January 20, 2019

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A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 17, the 15th week of the 2017 season.

  • The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, who have already clinched the NFC East, defeated the New York Giants 34-29 to secure a first-round bye. The Eagles have started 12-2 or better for the second time in franchise history (13-1 in 2004).

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS, who knocked off Cincinnati 34-7, locked up the NFC North division title. It marks the second division title for the Vikings in the past three seasons.

The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who defeated Pittsburgh 27-24, secured the AFC East division title. It marks the ninth consecutive division title for the Patriots (2009-17), the longest streak in NFL history.

The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS defeated Houston 45-7 and clinched a playoff berth. It marks the Jaguars’ first playoff berth since 2007.

  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 298 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ win at Pittsburgh. Brady (five Super Bowl wins) and the Steelers’ BEN ROETHLISBERGER (two) have combined for seven Super Bowl victories, the most by opposing starting quarterbacks in a game in NFL history.
  • Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES, making his first start of the season, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ win over the Giants. Last week, Philadelphia quarterback CARSON WENTZ threw four touchdown passes against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Eagles are the first team since the 2011 Green Bay Packers (AARON RODGERS and MATT FLYNN, Weeks 16-17) to have different starting quarterbacks throw at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks.

It is also the first time in franchise history that different Eagles starting quarterbacks have accomplished the feat in consecutive weeks.

Philadelphia’s ALSHON JEFFERY, NELSON AGHOLOR and ZACH ERTZeach had a touchdown catch in the victory. Jeffery (nine touchdown catches), Agholor (eight) and Ertz (eight) each have at least eight touchdown catches this season.

The Eagles are the fourth team in NFL history to have at least three players with eight or more receiving touchdowns through their team’s first 14 games of a season, joining the 1961 Houston Oilers, 2004 Indianapolis Colts and 2013 Denver Broncos.

  • Buffalo running back LE SEAN MC COY rushed for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Bills’ 24-16 win over Miami. McCoy reached 10,000 career rushing yards on his 2,145th carry and became the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to achieve the milestone. The only players to reach 10,000 career rushing yards in fewer attempts are JIM BROWN (1,936), ADRIAN PETERSON (2,004), BARRY SANDERS (2,020) and O.J. SIMPSON (2,085). Brown, Sanders and Simpson are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY rushed for 152 yards with three touchdowns and added three catches for 28 yards with a touchdown in the team’s 42-7 win at Seattle. Gurley joins Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (October 20, 2002) as the only Rams in franchise history to have at least 150 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in a single game.
  • New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 31-19 win over the New York Jets. Thomas, who had 92 catches as a rookie last season, has a career-high 94 receptions this year. He joins ODELL BECKHAM, JR. as the only players in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in each of their first two seasons. Beckham accomplished the feat in each of his first three seasons (2014-16).
  • Carolina quarterback CAM NEWTON threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 58 yards in the Panthers’ 31-24 victory against Green Bay.

Newton, who leads all quarterbacks with 643 rushing yards this year, has four career seasons with at least 600 rushing yards, tied with MICHAEL VICK (four) for the most such seasons by a quarterback in NFL history 

Panthers running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in the win. McCaffrey, who has 73 catches and five receiving touchdowns this season, is the only rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five touchdown catches.

Carolina defensive end JULIUS PEPPERS recorded a half-sack on fourth-and-14 with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter in today’s victory. Peppers, who has 10 sacks this season, is the fourth player in NFL history to have at least 10 seasons with 10+ sacks, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers BRUCE SMITH (13 seasons), REGGIE WHITE (12) and KEVIN GREENE (10).

About Andy Bryson 667 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach