ALAMEDA, Calif. – Austin King has been named the offensive quality control coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the club announced Wednesday. King brings eight years of collegiate coaching experience to the post including the last five years with the University of Dayton.
In 2019, King completed his fifth year with the Flyers’ and his third as the program’s offensive coordinator. Prior to joining the Flyers, King spent one season with Syracuse as an offensive quality control coach with a focus on the offensive line.
King began his coaching career at the University of Toledo in 2012, where he spent two seasons as the program’s offensive quality control coach. While tutoring the offensive line, King helped guide the team to an average of 240 rushing yards and 33 points per game. Additionally, the squad surrendered just six sacks in 361 pass attempts.
Before entering the coaching ranks, King was selected as an offensive lineman in the fourth round (133rd overall) by current Raiders and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden in the 2003 NFL Draft. King went on to play 34 games and make one start over his four-year career (2003-06) with the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, King earned his B.A. in secondary education from Northwestern in 2004. He was a three-sport captain and first-team All-Ohio football player at Purcell Marian High School before graduating and playing four years for the Wildcats as a starter and earning an honorable mention All-Big 10 selection three times.
Austin King’s Coaching Background
Years College/Pro Team Position Coached
2012-13 University of Toledo Offensive Quality Control Coach
2014 Syracuse Offensive Quality Control Coach
2015-16 University of Dayton Assistant Coach
2017-19 University of Dayton Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Press Release Courtesy of the Las Vegas Raiders Media Relations
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
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: BUFFALO, GREEN BAY, MINNESOTA, SAN 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:
NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
Green Bay, San Francisco
Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
Jacksonville*, L.A. Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego
Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
Atlanta*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
Baltimore, 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
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.
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 III, ANDREW 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:
QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ PASSER RATING
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 ALEXANDER, LARRY 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
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).
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:
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:
*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.
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:
St. Louis Rams
Los Angeles Chargers
*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 SOUTH: In 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:
GAMES WITH 375+ PASSING YARDS
*Through 15 games
— NFL —
REMARKABLE ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Tennessee’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:
Odell Beckham Jr.
New York Giants
*Entering Week 17
Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations
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 BILLS, GREEN 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:
L.A. Chargers (10-3)
Advanced to AFC Divisional
at Kansas City (11-2)
Advanced to AFC Championship
New England (13-2)
Won Super Bowl LI
at Miami (10-5)
Advanced to AFC Wild Card
Advanced to NFC Wild Card
at Green Bay (10-5)
Advanced to NFC Divisional
Advanced to AFC Wild Card
at Pittsburgh (10-5)
Advanced to AFC Wild Card
Advanced 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:
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis
George Seifert, San Francisco
Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco
Steve Mariucci, San Francisco
John MaddenHOF, Oakland
Matt Nagy, Chicago
Barry Switzer, Dallas
Red Miller, Denver
Chuck Knox, L.A. Rams
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:
RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS BY QUARTERBACKS
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 SCHEDULE, DECEMBER 21-23
(All times Eastern)
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts
Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Press Release Courtesy of the NFL Communications Media Relations
The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARDPRESENTED 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 CommissionerROGER 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.
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:
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:
New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs
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.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agents DT Corey Liuget and LB Bryson Allen-Williams, the club announced Sunday.
Liuget enters his first season with the Raiders having spent his first eight years (2011-18) as a member of the Chargers. Over his eight years with the club, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle appeared in 108 games and made 103 starts for the club. He compiled 274 tackles (207 solo), 24 sacks, 20 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries including one returned for a touchdown. In postseason action, Liuget has made two starts and compiled 10 stops (seven) and one sack.
Last season, the Miami, Fla. appeared in six games, making three starts and recorded 14 tackles (nine), 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. He started his previous 85 games before the 2018 campaign and tallied at least three sacks in four consecutive seasons from 2012-15, including a career-best seven in 2012.
Allen-Williams joins the team as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker spent five years (2014-18) with the program, appearing in 43 contest for the Gamecocks and compiling 176 tackles (107), 6.5 sacks, four interceptions, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. As a senior in 2018, the Ellenwood, Ga., native was selected as the team’s Comeback Player of the Year and voted by his teammates as the Tenacity Award winner on defense.
In corresponding moves, the Raiders have released LS Andrew DePaola and placed RB Doug Martin on the Reserve/Injured List.
DePaola joined the team last season, but was placed on the Reserve/Injured List following a Week 1 knee injury for the remainder of the year. Over his six-year career, he has appeared in 65 total contests for the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Raiders.
Martin also joined the club last season as a free agent and led the team in carries (172), rushing yards (723) and rushing scores (four) while appearing in all 16 games and making nine starts. Over his eight-year career, Martin has started in 74-of-84 contests and carried the ball 1,322 times for 5,356 yards, adding 30 touchdowns.
Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have re-signed unrestricted free agent RB Doug Martin, the club announced Thursday.
Martin, 30, re-joins the Silver and Black for his second season with the club after spending the first six years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 2012 first-round draft pick (31st overall) is a two-time Pro Bowler (2012 and 2015) and was selected to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team in 2015. Over his career, Martin has appeared in 84 games with 74 starts, totaling 5,356 rushing yards on 1,322 attempts (4.1 avg.) with 30 touchdowns. Additionally, Martin has recorded 148 receptions for 1,207 yards and scored twice.
Last season, the 5-foot-9, 223-pound rusher appeared in all 16 contests for the third time in his career and made nine starts for the Raiders. He led the club in carries (172), yards (723) and rushing scores (four), while tallying two 100-yard contests on the year. Martin also added 18 receptions for 116 yards.
Martin holds two of the Buccaneers’ top-three single-season performances by a rusher, registering 1,454 yards in 2012 and 1,402 yards in 2015, and left Tampa Bay with the fourth-most rushing yards in club history, while his 11 100-yard games as a rusher are tied for second-most in club annals. Additionally, his 26 rushing scores while with the club rank third in team history.
A native of Stockton, Calif., Martin played in 51 games for Boise State from 2007-11, making 25 starts. Throughout his collegiate career, Martin notched 3,431 rushing yards on 617 carries (5.6 avg.) and added 43 touchdowns in addition to his 67 receptions for 715 yards (10.7 avg.) and four receiving scores. Selected to the All-Western Athletic Conference First Team in 2010, Martin was also named the Broncos’ Offense Most Valuable Player in 2011 in addition to a first-team All-Mountain West Conference honor.
Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have re-signed the following three exclusive rights free agents, the club announced Monday.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Exp. College
Ateman, Marcell WR 6-4 216 2 Oklahoma State
Carlson, Daniel K 6-5 213 2 Auburn
Murray, Justin T 6-5 304 2 Cincinnati
Ateman: Returns for his second season with the Raiders after being drafted by the club in the seventh round (228th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft…Elevated to the active roster prior to Week 8 and appeared in seven contests, making six starts in his rookie campaign…Compiled 15 receptions for 154 receiving yards and one TD reception…Played four seasons (2013-15, 2017) at Oklahoma State, appearing in 51 games with 29 starts and totaling 146 receptions for 2,466 yards (16.9 avg.) with 13 TDs.
Carlson: Begins his second season with the Silver and Black after being signed by the team as a free agent ahead of the 2018 Week 8 contest…Made 16-of-17 FG attempts, setting a new franchise record with a 94.1 FG percentage…Made all 18 PATs and led the team with 66 points on the year…Also earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 11 after connecting on his first career game-winning FG…Originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round (167th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft…Career totals include 10 games played, connecting on 17-of-21 FG attempts while making all 24 PATs.
Murray: Enters his second season in Oakland after being claimed via waivers ahead of the team’s Week 1 contest in 2018…Appeared in his first two career games as a rotational player on the offensive line…Originally signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and spent 2017 on the practice squads of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, before being signed to the Cincinnati Bengals for the remainder of the year.
Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland RaidersMedia Relations