Numbers and statistics are a huge part of measuring performance and marking milestones in the NFL. With that in mind, Athlon Sports rounded up the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from Week 8 of the NFL season.
Tom Brady made his 100th career regular-season home start Sunday against Chicago, and in leading the team to a 51-23 victory won his 87th of those home starts. That is the most of any starting quarterback in league history in his first 100 home regular-season starts. Brady completed 30-of-35 passes (85.7 percent) for 354 yards, five TDs, and no interceptions. That stat line made him the first player in NFL history with at least 350 passing yards, a completion percentage better than 85, five-plus touchdowns, and no interceptions in a game.
New England tight end Rob Gronkowski tied a career-high with three touchdowns against Chicago. His performance marked the fourth individual game with three touchdown catches by a tight end in 2014, already the most for any season in NFL history. He joins Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates, and Larry Donnell.
Chicago's Jay Cutler is 21-5 as the Bears' quarterback when not throwing an interception, and 21-27 when throwing at least one. He threw one in the loss to New England.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is now one of three quarterbacks since 1966 to start three games in which his team overcame a deficit of at least 21 points to win. He joins Brady and Drew Bledsoe. Stafford, who led the Lions to a 22-21 win over Atlanta with two passing touchdowns, also surpassed Hall of Fame QB Bobby Layne (118) for the most career TD passes (120) in team history.
Detroit's 22-21 victory against Atlanta in London came on the heels of the Lions overcoming a 21-0 halftime lead the Falcons had. For Detroit, which also overcame a 14-point deficit in a 24-23 win against New Orleans last week, became the fifth team in NFL history to win back-to-back games when trailing by at least 14 points one week and by 21+ points the following week. The Lions' win also marked the sixth time a team overcame a deficit of at least 17 points to win in 2014, the second-most such games through Week 8 of any season in NFL history (2011, eight games).
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 522 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions against Indianapolis. He is the first player in history with two 500-yard passing games, joining the 503 he threw for against Green Bay in 2009. The 522 passing yards tied Boomer Esiason for the fourth most in a single game, as Norm Van Brocklin's record 554 yards is still safe. He is the second player in league history with 500 passing yards, six passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions since Y.A. Tittle (1962). The Steelers (522) and Colts (385) combined for 907 net passing yards, the second-highest combined total in NFL history behind Detroit and Green Bay's 971 in 2012. Their 76 points combined is the most in an NFL game this season.
With the win, Roethlisberger improved his record to 100-50 as a starter in the regular season. He joins Tom Brady (116), Joe Montana (108), and Terry Bradshaw (102) as the only quarterbacks since 1966 to win at least 100 games in their first 150 starts.
In the loss to Pittsburgh, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck did separate himself from Peyton Manning in one category. His 26-of-45 effort for 400 yards marked the sixth straight game in which he has thrown for 300+ yards, breaking a tie with Manning for most such games in franchise history.
New Orleans and Green Bay combined for no punts in the Saints' 44-23 home win. It marked the second time in 2014 this season a game has gone without a punt (Green Bay vs. Chicago, Sept. 28), and the third time ever a regular-season game has gone without a punt. Buffalo and San Francisco's punters saw no work in their 1992 meeting.
The Saints' win was their 12th straight prime-time home victory, which is the longest streak since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. New Orleans' 11 straight home wins since the beginning of last season is the longest home winning streak in franchise history.
Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr's forced fumble, fumble recovery, and 27-yard return for a touchdown in overtime marked the fourth overtime contest in NFL history that was decided by a fumble-return touchdown. His score 17 seconds into overtime, which led to a 19-13 win at Tampa Bay, was the quickest of any fumble-return touchdown since regular-season OT was instituted in 1984.
Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton was 10-of-17 for 238 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in the Bills’ 43-23 win against the New York Jets. Orton is the first player with at least four touchdown passes and 10 or fewer completions in a game since Pittsburgh’s Bubby Brister against Cleveland on December 23, 1990.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-21 win against San Diego. He now has 13 straight games with two-plus touchdown passes, which ties for the longest streak by any QB since at least 1960. He is tied with Aaron Rodgers, Brady, himself, and Don Meredith.
Houston running back Arian Foster ran for 151 yards and two scores in a 30-16 win at Tennessee. The performance marked Foster's 31st career 100-yard rushing game, tying Priest Holmes for the most in NFL history by an undrafted player.
Kansas City's Knile Davis had a 99-yard kickoff-return touchdown in the Chiefs’ 34-7 win against St. Louis. Davis, who also had a franchise-long 108-yard kickoff return touchdown as a rookie in 2013, is the fifth player in history with a kickoff-return touchdown of at least 99 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.
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