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Archive for December 23rd, 2018

Daily Almanac for Sunday, December 23, 2018: Day 357 of the Year

ALMANAC WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF www.almanc.com

 

(courtesy You Tube)

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Playoff Scenarios for NFL’s Week 16

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

New Orleans Saints – NFC South division title

Chicago Bears – NFC North division title

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-2) (vs. Pittsburgh (8-5-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

New Orleans clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. NO win OR
  2. NO tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  3. CHI loss or tie + LAR loss

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NO tie OR
  2. CHI loss or tie OR
  3. LAR loss


LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-3
) (at Arizona (3-11), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. LAR win + CHI loss or tie OR
  2. LAR tie + CHI loss


DALLAS COWBOYS (8-6
) (vs. Tampa Bay (5-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. DAL win OR
  2. DAL tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
  3. PHI loss + WAS loss

 

Dallas clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. DAL tie + MIN loss

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-6) (vs. Kansas City (11-3), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. SEA win + WAS loss or tie OR
  2. SEA win or tie + MIN loss OR
  3. SEA win + SEA clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over WAS OR
  4. SEA win + MIN tie + SEA clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over MIN OR
  5. SEA tie + WAS loss + PHI loss or tie

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-6-1) (at Detroit (5-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. MIN win+ PHI loss or tie + WAS loss

 

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth

Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-3) (at Seattle (8-6), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

  1. KC win + LAC loss

 

Kansas City clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

  1. KC win + LAC loss + HOU loss or tie OR
  2. KC win + LAC loss + KC clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

 

HOUSTON TEXANS (10-4) (at Philadelphia (7-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. HOU win or tie OR
  2. IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie

 

Houston clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. HOU win + NE loss or tie OR
  2. HOU tie + NE loss

 

Houston clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. BAL loss or tie OR
  2. PIT loss OR
  3. TEN loss or tie + HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over BAL

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-5) (vs. Buffalo (5-9), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

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

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5-1) (at New Orleans (12-2), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. PIT win + BAL loss or tie OR
  2. PIT tie + BAL loss

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + IND loss + TEN loss

 

 

NFL announces formation of inaugural Big Data Bowl

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

– NFL FOOTBALL ANALYTICS COMPETITION WILL BE HELD AT THE 2019 SCOUTING COMBINE IN INDIANAPOLIS –

The National Football League today announced the inaugural NFL Big Data Bowl, a football analytics competition affording college students and professionals the opportunity to utilize historical data sets of the same player tracking data used by teams and suggest innovations about how football is played and coached.

Finalists will have the unique opportunity to present to league and club personnel at the 2019 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, accessing NFL player tracking data used by teams to analyze league trends and develop on-field strategies.

Beginning today, participants can sign up for the competition via ops.nfl.com/big-data-bowl in one of two competing categories – an undergraduate/graduate student division and an open division for participants not in higher education. Upon registering, participants will be emailed information on how to access the data to begin their submission.

Historical sets of both traditional and player tracking stats are available to participants, who are challenged to rethink player evaluation tools and innovate the way football is played and coached. NFL player tracking, also known as Next Gen Stats, is the capture of real-time location data, speed and acceleration for every player on every play on every inch of the field. Sensors throughout the stadium track tags placed on players’ shoulder pads, charting individual movements within inches.

“As the sports analytics community continues to expand and progress, we are excited to host an analytics competition focusing on creative and innovative ways to approach and use football data,” said DAMANI LEECH, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Football Strategy and Business Development. “The NFL and its clubs use of football analytics continues to grow and focusing the competition on college students and young professionals allows us to hear from the next generation of young minds that will help shape the industry in the years to come.”

Submissions using NFL-provided data fall under three themes: “Understanding On-Field Speed,” “Proposing a Rule Change” and “Identifying the Best Receiver-Route Combinations.”

The Big Data Bowl is the latest example of the league’s commitment to advancing the game through data science and engineering. 1st and Future presented by Arrow Electronics, the NFL’s annual Super Bowl pitch competition, is designed to spur innovation in athlete safety and performance. This year, for the first time, 1st and Future features a new category, the NFL Punt Analytics Competition, which also gives applicants access to exclusive NFL data sets to inform creative submissions about rule changes designed to reduce player injury during punt plays.

Eight finalists in the Big Data Bowl – four from each of the two participant categories – will earn an all-expenses paid trip to Indianapolis to showcase their work on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis on the first day of the 2019 Scouting Combine. The eight finalists will have an opportunity to present their findings in a five-minute presentation to a judging panel of NFL staff members, club personnel and industry-leading representatives before participating in an open forum in which they can answer specific questions related to their findings.

Two grand-prize winners will receive four tickets to any regular-season game of their choice, as well as a $1,000 gift certificate to NFLShop.com.

 

 

What to look for in Week 16 of the NFL

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

WORST TO FIRST: As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

For the 2018 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 16, click here.

Two teams – the Chicago Bears (NFC North) and Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. The Houston Texans (10-4), who finished in last in the AFC South in 2017, can clinch the division title at Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, CBS) with a win or tie or if both the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans lose or tie.

In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

– NFL

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the NFL with 45 touchdown passes this season.

On Sunday night at Seattle (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Mahomes can continue his climb up the NFL’s single season touchdown pass leaderboard.

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

PLAYER TEAM SEASON TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Peyton Manning# Denver 2013 55
Tom Brady# New England 2007 50
Peyton Manning# Indianapolis 2004 49
Dan Marino^# Miami 1984 48
Drew Brees New Orleans 2011 46
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City 2018 45*
Aaron Rodgers# Green Bay 2011 45
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 16

– NFL

4,000 in 10: New England quarterback TOM BRADY ranks fifth in the league in passing yards (3,979) while Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS ties for seventh  in the league with 3,951 passing yards this season. Both quarterbacks have eclipsed 4,000 passing yards in nine different seasons during their careers.

In Week 16, Brady, who faces Buffalo on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), and Rivers, who faces Baltimore on Saturday night (8:20 PM ET, NFL Network), can join PEYTON MANNING (14 seasons) and DREW BREES (12) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record at least 10 seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Brees has 3,666 passing yards in 2018.

The quarterbacks with the most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS WITH 4,000+ PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 14
Drew Brees New Orleans 12
Tom Brady New England 9*
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers 9#
*Has 3,979 passing yards entering Week 16
#Has 3,951 passing yards entering Week 16

– NFL

SHAKE & BAKER: Cleveland quarterback BAKER MAYFIELD, selected first overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 21 touchdown passes this season.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday against Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mayfield would surpass ANDREW LUCK (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era.

The most touchdown passes by a rookie selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998 26
Andrew Luck Indianapolis 2012 23
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay 2015 22
Baker Mayfield Cleveland 2018 21*
Cam Newton# Carolina 2011 21
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 16

– NFL

RUN & CATCH: Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY leads all running backs with 94 receptions in 2018.

With nine receptions on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), McCaffrey would surpass MATT FORTÉ (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS
Matt Forté Chicago 2014 102
Larry Centers Arizona 1995 101
LaDainian Tomlinson^ San Diego 2003 100
Larry Centers Arizona 1996 99
Chrstian McCaffrey Carolina 2018 94*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

New York Giants rookie running back SAQUON BARKLEY leads all rookies with 82 receptions and needs seven catches at Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to surpass REGGIE BUSH (88 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in league annals.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in league annals:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS  
Reggie Bush New Orleans 2006 88  
Earl Cooper San Francisco 1980 83  
Saquon Barkley New York Giants 2018 82*  
*Entering Week 16

– NFL

RECORD-SETTING TIGHT ENDS: Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE leads all tight ends with a career-high 1,220 receiving yards in 2018.

With 108 receiving yards against Seattle on Sunday night (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Kelce would surpass ROB GRONKOWSKI (1,327 receiving yards in 2011) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEIVING YARDS  
Rob Gronkowski New England 2011 1,327  
Jimmy Graham New Orleans 2011 1,310  
Kellen Winslow^ San Diego 1980 1,290  
Tony Gonzalez Kansas City 2004 1,258  
Todd Christensen Los Angeles Raiders 1983 1,247  
         
Travis Kelce Kansas City 2018 1,220*  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

Philadelphia tight end ZACH ERTZ, who ranks third in the NFL with 101 receptions, needs 10 catches against Houston on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) tosurpass JASON WITTEN (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in league annals.

The tight ends with the most receptions in a single season in league annals:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS  
Jason Witten Dallas 2012 110  
Tony Gonzalez Kansas City 2004 102  
Zach Ertz Philadelphia 2018 101*  
*Entering Week 16

– NFL

KEEP IT 100: Five players – New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS (109 receptions), Minnesota wide receiver ADAM THIELEN (105), Philadelphia tight end ZACH ERTZ (101), Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES (100) and Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS (100) – have recorded at least 100 receptions this season.

Entering Week 16, six additional players – Pittsburgh wide receivers JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER (95 receptions) and ANTONIO BROWN (90), Houston wide receiver DE ANDRE HOPKINS (94), Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY (94), Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE (93) and Minnesota wide receiver STEFON DIGGS (92) – currently have at least 90 receptions.

With 10 players recording at least 100 catches this season, the 2018 season would surpass the 1995 season (nine) for the most players with at least 100 catches in a single season.

The seasons with the most players with at least 100 receptions in NFL history:

SEASON PLAYERS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS
1995 9
2015 7
Many tied 6
   
2018 5*
*Entering Week 16

 

NFL announces Week 15 NFC/AFC Players of the Week

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARGERS WR MIKE WILLIAMS, STEELERS CB JOE HADEN &
TEXANS K KA’IMI FAIRBAIRN NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 15

Wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS of the Los Angeles Chargers, cornerback JOE HADEN of the Pittsburgh Steelers and kicker KA’IMI FAIRBAIRN of the Houston Texans are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 15 (December 13, 15-17).

OFFENSE: WR MIKE WILLIAMS, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

DEFENSE: CB JOE HADEN, PITTSBURGH STEELERS

SPECIAL TEAMS: K KA’IMI FAIRBAIRN, HOUSTON TEXANS

 

2018 AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offense Defense Special Teams
Wk 1 QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City LB T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh WR-KR Jakeem Grant, Miami
Wk 2 QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City LB Darius Leonard, Indianapolis DB Dane Cruikshank, Tennessee
Wk 3 QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh LB Matt Milano, Buffalo K Justin Tucker, Baltimore
Wk 4 QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee DE Jadeveon Clowney, Houston WR-PR Dwayne Harris, Oakland
Wk 5 RB Isaiah Crowell, NY Jets LB T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh DB Denzel Ward, Cleveland
Wk 6 WR Albert Wilson, Miami LB Za’Darius Smith, Baltimore K Jason Myers, NY Jets
Wk 7

Wk 8

Wk 9

Wk 10

Wk 11

Wk 12

Wk 13

Wk 14

Wk 15

WR Emmanuel Sanders, Denver

RB James Conner, Pittsburgh

RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

QB Philip Rivers, LA Chargers

RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver

RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee

WR Mike Williams, LA Chargers

S Mike Mitchell, Indianapolis

LB Dee Ford, Kansas City

CB Desmond King, LA Chargers

LB Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee

LB Von Miller, Denver

DE J.J. Watt, Houston

CB Xavien Howard, Miami

DL Denico Autry, Indianapolis

CB Joe Haden, Pittsburgh

LB Dont’a Hightower, New England

K Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis

P Matt Haack, Miami

K Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo

K Daniel Carlson, Oakland

PR Cyrus Jones, Baltimore

CB-PR Desmond King, LA Chargers

K Michael Badgley, LA Chargers

K Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston​

 

 

VIKINGS RB DALVIN COOK, FALCONS DL GRADY JARRETT &
49ERS K ROBBIE GOULD NAMED NFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 15

Running back DALVIN COOK of the Minnesota Vikings, defensive lineman GRADY JARRETT of the Atlanta Falcons and kicker ROBBIE GOULD of the San Francisco 49ers are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 15 (December 13, 15-17).

OFFENSE: RB DALVIN COOK, MINNESOTA VIKINGS

DEFENSE: DL GRADY JARRETT, ATLANTA FALCONS

SPECIAL TEAMS: K ROBBIE GOULD, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

 

2018 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offense Defense Special Teams
Wk 1 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay S Harrison Smith, Minnesota K Greg Zuerlein, LA Rams
Wk 2 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay LB Danny Trevathan, Chicago K Robbie Gould, San Francisco
Wk 3 QB Drew Brees, New Orleans DE Efe Obada, Carolina DB Blake Countess, LA Rams
Wk 4 QB Jared Goff, LA Rams LB Demario Davis, New Orleans K Brett Maher, Dallas
Wk 5 QB Drew Brees, New Orleans DE Chandler Jones, Arizona K Graham Gano, Carolina
Wk 6 RB Todd Gurley, LA Rams DE Frank Clark, Seattle K Mason Crosby, Green Bay
Wk 7

Wk 8

Wk 9

Wk 10

Wk 11

Wk 12

Wk 13

Wk 14

Wk 15

QB Cam Newton, Carolina

RB Adrian Peterson, Washington

WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans

QB Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago

RB Saquon Barkley, NY Giants

WR Amari Cooper, Dallas

RB Todd Gurley, LA Rams

WR Amari Cooper, Dallas

RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota

DT Aaron Donald, LA Rams

CB P.J. Williams, New Orleans

DE Danielle Hunter, Minnesota

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas

LB Samson Ebukam, LA Rams

S Eddie Jackson, Chicago

LB Bobby Wagner, Seattle

CB Darius Slay, Detroit

DL Grady Jarrett, Atlanta

K Giorgio Tavecchio, Atlanta

P Michael Dickson, Seattle

P Bradley Pinion, San Francisco

P Tress Way, Washington

K Cody Parkey, Chicago

K Sebastian Janikowski, Seattle

K Aldrick Rosas, NY Giants

QB-ST Taysom Hill, New Orleans

K Robbie Gould, San Francisco​

 

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