The Week That Was: NFL 2012 Week 15
Sunday marked the latest calendar day in NFL history in which six games were played between teams with winning records.
Two teams clinched division titles last week. The Green Bay Packers, who defeated Chicago 21-13, won the NFC North. The Houston Texans, who defeated Indianapolis 29-17, clinched the AFC South.
Additionally, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers secured playoff berths.
Entering the season's final two weeks, 19 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII:
|PLAYOFF BERTH||Baltimore||San Francisco|
Five players -- Arizona's GREG TOLER (102 yards) and RASHAD JOHNSON (53 yards), Denver's CHRIS HARRIS (98 yards), Seattle's EARL THOMAS (57 yards) and Minnesota's EVERSON GRIFFEN (29 yards) -- recorded interception-return touchdowns in Week 15. On Sunday, Toler, Thomas, Johnson and Griffen recorded their first INT-return touchdowns of the season.
This year, 55 NFL players have combined for 62 interception-return touchdowns. Those totals already are the most in any season since 1970.
Toler is one of 16 players all-time and the first in Cardinals history to return an interception at least 102 yards, while Harris' 98-yard interception-return touchdown set a Broncos franchise record. Sunday marked the first day in NFL history with two 95+ yard interception-return touchdowns.
Keeping Up With The Johnsons (Part I)
Detroit wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON had 10 catches for 121 yards in the Lions' loss at Arizona. Johnson has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in seven consecutive games, tied with CHARLEY HENNIGAN (1961) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (1995) for the longest streak in NFL history.
Johnson, who has an NFL-best 1,667 receiving yards this season, is the first player in NFL history with at least 1,600 yards in consecutive seasons. He is also the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH in 1965 with at least 1,600 receiving yards through his team's first 14 games.
Keeping Up With The Johnsons (Part II)
Houston wide receiver ANDRE JOHNSON had 11 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown in the Texans' 29-17 win over Indianapolis. Johnson registered his 16th game with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards, tied with New England wide receiver WES WELKER (16) for the most all-time.
Johnson has nine career games with at least 10 receptions and 150 yards, tied with TIM BROWN for the second-most in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE has the most in league history with 10 such games.
Keeping Up With The Johnsons (Part III)
Tennessee running back CHRIS JOHNSON rushed for 122 yards on 21 carries (5.8 average) with a franchise-long 94-yard touchdown in the Titans' 14-10 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
Johnson's 94-yard touchdown is his sixth 80+ yard scoring run of his career and third this season, which are the most and tied for the most, respectively, in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Fame running back BARRY SANDERS is the only other player with three such runs in one season (1997).
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 36-22 win at St. Louis. Over the past eight games, Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards, which are the most over any eight-game span in a single season in NFL history.
This season, Peterson leads the league with 1,812 rushing yards, the fifth-most through a team's first 14 games. Only three running backs have rushed for more yards than Peterson through 14 games and all three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: O.J. SIMPSON (2,003 in 1973; 1,817 in 1975), JIM BROWN (1,863 in 1963) and WALTER PAYTON (1,852 in 1977).
The performance marked Peterson's franchise-record eighth consecutive 100-yard game. During that stretch, he has two 200-yard games. In his career, Peterson has four 200-yard rushing games and is one of only seven players in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
Rookies Pass Expectations
Entering this season, the most combined wins (23), passing yards (13,060), touchdown passes (73) and completions (1,098) by rookie quarterbacks in a season all occurred in 2011. This year's crop of rookie QBs has surpassed all of those marks with 39 wins, 18,220 passing yards, 92 touchdown passes and 1,531 completions.
In Week 15, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck and Seattle's Russell Wilson closed the gap toward setting individual rookie records for passing yards and touchdown passes. Luck passed for 186 yards with two touchdowns against Houston, while Wilson recorded one touchdown pass in the Seahawks' 50-17 win over the Bills in Toronto.
Wilson contributed four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing). Wilson is the first player in NFL history to have three rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown in the first half of a game.
The Seahawks, who scored 58 points last week, are the first team since the 1950 New York Giants to score 50 points in consecutive games in a single season.
The rookies with the most passing yards and touchdown passes in NFL history:
|Source: NFL *Through 14 games|
|Sam Bradford||St. Louis||2010||3,512|
|Source: NFL *Through 14 games|
|Charlie Conerly||N.Y. Giants||1948||22|
Three quarterbacks -- New England's Tom Brady, Denver's Peyton Manning and Dallas' Tony Romo -- reached the 4,000-yard mark for at least the fourth time in their careers this weekend.
Manning passed for 204 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos' 34-17 win at Baltimore. Manning, who has 4,016 passing yards this season, extended his NFL record by recording his 12th career 4,000-yard season. Manning, in his first season with Denver, is the fifth player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards with two different teams. He joins Drew Bledsoe, Brett Favre, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon and Kurt Warner.
Brady compiled 443 passing yards in the Patriots' 41-34 loss to San Francisco on Sunday Night Football. Brady (4,276) became the fifth quarterback with at least five 4,000-yard passing seasons. Brady also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford as the only players to pass for at least 4,000 yards following a 5,000-yard season.
Romo threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 27-24 overtime win over Pittsburgh. Romo has 4,269 passing yards this season and reached the milestone for the fourth time in his career, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer WARREN MOON and PHILIP RIVERS for the sixth-most such seasons.
The quarterbacks with the most 4,000-yard passing seasons:
|Source: NFL **Active ^Includes 2012|
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints' 41-0 win over Tampa Bay. Brees has recorded at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns in a game 17 times and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (16) for the most such games in NFL history.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the Packers' 21-13 win at Chicago. Rodgers, who has 32 touchdown passes this season, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with three seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes before age 30.
- Foles Suffers Broken Hand, Michael Vick to Start Anew for Eagles
- Russell Wilson Throws Four TD Passes, Seahawks Clinch Playoff Spot
- Peyton Manning Throws Three TD Strikes, Broncos Blast Browns
- RG3 Returns, Leads Redskins to Brink of NFC East Title
- Tim Tebow to Join Jacksonville Jaguars Next Season
- Matt Ryan's Four TDs Help Falcons Clinch NFC's Top Seed
- Mark Sanchez to be Jets Number 2 QB vs. Chargers
- Quarterback Returns: Redskins to Start RGIII vs Eagles
- NFL Docks Falcons Safety Chris Hope $30K Fine for Hard Hit
- NFL Fines Niners Safety Dashon Goldson $21K for Illegal Hit
- Tim Tebow Did a Good Job, Says Jets Offensive Coordinator
- Bills Stay in Buffalo with 10-year Lease Deal
- Colts Eye Christmas Eve Return for Coach Chuck Pagano
- Drew Brees Expects Sean Payton to Continue Coaching Saints
- Bills Center Eric Wood Despises Rogers Centre Series
- Former Ohio State Back Maurice Clarett a Changed Man
- Giants' Victor Cruz Pays Tribue to Newtown Casulty's Memory
- NFL Teams Prepare For Final Stretch
- NFL 2012 Week 16 Preview: Giants vs Raven
- NFL 2012 Week 16 Preview: Bengals vs Steelers
- NFC Playoff Picture with Two Weeks to Go
- Momentum Key for Teams Heading to Postseason
- 2012 NFL Playoff Scenarios For Week 16
- Jets Coach Rex Ryan Benches Sanchez, McElroy to Start vs Chargers
- The Week That Was: NFL 2012 Week 15
- Robert Griffin III Overtakes Favre in NFL Jersey Sales
- Browns Rookie Rusher Frustrated Over Limited Touches vs Redskins
- Chris Johnson, Jake Locker Star as Titans Dash Jets Playoff Hopes
- Redskins' Fletcher Claims Browns Security Assaulted Family Members
- Seahawks Coach Carroll Sorry About Fake Punt vs Bills
- Colin Kaepernick Outplays Tom Brady as 49ers Book Playoff Berth
- Kirk Cousins Shines in First QB Start as Redskins Blast Browns
- Andy Dalton Shines as Bengals Beat Eagles
- Playoff Races Heat Up as 24 Teams in Contention for Trip to Super Bowl XLVII
- AFC Playoff Push Intensifies
- NFC Playoff Races Intensify as NFL Enters Final Three Weeks
- NFL 2012 Week 15 Preview: Packers vs Bears
- NFL 2012 Week 15 Preview: Broncos vs Ravens
- NFL 2012 Week 15 Preview: 49ers vs Patriots
- Giants Back Ahmad Bradshaw Uncertain vs Falcons Due to Knee Woes
- Steelers Suspend RB Rashard Mendenhall for Absence
- Suspended Saints Coach Sean Payton May Return Before Super Bowl
- Tagliabue Overturns Ban on Players Involved in Saints Bounty Scandal
- 49ers Suspend Brandon Jacobs for Remainder of Season
- Tom Brady Throws Four Scoring Strikes as Patriots Rout Texans
- Ravens Can Coordinator Cam Cameron, Promote Jim Caldwell
- Cowboys Owner, Tackle Ratliff Have Heated Confrontation
- Linebacker's Death Puts Spotlight on NFL Drug, Alcohol Problem
- Packers Tame Lions, Close in on NFC North Title
- Rookies Propel Browns to Rout of Chiefs
- Cam Newton Carries Panthers to Upset Win Over Falcons
- Cowboys Brent Charged with Manslaughter in Teammate Jerry Brown's death
- Browns Special Teamers Reject Plan to Eliminate Kickoff
- Cardinals Deck Dockett with $200,000 Fine
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