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Archive for December 14th, 2017

NFL Playoff Races entering Week 15

NFL ENTERS FINAL THREE WEEKS

 

As the NFL enters Week 15, there are 23 teams (12 in the AFC, 11 in the NFC) in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.

In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) have clinched the AFC North division title. In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up the NFC East division.

With three weeks left to play in the regular season, there are still 10 playoff berths up for grabs.

Following are the records of the AFC playoff contenders, their remaining games and strength of schedule, and their wins and losses against other conference playoff hopefuls:

AFC EAST
TEAM/GAMES VS. AFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 10-3 3-1 7-2 at Pit Buf NYJ
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 23-16 (.590)       (11-2) (7-6) (5-8)
Wins: Buf, LAC, Mia, NYJ, Oak; Losses: KC, Mia            
             
BUFFALO BILLS 7-6 1-2 5-4 Mia at NE at Mia
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 22-17 (.564)       (6-7) (10-3) (6-7)
Wins: KC, NYJ, Oak; Losses: Cin, LAC, NE, NYJ            
           
MIAMI DOLPHINS 6-7 2-2 5-4 at Buf at KC Buf
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 21-18 (.538)       (7-6) (7-6) (7-6)
Wins: LAC, NE, NYJ, Ten; Losses: Bal, NE, NYJ, Oak            
           
NEW YORK JETS 5-8 2-3 5-5 at NO LAC at NE
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 26-13 (.667)       (9-4) (7-6) (10-3)
Wins: Buf, Jax, KC, Mia; Losses: Buf, Mia, NE, Oak            
           
AFC NORTH
TEAM/GAMES VS. AFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
PITTSBURGH STEELERS * 11-2 5-0 8-1 NE at Hou Cle
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 14-25 (.359)       (10-3) (4-9) (0-13)
Wins: Bal (2), Cin (2), KC, Ten; Loss: Jax            
           
BALTIMORE RAVENS 7-6 2-2 5-4 at Cle Ind Cin
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 8-31 (.205)       (0-13) (3-10) (5-8)
Wins: Cin, Mia, Oak; Losses: Jax, Pit (2), Ten            
             
CINCINNATI BENGALS 5-8 2-3 5-6 at Min Det at Bal
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 24-15 (.615)       (10-3) (7-6) (7-6)
Win: Buf; Losses: Bal, Jax, Pit (2), Ten            
             
AFC SOUTH
TEAM/GAMES VS. AFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 9-4 3-1 8-2 Hou at SF at Ten
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 15-24 (.385)       (4-9) (3-10) (8-5)
Wins: Bal, Cin, LAC, Pit; Losses: NYJ, Ten            
           
TENNESSEE TITANS 8-5 4-1 7-4 at SF LAR Jax
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 21-18 (.538)       (3-10) (9-4) (9-4)
Wins: Bal, Cin, Jax; Losses: Mia, Oak, Pit            
           
AFC WEST
TEAM/GAMES VS. AFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 7-6 3-1 5-4 LAC Mia at Den
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 17-22 (.436)       (7-6) (6-7) (4-9)
Wins: LAC, NE, Oak; Losses: Buf, NYJ, Oak, Pit            
             
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 7-6 2-2 4-5 at KC at NYJ Oak
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 18-21 (.462)       (7-6) (5-8) (6-7)
Wins: Buf, Oak; Losses: Jax, KC, Mia, NE            
             
OAKLAND RAIDERS 6-7 2-3 5-6 Dal at Phi at LAC
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 25-14 (.641)       (7-6) (11-2) (7-6)
Wins: KC, Mia, NYJ, Ten; Losses: Bal, Buf, KC, LAC, NE            

 

* Clinched division title

Following are the records of the NFC playoff contenders, their remaining games and strength of schedule, and their wins and losses against other conference playoff hopefuls:

NFC EAST
TEAM/GAMES VS. NFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES * 11-2 4-0 9-1 at NYG Oak Dal
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 15-24 (.385)       (2-11) (6-7) (7-6)
Wins: Az, Car, Dal, LAR; Loss: Sea            
             
DALLAS COWBOYS 7-6 4-1 6-4 at Oak Sea at Phi
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 25-14 (.641)       (6-7) (8-5) (11-2)
Win: Az; Losses: Atl, GB, LAR, Phi            
           
NFC NORTH
TEAM/GAMES VS. NFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 10-3 3-1 8-2 Cin at GB Chi
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 16-23 (.410)       (5-8) (7-6) (4-9)
Wins: Atl, Det, GB, LAR, NO; Losses: Car, Det            
           
DETROIT LIONS 7-6 3-1 6-4 Chi at Cin GB
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 16-23 (.410)       (4-9) (5-8) (7-6)
Wins: Az, GB, Min; Losses: Atl, Car, Min, NO            
             
GREEN BAY PACKERS 7-6 2-2 5-4 at Car Min at Det
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 26-13 (.667)       (9-4) (10-3) (7-6)
Wins: Dal, Sea; Losses: Atl, Det, Min, NO            
             
NFC SOUTH
TEAM/GAMES VS. NFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 9-4 3-1 7-3 NYJ Atl at TB
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 17-22 (.436)       (5-8) (8-5) (4-9)
Wins: Car (2), Det, GB; Losses: Atl, LAR, Min            
           
CAROLINA PANTHERS 9-4 2-2 5-4 GB TB at Atl
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 19-20 (.487)       (7-6) (4-9) (8-5)
Wins: Atl, Det, Min; Losses: NO (2), Phi            
           
ATLANTA FALCONS 8-5 2-1 7-2 at TB at NO Car
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 22-17 (.564)       (4-9) (9-4) (9-4)
Wins: Dal, Det, GB, NO, Sea; Losses: Car, Min            
           
NFC WEST
TEAM/GAMES VS. NFC CONTENDERS OVERALL DIV. CONF. WK. 15 WK. 16 WK. 17
LOS ANGELES RAMS 9-4 3-1 6-4 at Sea at Ten SF
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 19-20 (.487)       (8-5) (8-5) (3-10)
Wins: Az (2), Dal, NO; Losses: Min, Phi, Sea            
             
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 8-5 4-0 6-3 LAR at Dal Az
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 22-17 (.564)       (9-4) (7-6) (6-7)
Wins: Az, LAR, Phi; Losses: Atl, GB            
             
ARIZONA CARDINALS 6-7 2-3 3-6 at Was NYG at Sea
Remaining Strength of Schedule: 15-24 (.385)       (5-8) (2-11) (8-5)
Losses: Dal, Det, LAR (2), Phi, Sea            

 

* Clinched division title

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

NFL enters Week 15 and final 3-game stretch run for the Playoffs

(megasportsnews.com photo)

PLAYOFF RACES HEAT UP AS 23 TEAMS REMAIN IN CONTENTION

FOR TRIP TO SUPER BOWL LII

​– Week 15 also features Saturday doubleheader on NFL Network (4:30 PM & 8:25 PM ET) –

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the suspense continues to build as teams make their final playoff push. Twenty-three teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.

Two teams have secured a spot in the postseason and both have clinched the division title – Pittsburgh (11-2, AFC North) and Philadelphia (11-2, NFC East). So as we approach the final three weeks of the regular season, there are still 10 playoff berths up for grabs.

The Steelers will host the New England Patriots (10-3) at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in a showdown between the teams with the best records in the AFC. Pittsburgh will clinch a first-round bye with a win and the Steelers will also secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a Jacksonville loss. The Patriots will lock up the AFC East with a win or a Buffalo loss. New England will clinch a playoff berth with a Baltimore loss. The Jaguars (9-4), who lead the AFC South by one game over Tennessee (8-5), will secure a playoff berth with a win against Houston. There are also various scenarios for Jacksonville to advance to the postseason this week even if the Jaguars lose.

The Eagles will secure a first-round bye with a win and will claim home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win combined with a Minnesota loss. By winning the NFC East, Philadelphia has completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Vikings (10-3) will lock up the NFC North with a victory or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. There are also various scenarios for Minnesota to advance to the postseason this week even if the Vikings lose. The Los Angeles Rams (9-4) can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans.

Week 15 begins on Thursday when the Denver Broncos visit the Indianapolis Colts (8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime).

The action continues on Saturday with a doubleheader on NFL Network. In the first game, NFC North rivals Detroit and Chicago will meet at Ford Field (4:30 PM ET). At 7-6, the Lions remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. In the Saturday night contest (8:25 PM ET), first place in the AFC West will be on the line as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams enter Week 15 tied for the top spot in the division with 7-6 records. The Chiefs defeated Los Angeles 24-10 in Week 3 but the Chargers have won four consecutive games and are 7-2 in their past nine contests following an 0-4 start.

The week concludes with a pair of primetime contests with playoff implications. On Sunday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC), the Dallas Cowboys visit the Oakland Raiders. Dallas has won two games in a row and sits in the middle of a crowded NFC playoff race at 7-6 while the Raiders at 6-7 sit just one game behind the division-leading Chiefs and Chargers. On Monday night (8:30 PM ET, ESPN), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta has won four of its past five games and, at 8-5, remains alive in the race for both the NFC South division title and a postseason berth. Some of the key games in Week 15:

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-6) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-6) (Saturday, NFLN, 8:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Chargers have won four consecutive games, including last week’s 30-13 win over Washington. Los Angeles, which started 0-4, has won seven of the team’s past nine games to move into a tie with Kansas City for first place in the division.
  • Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS aims for his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game. Rivers has 3,611 passing yards and is the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,500 yards in 10 consecutive seasons. Wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN has recorded 100 receiving yards in each of his past four contests and has a career-high 83 catches and 1,143 receiving yards this season.
  • The Chiefs improved to 7-6 with a 26-15 win over Oakland last week. With the victory, Kansas City enters Week 15 tied with the Chargers for the top spot in the AFC West, one game ahead of the Raiders. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 24-10 in Week 3 as rookie running back KAREEM HUNT rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown.
  • Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH ranks second in the NFL with a 104.4 passer rating. In the Week 3 meeting between the teams, Smith threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions for a 128.1 passer rating.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-6) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Packers have won two consecutive games, both in overtime. Last week, Green Bay rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to defeat Cleveland 27-21. The Packers have won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time in franchise history and are the second team in league annals to win consecutive games with an overtime touchdown.
  • Against the Browns, Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS caught a touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining in regulation to help send the game to overtime and then scored the game-winning touchdown on a 25-yard pass from quarterback BRETT HUNDLEY. Adams is the fourth player in NFL history – including the postseason – to score touchdowns in both the final minute of the fourth quarter and again in overtime.
  • The Panthers have won five of their past six games, including last week’s 31-24 win over Minnesota. Carolina improved to 9-4 and is tied with New Orleans for the top spot in the NFC South.
  • Carolina running back JONATHAN STEWART, who scored the game-winning touchdown against the Vikings on a one-yard run with 1:47 remaining in the game, rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Panthers quarterback CAM NEWTON set up the game-winning score with a 62-yard run, becoming the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have multiple 60+ yard rushes in a single season (69-yard run in Week 10).

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5) (Sunday, FOX, 4:05 PM ET)

 

  • The Rams, who have won six of their past eight games, lead the NFC West by one game over Seattle. Los Angeles can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans
  • Los Angeles running back TODD GURLEY leads the NFC with 1,637 scrimmage yards (1,035 rushing, 602 receiving) and tops the league with 13 touchdowns (10 rushing, three receiving). Gurley has gained more than 100 scrimmage yards in 10 games this season, the most in the NFL.
  • The Seahawks have won seven of their past 10 games and defeated the Rams 16-10 in Week 5.
  • Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON has thrown 17 fourth-quarter touchdown passes in 2017, the most in a single season in league history. In the fourth quarter of last week’s game at Jacksonville, Wilson threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to TYLER LOCKETT and a 61-yard TD to PAUL RICHARDSON, becoming the first player to throw two 60+ yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of a game since Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER in 2000 (September 24, 2000).

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Patriots will clinch the AFC East for the ninth consecutive season with a win at Pittsburgh or a Buffalo loss earlier in the day. New England can lock up a playoff spot with a Baltimore loss.
  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY has won 10 of his 12 career starts against the Steelers (including the postseason) and has a 115.1 passer rating with 29 touchdown passes and three interceptions.
  • The Steelers have clinched the AFC North and have won eight consecutive games, including last week’s 39-38 comeback win against Baltimore. Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 506 yards and is the only player in NFL history to have three games with at least 500 passing yards. The Steelers will clinch a first-round bye with a win and Pittsburgh will also secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a Jacksonville loss.
  • Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,105) and scrimmage yards (1,684) while wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN ranks first in receptions (99) and receiving yards (1,509). Brown needs one reception to become the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 receptions in five consecutive seasons.

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6) at OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-7) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Cowboys have won two consecutive games, including last week’s 30-10 victory at the New York Giants.
  • Dallas running back ROD SMITH had an 81-yard touchdown catch and 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Giants, becoming the first player in NFL history to record an 80+ yard touchdown reception and a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter of a single game.
  • The Raiders are seeking their third consecutive home victory and look to remain in the thick of the AFC playoff race by evening their record at 7-7.
  • Oakland quarterback DEREK CARR has 2,942 passing yards and needs 58 yards to reach 3,000 passing yards for the fourth consecutive season. Carr needs two touchdown passes to reach 20 TDs for the fourth season in a row.

NFL WEEK 15 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 16-18

(All times local)

 

Thursday, December 14 Sunday, December 17 (cont’d)
Denver at Indianapolis, 8:25 PM (NBC/NFLN/Amazon) Cincinnati at Minnesota, 12:00 PM
New York Jets at New Orleans, 12:00 PM
Saturday, December 16

Chicago at Detroit, 4:30 PM (NFLN)

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 7:25 PM (NFLN)

Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1:00 PM Arizona at Washington, 1:00 PM

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 1:05 PM

 

Sunday, December 17

New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 PM

Tennessee at San Francisco, 1:25 PM

Miami at Buffalo, 1:00 PM Dallas at Oakland, 5:30 PM (NBC)
Green Bay at Carolina, 1:00 PM  
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1:00 PM Monday, December 18
Houston at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 8:30 PM (ESPN)

 

GAME PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Reviewing Week 14 in the NFL

THE WEEK THAT WAS – WEEK 14

TERRIFIC TURNAROUND: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES defeated the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 last week to clinch the NFC East title for the first time since 2013.

The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division in 2016, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Of the 45 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 22 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

Entering Week 15, six of eight divisions have a team in or tied for first place that finished in third place or worse in its division last year. Three other teams who finished in last place in 2016 – Carolina, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Chargers – are currently in or tied for first place. If all three of those teams join the Eagles as division champions, it would mark the most “worst-to-first” turnaround teams in a single season in NFL history.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their division since 2003:

SEASON TEAM RECORD PRIOR SEASON RECORD
2003 Carolina 11-5 7-9
2003 Kansas City 13-3 8-8**
2004 Atlanta 11-5 5-11
2004 San Diego 12-4 4-12**
2005 Chicago 11-5 5-11
2005 New York Giants 11-5 6-10**
2005 Tampa Bay 11-5 5-11
2006 Baltimore 13-3 6-10**
2006 New Orleans 10-6 3-13
2006 Philadelphia 10-6 6-10
2007 Tampa Bay 9-7 4-12
2008 Miami 11-5 1-15
2009 New Orleans*** 13-3 8-8
2010 Kansas City 10-6 4-12
2011 Denver 8-8 4-12
2011 Houston 10-6 6-10**
2012 Washington 10-6 5-11
2013 Carolina 12-4 7-9**
2013 Philadelphia 10-6 4-12
2015 Washington 9-7 4-12
2016 Dallas 13-3 4-12
2017 Philadelphia 11-2* 7-9
* Through Week 14
** Tied for last place

*** Won Super Bowl

The Eagles and Rams entered Week 14 with records of 10-2 and 9-3, respectively, and tied for the league lead in points per game (30.1). The two teams combined for 78 points on Sunday, marking the highest scoring game in NFL history between two teams who each entered the game with a record at least six games above .500.

– NFL –

STELLAR STEELERS: Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER completed 44 of 66 passes (66.7 percent) for 506 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 99.7 passer rating in the Steelers’ 39-38 win over Baltimore in Week 14.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 500 yards three times in his career, having also accomplished the feat on October 26, 2014 (522 yards vs. Indianapolis) and December 20, 2009 (503 vs. Green Bay). New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES is the only other player with multiple career 500-yard passing games.

Steelers wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN had 11 receptions for 213 yards and running back LE’VEON BELL had 125 scrimmage yards (77 receiving, 48 rushing) with three touchdowns in Week 14. Bell, who leads the league with 1,684 scrimmage yards, and Brown, who leads the NFL with 1,509 receiving yards, are the first pair of teammates in NFL history with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards each through their team’s first 13 games of a season.

Brown has six games with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards this season, tied for the second-most in a single season in NFL history. Only ANDRE JOHNSON (seven in 2008) had more such games in a season.

The players with the most games with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON GAMES WITH 10+ CATCHES & 100+ REC. YARDS IN SINGLE SEASON  
Andre Johnson Houston 2008 7  
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 2017 6*  
Calvin Johnson Detroit 2012 6  
Wes Welker New England 2009 6  
*Through Week 14

– NFL –

PACKERS PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE: Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS had two touchdown catches – a one-yard score with 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the game-winning 25-yarder in overtime – in the Packers’ 27-21 win at Cleveland.

Adams became the fourth player in NFL history (including the postseason) to score a touchdown in both the final minute of the fourth quarter and in overtime and the first since New England’s JAMES WHITE accomplished the feat in Super Bowl LI.

The players to score a touchdown in both the final minute of the fourth quarter and in overtime in a single game in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM DATE
Davante Adams Green Bay December 10, 2017
James White New England February 5, 2017*
Terrell Owens San Francisco October 14, 2001
Wesley Walker New York Jets September 21, 1986
*Super Bowl LI

The Packers, who won on a 20-yard touchdown run by rookie AARON JONES in overtime in Week 13, have won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time in team history. Green Bay has also joined the 2001 Chicago Bears as the only teams in NFL history to score an overtime touchdown in consecutive games.

TEAM SEASON WEEK OVERTIME TD WEEK OVERTIME TD
Green Bay 2017 13 Aaron Jones 20-yard run 14 Davante Adams 25-yard catch
Chicago 2001 7 Mike Brown 33-yard INT return 8 Mike Brown 16-yard INT return

– NFL –

RIVERS RUNS THROUGH DEFENSES: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS passed for 319 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 114.9 passer rating in the team’s 30-13 win over Washington last week.

Rivers, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 3,611 passing yards, has at least 3,500 passing yards in 10 consecutive seasons and joinedPEYTON MANNING (13, 1998-2010) and DREW BREES (13, 2005-17) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

The quarterbacks with at least 3,500 passing yards in 10+ consecutive seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 3,500 PASS YARDS  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998-2010 13  
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 2005-2017 13*  
Philip Rivers San Diego/LA Chargers 2008-2017 10*  
*Active streak

– NFL –

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes to wide receivers PAUL RICHARDSON (61 yards) and TYLER LOCKETT (74 yards) in the Seahawks’ loss at Jacksonville in Week 14.

Wilson is the first quarterback with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes of at least 60 yards in a single game since Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER connected with TORRY HOLT (85 yards) and ISAAC BRUCE (66) on September 24, 2000.

Wilson has 17 fourth-quarter touchdown passes this season and surpassed ELI MANNING (15 in 2011) for the most in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON 4TH QUARTER TD PASSES  
Russell Wilson Seattle 2017 17*  
Eli Manning New York Giants 2011 15  
Drew Brees New Orleans 2016 14  
Blake Bortles Jacksonville 2015 14  
Peyton Manning Denver 2013 14  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 2002 14  
Johnny Unitas^ Baltimore Colts 1959 14  
*Through Week 14
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

MAGNIFICENT MC COY: Buffalo running back LE SEAN MC COY rushed for 156 yards, including the game-winning 21-yard touchdown in overtime, in the Bill’s 13-7 win against Indianapolis last week.

McCoy, who has 10 career games with at least 150 rushing yards, joined Arizona’s ADRIAN PETERSON (19) as the only active players with at least 10 such games in their careers.

The active players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards:

PLAYER TEAM(S) CAREER GAMES WITH 150+ RUSH YARDS
Adrian Peterson Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona 19
LeSean McCoy Philadelphia, Buffalo 10
Jamaal Charles Kansas City, Denver 9

 

– NFL –

CLUTCH KICKER: Pittsburgh kicker CHRIS BOSWELL converted the game-winning 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ Week 14 win over Baltimore.

Boswell, who made game-winning field goals as time expired in the fourth quarter in both Weeks 12 and 13, is the first kicker since the 1970 merger to make a game-winning field goal with under one minute remaining in the fourth quarter in three consecutive games.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Several Playoff scenarios for Week 15 in the NFL

​​2017 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

 

AFC

​CLINCHED: Pittsburgh – AFC North division title


PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) (vs. New England (10-3), Sunday)

Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:​

  1. ​PIT win + JAX loss or tie​

Pittsburgh clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. PIT win  OR
  2. PIT tie + JAX loss

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) (at Pittsburgh (11-2), Sunday)

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

  1. NE win or tie  OR
  2. BUF loss or tie

New England clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. ​BAL loss or tie

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (9-4) (vs. Houston (4-9), Sunday)

Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. JAX win  OR
  2. JAX tie + BUF loss or tie  OR
  3. JAX tie + BAL loss or tie  OR
  4. BUF loss + BAL loss  OR
  5. BAL loss + KC-LAC game does not end in tie


NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (11-2) (at New York Giants (2-11), Sunday)

Philadelphia clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. PHI win + MIN loss

Philadelphia clinches a first-round bye with:

 

  1. ​PHI win  OR
  2. ​PHI tie + LAR loss or tie + NO loss or tie + CAR loss or tie


MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-3) (vs. Cincinnati (5-8), Sunday)

Minnesota clinches NFC North division title with:​ 

 

  1. ​MIN win or tie  OR
  2. DET loss or tie + GB loss or tie


Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. SEA loss + ATL loss + NO loss  OR
  2. SEA loss + ATL loss + CAR loss  OR
  3. SEA loss + ATL loss + DET loss or tie  OR
  4. SEA loss + ATL tie + NO loss + DET loss or tie  OR
  5. SEA loss + ATL tie + NO loss + CAR loss


LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4) (at Seattle (8-5), Sunday)

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

  1. ​LAR win + DET loss or tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss + ATL loss

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Seattle Mariners wins 2017 MLB Green Glove Award

Club secures its first-ever Green Glove Award with league-leading 96% diversion rate during 2017 season

 

Major League Baseball has named the Seattle Mariners as recepient of the 2017 Green Glove Award, which recognizes the MLB Club with the highest diversion rate (amount of waste diverted from landfill for recycling) in the league. This previous season, the Mariners diverted 96% of all waste at Safeco Field from landfills – a jump from 90% in 2016. This marks the Club’s first Green Glove Award, with the San Francisco Giants having won for nine consecutive years.

The Seattle Mariners emphasize sustainability efforts through waste diversion, composting, and energy efficient practices throughout the season. Nearly everything used at Safeco Field is recyclable or compostable, including food service items (plates, knives, forks, cups, straws, bottles, etc.). Compost and recycling bins have replaced garbage cans on concourses and cleaning crews hand separate plastics and compostable waste after each game. The Club has also continued to operate the “Urban Garden” at Safeco Field, which sources vegetables, herbs and radishes to concession stands and restaurants at the ballpark. Founded in partnership with BASF, Cedar Grove Compost and Seattle Urban Farm Company, the Garden is also utilized as a teaching tool to inform the public about the importance of their local environment.

During the 2017 season, the Mariners partnered with the Lonely Whale Foundation, Actor Adrian Greiner’s non-profit organization, to support the city-wide “Strawless September” initiative. Over 100 Seattle-based businesses and professional sports organizations halted their usage of plastic straws in the fight against ocean pollution.

“We are thrilled to present the Seattle Mariners with the 2017 Green Glove Award,” said Paul Hanlon, Senior Director of Ballpark Operations & Sustainability, Major League Baseball. “With their 96% conversion rate at the top of the list, the Club has done a tremendous job of promoting and instilling sustainability practices and initiatives that will positively impact our environment. We look forward to supporting all 30 MLB Clubs as they continue to move the needle when it comes to sustainability.”

“We have worked hard over the years to make Safeco Field one of the ‘greenest’ ballparks in pro sports. With our hospitality partner Centerplate, and our founding sustainability partner BASF, we have been able to significantly reduce our impact on the environment. Thanks to Major League Baseball for recognizing our efforts with this great honor,” said Trevor Gooby, Seattle Mariners Senior Vice President, Ballpark Operations.

In 2014, the Seattle Mariners became the first Major League Baseball team to illuminate the playing field with LED lights. The LED fixtures are also expected to last 30-years, compared with the 2-3 year life span of the old fixtures.

The Mariners were also founding members of the Green Sports Alliance, a groundbreaking coalition of professional sports teams and sporting venues committed to promoting “greening initiatives” in sports. The nonprofit organization was launched in 2011 with founding members from six major leagues (MLB, NFL, MLS, WNBA, NHL, NBA), their home arenas, the Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Defense Council.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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