NFL FEATURES RECORD
NINE WEEK 12 GAMES
INVOLVING TEAMS WITH
The NFL is
thankful for many things.
To name a few,
the 22-year-old legs of the league’s leading rusher, JONATHAN TAYLOR,
and the living Fountain of Youth TOM BRADY, who leads the NFL in both
career touchdown passes (610) and 2021 touchdown passes (29).
ARIZONA CARDINALS (9-2), who have won two of their last three games
without some of their key contributors. And the resurgent NEW ENGLAND
PATRIOTS (7-4), who own the NFL’s longest winning streak, five. Along with
the DALLAS COWBOYS (7-3), these three clubs lead their divisions after
missing the 2020 playoffs. At least two teams have won their divisions the
season after missing the playoffs in 17 of the past 18 years.
the NFL is grateful for 23 games decided by a winning score on the final play,
the most such games through Week 11 in league annals.
And in Week 12,
the NFL is thankful for the number nine.
Nine games in
Week 12 feature two teams with .500-or-better records, the most such games in
Week 12 or later in NFL history. It’s a recipe for something delicious.
information on the Thanksgiving triple-header, click
CANDIDATES FACE OFF:
The TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (7-3) and the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-5),
who meet Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX), share a lot of DNA. Pro
Football Hall of Famer TONY DUNGY guided the franchises to a combined 11
playoff appearances -- each of his seven seasons at the reins in Indianapolis
and four of his six seasons as head coach of the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay head
coach BRUCE ARIANS earned Coach of the Year honors after leading the
Colts to a remarkable turnaround and playoff berth in 2012 as Indianapolis’
interim head coach.
And in 2021,
the teams share something else in common: Each club boasts of a bona fide MVP
In last week’s
win, Colts running back JONATHAN TAYLOR became the first player to
record at least 175 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and one touchdown
reception in a game in NFL history. He finished with 204 scrimmage yards (185
rushing, 19 receiving) and five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving). Also
last week, Taylor:
the third player under age 23 with at least five touchdowns in a game in NFL
history, joining CLINTON PORTIS (five on Dec. 7, 2003, at 22 years and
97 days old) and Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (six on Dec. 12,
1965, at 22 years and 196 days old). Taylor was 22 years and 306 days old last
the fifth player all-time with four rushing touchdowns and one receiving
touchdown in a game, joining SHAUN ALEXANDER (Sept. 29, 2002), ABNER
HAYNES (Nov. 26, 1961), DUB JONES (Nov. 25, 1951) and Pro Football
Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (Dec. 12, 1965).
the third player with at least 100 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in
eight consecutive games in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN
TOMLINSON (2006) and LYDELL MITCHELL (1975-76).
the fourth player since 2000 to record at least 1,000 rushing yards and 10
rushing touchdowns in each of his first two seasons, joining ADRIAN PETERSON
(2007-08), CLINTON PORTIS (2002-03) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN
TOMLINSON (2001-02). Taylor enters Week 12 with 1,122 rushing yards and 13
rushing touchdowns this season after recording 1,169 rushing yards and 11
rushing touchdowns as a rookie.
When Tampa Bay
has the ball, perennial MVP candidate TOM BRADY presides over the NFL’s
top passing attack (314.8 yards per game).
in leading teams through the stretch run, in Weeks 12-17 during his career, is
a combined 88-24 (.786).
week, Brady completed 30 of 46 attempts (65.2 percent) for 307 yards and two
touchdowns with one interception for an 89.7 rating. In the process, he
authored yet another record, surpassing 3,000 yards for the 19th season in his
career, breaking a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE for
most such seasons in NFL history. Brady ranks second in the league with 3,177
passing yards this season.
wide receiver MIKE EVANS caught six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown
in last week’s win. His 10 receiving touchdowns this season are tied with the
Rams’ COOPER KUPP for most in the league. Evans’ 71 career receiving
touchdowns are the most in the NFL since Tampa Bay selected him in the first
round (seventh overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Evans now has four seasons with at least 10 receiving touchdowns. Over the past
20 seasons (2002-21), only five players have reached 10 touchdown receptions
more often: LARRY FITZGERALD, ROB GRONKOWSKI and Pro Football
Hall of Famers MARVIN HARRISON, RANDY MOSS and TERRELL OWENS
(each with five).
SEEKS FIRST WIN AGAINST FORMER PUPIL: The TENNESSEE TITANS (8-3) visit the NEW
ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-4) in a battle of first-place teams on Sunday (1:00 PM
MIKE VRABEL, who signed as a free agent with the Patriots in 2001 and
helped the team win three Super Bowls in his eight seasons as a New England
player, is 2-0 as a head coach against BILL BELICHICK. Vrabel defeated
his former head coach in his first season at the reins of the Titans, 2018, and
again in the Wild Card round of the 2019 playoffs. Both wins were in New
Patriots, meanwhile, are the hottest team in the NFL, winners of five straight.
They’ve built their winning streak largely on the strength of the league’s
stingiest defense (16.1 points allowed per game), which enters the game having
allowed zero points over opponents’ last 19 possessions.
last NFL team to hold an opponent scoreless over a stretch of at least 19
possessions was the Patriots (24 straight drives) in 2019. That season, San
Francisco’s defense also shut out opponents over a stretch of 19 consecutive
Patriots’ MAC JONES is bidding to become the first rookie quarterback to
lead his team to the playoffs since DAK PRESCOTT in 2016. Last week,
Jones became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to complete at least
80 percent of his passes in consecutive games (minimum 15 attempts).
leads all rookies in completions (245), completion percentage (70.2), passing
yards (2,540), touchdown passes (14) and passer rating (94.7).
SLEEP ON ANYONE: So
far this season, a game-winning score in the final two minutes of regulation or
in overtime has decided 37 contests, the third-most such games through Week 11
all-time. Only 2015 (39) and 2003 (39) had more.
teams – HOUSTON, INDIANAPOLIS and MINNESOTA – entered last
week with a .500-or-below winning percentage and defeated a team that began the
week in first place or tied for first place in its division. Since Week 9,
there have been 11 wins by teams with a .500-or-below winning percentage
against division leaders, the most such wins to occur during Weeks 9-11 of a
single season since 1970.
and Minnesota each defeated teams that entered Week 11 with at least four more
victories on the season. There have been eight such wins this season – by teams
with at least four fewer wins than their opponents entering the game – tied
with 1974 (eight) for the most such games through Week 11.
This week, the MINNESOTA
VIKINGS (5-5) travel to face the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-5) on Sunday
(4:25 PM ET, FOX) in a key intraconference game. Each team enters with a
two-game winning streak.
last week’s win, Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS passed for 341 yards
and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 128.4 rating while wide
receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON had eight receptions for 169 yards and two
has 21 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season, the fifth-best
touchdown-to-interception ratio (10.5) through a player’s first 10 games of a
season (minimum 20 touchdown passes) in NFL history.
with the best touchdown-to-interception ratio through their first 10 games of a
season in NFL history (minimum 20 touchdown passes):
now has 25 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown
passes, surpassing AARON RODGERS (24) for the second-most such games by
a quarterback in his first 10 seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of
Famer DAN MARINO (26) has more.
recorded his 11th career game with at least 100 receiving yards, tied with Pro
Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (11) and JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER
(11) for the second-most such games by a player in his first two seasons in the
Super Bowl era. Only ODELL BECKHAM JR. (15) has more.
Jefferson joined EARNEST GRAY (1989-90) and LOUIS LIPPS (1984-85)
as the only players in the Super Bowl era with at least 150 receiving yards and
two receiving touchdowns in a game in each of their first two seasons. He also
accomplished the feat as a rookie in Week 6 last season (166 receiving yards,
two touchdown receptions).
the 49ers’ win last week, wide receiver DEEBO SAMUEL registered 94
scrimmage yards (career-high 79 rushing, 15 receiving) and his third rushing
touchdown of the season. Samuel, who has three rushing touchdowns this season
and registered three rushing touchdowns as a rookie in 2019, became the first
wide receiver in the Super Bowl era with at least three rushing touchdowns in two
of his first three seasons. Samuel also ranks second in the NFL with 994 receiving
yards, only 6 shy of his first career 1,000-yard season.
Francisco tight end GEORGE KITTLE has a receiving touchdown in three
consecutive games, the longest streak of his career.
Francisco opened last week’s game with a drive that lasted 13 minutes and five
seconds, the longest NFL drive since Tennessee held the ball for 13 minutes and
27 seconds on Nov. 27, 1997.
AFC NORTH ARE ANYONE’S DIVISIONS:
Every team in both the AFC West and AFC North is .500 or better.
It’s the first
time in five years that any NFL division – not to mention two this season – has
entered Week 12 without a team below .500. In 2016, all four NFC East teams –
Dallas (9-1), the New York Giants (7-3), Washington (6-3-1) and Philadelphia
(5-5) reached that threshold after 11 weeks.
This week, the LOS
ANGELES CHARGERS (6-4) make their annual trip to face the DENVER BRONCOS
(5-5) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, CBS). Each of the last two games in Denver between
the teams has been decided by a field goal or less. Last season, Denver won,
31-30, on a 1-yard touchdown reception by KJ HAMLER with no time
remaining. The year before, Denver captured a 23-20 victory on a 53-yard field
goal by BRANDON MCMANUS with no time remaining.
Week 11, quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT threw for 382 yards and ran for 90,
becoming the first player with at least 375 passing yards and 90 rushing yards
in a game in NFL history. He also has 53 career touchdown passes, tied with DEREK
CARR (53) for the second-most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in
last week’s win, Chargers running back AUSTIN EKELER had 115 scrimmage
yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing) and four touchdowns (two receiving, two
rushing). Ekeler, who has seven rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns
this season, became just the second player since the merger in 1970 with at
least six in each category through his team’s first 10 games, joining KAREEM
last week, Ekeler became the first player in a decade to rush for multiple
touchdowns and catch multiple touchdowns in a game, since MAURICE JONES-DREW
in 2011 (Week 14).
four AFC North clubs face a divisional opponent, with PITTSBURGH (5-4-1)
at CINCINNATI (6-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) and CLEVELAND
(6-5) at BALTIMORE (7-3) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET,
The Browns are
actually playing consecutive games against the Ravens – Weeks 12 and 14 –
sandwiched around their Week 13 bye. It’s the first time in an NFL regular
season a team will play consecutive games against the same opponent in 30
years, since Seattle (then a member of the AFC West) met the San Diego Chargers
in Weeks 9 and 11 of the 1991 season. Each team had a Week 10 bye that season.
FOES RETURN TO LAMBEAU:
Fresh off their bye week, the LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-3) return to Lambeau
Field to face the GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-3) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX),
looking to avenge their 2020 Divisional playoff loss. It’s the eighth rematch
this season of 2020 playoff teams. So far, the team that lost the playoff game
is 5-2 this year, including wins in four straight rematches.
wide receiver COOPER KUPP leads the NFL in both receptions (85) and
receiving yards (1,141) and is tied for the league lead in touchdown catches
(10). He is the first player with at least 80 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards
and 10 touchdown receptions in his team’s first 10 games of a season all-time.
taking the reins of the Rams in 2017, head coach SEAN MCVAY is 3-1 after
week, Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 385 yards and four
touchdowns with no interceptions for a 148.4 rating. Rodgers has 13 career
games with at least four touchdown passes and a passer rating of 140-or-higher,
tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (13) for the
third-most such games all-time. Only DREW BREES (15) and TOM BRADY
(14) have more.
also has 112 career games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher, tied with Pro
Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (112) for the third-most such
games all time. Only TOM BRADY (148) and DREW BREES (141) have
Quarterback JALEN HURTS leads the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-6) up
Interstate 95 to MetLife Stadium for a divisional clash with the NEW YORK
GIANTS (3-7) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).
last week’s win, making his 15th career start, Hurts rushed for three touchdowns.
Hurts, who was 23 years and 106 days old, became the second-youngest
quarterback in league annals to register three rushing touchdowns in a single
game, trailing only CAM NEWTON (three rushing touchdowns on Dec. 4, 2011,
at 22 years, 207 days old). Hurts had 11 rushing touchdowns in his first 15
career starts, tied with JOSH ALLEN (11) and KORDELL STEWART (11)
for the second-most by a quarterback in his first 15 career starts in the Super
Bowl era. Only Newton (14) had more.
also has four career games with at least two rushing touchdowns, tied with CAM
NEWTON (four) for the most such games by a quarterback in his first two
seasons in the Super Bowl era.
DARIUS SLAY recorded a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown in
the Eagles’ win last week. The cornerback, who had an 83-yard fumble return for
a touchdown in Week 10, is the third player since 2000 with a defensive
touchdown of at least 50 yards in consecutive games, joining SHELDON BROWN
(Weeks 13-14, 2009) and VINCENT FULLER (Week 3 and Week 5, 2007).
WEEK 12 NFL
Vegas at Dallas
at New Orleans
York Jets at Houston
Bay at Indianapolis
at New England
at New York Giants
Angeles Chargers at Denver
Angeles Rams at Green Bay
at San Francisco
Byes: Arizona, Kansas City