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What To Look For – Week 7

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THE BUC STOPS HERE: After leading the league in rushing defense (80.6 rushing yards allowed per game) during their Super Bowl season last year, the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS again lead the league in the category through six weeks this season, limiting opponents to 54.8 rushing yards per game.

Since the beginning of last season, a span of 22 regular-season games, Tampa Bay has only had one opposing player eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark (Minnesota’s DALVIN COOK rushed for 102 yards in Week 14 of 2020). 

If the Buccaneers continue this run-stopping pace, they can become the fifth team since 1950 to limit their opponents to fewer than 60 rushing yards per game through their first seven games of a season. 

The teams to allow fewer than 60 rushing yards per game through their first seven games in a season since 1950:

TEAMSEASONOPPONENT RUSHING YARDS PER GAME 
San Francisco199549.9 
New Orleans199152.1 
Baltimore200057.9 
Pittsburgh201058.9 
    
Tampa Bay202154.8* 
*Through six games   

Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY enters Week 7 leading the league in passing yards (2,064) and completions (183) and ranks second in touchdown passes (17). He is also the only player this season with three games of at least four touchdown passes (Weeks 1-2, 5). 

With 17 completions and three touchdown passes on Sunday against Chicago (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Brady will become the third player with at least 200 completions and 20 touchdown passes in his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history, joining ANDREW LUCK (2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (2013). 

The players with at least 200 completions and 20 touchdown passes in their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONCOMPLETIONSPASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Andrew LuckIndianapolis201820320
Peyton ManningHOFDenver201320725
     
Tom BradyTampa Bay2021183*17*
*Through first six games    

Brady, the league’s all-time leader in both passing yards (81,268) and touchdown passes (598), can also become the first player in league history with 600 career touchdown passes. 

— NFL —

REUNION IN L.A.: When the DETROIT LIONS visit the LOS ANGELES RAMS on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), both starting quarterbacks will be facing the teams that drafted them for the first time. Detroit’s JARED GOFF was selected No. 1 overall by the Rams in 2016 and passed for 18,171 yards and 107 touchdowns in 69 starts for the franchise and led them to a Super Bowl LIII appearance in 2018. 

Los Angeles’ MATTHEW STAFFORD was selected No. 1 overall by the Lions in 2009 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (45,109), touchdown passes (282) and passer rating (89.9). This season, Stafford ranks tied for third in the league with 16 touchdown passes and fourth with 1,838 passing yards. 

In 171 career games, Stafford has 298 touchdown passes and on Sunday, can become the seventh-fastest player (172 games) to record 300 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players to reach 300 career touchdown passes in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)GAMES 
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay144 
Peyton ManningHOFIndianapolis157 
Dan MarinoHOFMiami157 
Tom BradyNew England161 
Drew BreesSan Diego Chargers, New Orleans161 
Brett FavreHOFAtlanta, Green Bay167 
    
Matthew StaffordDetroit, L.A. Rams171* 
*Has 298 touchdown passes    

— NFL —

KING’S COURT: Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY enters this week leading the league with 783 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. He is the third player ever with at least 750 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1958) and ERIC DICKERSON (1983). 

Henry has rushed for three touchdowns in each of the past two weeks and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (three consecutive games in 2006) as the only players in NFL history with at least three rushing touchdowns in three consecutive games.

Additionally, Henry has recorded at least 125 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his past three games. If he accomplishes the feat again on Sunday against Kansas City (1:00 PM ET, CBS), he will become the fifth player with at least 125 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games within a single season in the Super Bowl era.

The players with at least 125 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the most consecutive games within a single season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Larry JohnsonKansas City20055
O.J. SimpsonHOFBuffalo19755
Frank GoreSan Francisco20114
Terrell DavisHOFDenver19984
    
Derrick HenryTennessee20213*
*Active streak   

— NFL —

KC’S STARS: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the league with 18 touchdown passes this season and ranks third with 1,887 passing yards. Last week, he totaled a season-high 397 passing yards, his 29th career game with at least 300 passing yards.

With 300 passing yards on Sunday at Tennessee (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (29 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history. 

Mahomes’ top target this season has been wide receiver TYREEK HILL, who ties for the lead league with 46 receptions and ranks third with 592 receiving yards. He also has five touchdown receptions, tied for the fourth-most in the league. 

With four receptions on Sunday, Hill will become the fifth player ever with at least 50 receptions, 500 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in each of his first six career seasons. 

The players with at least 50 receptions, 500 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in the most seasons to begin their careers in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONS
Marvin HarrisonHOFIndianapolis11
Gary ClarkWashington8
Larry FitzgeraldArizona8
Randy MossHOFMinnesota6
   
Tyreek HillKansas City5*
*Has 46 receptions, 592 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns entering Week 7   

Tight end TRAVIS KELCE enters Week 7 leading all tight ends with 38 receptions. He had a season-high eight catches last week and has recorded at least five receptions in five of six games this season. With another five-catch performance against Tennessee, Kelce will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE (78 games) for the fourth-most such games by a tight end in NFL history. 

The tight ends with the most games with at least five receptions in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)GAMES
Tony GonzalezHOFKansas City, Atlanta139
Jason WittenDallas130
Antonio GatesSan Diego/L.A. Chargers96
Travis KelceKansas City78
Shannon SharpeHOFDenver, Baltimore78

— NFL —

RIDICULOUS ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Cincinnati wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 553 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions this season. He is also one of six players in the league with at least 50 receiving yards in each of the first six weeks.

With 50 receiving yards on Sunday at Baltimore (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Chase will join EARL MCCULLOUCH (1968) as the only players in NFL history with at least 50 receiving yards in each of their first seven career games. 

Chase can also surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (621 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a player through his first seven career games in the Super Bowl era. Only HARLON HILL (685) and BILLY HOWTON (667) have more all-time. 

The players with the most receiving yards in their first seven career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEIVING YARDS
Harlon HillChicago Bears1954685
Billy HowtonGreen Bay1952667
Anquan BoldinArizona2003621
    
Ja’Marr ChaseCincinnati2021553*
*Through first six games   

Miami wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 37 receptions this season. He is also one of three players in the league with two games with at least 10 receptions (Weeks 3 and 6). With at least 10 receptions in another game this season, he will join ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four games in 2014) as the only rookies in NFL history with three games with at least 10 catches. 

With five receptions on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Waddle can tie Boldin (42 in 2003) and MICHAEL THOMAS (42 in 2016) for the second-most receptions by a wide receiver in his first seven career games in NFL history. Only EDDIE ROYAL (46 in 2008) had more. 

The wide receivers with the most receptions in their first seven career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEPTIONS
Eddie RoyalDenver200846
Anquan BoldinArizona200342
Michael ThomasNew Orleans201642
    
Jaylen WaddleMiami202137*
*Through first six games   
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