Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 17

PLAYOFF PUSH: All 16 games are division contests in Week 17 and there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

In 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs. With a win over Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 16, the GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) clinched the NFC North

If the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) defeat the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the 49ers would clinch the NFC West, marking the 16th time in the last 17 seasons at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs.

For the full Week 17 playoff scenarios, click here.

In the AFC, five teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason, including all four division winners: the BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-2, AFC North and homefield advantage), HOUSTON TEXANS(10-5, AFC South), KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4, AFC West), NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3, AFC East) and BUFFALO BILLS (10-5, playoff berth). 

Five teams have also locked up playoff berths in the NFC: the GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3, NFC North), NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3, NFC South), MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-5, playoff berth), SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3, playoff berth) and SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4, playoff berth).

 — NFL —

WILSON WINNER: Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON has led the Seahawks to the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons as the team’s starting quarterback and is the first quarterback to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons in NFL history.

With a win over San Francisco on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Seattle will capture the NFC West division title and Wilson will earn his 87th regular-season win, surpassing TOM BRADY (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback through his first eight seasons in NFL history.

— NFL —

SAINTS GO MARCHING INTO RECORD BOOKS: New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a Week 16 victory, as the Saints earned at least 12 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.  

With another performance of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Sunday at Carolina (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Brees will become the fourth player with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in at least four consecutive games in a single season in NFL history. 

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES 
Russell WilsonSeattle20155 
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay20144 
Tom BradyNew England20074 
     
Drew BreesNew Orleans20193* 
*Active streak 

​​Brees also leads the league with a 75.3 completion percentage in 2019 (among qualified passers) and is on pace to break his own single-season completion percentage record for the second-consecutive season. The 19-year veteran entered 2019 with four of the top five single-season completion percentages in league annals. Oakland quarterback DEREK CARR (71.1 percent) and Tennessee quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL (70.7) also each own completion percentages over of at least 70 percent entering Week 17.​

The players with the highest single-season completion percentages in NFL history among qualified passers:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONCOMP. PERCENTAGE
Drew BreesNew Orleans201975.3*
Drew BreesNew Orleans201874.4
Drew BreesNew Orleans201772.0
Sam BradfordMinnesota201671.6
Drew BreesNew Orleans201171.2
Derek CarrOakland201971.1*
Ryan TannehillTennessee201970.7*
*Entering Week 17   

New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS leads the NFL with 145 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Both Thomas and Houston wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS have recorded at least five receptions in all 15 games this season. 

If Thomas has at least five receptions at Carolina and Hopkins has at least five receptions on Sunday against Tennessee (4:25 PM ET, CBS), they would become the fifth and sixth different receivers with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978, when the 16-game schedule was implemented.

The players with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978:

PLAYERTEAMSEASON
Jarvis LandryMiami2017
Antonio BrownPittsburgh2014
Antonio BrownPittsburgh2013
Pierre GarconWashington2013
Jimmy SmithJacksonville2001
   
DeAndre HopkinsHouston2019*
Michael ThomasNew Orleans2019*
*In 15 games  

Additionally, with at least 12 receptions on Sunday, Thomas would become the first player with at least 12 receptions in three consecutive games in NFL history. 

— NFL —

DUAL-THREAT BACKS: Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY registered 173 scrimmage yards (119 receiving, 54 rushing) last week, his ninth game with at least 150 scrimmage yards this season.  

With at least 150 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New Orleans (1:00 PM ET, FOX), McCaffrey, who leads the league with 2,294 scrimmage yards in 2019, would tie CHRIS JOHNSON (10 games in 2009) for the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history. 

The players with the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Chris JohnsonTennessee200910
Marshall FaulkHOFSt. Louis Rams20019
Marshall FaulkHOFSt. Louis Rams19999
Christian McCaffreyCarolina20199*
*Through 15 games 

With at least 216 scrimmage yards on Sunday, McCaffrey would surpass Johnson (2,509 scrimmage yards in 2009) for the most scrimmage yards in a single season in league annals.

Additionally, McCaffrey ranks second among all running backs this season with 933 receiving yards, trailing only the Los Angeles Chargers’ AUSTIN EKELER (950). If McCaffrey has at least 67 receiving yards against New Orleans and Ekeler has at least 50 receiving yards at Kansas City (1:00 PM ET, CBS), they would become the fourth and fifth running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since 1970. 

The running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 1970:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEIVING YARDS
Marshall FaulkHOFSt. Louis Rams19991,048
Lionel JamesSan Diego19851,027
Roger CraigSan Francisco19851,016
    
Austin EkelerLos Angeles Chargers2019950*
Christian McCaffreyCarolina2019933*
*Through 15 games 

McCaffrey, who ranks second in the NFL with a career-high 1,361 rushing yards this season, can join ROGER CRAIG (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history.

— NFL —

HISTORY DOWN SOUTHIn his 125th career game, Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES, who has 12,047 career receiving yards, had 10 catches for 166 yards in the Falcons’ Week 16 victory and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history. 

Jones, who ranks third in the league with 1,316 receiving yards in 2019, needs at least 84 receiving yards on Sunday at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET, FOX), to tie Rice (six seasons) for the most seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards in NFL history. 

Tampa Bay quarterback JAMEIS WINSTON leads the league with a career-high 4,908 passing yards entering the season’s final week and has thrown for at least 375 yards in five different games in 2019.

With at least 375 passing yards on Sunday against Atlanta, Winston would tie PEYTON MANNING (six games in 2013) for the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history.  

The players with the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES WITH 375+ PASSING YARDS 
Peyton ManningDenver20136 
Drew BreesNew Orleans20135 
Jameis WinstonTampa Bay20195* 
*Through 15 games 

— NFL —

REMARKABLE ROOKIE RECEIVERSTennessee’s A.J. BROWN (927 receiving yards) and Washington’s TERRY MCLAURIN (919) lead all rookies in receiving yards this season and each have a chance to reach 1,000 receiving yards in their first NFL seasons. 

If Brown has at least 73 receiving yards at Houston (4:25 PM ET, CBS) and McLaurin has at least 81 receiving yards at Dallas (4:25 ET, FOX), the 2019 season would join 2014 and 1986 as the only seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history. 

The seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history:

SEASONROOKIESTEAMRECEIVING YARDS
2014Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giants1,305
 Mike EvansTampa Bay1,051
 Kelvin BenjaminCarolina1,008
    
1986Bill BrooksIndianapolis1,131
 Ernest GivinsHouston Oilers1,062
    
2019A.J. BrownTennessee927*
 Terry McLaurinWashington919*
*Entering Week 17 

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

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

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

Three Oakland Raiders Named Pro Bowl Alternates

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders TE Jared CookC Rodney Hudson and G/T Kelechi Osemelehave been named 2019 Pro Bowl alternates, the NFL announced Tuesday.

Cook has been named an alternate after setting career highs in nearly every major statistical category this season, including receptions (63), receiving yards (848) and touchdowns (six), each of which lead the Silver and Black in 2018. Cook has tallied four 100-yard contests on the season, tied for second-most among all tight ends in the NFL en route to the most receiving yards by a Raiders tight end since 1986. Among many of his highlights was his 180-yard Week 1 performance on Monday Night Football. On his record-setting night, Cook set the franchise’s single-game mark by a tight end, surpassing Todd Christensen’s 173 yards in 1986, as it also tied for the sixth-most single-game receiving yardage by a tight end in NFL history. Additionally, his 15 receptions of at least 20 yards ranks third among his position group both this season and in club history with two games yet to play.

Also named as alternates to the annual All-Star game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 27, 2019, were offensive linemen Hudson and Osemele. Hudson and Osemele, both two-time selections from 2016-17, anchor an offensive line that has assisted in many of QB Derek Carr’s achievements this season. Carr set a franchise record in Week 15 when passing Rich Gannon’s mark of 277 consecutive passes without throwing an interception, and currently stands with the longest active streak in the NFL at 299 attempts. The men in the middle have also provided ample time upfront for Carr this season, as he joined Peyton Manning as the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to complete 300 passes in each of their first five seasons. Per Pro Football Focus, Hudson ranks first among all centers in pass-blocking efficiency, and has not allowed a sack in 914 snaps this season. Since Osemele’s arrival in 2016, the club has surrendered just 90 sacks, a total that ranks as the sixth-fewest in the NFL during that span.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations