Tag Archives: Detroit Lions

STATEMENT FROM NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL

The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters’ reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.  

Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.

As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.

Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations

Las Vegas Raiders Release Tahir Whitehead

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Las Vegas Raiders have released LB Tahir Whitehead, the team announced Monday.

Whitehead originally signed with the club as a free agent ahead of the 2018 season. In two years with the Silver and Black, Whitehead started in all 32 contests, compiling back-to-back 100-plus-tackle campaigns, leading the team in both seasons. Over his eight-year career with the Detroit Lions (2012-17) and Raiders, Whitehead has appeared in 125 contests with 86 starts, recorded 600 tackles (435 solo), three sacks, five interceptions, 24 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Press Release Courtesy of the Las Vegas Raiders Media Relations

Las Vegas Raiders Sign Nevin Lawson to Extension

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Las Vegas Raiders signed CB Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

Lawson first joined the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent last season after playing five years with the Detroit Lions (2014-18). A fourth-round selection (133rd overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, Lawson has appeared in 74 contests and made 59 starts over his career, tallying 217 tackles (181 solo), one sack, 30 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In one postseason appearance with the Lions in 2016, he registered seven stops (five) as a starter on defense.

Last season, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound corner out of Utah State appeared in 11 contests and made five starts for the Silver and Black. Lawson logged 23 tackles (18) and registered five passes defensed. 

A native of Lauderhill, Fla., Lawson played four years (2010-13) with the Aggies. Anchoring the school’s secondary, Lawson played in 49 games and totaled 205 tackles (143), including 9.5 for loss, two sacks, six interceptions including one returned for a score, 34 passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

Oakland Raiders Sign Denzelle Good to Extension

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders signed G/T Denzelle Good to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

Good originally joined the Raiders after being claimed via waivers from the Indianapolis Colts prior to Week 14 during the 2018 campaign season. A 6-foot-5, 340-pound versatile lineman, Good was originally selected in the seventh round (255th overall) by the Colts in the 2015 NFL Draft. Over his five seasons with the Colts and Raiders, he has appeared in 46 contests at both guard and tackle and made 28 starts. 

In 2019, Good appeared in all 16 contests for the first time in his career and made five starts for the Silver and Black. He started three games at right guard and the final two contests at left guard, helping the team finish the year ranked eighth in the NFL in sacks surrendered (29).

A native of Gaffney, S.C., Good played three seasons at Mars Hill and was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference First Team choice. Good did not allow a sack during his career with the Lions.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Claim DE Jeremiah Valoaga

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have claimed DE Jeremiah Valoaga via waivers from the San Francisco 49ers, the club announced Tuesday.

Originally a 2017 undrafted free agent, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound defensive end signed with the Detroit Lions as a rookie out of UNLV. Over his first three seasons, Valoaga has appeared in 13 contests between the Lions and 49ers, while also spending the 2018 campaign on the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad. His career totals include seven tackles, one sack and one pass defensed. 

A native of Oxnard, Calif., Valoaga totaled 87 tackles, 8.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and seven pass defenses during his time (2012-16) with the Rebels.

In a corresponding move, the Raiders have placed CB Nick Nelson on the Reserve/Injured List, who was promoted to the active roster ahead of Week 15 and appeared in each of the last two contests on the special teams unit.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders 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

EIGHT FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD

— WINNER TO BE REVEALED AT NFL HONORS BEFORE SUPER BOWL LIV —

The eight finalists for the 2019 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD have been named, the NFL announced today. The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, are defensive lineman CALAIS CAMPBELL (Jacksonville), linebacker THOMAS DAVIS, SR. (Los Angeles Chargers), wide receiver T.Y. HILTON (Indianapolis) and wide receiver MATTHEW SLATER (New England) in the AFC, and running back ADRIAN PETERSON (Washington), quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD (Detroit), tackle JOE STALEY (San Francisco) and safety ERIC WEDDLE (Los Angeles Rams) in the NFC. 

Staley is a finalist for the fifth consecutive season, while Campbell and Weddle are finalists for the second straight year. Slater, who is a finalist for the first time, has been nominated for the past three years, and Hilton received nominations in 2017 and 2019. Davis, Sr., Peterson and Stafford are all first-time nominees in 2019. 

2019 ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD FINALISTS
NOMINEETEAMCONFERENCE
DL Calais CampbellJacksonville JaguarsAFC
LB Thomas Davis, SrLos Angeles ChargersAFC
WR T.Y. HiltonIndianapolis ColtsAFC
RB Adrian PetersonWashington RedskinsNFC
WR Matthew SlaterNew England PatriotsAFC
QB Matthew StaffordDetroit LionsNFC
T Joe StaleySan Francisco 49ersNFC
S Eric WeddleLos Angeles RamsNFC

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer ART ROONEY, SR.

A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected the eight finalists from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of WARRICK DUNNCURTIS MARTINKARL MECKLENBURG and LEONARD WHEELER. The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players begin voting today.

The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

PAST RECIPIENTS OF THE ART ROONEY SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
YEARPLAYERTEAM
2018QB Drew BreesNew Orleans Saints 
2017LB Luke KuechlyCarolina Panthers
2016RB Frank GoreIndianapolis Colts
2015CB Charles WoodsonOakland Raiders
2014WR Larry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinals

The winner, selected by the vote of the players, will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 1 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LIV. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.​​

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

​​

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