THE BUC STOPS HERE: After leading the league in rushing defense (80.6 rushing yards allowed per game) during their Super Bowl season last year, the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS again lead the league in the category through six weeks this season, limiting opponents to 54.8 rushing yards per game.
Since the beginning of last season, a span of 22 regular-season games, Tampa Bay has only had one opposing player eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark (Minnesota’s DALVIN COOK rushed for 102 yards in Week 14 of 2020).
If the Buccaneers continue this run-stopping pace, they can become the fifth team since 1950 to limit their opponents to fewer than 60 rushing yards per game through their first seven games of a season.
Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY enters Week 7 leading the league in passing yards (2,064) and completions (183) and ranks second in touchdown passes (17). He is also the only player this season with three games of at least four touchdown passes (Weeks 1-2, 5).
With 17 completions and three touchdown passes on Sunday against Chicago (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Brady will become the third player with at least 200 completions and 20 touchdown passes in his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history, joining ANDREW LUCK (2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (2013).
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REUNION IN L.A.: When the DETROIT LIONS visit the LOS ANGELES RAMS on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), both starting quarterbacks will be facing the teams that drafted them for the first time. Detroit’s JARED GOFF was selected No. 1 overall by the Rams in 2016 and passed for 18,171 yards and 107 touchdowns in 69 starts for the franchise and led them to a Super Bowl LIII appearance in 2018.
Los Angeles’ MATTHEW STAFFORD was selected No. 1 overall by the Lions in 2009 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (45,109), touchdown passes (282) and passer rating (89.9). This season, Stafford ranks tied for third in the league with 16 touchdown passes and fourth with 1,838 passing yards.
In 171 career games, Stafford has 298 touchdown passes and on Sunday, can become the seventh-fastest player (172 games) to record 300 career touchdown passes in NFL history.
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KING’S COURT: Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY enters this week leading the league with 783 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. He is the third player ever with at least 750 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1958) and ERIC DICKERSON (1983).
Henry has rushed for three touchdowns in each of the past two weeks and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (three consecutive games in 2006) as the only players in NFL history with at least three rushing touchdowns in three consecutive games.
Additionally, Henry has recorded at least 125 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his past three games. If he accomplishes the feat again on Sunday against Kansas City (1:00 PM ET, CBS), he will become the fifth player with at least 125 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games within a single season in the Super Bowl era.
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KC’S STARS: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the league with 18 touchdown passes this season and ranks third with 1,887 passing yards. Last week, he totaled a season-high 397 passing yards, his 29th career game with at least 300 passing yards.
With 300 passing yards on Sunday at Tennessee (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (29 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.
Mahomes’ top target this season has been wide receiver TYREEK HILL, who ties for the lead league with 46 receptions and ranks third with 592 receiving yards. He also has five touchdown receptions, tied for the fourth-most in the league.
With four receptions on Sunday, Hill will become the fifth player ever with at least 50 receptions, 500 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in each of his first six career seasons.
Tight end TRAVIS KELCE enters Week 7 leading all tight ends with 38 receptions. He had a season-high eight catches last week and has recorded at least five receptions in five of six games this season. With another five-catch performance against Tennessee, Kelce will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE (78 games) for the fourth-most such games by a tight end in NFL history.
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RIDICULOUS ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Cincinnati wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 553 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions this season. He is also one of six players in the league with at least 50 receiving yards in each of the first six weeks.
With 50 receiving yards on Sunday at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Chase will join EARL MCCULLOUCH (1968) as the only players in NFL history with at least 50 receiving yards in each of their first seven career games.
Chase can also surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (621 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a player through his first seven career games in the Super Bowl era. Only HARLON HILL (685) and BILLY HOWTON (667) have more all-time.
Miami wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 37 receptions this season. He is also one of three players in the league with two games with at least 10 receptions (Weeks 3 and 6). With at least 10 receptions in another game this season, he will join ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four games in 2014) as the only rookies in NFL history with three games with at least 10 catches.
With five receptions on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Waddle can tie Boldin (42 in 2003) and MICHAEL THOMAS (42 in 2016) for the second-most receptions by a wide receiver in his first seven career games in NFL history. Only EDDIE ROYAL (46 in 2008) had more.