Highlighting the most important, bizarre and historic stats from this week in the NFL
Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of football. With that in mind, Athlon Sports rounded up the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from Week 13 of the NFL season.
Houston defensive end J.J. Watt became the first player with 10+ sacks (10.5) and 3+ touchdowns (4) in a single season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982. Watt is the first NFL player with at least three offensive touchdowns (three receiving) and two or more touchdowns on takeaways (one interception return, one fumble return) in a season since Joe Golding of the Boston Yanks in 1948. Watt is the only player in NFL history with three touchdown catches, an interception-return touchdown and a fumble recovery-touchdown in the same season.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers extended his NFL record streaks to 360 consecutive passes and 31 touchdown passes in a row at home without an interception in the Packers' 26-21 win against New England. His last interception at home came on Dec. 2, 2012.
The game was also the first time Rodgers and New England quarterback Tom Brady faced one another. It is only the second time in NFL history that a pair of quarterbacks with at least 200 touchdown passes started against one another for the first time. The other instance was December 14, 1974, between Hall of Famers Len Dawson and Fran Tarkenton.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdown passes without an interception in the Saints’ 35-32 win at Pittsburgh. Brees has seven career games with at least five touchdown passes and no interceptions, the most in NFL history.
Indianapolis scored six touchdowns of at least 30 yards in a 49-27 win against Washington. The Colts are the first team to score at least six touchdowns of 30 yards or more in the same game since Washington (seven) did so on November 27, 1966, against the New York Giants.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck passed for 370 yards and five touchdowns and eclipsed 4,000 yards (4,011) for the season. He joins Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards in two of their first three seasons. Luck has a career-high 34 touchdown passes and joins Manning and Johnny Unitas as the only players in franchise history with 30+ touchdown passes in a season.
Minnesota scored two touchdowns on blocked punts in a 31-13 win over Carolina. Adam Thielen blocked a punt and returned it 30 yards for a score in the first quarter. Everson Griffen returned a punt blocked by Jasper Brinkley 43 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Vikings are the first team since the 1975 Detroit Lions (September 21 at Green Bay) to return two blocked punts for touchdowns in a half.
Jacksonville's 25-24 win over the New York Giants included a 21-point comeback that was the largest in the franchise's history. It also marked the fourth time in 2014 a team won after trailing by at least 21, which is tied for the most of any season in NFL history. Blake Bortles became the third rookie starting quarterback to help his team overcome a deficit of at least 21 points to win since at least 1970, joining Matthew Stafford (November 22, 2009) and Vince Young (November 26, 2006).
St. Louis rookie running back Tre Mason rushed for 117 yards with two touchdowns and had 47 receiving yards with one touchdown in the Rams’ 52-0 win over Oakland. Mason, who had rushing touchdowns of 89- and 8-yards and a 35-yard touchdown reception, is the fourth player in NFL history with an 85+ yard TD run and a 35+ yard TD catch in the same game. The other three to accomplish the feat are Jim Spavital (November 5, 1950), Joey Galloway (November 12, 1995), and Chris Johnson (September 20, 2009).
St. Louis' 38 points at halftime were the most the Rams had in any full game since Week 12 of last season. The 38-point deficit at the half was the largest in Raiders history. They went on to suffer their second-largest shutout in franchise history behind a 55-0 loss to the Houston Oilers in 1962.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 104 yards in the Seahawks' win against San Francisco, marking the fourth regular-season game in which he has run for 100 yards against the 49ers in the last five years. All other players in the league combined have had only five 100-yard rushing games against San Francisco over that five-year span. Lynch also ran for 109 yards in the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco in January.
Kansas City, which lost 29-16 to the visiting Denver Broncos, still does not have a receiving touchdown by a wide receiver this season, while every other team in the league has at least five.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has won eight straight regular-season starts against Kansas City, tying the mark held by Craig Morton when he was with the Giants and Broncos (1974, 1977-79).
Philadelphia remains the only unbeaten team on Thanksgiving of teams playing at least five such games. The Eagles moved to 6-0 with their win at Dallas.
Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson became the fastest NFL player to reach 10,000 receiving yards when he did so in his 115th career game, passing St. Louis' Torry Holt. Megatron had 11 catches for 146 yards and two scores in the win over Chicago.
Johnson also broke Cloyce Box's record for the most touchdown catches on Thanksgiving (7) in NFL history with his two against Chicago. Box played for the Lions from 1949-54.
Chicago's 13 rushing yards in the loss to Detroit tied the Bears' fewest since the 1970 merger. The Bears also had 13 rushing yards against Green Bay in 2011. It was the fewest ever for a team in a Thanksgiving game.