receptions in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era. 

If Kelce, who has three career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards, has at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee (3:05 PM ET, CBS), he would tie for the most such career postseason games by a tight end in NFL history. 

The tight ends with the most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS
Vernon DavisSan Francisco4
Rob GronkowskiNew England4
Keith JacksonPhiladelphia, Miami, Green Bay4
Dallas ClarkIndianapolis3
Travis KelceKansas City3*
Greg OlsenChicago, Carolina3
*Entering Sunday

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

HUNTING MORE TITLES IN TITLETOWN: The GREEN BAY PACKERS advanced to their first Conference Championship since 2016 with a 28-23 victory over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay tied the DALLAS COWBOYS (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history. 

With a win against the 49ers, who rank fifth on the all-time list with 31 postseason wins, on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), the Packers would tie the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (36 wins) for the second-most postseason victories in NFL history. 

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAMWINSSUPER BOWL WINS
New England376
Pittsburgh366
Dallas355
Green Bay354
San Francisco315


Green Bay head coach MATT LAFLEUR became the first head coach to reach a Conference Championship in his first season since JIM HARBAUGH led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in 2011. 

With a win on Sunday, LaFleur would become the sixth rookie head coach to appear in the Super Bowl.

The rookie head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl:

HEAD COACHTEAMSEASONRESULT
Don McCaffertyBaltimore Colts1970W 16-13, Super Bowl V
Red MillerDenver1977L 27-10, Super Bowl XII
George SeifertSan Francisco1989W 55-10, Super Bowl XXIV
Bill CallahanOakland2002L 48-21, Super Bowl XXXVII
Jim CaldwellIndianapolis2009L 31-17, Super Bowl XLIV
    
Matt LaFleurGreen Bay2019??


With LaFleur (40 years, 66 days old) and San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN (40 years, 36 days old), Sunday’s NFC Championship Game will be the first Conference Championship Game featuring two head coaches under the age of 41 since 1970.

Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a 113.7 passer rating last week, marking Rodgers’ sixth consecutive postseason game with at least two touchdown passes. 

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRY BRADSHAW (seven games) and JOE MONTANA (seven), as well as DREW BREES (seven), for the second-longest streak of postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history. Only JOE FLACCO (eight games) had a longer such streak in league history. 

Additionally, with two touchdown passes, Rodgers would tie PEYTON MANNING (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history. 

The players with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Tom BradyNew England73
Joe MontanaHOFSan Francisco, Kansas City45
Brett FavreHOFGreen Bay, Minnesota44
Peyton ManningIndianapolis, Denver40
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay38*
*Entering Sunday  

Rodgers, who has 4,700 passing yards in 17 career postseason starts, needs at least 300 passing yards on Sunday to become the sixth player with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards in NFL history, joining TOM BRADY (11,388), PEYTON MANNING (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers BRETT FAVRE (5,855) and JOE MONTANA (5,772), and BEN ROETHLISBERGER (5,256).

— CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS —

NEW GOLDEN ERA: With a 27-10 win over Minnesota in the Divisional Playoffs, the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS became the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season, and the second team in three years, joining the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS in 2017.

With a victory on Sunday against Green Bay (6:40 PM ET, FOX), San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN, whose father – MIKE SHANAHAN – won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII as head coach of the DENVER BRONCOS, would become the first father-son duo to each appear in a Super Bowl as a head coach in NFL history. 

In their Divisional Playoff victory, the 49ers defense tallied six team sacks, tied for the second-most in a single postseason game in franchise history. 

With at least six sacks on Sunday against Green Bay, the 2019 San Francisco 49ers would join the 1984 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS as the only teams with at least six sacks in two consecutive postseason games in the Super Bowl era. 

49ers rookie defensive lineman NICK BOSA recorded two sacks in his postseason debut last week. With at least two sacks on Sunday, Bosa would join LAMARR WOODLEY as the only players with at least two sacks in each of their first two postseason games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Bosa would also become the first rookie to accomplish the feat since 1982. 

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

2019 NFL RECORDS AND MILESTONES​

New teams making the playoffs, terrific turnarounds, consistent teams excelling again, records falling and young players making their mark. The 2019 season had it all.

Youth and success at the quarterback position highlighted the 2019 regular season as 208 games featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in a single season in NFL history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 started 287 games and recorded 144 wins in those starts this season, both the highest single-season totals since 1970. Three quarterbacks under the age of 25 – Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (2018 NFL Draft), Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (2017 NFL Draft) and Houston’s DESHAUN WATSON (2017 NFL Draft) – have led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons.

Competitiveness was a constant theme throughout the regular season as 68 percent of games (174 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the fifth-most such games in a single season in NFL history, while 52.3 percent of games (134 of 256) were decided by eight-or-fewer points, also tied for the fifth-most such games in single season in league annals. Additionally, 57 games saw a team come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

Week 17 came down to the wire, as two playoff spots and two divisions titles – the NFC East and NFC West – were decided on the final day of the season. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Five of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2019: BUFFALOGREEN BAYMINNESOTASAN FRANCISCO and TENNESSEE. Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Both the Green Bay Packers (NFC North) and San Francisco 49ers (NFC West) won their division after missing the postseason in 2018 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.

Teams to win their division a season after missing the postseason since 2003:

SEASONNEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
2019Green Bay, San Francisco
2018Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017Jacksonville*, L.A. Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016Atlanta, Dallas*
2015Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012Washington*
2011Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego
2005Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004Atlanta*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

OFFENSIVE TRENDS: The 2019 season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in league history.

Teams combined to score 1,332 total touchdowns, the third-most in a single season in NFL history, while the 11,680 total points were tied for the third-most in league annals.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY
SEASONTOUCHDOWNS SEASONTOTAL POINTS
20181,371 201311,985
20131,338 201811,952
20191,332 201911,680
20151,318 201511,680


With five teams – BALTIMORE (33.2 points per game), SAN FRANCISCO (29.9), NEW ORLEANS (28.6), TAMPA BAY (28.6) and KANSAS CITY (28.2) – averaging at least 28 points per game, the 2019 season joined 2014 (six teams) as the only seasons with at least five teams averaging at least 28 points per game since 1970.

The Ravens, who scored at least 40 points in five different games this season, led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards and surpassed the 1978 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

PROLIFIC PASSERS: In 2019, league-wide passing numbers continued to trend at a historic pace, as the marks for passer rating (90.4 – second), completion percentage (63.5 percent – second), total completions (11,331 – fourth) and touchdown passes (797 – fifth) were all ranked in the top five for highest in a single season in NFL history.

SEASONRATING SEASONCOMPLETION PCT. SEASONCOMPLETIONS SEASONTD PASSES
201892.9 201864.9 201511,527 2018847
201990.4 201963.5 201611,526 2015842
201590.2 201663.0 201811,462 2014807
201689.3 201563.0 201911,331 2013804
201488.9 201462.6 201411,200 2019797


Eleven quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards in 2019, including four with at least 4,500 passing yards: Tampa Bay’s JAMEIS WINSTON (5,109), Dallas’ DAK PRESCOTT (4,902), the Los Angeles Rams’ JARED GOFF (4,638) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ PHILIP RIVERS (4,615).

Twelve quarterbacks threw at least 25 touchdown passes this season, including four with at least 30 touchdown passes: Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (36), Winston (33), Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON (31) and Prescott (30).

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ DANIEL JONES, Jacksonville’s GARDNER MINSHEW and Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY– each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – ROBERT GRIFFIN IIIANDREW LUCK and RUSSELL WILSON).

Nine quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher in 2019, including three with a passer rating of at least 110: Tennessee’s RYAN TANNEHILL (117.5), New Orleans’ DREW BREES (116.3) and Jackson (113.3). The nine quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher were tied with the 2018 season for the most in a single season in NFL history.

The seasons with the most quarterbacks having a passer rating of 100 or higher in NFL history:

SEASONQUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ PASSER RATING 
20199
20189
20137


ALL-PURPOSE BACKS
: Sixteen players rushed for at least 1,000 yards, including four players with at least 1,300 rushing yards, this season: Tennessee’s DERRICK HENRY (1,540), Cleveland’s NICK CHUBB (1,494), Carolina’s CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (1,387) and Dallas’ EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (1,357).

Seven players recorded at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2019: Henry (16), Green Bay’s AARON JONES (16), McCaffrey (15), Minnesota’s DALVIN COOK (13), Elliott (12), the Los Angeles Rams’ TODD GURLEY (12) and Baltimore’s MARK INGRAM (10).

Twenty-six running backs totaled at least 1,000 scrimmage yards, including eight with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards, this season: McCaffrey (2,392), Elliott (1,777), Chubb (1,772), Henry (1,746), Jacksonville’s LEONARD FOURNETTE (1,674), Cook (1,654), Jones (1,558) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ AUSTIN EKELER (1,550).

Three running backs – Jones (19 scrimmage touchdowns), McCaffrey (19) and Henry (18) – each recorded at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns this season. 

2019 was the third season in NFL history with three players totaling at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns each, joining 2005 (SHAUN ALEXANDERLARRY JOHNSON and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON) and 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN and JIM TAYLOR, and ABNER HAYNES).

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Twenty-nine players had at least 1,000 receiving yards, including five with at least 1,200 receiving yards this season: New Orleans’ MICHAEL THOMAS (1,725), Atlanta’s JULIO JONES (1,394), Tampa Bay’s CHRIS GODWIN (1,333), Kansas City’s TRAVIS KELCE (1,229) and Miami’s DEVANTE PARKER (1,202).

Five players had at least 100 receptions in 2019: Thomas (single-season NFL record 149), Carolina’s CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (116), the Los Angeles Chargers’ KEENAN ALLEN (104), Houston’s DEANDRE HOPKINS (104) and New England’s JULIAN EDELMAN(100).

Three players had at least 10 touchdown catches this season: Detroit’s KENNY GOLLADAY (11), Baltimore’s MARK ANDREWS (10) and the Los Angeles Rams’ COOPER KUPP (10).

Five rookies recorded at least seven touchdown receptions in 2019: Tennessee’s A.J. BROWN (eight), the New York Giants’ DARIUS SLAYTON (eight), Baltimore’s MARQUISE BROWN (seven), Washington’s TERRY MCLAURIN (seven) and Seattle’s DK METCALF(seven). In total, rookies combined for 110 touchdown receptions in 2019 and surpassed 2014 (109 touchdown catches) for the most combined touchdown receptions by rookies in a single season since 1970.

DOMINANT DEFENDERS: Eighteen players recorded at least 10 sacks, including five with at least 14 sacks, in 2019: Tampa Bay’s SHAQUIL BARRETT (19.5), Arizona’s CHANDLER JONES (19), New Orleans’ CAMERON JORDAN (15.5), Minnesota’s DANIELLE HUNTER (14.5) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. WATT (14.5).

Five players registered at least five forced fumbles this season: Jones (eight), Watt (eight), Barrett (six), Washington’s RYAN ANDERSON (five) and Chicago’s KHALIL MACK (five). 2019 was the first season since 2002 (DWIGHT FREENEY and LEONARD LITTLE) that two players had at least eight forced fumbles in the same season.Ten players recorded at least five interceptions, including three with six interceptions, this season: New England’s STEPHON GILMORE (six), Minnesota’s ANTHONY HARRIS (six) and Buffalo’s TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE (six).

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

WEEK 16 PAIRS PACKERS, VIKINGS IN NFC NORTH BATTLE 

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated the OAKLAND RAIDERS-LOS ANGELES CHARGERSmatchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest recognizes two original AFL teams, each with ties to late Pro Football Hall of Famer AL DAVIS. From 1957-60, Davis served as the line coach at the University of Southern California before Sid Gillman tabbed him as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive ends coach. After helping the Chargers to two division titles in three seasons, Davis had the opportunity to lead his own team in 1963. That’s when he took over the Oakland Raiders and changed the team colors to silver and black, then personified the rival league’s exciting new image by developing the vertical passing game. The upstart AFL finalized a formal merger with the NFL later in the decade and began playing as one league in 1970.

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME: Seventeen teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two playoff berths in each conference are up for grabs. Welcome to late December in the NFL.  

The BUFFALO BILLSGREEN BAY PACKERS and SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS have each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. ​

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS can join that group with a win on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) at home against the Packers. Something significant will happen on Monday night. Either the Packers will clinch the division for the first time since 2016, or the Vikings will clinch a playoff berth.

It’s also a division clash featuring teams with 10-or-more wins. That has happened just three times since the beginning of the 2015 season, and for the second time the game is featuring the Packers and Vikings.

The last five games that featured teams with 10-or-more wins from the same division during the regular season:

DATEDIVISIONTEAMSRESULTSEASON RESULT
12/13/2018AFC WestL.A. Chargers (10-3)LAC, 29-28Advanced to AFC Divisional
at Kansas City (11-2)Advanced to AFC Championship
1/1/2017AFC EastNew England (13-2)NE, 35-14Won Super Bowl LI
at Miami (10-5)Advanced to AFC Wild Card
1/3/2016NFC NorthMinnesota (10-5)MIN, 20-13Advanced to NFC Wild Card
at Green Bay (10-5)Advanced to NFC Divisional
12/28/2014AFC NorthCincinnati (10-4-1)PIT, 27-17Advanced to AFC Wild Card
at Pittsburgh (10-5)Advanced to AFC Wild Card
12/28/2014NFC NorthDetroit (11-4)GB, 30-20Advanced to NFC Wild Card
at Green Bay (11-4)Advanced to NFC Championship

Green Bay head coach MATT LAFLEUR has an opportunity to become the 10th rookie head coach in NFL history to win at least 12 games in a season. 

The rookie head coaches who have won at least 12 games in NFL history, by wins:

COACH, TEAMWLTPCTSEASON
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis1420.8752009
George Seifert, San Francisco1420.8751989
Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco1330.8132011
Steve Mariucci, San Francisco1330.8131997
John MaddenHOF, Oakland1211.8931969
Matt Nagy, Chicago1240.7502018
Barry Switzer, Dallas1240.7501994
Red Miller, Denver1220.8571977
Chuck Knox, L.A. Rams1220.8571973

IN THE NFC EAST: The DALLAS COWBOYS can clinch the NFC East division title with a road win over the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field (4:25 PM ET, FOX). Winning a division has proven significant this decade as the last team to advance to the Super Bowl without winning a division title was the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS, who won Super Bowl XLV. Since, all 16 teams to appear in the Super Bowl have won their divisions.

IN THE AFC EAST: On Saturday (4:30 PM ET, NFL Network), the BUFFALO BILLS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS meet with the AFC East division title on the line. With a win, the Patriots (11-3) would take the division for an 11th year in a row. They also would reach 12 wins in a season for the 13th time and match the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13 seasons) for the most seasons of 12-or-more wins since the 1970 merger. The DALLAS COWBOYS also have 12 seasons of at least 12 victories since 1970. 

Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY (538) can surpass No. 2 PEYTON MANNING (539) on the NFL’s career passing touchdowns list. And with four touchdown passes, Brady would eclipse No. 1 DREW BREES (541) and hold the record for at least 21 hours, when Brees and the Saints meet the Titans on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). 

Buffalo, meanwhile, has already clinched a playoff berth and can still win its first division title since 1995. The Bills’ bid for the division is spearheaded by quarterback JOSH ALLEN, who leads NFL quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns. In fact, the 2019 season has tied the single-season NFL record for the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks.

The seasons with the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks in NFL history:

SEASONRUSHING TOUCHDOWNS BY QUARTERBACKS 
201973
200273
201871
201766
201266
201166

IN THE NFC SOUTH: The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-3), who clinched the division on Thanksgiving night, travel to play the TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Including New Orleans, four NFC teams share the best record in the conference. This year marks just the second time since the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule in 1978 that four NFC clubs are tied for the conference’s best record with two-or-fewer weeks to play. It also happened in 2014, when five NFC teams were 11-4 heading into the final week.

Overall, six NFL teams have won at least 11 games, making the 2019 season just the second since 1978 in which six-or-more NFL clubs have won 11-plus through 14 games. It also happened in 2004, when six teams had at least 11 wins heading into the final two weeks. 

DREW BREES, who surpassed PEYTON MANNING’s career passing touchdowns record to close Week 15 on Monday night, also recorded his 36th career game of four-or-more touchdown passes, breaking Manning’s NFL record of 35. Brees (10,093) also needs 77 pass attempts to become the all-time leader in that category; the record is held by Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (10,169).

IN THE AFC SOUTH: The HOUSTON TEXANS need a win Saturday at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET, NFL Network) to clinch their division for a second straight season, and for the fourth time in the last five years. Houston would join New England and Kansas City as the only NFL teams with four-or-more division titles since 2015.

NFL SCHEDULEDECEMBER 21-23

(All times Eastern)

SaturdaySunday (cont.)
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers1:00 PMNFLNNew Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans1:00 PMFOX
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots 4:30 PMNFLNNew York Giants at Washington Redskins1:00 PMFOX
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers8:15 PMNFLNDetroit Lions at Denver Broncos4:05 PMCBS
SundayOakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers4:05 PMCBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons1:00 PMFOXDallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles4:25 PMFOX
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns1:00 PMCBSArizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks4:25 PMFOX
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts1:00 PMFOXKansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears8:20 PMNBC
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins1:00 PMCBSMonday
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets1:00 PMCBSGreen Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings8:15 PMESPN

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

Winner to be Announced at NFL Honors the Night Before Super Bowl LIV

The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each player was selected as his team’s Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. First established in 1970, the national award was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON.

“Every day, in cities and towns across America, NFL players give of themselves to make our communities better. This year, as we celebrate our 100th season and the 50th year of the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award, NFL players have continued to raise the bar on community engagement and impact,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “The 32 nominees for this year’s award are the best of the best and truly embody the spirit of Walter and his legacy of leaving the world better than he found it.”

For the second year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

The 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV on FOX. NFL Honors will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.

All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide. 

“Nationwide congratulates this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominees,” said Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer RAMON JONES. “Year after year, we’re amazed at the amount of time, talent and resources the NFL players give to their communities. This year’s best of the best from each team—these 32 men—recognized a need, took action and energized those around them to do more. It’s our privilege to help share their stories  about making positive differences for  others.” 

Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 5th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.

Beginning in 2017, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette came to life in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. The six current players who have won the award—DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, JASON WITTEN, ELI MANNING and J.J. WATT—continue to wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2019 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 15 and continuing through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.

For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.

Below is a list of the 2019 nominees:

TEAMNOMINEE
Arizona CardinalsDavid Johnson
Atlanta FalconsRicardo Allen
Baltimore RavensBrandon Carr
Buffalo BillsLorenzo Alexander
Carolina PanthersCam Newton
Chicago BearsAllen Robinson II
Cincinnati BengalsGiovani Bernard
Cleveland BrownsJarvis Landry
Dallas CowboysTravis Frederick 
Denver BroncosJustin Simmons
Detroit LionsDevon Kennard
Green Bay PackersBlake Martinez
Houston TexansD.J. Reader
Indianapolis ColtsPierre Desir
Jacksonville JaguarsCalais Campbell
Kansas City ChiefsDustin Colquitt
Los Angeles ChargersUchenna Nwosu
Los Angeles RamsAndrew Whitworth
Miami DolphinsDavon Godchaux
Minnesota VikingsKyle Rudolph
New England PatriotsKyle Van Noy
New Orleans SaintsTerron Armstead
New York GiantsNate Solder
New York JetsJonotthan Harrison
Oakland RaidersTahir Whitehead
Philadelphia EaglesMalcolm Jenkins
Pittsburgh SteelersMaurkice Pouncey
San Francisco 49ersRichard Sherman
Seattle SeahawksBobby Wagner
Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike Evans
Tennessee TitansBen Jones
Washington RedskinsNick Sundberg

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 15

PASSING HISTORIC MILESTONES: Both New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES and New England quarterback TOM BRADY – who rank first and second in career passing yards in NFL history, respectively – can reach another historic milestone in Week 15.  

If Brady has four touchdown passes on Sunday against Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET, CBS) or Brees has three touchdown passes against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), they would surpass PEYTON MANNING (539 touchdowns) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Peyton ManningIndianapolis, Denver539
Drew BreesSan Diego, New Orleans537
Tom BradyNew England536
Brett FavreHOFGreen Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota508
Dan MarinoHOFMiami420


Additionally, if Brady – who has 19 touchdown passes in 2019 – has at least one touchdown pass on Sunday, he would surpass Manning (16 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history. With three touchdown passes on Monday, Brees will also reach 20 for the season, tying Manning with 16 such seasons in his career.  

The players with the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)SEASONS WITH 20+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Tom BradyNew England16*
Peyton ManningIndianapolis, Denver16
Drew BreesSan Diego, New Orleans15#
Brett FavreHOFGreen Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota15
*Has 19 touchdown passes in 2019
#Has 17 touchdown passes in 2019

— NFL —

PETERSON CONTINUES TO CLIMB: Last week, Washington running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown, becoming the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 career rushing yards (14,036) and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers EMMITT SMITH and WALTER PAYTON as the only players with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns (109) in NFL history.

If Peterson has at least 66 rushing yards on Sunday against Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, FOX), he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer CURTIS MARTIN (14,101) for the fifth-most career rushing yards in NFL history. 

The players with the most career rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)RUSHING YARDS
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas, Arizona18,355
Walter PaytonHOFChicago16,726
Frank GoreSan Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami, Buffalo15,306*
Barry SandersHOFDetroit15,269
Curtis MartinHOFNew England, New York Jets14,101
Adrian PetersonMinnesota, New Orleans, Arizona, Washington14,036*
*Active

Additionally, Peterson needs one rushing touchdown on Sunday to tie Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history. 

The players with the most career rushing touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)RUSHING TDs 
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas, Arizona164 
LaDainian TomlinsonHOFSan Diego, New York Jets145 
Marcus AllenHOFLos Angeles Raiders, Kansas City123 
Walter PaytonHOFChicago110 
Adrian PetersonMinnesota, New Orleans, Arizona, Washington109* 
*Entering Sunday

— NFL —

STACKING WINS IN SEATTLESince entering the NFL in 2012, Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON has led the Seahawks to at least nine wins in each of his eight seasons under center, becoming the first quarterback to accomplish the feat in NFL history. 

With a win at Carolina on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Wilson would tie TOM BRADY (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins through a quarterback’s first eight seasons in NFL history.  

The quarterbacks with the most regular-season wins through their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMWINS
Tom BradyNew England86
Russell WilsonSeattle85*
*In eighth season

— NFL —

JACK OF ALL TRADESIn addition to leading the NFL with 28 touchdown passes in 2019, Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON leads all quarterbacks with 1,017 rushing yards, becoming the second quarterback to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a single season in NFL history.

With 23 rushing yards on Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon), Jackson would surpass MICHAEL VICK (1,039 in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. 

Additionally, the 22-year-old quarterback has 3,878 passing yards and 1,712 rushing yards in 29 career games since entering the league in 2018. 

If Jackson has at least 122 passing yards on Thursday, he would become the first player with at least 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in his first 30 career games in NFL history.

— NFL —

GOLDEN GAROPPOLOSan Francisco quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO completed 26 of 35 attempts (74.3 percent) for 349 passing yards and four touchdowns with one interception for a 131.7 passer rating in a 48-46 win over New Orleans in Week 14. That marked Garoppolo’s fourth consecutive game completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 110 or higher. 

By completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts and having a passer rating of 110 or higher on Sunday against Atlanta (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Garoppolo would tie for the longest such streak of games in a single season in NFL history (min. 10 attempts). 

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive games completing at least 70 percent of their passes and a passer rating of 110 or higher in a single season in NFL history (min. 10 attempts):

PLAYERTEAMSEASONCONSECUTIVE GAMES
Patrick Mahomes#Kansas City20185
Russell WilsonSeattle20155
    
Jimmy GaroppoloSan Francisco20194*
*Active streak 
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player 

— NFL —

DUCK HUNTING FOR WINSIn Week 14, Pittsburgh rookie quarterback DEVLIN HODGES led the Steelers to a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, marking his third-career win in his third-career start.   

With a win against Buffalo on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Hodges would tie VIRGIL CARTER (four wins in 1968) and PHIL SIMMS (four in 1979) for the third-longest streak of wins by a rookie quarterback to begin a career in the Super Bowl era (1966-present). 

The rookie quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins to begin their careers in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONCONSECUTIVE WINS 
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh200413 
Mike KruczekPittsburgh19766 
Virgil CarterChicago19684 
Phil SimmsNew York Giants19794 
     
Devlin HodgesPittsburgh20193* 
*Active streak

Additionally, with a win, Hodges would become the first undrafted rookie quarterback to win each of his first four starts in the common draft era (1967-present).

— NFL —

TEN AGAIN: New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS – who leads the NFL with 121 receptions and 1,424 receiving yards this season – had 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, marking his seventh game with at least 10 receptions in 2019.

With at least 10 receptions against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Thomas would surpass ANDRE JOHNSON (seven games in 2008) and WES WELKER (seven in 2009) for the most games with at least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Andre JohnsonHouston20087
Michael ThomasNew Orleans20197*
Wes WelkerNew England20097
*Entering Sunday 

— NFL 

GURLEY AMONG GREATS: Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY has 10 total touchdowns this season (nine rushing, one receiving), having rushed for a touchdown in each of his past two games. Gurley, who is in his fifth NFL season, leads the NFL with 66 touchdowns since entering the league in 2015.

With a touchdown on Sunday at Dallas (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Gurley would tie ADRIAN PETERSON (67 touchdowns) for the fifth-most touchdowns through a player’s first five seasons in NFL history. 

The players with the most total touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONSTOUCHDOWNS
LaDainian TomlinsonHOFSan Diego2001-0580
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas1990-9475
Shaun AlexanderSeattle2000-0472
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco1985-8970
Adrian PetersonMinnesota2007-1167
    
Todd GurleySt. Louis/Los Angeles Rams2015-1966*
*In fifth season 

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Announce Transactions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have made the following transactions, the club announced Tuesday.

SIGNED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER TO THE ACTIVE ROSTER:

Player                                                   Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Exp.       College

Smith, Rod                                          RB           6-3          236         5              Ohio State

WAIVED THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS:

Player                                                   Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Exp.       College

Brown, Preston                                 LB           6-1          255         6             Louisville

McClain, Terrell                                 DT           6-2          300         9              South Florida 

Swearinger, D.J                                 S              5-10       205         7              South Carolina

PLACED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER ON THE RESERVED/INJURED LIST:

Player                                                   Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Exp.       College

Moreau, Foster                                 TE           6-4          250         R             LSU

PLACED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD – INJURED LIST:

Player                                                   Pos.       Ht.          Wt.        Exp.       College

Mabin, Dylan                                      CB           6-1          195         R             Fordham

Smith joins the Raiders after appearing in three contests for the Tennessee Titans this season. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, Smith signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie in 2015 before spending the majority of his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Over his five-year career, Smith has appeared in 52 contests and made two starts, compiling 101 rush attempts for 364 yards and five touchdowns, adding 30 receptions for 272 yards and an additional score.

Smith will wear jersey No. 34 with the Raiders.

Moreau has been placed on the Reserve/Injured List after appearing in all 13 games this season while making seven starts. Selected in the fourth round (137th overall) of this year’s NFL Draft, Moreau recorded 21 receptions for 174 yards and five touchdowns, an NFL best among rookie tight ends in 2019.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS TO COMPETE FOR A SPOT IN THE NFL INTERNATIONAL PLAYER PATHWAY PROGRAM

Nine athletes from eight countries will compete for a spot in the 2020 International Player Pathway Program, the NFL announced today. 

Instituted in 2017, the program aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

The league has identified top athletes from eight countries that will compete for a place in the program. Given the program’s success to date, the NFL widened its search for international talent, hosting a Combine in Germany this past October with players from 18 countries participating.  

Isaac Alarcon (Mexico), Otavio Amorim (Brazil), David Bada (Germany), Leo Krafft (Norway), Boqiao Li (China), Chris Mulumba (Finland), Sandro Platzgummer (Austria), Antoni Podgorski (Poland) and Bernhard Seikovits (Austria) will begin training in the United States next month and will have the opportunity to showcase their talents to NFL club scouts in March in hopes of being signed as a free agent or being selected for a practice squad position for next season through the International Player Pathway Program.  

One of the NFL’s eight divisions, to be chosen at random, will receive the international players selected for the 2020 program should they not be signed to free agent contracts.  At the conclusion of training camp, each player will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption with his assigned team.  This provides the assigned team an eleventh practice squad member who is ineligible to be activated during the season.   

Players will train alongside NFL veterans and draft hopefuls in Florida. 

“The International Player Pathway program is an important part of our ongoing efforts to grow the game globally and provide pathways for international players to make it to the NFL,” said Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International.  “We are excited to have players from around the world competing for a spot in the 2020 program, including eight players who were selected after participating in the International Combine in Germany this past October.” 

Players taking part in the program:​

PlayerCountryCurrent Team
Isaac AlarconMexicoTec Monterrey Borregos
Otavio AmorimBrazilTimbo-Rex
David BadaGermanySchwabisch Hall Unicorns
Leo KrafftNorwayEidsvoll 1814s
Boqiao LiChinan/a
Chris MulumbaFinlandn/a
Sandro PlatzgummerAustriaSwarco Raiders Tirol
Antoni PodgorskiPolandWarsaw Mets
Bernhard SeikovitsAustriaDacia Vienna Vikings

Notable International Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:

Moritz Böhringer, Tight End (Germany), Cincinnati Bengals

Currently in his second season as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.  In 2016, Böhringer was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted directly from European football.  He spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.  

Jakob Johnson, Fullback (Germany), New England Patriots

Johnson began his football career during his youth in his hometown of Stuttgart, Germany. It was there where Johnson played for the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League before moving to Jacksonville, Florida.  He played one season of high school football in the United States and was recruited to continue his career at the University of Tennessee. Johnson returned to the Scorpions in 2018. He then assigned to the New England Patriots through the International Player Pathway Program. The Patriots signed Jakob Johnson to their active roster on September 21.  During the season, teams can carry an International Pathway Program player as an extra 11th member of the practice squad, but because of the roster exemption, clubs cannot promote the player to the active roster during the season. In the case of Johnson, the Patriots elected to forgo that option and make him a regular member of their 10-man practice squad, which gave them the option of promoting him.  Johnson’s NFL debut came in a Week 3 win against the New York Jets. His first NFL start came the following week in Buffalo where he contributed as a lead blocker. In Week 5 he made his first career reception for five yards against the Washington Redskins

Jordan Mailata, Tackle (Australia), Philadelphia Eagles

In 2017, Mailata participated in the International Player Pathway program and trained at IMG Academy.  The Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was then drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles (thereby making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program).  Converted to football full-time early in 2018, he impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and continued his football journey with the Eagles during the 2018 season as the youngest player on their roster. He is currently on injured reserve. 

Efe Obada, Defensive End (UK), Carolina Panthers

Obada was raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10.  He signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club’s practice squad. He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017 International Player Pathway Program. In 2018, Obada become the first player from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster.  In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season game, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack, one-interception performance. Obada has continued to make an impact with the Panthers. After recording eight total tackles (solo + assisted) in 2018, he has surpassed the mark with a total of 16 tackles through Week 13 in 2019.

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

NFL ENTERS FINAL QUARTER WITH KEY GAMES ON TAP

Week 14 NFL Preview

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s CINCINNATI BENGALS-CLEVELAND BROWNS matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest includes the teams closest to the birthplace of the NFL. In 1920, the NFL formed in Northeast Ohio, where CANTON BULLDOGS owner RALPH HAY organized the first meeting of fellow owners. Four years later, at nearby Massillon Washington High School, quarterback and future Pro Football Hall of Famer PAUL BROWN discovered the sport that would shape his life. By 1946, as the first coach of the Cleveland franchise when it launched as part of the All-American Football Conference, Brown was so synonymous with success that by popular demand he became the team’s namesake, despite his humble objections. After entering the NFL in 1950, Brown’s team won three league championships (1950, 1954-55). When the AFL placed an expansion franchise in Cincinnati during the mid-1960s, Brown joined the team as general manager and head coach, then named his new team the Bengals in time for the club’s inaugural 1968 season. One of Brown’s first Cincinnati assistant coaches was Pro Football Hall of Famer BILL WALSH.  

BRADY, BREES IN RACE FOR HALLOWED MARK: As NFL teams jockey for position in the 2019 playoff race, New England quarterback TOM BRADY and New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES have one of the league’s most significant all-time records in their sights: Most career touchdown passes, currently held by PEYTON MANNING (539). Entering Week 14, Brady (535) and Brees (532) have Manning on their radar screens.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:​

PLAYER, TEAM(S)YEARSTD PASSES
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis-Denver1998-2015539
Tom Brady, New England2000-535
Drew Brees, S.D. Chargers-New Orleans2001-532
Brett FavreHOF, Atlanta-Green Bay-N.Y. Jets-Minnesota1991-2010508
Dan MarinoHOF, Miami1983-99420
Philip Rivers, S.D./L.A. Chargers2004-391
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh2004-363
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants2004-362
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay2005-360
Fran TarkentonHOF, Minnesota-N.Y. Giants1961-78342

Brady, whose Patriots host the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS), is 47-12 (.797) during his career in starts following a regular-season loss. 

EASTERN ILLINOIS CONNECTIONS IN THE BIG EASY: When the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS travel to meet the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) in a matchup of 10-win teams, one former Eastern Illinois quarterback, the 49ers’ JIMMY GAROPPOLO, will square off against another former Eastern Illinois field general, Saints head coach SEAN PAYTON. Also, the father of 49ers head coach KYLE SHANAHAN, former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins head coach MIKE SHANAHAN, also played at Eastern Illinois, where a serious injury ended his playing career but helped him discover his passion for coaching. The school also produced former Dallas quarterback TONY ROMO.

  • If San Francisco this week clinches a playoff berth, the 49ers would become the first NFL club that didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season to earn a postseason invitation. In every season since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR’S NIGHTMARE: In one of Week 14’s premier games, the BALTIMORE RAVENS put the league’s longest winning streak, eight games, on the line when they face the BUFFALO BILLS on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). The contest not only matches two of the AFC’s best teams, it also matches two of the NFL’s best dual-threat quarterbacks. Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON, whose 977 net rushing yards are more than five NFL teams this year, also ranks fourth in the NFL with a 109.6 passer rating. Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN, who ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with 430 rushing yards, has a fourth-quarter passer rating of 114.0.

  • Sunday’s game will have more combined rushing yards (1,407) by starting quarterbacks than any contest in NFL history.
  • Additionally, Jackson needs 23 rushing yards to become the second quarterback in NFL history with a 1,000-yard rushing season, and 63 to post the most rushing yards in a single season by an NFL quarterback, surpassing MICHAEL VICK, who had 1,039 in 2006. 

  • As a team, the Ravens are on pace for one of the most prolific rushing campaigns in the NFL’s 100 seasons. Since the league moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978, Baltimore’s 207.8 net rushing yards per game are on pace to finish 10 yards better than any other team in that span.

The teams with the most net rushing yards per game since 1978:

TEAMSEASONGMATTYARDSYDS/GM
Baltimore Ravens2019124452,494207.8
New England Patriots1978166713,165197.8
Kansas City Chiefs1978166632,986186.6
Chicago Bears1984166742,974185.9
Atlanta Falcons2006165372,939183.7

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THE FOURTH QUARTER: As the NFL makes its final turn toward the regular-season finish line, each club has just four games remaining, and 26 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two of those teams, the TENNESSEE TITANS and OAKLAND RAIDERS, battle in a key AFC contest Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS).

  • The game features several of the NFL’s top rookies. Oakland’s JOSH JACOBS leads all NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,061), rushing touchdowns (seven) and scrimmage yards (1,207). Tennessee wide receiver A.J. BROWN leads AFC rookies with 626 receiving yards. On defense, Oakland’s MAXX CROSBY (7.5) and CLELIN FERRELL (3.5) are the NFL’s only pair of rookie teammates with three-or-more sacks each.

ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS CONTINUE TO WIN GAMES: Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, leads the ARIZONA CARDINALS at home against the PITTSBURGH STEELERS on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Murray and the Steelers’ DEVLIN HODGES, an undrafted rookie, are two of the six rookie quarterbacks to win a game this season. Last week, Denver’s DREW LOCKjoined a group that includes Washington’s DWAYNE HASKINS, the Giants’ DANIEL JONES and Jacksonville’s GARDNER MINSHEW. That group of six represents the second-highest number of rookie quarterbacks to win an NFL start in league history, trailing only the 1987 season (seven). Detroit’s DAVID BLOUGH, who plays at Minnesota Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), gives the 2019 rookies an opportunity to tie the single-season league record. ​

BATTLE OF OHIO: When the CINCINNATI BENGALS make the cross-state trip to play the CLEVELAND BROWNS on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the teams will meet for a 92nd time. Sunday marks the first Bengals-Browns game in 35 years in which each club has a first-year head coach. Cincinnati’s ZAC TAYLOR and Cleveland’s FREDDIE KITCHENS are the first rookie head-coaching pair in the series since December 2, 1984, when the Bengals’ SAM WYCHE beat the Browns’ MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER on an overtime field goal, 20-17.

NFL SCHEDULEDECEMBER 5, 8-9

(All times Eastern)​

ThursdaySunday (cont.)
Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears8:20 PMFOX/NFLNAMAZONMiami Dolphins at New York Jets1:00 PMCBS
Sunday  Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers1:00 PMCBS
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons1:00 PMFOXLos Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars4:05 PMFOX
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills1:00 PMCBSPittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals4:25 PMCBS
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns1:00 PMCBSKansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots4:25 PMCBS
Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers1:00 PMFOXTennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders4:25 PMCBS
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans1:00 PMCBSSeattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams8:20 PMNBC
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings1:00 PMFOXMonday  
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints1:00 PMFOX New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles8:15 PMESPN

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Announce Transactions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agents LB Will Compton, C Erik Magnusonand DT Terrell McClain, the club announced Wednesday.

Player                                                   Pos.                       Ht.          Wt.        College

Compton, Will                                   LB                           6-1          235         Nebraska

Magnuson, Erik                                 C                             6-6          300         Michigan

McClain, Terrell                                 DT                           6-2          302         South Florida

Compton: Has appeared in 68 games and made 35 starts over his seven years in the NFL, seeing game action with both the Washington Redskins (2014-17) and the Tennessee Titans (2018) and totaling 274 tackles (163 solo), one sack, three INTs, 12 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries…Posted career highs in 2016 with the Redskins in tackles (104 solo), passes defensed (five) and fumble recoveries (two), while also adding one forced fumble and one INT.

Magnuson: Has appeared in eight games and made three starts over his first two seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers after originally being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017…Spent the first eight weeks of 2019 on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad…Appeared in 46 games and made 37 starts along the offensive line during his five-year career at Michigan…Earned First Team All-Big 10 honors in 2016 after starting all 12 games as a senior. 

McClain: Originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the third round (65th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft and also made stints with New England Patriots (2012), Houston Texans (2012-13), Dallas Cowboys (2014-16), Washington Redskins (2017, Atlanta Falcons (2018), while most recently playing in two contests for the Kansas City Chiefs this year…Over his nine-year career, has appeared in 89 contests and made 34 starts, totaling 129 tackles (85 solo), 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

In corresponding moves, the Raiders have waived LB Dakota Allen and released DE Kasim Edebali andDT Corey Liuget.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations