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 16 of the NFL season.
New England clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 17-16 road win against the New York Jets. The Patriots have earned a first-round bye for the fifth consecutive season, the longest streak of any NFL team since the current playoff format began in 1990, surpassing Dallas (1992-95) and San Francisco (1992-95).
Patriots coach Bill Belichick earned his 230th career win, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Curly Lambeau (229) for the fourth-most total victories by a head coach in NFL history.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 318 yards and a touchdown in the Packers’ 20-3 win at Tampa Bay. Rodgers has passed for 4,155 yards and 36 touchdowns, his third career season with at least 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. He is tied with Drew Brees for the second-most such seasons in NFL history, trailing Peyton Manning (4).
Packers running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown, pushing his season totals to 1,039 rushing yards and 13 scrimmage touchdowns. Lacy is the first player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and score 10+ scrimmage touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.
With a 44-yard touchdown Lacy hit 1,000 yards rushing for the second time in his two-year career. The last Packer to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons was John Brockington (1972-72).
Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant had a 19-yard touchdown catch in the Cowboys’ 42-7 win over Indianapolis. Bryant has a touchdown catch in 12 consecutive games against the AFC, extending the longest interconference streak since the 1970 merger.
Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson had six catches for 103 yards in the Lions’ 20-14 win at Chicago. Johnson now has 44 career 100-yard receiving games, the second-most in a player’s first eight NFL seasons. Only Randy Moss (45) has more.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell notched his 11th win, tying Potsy Clark for the most victories by a first-year head coach in franchise history. Clark won 11 games (11-3) for the 1931 Portsmouth Spartans.
New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, had eight catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the Giants’ 37-27 win at St. Louis. He has 79 receptions, the most in NFL history for a player in his first 11 career games. Beckham is the first rookie in NFL history with at least 130 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in three consecutive games. Beckham (11) and Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (11) each have at least 10 receiving touchdowns, the first time in NFL history two rookie wide receivers have done so in the same season.
Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson had six receptions for 65 yards in the Texans’ 25-13 win against Baltimore, becoming the 10th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career catches. Johnson, who has 1,002 receptions in 168 career games, is the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 catches, trailing only Marvin Harrison, who reached the milestone in 167 games. Johnson also surpassed Hines Ward (1,000) for No. 9 on the all-time receptions list.
Dallas was up 28-0 and had 17 first downs in a 42-7 win over visiting Indianapolis before the Colts collected their first first down of the game. Indy finished with 17 first downs to Dallas' 25. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had 16 straight completions that included four touchdown passes in the rout.
Miami became the first team in NFL history to record a go-ahead safety in the final minute of the fourth quarter when defensive end Terrence Fede blocked a punt out of bounds for a safety in a 37-35 Dolphins win over the Vikings.
Atlanta scored a 30-14 win at New Orleans Sunday to push its NFC South record to 5-0 while the Falcons are 1-9 against other teams this season. This was the first time Atlanta has swept New Orleans since 2005.