NFL News: Seven From Sunday – Week 16

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 26, the 16th week of the 2021 season.

  • With two games remaining in Week 16, 24 teams remain in contention for Super Bowl LVI. This would be the most in 15 years and tie the 2006 season (24 teams) for the third-most teams still in Super Bowl contention with two weeks to play, trailing only the 2004 season (26 teams) and 1982 season (25 teams).

    The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS defeated Pittsburgh, 36-10, and in combination with the Los Angeles Chargers’ Week 16 loss, clinched their sixth-consecutive AFC West division title.

    The TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS defeated Carolina, 32-6, and clinched the NFC South division title for the first time since 2007.

    The DALLAS COWBOYS, by way of securing the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Philadelphia, clinched the NFC East for the first time since 2018.

    The ARIZONA CARDINALS, with losses by Minnesota and San Francisco in Week 16, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2015.

    The LOS ANGELES RAMS defeated Minnesota, 30-23, and clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

    The HOUSTON TEXANS, who entered today with a record of 3-11, earned a 41-29 win over the Los Angeles Chargers (8-6 entering Week 16). It marked the 12th game won by a team over an opponent with at least four more victories this season, tied for the fifth-most through Week 16 in league annals.
  • Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW passed for 525 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 143.2 rating, wide receivers JA’MARR CHASE (125 receiving yards) and TEE HIGGINS (194 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions) each surpassed 100 receiving yards and defensive end TREY HENDRICKSON recorded a sack in the Bengals’ 41-21 win over Baltimore.

    Burrow’s 525 passing yards are the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers NORM VAN BROCKLIN (554 passing yards on September 28, 1951) and WARREN MOON (527 on December 16, 1990), as well as MATT SCHAUB (527 on November 18, 2012).

    Burrow has three career games with at least 400 passing yards and three touchdown passes, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO as the only quarterbacks with three such games in their first two career seasons all-time.

    Burrow registered his 10th career game with at least 300 passing yards since being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and is the fourth quarterback in NFL history to have 10-or-more games with at least 300 passing yards in his first two seasons, joining JUSTIN HERBERT (16 games with at least 300 passing yards), PATRICK MAHOMES (10) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (10).

    With Burrow (4,165 passing yards, 25 years old), running back JOE MIXON (1,159 rushing yards, 25 years old), Chase (1,163 receiving yards, 21 years old) and Higgins (1,029 receiving yards, 22 years old), the Bengals are the first team in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers that are all under the age of 26 in the same season.

    With Chase (1,163 receiving yards at 21 years old) and Higgins (1,029 receiving yards at 22 years old), the Bengals are the first team ever with two players under the age of 23 to each record at least 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

    Hendrickson, who has a career-high 14 sacks this season, became the second player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to register at least half of a sack in 11 consecutive games within a single season, joining CHRIS JONES (11 consecutive games from October 7, 2018 to December 23, 2018).
  • Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP had 10 receptions for 109 yards in the team’s 30-23 win at Minnesota.

    Kupp has 132 receptions this season, the fifth-most receptions in a season in NFL history. Only MICHAEL THOMAS (149 receptions in 2019), Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002), ANTONIO BROWN (136 in 2015) and JULIO JONES (136 in 2015) had more.

    Kupp has at least 90 receiving yards in 14 games this season and surpassed ANTONIO BROWN (13 games in 2014) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (13 in 1995) for the most such games in a season all-time.
  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns with a 104.4 rating and added 64 rushing yards in the Bills’ 33-21 win at New England.

    Allen, who has 101 touchdown passes and 29 rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018, is the first player with at least 100 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons in NFL history.

    Allen has five career games with at least 300 passing yards and 50 rushing yards, surpassing MICHAEL VICK (four games) and RUSSELL WILSON (four) for the second-most such games all-time. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (eight games) has more.
  • Houston rookie quarterback DAVIS MILLS completed 21 of 27 pass attempts (77.8 percent) for 254 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 130.6 rating in the Texans’ 41-29 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

    Mills, who passed for 312 yards with three touchdowns and a 141.7 rating in Week 5, is the third rookie quarterback all-time with at least 250 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rating of 130-or-higher in multiple games, joining ROBERT GRIFFIN III (2012) and JUSTIN HERBERT (2020).
  • New York Jets rookie quarterback ZACH WILSON had one touchdown pass with zero interceptions for an 89.6 rating and registered a 52-yard rushing touchdown in the team’s 26-21 win over Jacksonville.

    Wilson is the fourth rookie quarterback since 1950 to record a rushing touchdown of at least 50 yards, joining MARCUS MARIOTA (87-yard touchdown run on December 6, 2015), ROBERT GRIFFIN III (76-yard touchdown run on October 14, 2012) and Pro Football Hall of Famer FRAN TARKENTON (52-yard touchdown run on November 5, 1961).
  • Atlanta rookie tight end KYLE PITTS registered six receptions for 102 yards in the Falcons’ 20-16 win over Detroit.

    Pitts has 949 receiving yards this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (1,076 receiving yards in 1961) as the only rookie tight ends in NFL history with at least 900 receiving yards.

    Pitts has 64 receptions in 2021 and is the fourth rookie tight end all-time with at least 60 receptions, joining KEITH JACKSON (81 receptions in 1988), JEREMY SHOCKEY (74 in 2002) and EVAN ENGRAM (64 in 2017).

    Pitts, who recorded 119 receiving yards in Week 5 and 163 receiving yards in Week 7, is the third rookie tight end in league history with 100 receiving yards in at least three games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (five games in 1961) and CHARLE YOUNG (four games in 1973).
  • Other notable performances from Sunday include:
    • Making his 30th career start, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for 336 yards on Sunday.

      Herbert has 8,730 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (8,467 passing yards) for the third-most passing yards by a player in his first 30 career starts in NFL history. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (9,238 passing yards) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (8,739) had more.
    • Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON had eight receptions for 116 yards on Sunday.

      Jefferson has 2,851 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2020 and surpassed ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,755 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history.
    • Baltimore tight end MARK ANDREWS recorded eight receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.

      Andrews, who had 115 receiving yards with one touchdown in Week 14 and 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 15, is the second tight end in NFL history to record at least 100 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in three consecutive games, joining JIMMY GRAHAM (Weeks 2-4, 2013).
    • Tampa Bay wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN registered 10 receptions for 101 yards in the Buccaneers’ Week 16 win.

      Brown has 23 career games with at least 10 receptions, surpassing ANDRE JOHNSON (22 games) for the most games with at least 10 receptions in NFL history.
    • Detroit rookie wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN had nine receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.

      St. Brown is the third rookie all-time with at least eight receptions and a touchdown catch in three-or-more games, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (five games in 2014) and ANQUAN BOLDIN (four games in 2003).

      St. Brown has at least eight receptions in four consecutive games and joined ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four consecutive games in 2014) as the only rookies with at least eight receptions in four consecutive games all-time.
    • Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN has 96 receptions this season and became the second player all-time with at least 95 receptions in five consecutive seasons, joining ANTONIO BROWN (six consecutive seasons from 2013-18).


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