The NFL has been around for nearly 100 years and every season presents an opportunity for history to be made. Like every other sport, there are records and numbers that are well known, such as Peyton Manning’s 55 touchdown passes in 2013 or Jerry Rice’s 208 career touchdowns.
However, there also is a seemingly endless list of individual and team accomplishments that the casual or even informed football fan might know about. Part of the reason for this that this list gets added to every season as players and teams do things that have never been done on the football field before. This tradition will continue this fall, but until then here’s a rundown of the famous first you may or may not have noticed that happened in 2015.
2015 was the first time that…
• Won 15 consecutive divisional road games (Broncos).
• Scored in the first quarter of 22 consecutive contests (Packers).
• Lost its first two games of a season after leading by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter of each (Giants).
• Started a season 3–0 despite trailing in the fourth quarter of each contest (Falcons).
• Defeated the teams in a single division 16 times in a row (Colts vs. AFC South).
• Attempted 70 passes in a regulation game (Lions).
• Won a game in which more than 85 percent of its plays from scrimmage were passes (Patriots).
• Lost 15 consecutive times on the first day of a calendar month (Lions).
• Scored in 38 quarters in a row (Patriots).
• Held a lead in 62 straight games (Seahawks, dating precisely to Russell Wilson’s debut).
• Staged a come-from-behind win in overtime (Panthers over Colts).
• Won 81 consecutive regular-season home games after leading at the half (Patriots).
• Played 12 straight games to open its season that ended with a one-possession scoring margin (Ravens).
• Got a TD reception from the same two receivers in nine games (Jets; Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall).
• Charted a five-game losing streak and a 10-game winning streak in the same regular season (Chiefs).
• Won 11 contests by seven or fewer points, including the postseason. (Broncos).
• Was victorious in a playoff game in which it didn’t score in the first three quarters (Seahawks).
• Lost a fifth consecutive postseason overtime affair (Packers).
• On Kickoff Weekend in which the starting QBs who each had thrown for at least 25 TDs the year before combined for none (Joe Flacco vs. Peyton Manning).
• That went into overtime ended as quickly as 13 seconds later (Saints over Cowboys).
• Was broadcast as a free, internet-only live stream (Bills vs. Jaguars in London).
• Threw for 49 TDs in home games between interceptions (Aaron Rodgers).
• Led his team to an average as high as 32.4 points per game in his first 50 starts for them (Peyton Manning).
• Helmed his team to a 4–0 start in a seventh season (Peyton Manning).
• Threw a TD pass in 54 consecutive home games (Drew Brees).
• Reached the 30,000-yard mark in as few as 3,652 passes (Aaron Rodgers).
• Completed 43 aerials in a loss (Philip Rivers).
• Completed 25 consecutive attempts (Ryan Tannehill).
• Lost a game in three different countries during a career (EJ Manuel).
• Piled up 19 career games with at least four TDs and no picks (Tom Brady).
• Threw 21 TD passes to begin season before having suffered a second interception (Brady).
• Threw for at least five TDs for a 10th time (Brees).
• Lost despite throwing for at least six TDs with no interceptions (Eli Manning).
• Won 186 regular-season starts (Peyton Manning).
• Won a start in overtime on his birthday (Sam Bradford).
• Came up with a four-TD game for a fourth different franchise (Ryan Fitzpatrick).
• Threw for more than 250 yards and at least three TDs while also running for at least 100 in a game (Marcus Mariota).
• Scored a TD himself in the final two minutes of regulation, then threw for one in overtime (Blaine Gabbert).
• Reached 25,000 yards in as few as 90 career games (Matthew Stafford).
• Registered a passer rating of 138.0-plus in four straight outings (Russell Wilson).
• Pitched five or more TD passes and rushed for at least 100 yards in the same game (Cam Newton).
• Completed at least 40 passes in a game, all to five or fewer receivers (Ben Roethlisberger).
• Attempted at least 75 passes at home and completed more than 74 percent of them during a season (Kirk Cousins).
• Tossed for 35 TDs and rushed for 10 in the same season (Cam Newton).
• Had 4,000 aerial yards, 30 TD passes and 500 yards rushing in a season (Russell Wilson).
• Spun a game-tying TD pass as the clock expired in regulation of a playoff game (Aaron Rodgers).
• Saw six former Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks go down to defeat on the same day (Nov. 15: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees).
• As old as 38 intercepted two passes in one game (Charles Woodson).
• Returned a blocked PAT for two points (Stephone Anthony).
• Recorded five sacks in a game his team won by three or fewer points (Khalil Mack).
• Took five interceptions in a row to the house (William Gay).
• Returned five fumbles and five interceptions apiece for TDs in a career (DeAngelo Hall).
• Compiled a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in his NFL debut (Marcus Mariota).
• Scored a rushing, receiving and kickoff return touchdown within his first two NFL games (David Johnson).
• Passed for at least four touchdowns and no INTs in multiple games (Marcus Mariota).
• Charted at least 250 yards from scrimmage, a rushing touchdown and a TD reception in the same game (Thomas Rawls).
• Kicked four field goals in a playoff game (Chris Boswell).
• Scored 1,000 career points with two different teams (Adam Vinatieri).
• Booted 10 overtime field goals in a career (Adam Vinatieri).
• Converted 463 consecutive PATs (Stephen Gostkowski).
• Was true on 52 consecutive field goals in his home stadium (Stephen Gostkowski).
• Missed two PATs in the same game in which he kicked a pair of 40-yard- plus field goals (Matt Prater).
• Tried at least five field goals in a game from 40 or more yards out and made them all (Mason Crosby).
• Attempted at least 10 field goals in a single postseason and made each of them (Brandon McManus).
• Provided a go-ahead- to-stay touchdown against the team for which he played the previous season (Dwayne Harris vs. Dallas).
• Scored a TD as early as 11 seconds into a playoff game (Knile Davis).
• Eliminated from the playoffs the team he coached the previous season in the final game of the year (Rex Ryan).
• Lost seven consecutive postseason games (Marvin Lewis).
This story and more appears in the 2016 Athlon Sports NFL Preview Magazine, available online now and on newsstands everywhere.