What to Look for Week 16 in the NFL

PLAYOFF PUSHAs the NFL enters its final two weeks of the regular season, three teams have clinched division titles – the BUFFALO BILLS (AFC East), GREEN BAY PACKERS (NFC North) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (AFC West) – and three others have clinched playoff berths – the NEW ORLEANS SAINTSPITTSBURGH STEELERS and SEATTLE SEAHAWKS.

Pittsburgh (AFC North) and the WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (NFC East) can each clinch their respective division titles this weekend after missing the postseason in 2019. In each of the past 42 seasons (1977-2019, excluding 1982, when divisional play did not occur), at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.

Additionally, the ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-6) can clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2015, the CLEVELAND BROWNS (10-4) can return to the postseason for the first time since 2002 and the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-5)can secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2007, while the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-4) and LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-5) can each return to the postseason after missing it last year. Since 1990, at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before.​

For the full Week 16 playoff scenarios, click here.

— NFL —

CAREER PASSING LEADERS: Last week, Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the 10th time in his career, becoming the fifth player to reach the mark in at least 10 seasons in NFL history. ​

In Week 16, Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY (3,886 passing yards) and Indianapolis quarterback PHILIP RIVERS (3,725) can each surpass 4,000 passing yards for the 12th time, tying DREW BREES (12 seasons)for the second-most seasons with 4,000 passing yards in league history. Only PEYTON MANNING (14 seasons) has more.

Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS (3,828 passing yards) can reach the mark for the ninth season, the sixth-most in NFL history.

With two touchdown passes at Pittsburgh on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Rivers, who has 419 career touchdown passes, will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (420 career touchdown passes) for the fifth-most touchdown passes in NFL history.

RECORD-BREAKING ROOKIES: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT leads all rookies with 3,781 passing yards, 27 touchdown passes and a 96.3 rating (minimum 100 attempts).

With a touchdown pass on Sunday against Denver (4:05 PM ET, CBS), Herbert will surpass BAKER MAYFIELD (27 touchdown passes in 2018) for the most touchdown passes by a rookie in NFL history.

With at least 219 passing yards on Sunday, Herbert will become the fourth rookie in league history with at least 4,000 passing yards, joining ANDREW LUCK (4,374 in 2012), CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011), and JAMEIS WINSTON (4,042 in 2015).

Last week, Philadelphia quarterback JALEN HURTS became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to throw at least three touchdown passes and rush for a touchdown in his first career road start. He also rushed for 63 yards, his second-consecutive start with at least 50 rushing yards.

With at least 50 rushing yards on Sunday at Dallas (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Hurts will join LAMAR JACKSON (first five starts) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 rushing yards in each of their first three career starts in the Super Bowl era.

SUNDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN: The TENNESSEE TITANS (10-4) and GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-3) meet on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC) in matchup of two of the league’s top offenses.

The two teams tie for the league lead with 55 total touchdowns and each average at least 30 points per game. The Titans tie for the NFL lead with 31.1 points per game, while the Packers rank third with 31.0. The primetime meeting will mark the first game between two teams each averaging at least 30 points per game in Week 16 or later in NFL history.

Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS enters the game with a league-high 40 touchdown passes and has only four interceptions this season. In his last seven games on Sunday Night Football, Rodgers has recorded 17 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He has passed for at least one touchdown and zero interceptions in each of those seven games, the longest such streak on Sunday Night Football in NFL history.

Packers wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS ranks second in the league with 14 touchdown receptions this season and has recorded a touchdown reception in eight consecutive games on Sunday Night Football, tied with ANTONIO BROWN (2013-16) and ROB GRONKOWSKI (2013-15) for the longest such streak in NFL history.

Green Bay tight end ROBERT TONYAN ties for the league lead among tight ends with a career-high 10 receiving touchdowns this season and he has recorded a touchdown catch in each of his last five games.

With a touchdown reception on Sunday night, Tonyan will become the fifth tight end to record a touchdown reception in at least six consecutive games in NFL history.

Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY leads the NFL with 1,679 rushing yards and ties for the lead with 15 rushing touchdowns. He has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in nine consecutive road games, the second-longest streak in NFL history.

With at least 100 rushing yards on Sunday night, Henry will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (10 consecutive road games from 1996-97) for the most consecutive road games with at least 100 rushing yards in league history.

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Kansas City wide receiver TYREEK HILL leads the NFL with 17 touchdowns (15 receiving, two rushing) entering Week 16.

With a touchdown on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Hill will tie MARK CLAYTON (18 touchdowns in 1984), BILL GROMAN (18 in 1961) and STERLING SHARPE (18 in 1994) for the third-most touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single season in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers RANDY MOSS (23 in 2007) and JERRY RICE (23 in 1987) have more. ​

Buffalo wide receiver STEFON DIGGS leads the league with 111 receptions this season and has recorded at least 10 catches in three consecutive games.

With 10 receptions at New England on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Diggs will tie CALVIN JOHNSON (four games in 2012) for the most consecutive games with at least 10 receptions in NFL history.

Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON leads all rookies with 1,182 receiving yards this season. With 12 receiving yards at New Orleans on Friday (4:30 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon), Jefferson will become the fourth rookie with at least 1,200 receiving yards in the Super Bowl era, joining ANQUAN BOLDIN (1,377 receiving yards in 2003), Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1,313 in 1998) and ODELL BECKHAM JR. (1,305 in 2014).

COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Posted in NFL
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