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Seven From Sunday – Week 17

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A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 2, the 17th week of the 2021 season.

  • With two games remaining in Week 17, 19 teams remain in contention for Super Bowl LVI. This would be the most in 15 years and tie the 2002 season (19 teams) for the third-most teams still in Super Bowl contention with one week to play, trailing only 1982 (22 teams) and 2006 (20 teams).

    The CINCINNATI BENGALS overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Kansas City, 34-31, and clinched the AFC North division title for the first time since 2015. 

    Cincinnati completed a worst-to-first turnaround, winning its division the year after finishing in last place. It marks 17 of the past 19 seasons in which at least one team finished in first place the season after finishing in last or tied for last place (2003-21).

    Cincinnati and Dallas have each clinched division titles after missing the postseason in 2020. At least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 18 of the past 19 years.

    The TENNESSEE TITANS defeated Miami, 34-3, and clinched the AFC South for the second-consecutive season.

    The BUFFALO BILLS defeated Atlanta, 29-15, and in combination with Baltimore’s Week 17 loss, clinched a playoff berth for the third-consecutive season. 

    The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Jacksonville, 50-10, and in combination with Miami’s Week 17 loss, clinched a playoff berth for the 12th time in the past 13 seasons.

    For Week 17 playoff scenarios involving the GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Minnesota on Sunday Night Football) and the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Week 17 win over Washington), click here. With a Green Bay victory, the Packers would clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs while Philadelphia would clinch a playoff berth under first-year head coach NICK SIRIANNI.

    Four teams have clinched playoff berths after missing the postseason in 2020 – Arizona, Cincinnati, Dallas and New England. Since 1990 – a streak of 32 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

    There have been 32 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play this season, the most in a season all-time. Cincinnati rookie kicker EVAN MCPHERSON and Las Vegas kicker DANIEL CARLSON each converted game-winning field goals with no time remaining in the fourth quarter in Week 17. 

    With two games remaining in Week 17, there have been 46 games with a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime this season, the fifth-most in a season all-time. Only 2013 (49), 2015 (49), 2003 (48) and 2002 (47) had more. In addition to Cincinnati and Las Vegas, the LOS ANGELES RAMS and TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS each scored go-ahead game-winning touchdowns in the final minute of regulation in Week 17. 
  • Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns while rookie wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE had 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the Bengals’ Week 17 win over Kansas City. 

    Burrow, who had 525 passing yards and four touchdown passes in Week 16, is the second quarterback all-time with at least 450 passing yards and four touchdown passes in consecutive games, joining JAMEIS WINSTON (Weeks 14-15, 2019). 

    Burrow has 971 passing yards in his past two games, surpassing PHIL SIMMS (945 passing yards in Weeks 5-6, 1985) for the second-most passing yards by a quarterback in a two-game span ever. Only DAK PRESCOTT (974 passing yards in Weeks 3-4, 2020) had more. 

    With 266 receiving yards on Sunday, Chase surpassed JERRY BUTLER (255 receiving yards on September 23, 1979) for the most receiving yards in a single game by a rookie ever. 

    Chase has 1,429 receiving yards this season and surpassed JUSTIN JEFFERSON (1,400 receiving yards in 2020) for the most receiving yards by a rookie ever. 

    Chase, who also had 201 receiving yards in Week 7, is the first rookie ever and the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to record multiple games with at least 200 receiving yards in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers CALVIN JOHNSON (2011 & 2012) and DON MAYNARD(1968) as well as JOSH GORDON (2013) and ALSHON JEFFERY (2013).
  • Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns while tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI recorded 115 receiving yards in the Buccaneers’ 28-24 win at the New York Jets. 

    Brady has 13 career games with at least 400 passing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (13) for the third-most such games all-time. Only DREW BREES (16 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (14) have more.

    Brady, who had 40 touchdown passes in 2020 and 50 touchdown passes in 2007, reached 40 touchdown passes for the third time in his career, joining AARON RODGERS as the only quarterback ever with three career seasons with at least 40 touchdown passes. Brady also joined DREW BREES (2011-12) as the only quarterbacks all-time with at least 40 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons. 

    Gronkowski registered his 31st career game with at least 100 receiving yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY GONZALEZ (31) for the most such games by a tight end in league annals. 
  • New England rookie quarterback MAC JONES completed 22 of 30 pass attempts (73.3 percent) for 227 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 128.1 rating and defensive back J.C. JACKSON recorded his eighth interception of the season in the Patriots’ 50-10 win over Jacksonville.

    New England improved to 10-6 on the season and BILL BELICHICK became the second head coach all-time with 20 seasons of 10-or-more wins, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer DON SHULA (20 seasons).

    The Patriots, who scored 54 points in Week 7, are the first team since the 2014 GREEN BAY PACKERS to score at least 50 points twice in season. 

    Jones has nine games with a completion percentage of 70-or-higher, tied with DAK PRESCOTT(nine games in 2016) for the most such games by a rookie quarterback all-time.

    Jackson has 25 interceptions since entering the NFL in 2018 and is the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with at least 25 interceptions in his first four seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LEM BARNEY (32), LESTER HAYES (25) and EVERSON WALLS (25).  
  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN rushed for two touchdowns in the Bills’ Week 17 win over Atlanta.

    Allen has five games with at least two rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018, tied with JALEN HURTS (five) for the most such games by a quarterback in his first four seasons in the Super Bowl era. 

    Allen has six rushing touchdowns this season and joined CAM NEWTON as the only quarterbacks ever with at least five rushing touchdowns in each of their first four seasons. 

    Allen, with 101 touchdown passes and 31 rushing touchdowns, is the first player in NFL history with at least 100 touchdown passes and 30 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons. 
  • Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP registered six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown while defensive lineman AARON DONALD recorded half a sack in the team’s Week 17 win at Baltimore.

    Kupp has 138 receptions this season and surpassed ANTONIO BROWN (136 receptions in 2015) and JULIO JONES (136 in 2015) for the third-most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Only MICHAEL THOMAS (149 receptions in 2019) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002) had more. 

    Kupp has 1,829 receiving yards this season and became the fifth player with at least 1,800 receiving yards in a season in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers CALVIN JOHNSON (1,964 receiving yards in 2012) and JERRY RICE (1,848 in 1995), as well as ANTONIO BROWN (1,834 in 2015) and JULIO JONES (1,871 in 2015).

    Kupp has recorded at least five receptions in 20 consecutive games, tied with JARVIS LANDRY(20 games from 2017-18) and MICHAEL THOMAS (20 from 2018-19) for the third-longest such streak in NFL history. Only ANTONIO BROWN (36 games from 2013-15) and DEANDRE HOPKINS (23 from 2018-20) have longer streaks.

    Donald has 98 career sacks since entering the NFL in 2014, tied with teammate VON MILLER(98 sacks) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (98) for the fourth-most sacks by a player in his first eight seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (124 sacks), DEMARCUS WARE(111) and JARED ALLEN (105) have more.
  • Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON passed for four touchdowns with no interceptions and a 133.0 rating in the Seahawks’ 51-29 win over Detroit. 

    Including the postseason, Wilson has 112 career wins, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (112 wins) for the most wins, including the postseason, by a quarterback in his first 10 seasons in league annals.

    Wilson has 17 career games with at least four touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers PEYTON MANNING (17 games) and DAN MARINO (17) for the most such games by a player in his first 10 seasons in NFL history.
  • Other notable performances from Sunday include:
    • Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES passed for 259 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 113.9 rating on Sunday.

      Mahomes, who had 38 touchdown passes in 2020 and 50 touchdown passes in 2018, has 35 touchdown passes this season and is the first quarterback ever with at least 35 touchdown passes in three of his first five seasons.

      Mahomes has 4,569 passing yards this season and joined MATTHEW STAFFORD as the only quarterbacks ever with at least 4,500 passing yards in three of their first five seasons. 
       
    • Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR totaled 114 scrimmage yards (108 rushing, six receiving) and one rushing touchdown on Sunday. He has 2,076 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns (18 rushing, two receiving) this season.

      Taylor, who is 22 years and 348 days old, is the youngest player with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns in a single season all-time.

      Taylor, who was selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1983) and DAVID JOHNSON (2016) as the only players with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns in one of their first two career seasons in NFL history.
    • Atlanta rookie tight end KYLE PITTS had two receptions for 69 yards on Sunday.

      Pitts has 1,018 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 1,000 receiving yards.

      Pitts has 66 receptions in 2021 and is the third rookie tight end all-time with at least 65 receptions, joining KEITH JACKSON (81 receptions in 1988) and JEREMY SHOCKEY(74 in 2002).
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