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January 2019
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NFL moves to Divisional Round of the Playoffs

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

LOWER SEED SUCCESS: The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-6) and PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-7) both earned victories on Wild Card Weekend as the No. 6 seed in their respective conferences.​

The Colts, who travel to Kansas City on Saturday (4:35 PM ET, NBC), and the Eagles, who play at New Orleans on Sunday (4:40 PM ET, FOX), look to become the first No. 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since 2010, when both the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets accomplished the feat.​​​​

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990:

SEASON TEAM CONFERENCE ADVANCED TO
2010 Green Bay NFC Won Super Bowl XLV
2010 New York Jets AFC Conference Championship
2008 Baltimore AFC Conference Championship
2008 Philadelphia NFC Conference Championship
2005 Pittsburgh AFC Won Super Bowl XL
       
2018 Indianapolis AFC ???
2018 Philadelphia NFC ???

 

In the AFC, the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (13-4, No. 5 seed), who face New England on Sunday (1:05 PM ET, CBS), and the sixth-seeded Colts are both still alive. With victories by both teams in the Divisional Playoffs, it would mark the first Conference Championship game featuring a No. 5 and No. 6 seed since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990.

– DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –

WINNING WAYS: The DALLAS COWBOYS, who defeated Seattle 24-22 on Wild Card Weekend, and the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who had a bye last week, will each be playing in the Divisional Playoffs.

Dallas, who plays at the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night (8:15 PM ET, FOX), has 35 playoff wins and can tie the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (36) for the most postseason victories all-time. New England, who hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday (1:05 PM ET, CBS), has 34 postseason victories and can surpass the GREEN BAY PACKERS (34) for the third-most playoff wins all-time.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM WINS LOSSES WIN PCT. SUPER BOWL WINS
Pittsburgh 36 25 .590 6
Dallas 35 27 .565 5
Green Bay 34 22 .607 4
New England 34 20 .630 5
San Francisco 30 20 .600 5​


​– DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –

TOUCHDOWN LEADERS: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES and the Chiefs are s​et to face off against Indianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK and the Colts in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday (4:35 PM ET, NBC).

Mahomes, who led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes, and Luck, who ranked second with 39 touchdown passes in 2018, have the most combined regular-season passing touchdowns (89) among any opposing quarterbacks in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.

With Mahomes and Luck ranking first and second in regular-season touchdown passes, Saturday will mark the fifth time since 2002 that the top two passing touchdown leaders from the regular season will face off in the postseason.

The postseason games between the top two regular-season passing touchdown leaders since 2002:

SEASON PLAYER (TEAM) TD PASSES PLAYER (TEAM) TD PASSES PLAYOFF ROUND
2016 Aaron Rodgers (GB) 40 Matt Ryan (Atl.) 38 NFC Championship
2014 Andrew Luck (Ind.) 40 Peyton Manning (Den.) 39 AFC Divisional
2009 Drew Brees (NO) 34 Peyton Manning (Ind.) 33* Super Bowl XLIV
2009 Drew Brees (NO) 34 Brett Favre^ (Min.) 33* NFC Championship
           
2018 Patrick Mahomes (KC) 50 Andrew Luck (Ind.) 39 AFC Divisional
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Tied for 2nd

– DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: New England quarterback TOM BRADY and the Patriots welcome quarterback PHILIP RIVERS and the Los Angeles Chargers to Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1:05 PM ET, CBS).

Brady, who will be 41 years and 163 days old on Sunday, and Rivers, at 37 years and 36 days old, combine for a total of 28,688 days old, the oldest combined age by opposing starting quarterbacks in a postseason game in NFL history.

The oldest combined age by opposing starting quarterbacks in a postseason game in NFL history:

DATE QUARTERBACK TEAM QUARTERBACK TEAM COMBINED DAYS OLD
1/13/19 Tom Brady New England Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers 28,688*
1/24/16 Peyton Manning Denver Tom Brady New England 28,603
1/9/99 John Elway^ Denver Dan Marino^ Miami 27,704
1/16/94 Warren Moon^ Houston Oilers Joe Montana^ Kansas City 27,306
1/22/17 Tom Brady New England Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh 27,162
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Total days as of Sunday, January 13

– DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –

RATED WELL: Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES and the Eagles head to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday (4:40 PM ET, FOX) to face New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES and the Saints.

Foles, who has the highest postseason passer rating (105.2) in NFL history, and Brees, who ranks fifth with a 100.7 passer rating, are two of five quarterbacks to have a passer rating of 100 or higher in the postseason (minimum 150 attempts).

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason passer rating (minimum 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK COMP. ATT. YARDS TDS INTS RATING  
Nick Foles 125 179 1,432 10 3 105.2  
Bart Starr^ 130 213 1,753 15 3 104.8  
Kurt Warner^ 307 462 3,952 31 14 102.8  
Matt Ryan 237 351 2,672 20 7 100.8  
Drew Brees 354 537 4,209 29 9 100.7  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Foles (69.8 percent) has the highest postseason completion percentage in league annals (minimum 150 attempts) and Brees (65.9 percent) ranks fifth.

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason completion percentage (minimum 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK COMP. ATT. PCT.  
Nick Foles 125 179 69.8  
Matt Ryan 237 351 67.5  
Kurt Warner^ 307 462 66.5  
Ken Anderson 110 166 66.3  
Drew Brees 354 537 65.9  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS –

SHOWDOWN IN SO CAL: Dallas running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT and the Cowboys head to Southern California to take on defensive tackle AARON DONALD and the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night (8:15 PM ET, FOX).

Elliott, who led the NFL with 1,434 rushing yards in 2018, rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown in Dallas’ Wild Card Weekend victory over Seattle. Elliott has recorded at least 125 rushing yards in each of his first two playoff appearances and can become the fourth player in NFL history to record three consecutive postseason games with at least 125 rushing yards.

The players with the most consecutive postseason games with at least 125 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM DATES CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 125+ RUSH YARDS
Terrell Davis^ Denver 1/11/98-1/17/99 4
Arian Foster Houston 1/7/12-1/5/13 3
John Riggins^ Washington 1/15/83-1/30/83 3
       
Ezekiel Elliott Dallas 1/15/17-1/5/19 2*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

Donald, who led the league with 20.5 sacks and earned the 2018 Deacon Jones Award as the NFL’s sack leader, became the 11th different player since 1982 to record at least 20 sacks in a single season.

With a Rams win on Saturday, Donald would join Pro Football Hall of Famer LAWRENCE TAYLOR (1986) as the only players to record at least 20 sacks and advance to the Conference Championship in the same season since 1982.

The players to record at least 20 sacks and advance to the Conference Championship in the same season since 1982:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON SACKS ADVANCED TO
Lawrence Taylor^ New York Giants 1986 20.5 Won Super Bowl XXI
         
Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams 2018 20.5 ???
^Pro Football Hall of Famer