Wow. It’s getting HOT in here. Seven NFL Highlights from today’s NFL Games. Check out what’s in and what’s out for Week 16.
A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 24, the 16th week of the 2016 season.
In the NFC, the DALLAS COWBOYS, who host Detroit on Monday night, clinched the NFC East and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs on Thursday night due to the New York Giants’ loss.
The ATLANTA FALCONS, who defeated Carolina 33-16, locked up the NFC South with today’s win combined with Tampa Bay’s loss at New Orleans.
The NEW YORK GIANTS, who lost on Thursday night at Philadelphia, clinched a playoff berth with Tampa Bay’s loss.
The DETROIT LIONS, who play Dallas on Monday night, will secure a playoff berth with a win.
In the AFC, the OAKLAND RAIDERS, who defeated Indianapolis 33-25 and have already secured a playoff berth, will clinch the AFC West and a first-round bye with a Kansas City loss against Denver tomorrow night.
The HOUSTON TEXANS, who host Cincinnati tonight, will clinch the AFC South with a victory.
The PITTSBURGH STEELERS, who host Baltimore tomorrow, will win the AFC North with a victory.
The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, who host Denver tomorrow, will clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Baltimore loss at Pittsburgh tomorrow.
The MIAMI DOLPHINS, who defeated Buffalo 34-31 in overtime, will clinch a playoff berth with a Denver loss at Kansas City tomorrow night.
The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated the New York Jets 41-3 to improve to 13-2 on the season. The Patriots have six seasons with at least 13 victories in franchise history, tying the Denver Broncos for the second-most 13+ win seasons in NFL history. The San Francisco 49ers (nine) are the only franchise with more 13+ win seasons.
Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK recorded his 200th career regular-season victory with New England, becoming the fifth head coach in NFL history to reach 200 regular-season wins with a franchise, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers GEORGE HALAS (318 with Chicago), DON SHULA (257 with Miami), TOM LANDRY (250 with Dallas) and CURLY LAMBEAU (209 with Green Bay).
Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns for a 121.8 passer rating in the Falcons’ 33-16 victory at Carolina. Ryan connected on touchdown passes to tight ends JOSHUA PERKINS and D.J. TIALAVEA – the first career TD catch for each player – and has thrown a touchdown pass to 13 different players this season, the most in a single season in NFL history.
Carolina tight end GREG OLSEN had six catches for 59 yards against Atlanta. Olsen, who has 1,051 receiving yards this season, is the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.
Miami running back JAY AJAYI rushed for 206 yards – including 75 yards on the team’s game-winning drive in overtime – and one touchdown in the Dolphins’ 34-31 OT victory at Buffalo. Ajayi, who rushed for 204 yards in Week 6 vs. Pittsburgh and 214 yards in Week 7 vs. the Bills, is the fourth player in NFL history to record three games with at least 200 rushing yards in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers EARL CAMPBELL (four in 1980) and O.J. SIMPSON (three in 1973) and TIKI BARBER (three in 2005).
Ajayi has 420 rushing yards in two games against Buffalo this season, the fourth-highest rushing total against one team in a single season, trailing JAMAL LEWIS (500 vs. Cleveland in 2003), Simpson (469 vs. New England in 1973) and LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON (430 vs. Oakland in 2003).
Arizona running back DAVID JOHNSON had 136 scrimmage yards (95 rushing, 41 receiving) and three rushing touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 34-31 win at Seattle. Johnson has scored multiple touchdowns in 11 career games, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON and EDGERRIN JAMES for the most such games in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history.
With 136 scrimmage yards in the win, Johnson joined Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (15) as the only players in NFL history to record 15 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in a single season. He also extended his NFL-record streak of consecutive games with 100+ scrimmage yards to start a season to 15 games.
Johnson has 1,233 rushing yards and 841 receiving yards this season and is the fourth different player in NFL history with at least 1,200 rushing yards and 800 receiving yards in the same season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (1998-2000), LE’VEON BELL (2014) and STEVEN JACKSON (2006).
Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 347 yards and four touchdowns for a 136.6 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-25 victory over Minnesota. Rodgers, who has 4,128 passing yards this season, has six career seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (five) for the most in franchise history.
Rodgers added 13 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the victory, bringing his career rushing total to 2,502 yards. Rodgers, who has 36,527 career passing yards, joins Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN ELWAY (51,475 passing, 3,407 rushing) and FRAN TARKENTON (47,003 passing, 3,674 rushing) and DONOVAN MC NABB (37,276 passing, 3,469 rushing) as the only players in NFL history with at least 35,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards in a career.
Packers wide receiver JORDY NELSON had nine catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Minnesota. Nelson, who has 14 touchdown receptions this season, has three seasons with at least 13 touchdown catches in his career, tying Pro Football Hall of Famers LANCE ALWORTH, CRIS CARTER and MARVIN HARRISON for the fourth-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (eight), TERRELL OWENS (seven) and RANDY MOSS (six) have more such seasons in NFL history.
Washington quarterback KIRK COUSINS passed for 270 yards with one touchdown and rushed for two touchdowns in the Redskins’ 41-21 win at Chicago. This season, Cousins has passed for a franchise-record 4,630 yards and has four rushing touchdowns. He is the second player in NFL history (AARON RODGERS, 2008-09) to have at least 4,000 passing yards and four or more rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons.
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