NFL 'Super Season' Kicks Off
NFL 2012 Regular Season
The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday and Sunday, January 5-6, with Wild Card Weekend.
On Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals play at the Houston Texans (NBC, 4:30 PM ET) and the Minnesota Vikings visit the Green Bay Packers (NBC, 8:00 PM ET). Wild Card Weekend continues Sunday with the Indianapolis Colts at the Baltimore Ravens (CBS, 1:00 PM ET) and the Seattle Seahawks traveling to face the Washington Redskins (FOX, 4:30 PM ET).
The following week (January 12-13), the Denver Broncos (Saturday, CBS, 4:30 PM ET) and New England Patriots (Sunday, CBS, 4:30 PM ET) in the AFC and the Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET) and San Francisco 49ers (Saturday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET) in the NFC host the Divisional Playoffs.
The Broncos and Falcons own home-field advantage for the Conference Championship Games (January 20) if they win their Divisional contests.
The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, January 27 in Honolulu, Hawaii followed by Super Bowl XLVII on February 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Fresh Faces and Consistent Winners Highlight Playoff Field
For the first time since 2005, and just the fifth (2005, 2003, 2000, 1986) since the 16-game schedule was adopted in 1978, all teams in the playoff field have won at least 10 games.
|AFC Team||Record||NFC Team||Record|
|1. Denver||13-3||1. Atlanta||13-3|
|2. New England||12-4||2. San Francisco||11-4-1|
|3. Houston||12-4||3. Green Bay||11-5|
|4. Baltimore||10-6||4. Washington||10-6|
|5. Indianapolis||11-5||5. Seattle||11-5|
|6. Cincinnati||10-6||6. Minnesota||10-6|
There are four new playoff teams in 2012: Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle and Washington. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:
|Season||Playoff Teams Not In Previous Season's Playoffs|
|1990||7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)|
|1991||5 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)|
|1992||6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)|
|1993||5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)|
|1994||5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)|
|1995||4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)|
|1996||5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)|
|1997||5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)|
|1998||5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)|
|1999||7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)|
|2000||6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)|
|2001||6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)|
|2002||5 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)|
|2003||8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)|
|2004||5 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)|
|2005||7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)|
|2006||7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)|
|2007||6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)|
|2008||7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)|
|2009||6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)|
|2010||5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)v|
|2011||6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)|
|2012||4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)|
In the 11 seasons since realignment in 2002, 28 of the 32 NFL teams have won a division title at least once, including the Redskins, who claimed the NFC East for the first time since 1999.
Washington rebounded to win the NFC East after a last-place finish in 2011. This marked the NFL-record 10th consecutive season that a team went from "worst-to-first" in its division.
The teams to go from "worst-to-first" in their divisions since 2003:
|Season||Team||Record||Prior Season Record||Advanced To|
|Source: NFL *Tied for last place|
|2003||Carolina||11-5||7-9||Super Bowl XXXVIII|
|2003||Kansas City||13-3||8-8*||Divisional Playoffs|
|2004||San Diego||12-4||4-12*||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2005||Tampa Bay||11-5||5-11||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2006||New Orleans||10-6||3-13||NFC Championship|
|2007||Tampa Bay||9-7||4-12||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2008||Miami||11-5||1-15||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2009||New Orleans||13-3||8-8||Won Super Bowl XLIV|
|2010||Kansas City||10-6||4-12||Wild Card Playoffs|
The 2012 field also showcases teams that have enjoyed recent postseason success.
Since realignment in 2002, the Indianapolis Colts have been to the playoffs 10 times, the most in the NFL. The New England Patriots are second with nine postseason berths and the Green Bay Packers rank third with eight playoff appearances.
The Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks are among the teams tied for the fourth-most postseason berths since 2002 with seven.
Following are the teams with the most playoff appearances since 2002 (includes 2012):
|Source: NFL *In 2012 postseason|
|New England Patriots||9*|
|Green Bay Packers||8*|
Four of this season's 12 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl since 2000, capturing six of the past 12 Vince Lombardi Trophies. Those teams are Baltimore (XXXV), Green Bay (XLV), Indianapolis (XLI) and New England (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX).
|Source: NFL *In 2012 postseason|
|XLII||2007||New York Giants|
|XLVI||2011||New York Giants|
The Green Bay Packers will participate in the playoffs for the 28th time, the third-most postseason appearances in NFL history.
The teams with the most seasons participating in the playoffs (includes 2012):
|Source: NFL *In 2012 postseason|
|New York Giants||31|
|Green Bay Packers*||28|
|St. Louis Rams||27|
The 12 playoff teams and their postseason records:
|Green Bay Packers||29||17||.630|
|San Francisco 49ers||26||18||.591|
|New England Patriots||23||16||.590|
Wild Card Records
|Green Bay Packers||7||4||.636|
|San Francisco 49ers||13||8||.619|
|New England Patriots||9||6||.600|
The Green Bay Packers have won 13 NFL championships, the most in league history. Of the 12 playoff teams this season, seven have won at least one championship.
NFL championships won by the 2012 playoff teams:
|Green Bay Packers||13||1929-31, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961-62, 1965-67, 1996, 2010|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||1981, 1984, 1988-89, 1994|
|Washington Redskins||5||1937, 1942, 1982, 1987, 1991|
|Indianapolis Colts||4||1958-59, 1970, 2006|
|New England Patriots||3||2001, 2003-04|
The Green Bay Packers have won 29 postseason games, the most among 2012 playoff teams and the third-most most in NFL history. The San Francisco 49ers have 26 postseason victories, the second-most among 2012 playoff clubs and the fourth-most all-time. The teams with the most playoff victories in NFL history:
|Source: NFL *In 2012 playoffs|
|Green Bay Packers*||29|
|San Francisco 49ers*||26|
|Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders||25|
Postseason victories for the 2012 playoff teams:
|Green Bay Packers||29|
|San Francisco 49ers||26|
|New England Patriots||23|
Home Sweet Home … Maybe
While home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is a coveted prize, it has been no guarantee of a trip to the Super Bowl. And like so much about the NFL, an unpredictable result is seemingly the only predictable outcome.
Since the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format in 1990, only 21 of the 44 (47.7 percent) No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Super Bowl, with nine No. 1 seeds being crowned champions (20.5 percent).
How the No. 1 seeds have fared since 1990:
|Season||AFC No. 1 Seed||Season Result||NFC No. 1 Seed||Season Result|
|1990||Buffalo||Lost Super Bowl XXV||San Francisco||Lost NFC Championship|
|1991||Buffalo||Lost Super Bowl XXVI||Washington||Won Super Bowl XXVI|
|1992||Pittsburgh||Lost Divisional||San Francisco||Lost NFC Championship|
|1993||Buffalo||Lost Super Bowl XXVIII||Dallas||Won Super Bowl XXVIII|
|1994||Pittsburgh||Lost AFC Championship||San Francisco||Won Super Bowl XXIX|
|1995||Kansas City||Lost Divisional||Dallas||Won Super Bowl XXX|
|1996||Denver||Lost Divisional||Green Bay||Won Super Bowl XXXI|
|1997||Kansas City||Lost Divisional||San Francisco||Lost NFC Championship|
|1998||Denver||Won Super Bowl XXXIII||Minnesota||Lost NFC Championship|
|1999||Jacksonville||Lost AFC Championship||St. Louis||Won Super Bowl XXXIV|
|2000||Tennessee||Lost Divisional||New York Giants||Lost Super Bowl XXXV|
|2001||Pittsburgh||Lost AFC Championship||St. Louis||Lost Super Bowl XXXVI|
|2002||Oakland||Lost Super Bowl XXXVII||Philadelphia||Lost NFC Championship|
|2003||New England||Won Super Bowl XXXVIII||Philadelphia||Lost NFC Championship|
|2004||Pittsburgh||Lost AFC Championship||Philadelphia||Lost Super Bowl XXXIX|
|2005||Indianapolis||Lost Divisional||Seattle||Lost Super Bowl XL|
|2006||San Diego||Lost Divisional||Chicago||Lost Super Bowl XLI|
|2007||New England||Lost Super Bowl XLII||Dallas||Lost Divisional|
|2008||Tennessee||Lost Divisional||New York Giants||Lost Divisional|
|2009||Indianapolis||Lost Super Bowl XLIV||New Orleans||Won Super Bowl XLIV|
|2010||New England||Lost Divisional||Atlanta||Lost Divisional|
|2011||New England||Lost Super Bowl XLVI||Green Bay||Lost Divisional|
Since 2000, the New England Patriots have won 10 division titles, the most in the NFL during that span. The Green Bay Packers are tied for first in the NFC with six division titles since 2000.
The NFL teams with the most division titles since 2000:
|Source: NFL *2012 division winner|
|New England Patriots*||10|
|Green Bay Packers*||6|
|San Diego Chargers||5|
The New England Patriots posted a 12-4 record this season and became the 13th Super Bowl runner-up since 1990 to qualify for the playoffs the following year.
Since 1990, the Super Bowl runner-ups to advance to the postseason:
|1991||Buffalo||13-3||Won division; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVI|
|1992||Buffalo||11-5||Wild Card; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVII|
|1993||Buffalo||12-4||Won division; Advanced to Super Bowl XXVIII|
|1995||San Diego||9-7||Wild Card; Advanced to Wild Card|
|1996||Pittsburgh||10-6||Won division; Advanced to Divisional|
|1997||New England||10-6||Won division; Advanced to Divisional|
|1998||Green Bay||11-5||Wild Card; Advanced to Wild Card|
|2000||Tennessee||13-3||Won division; Advanced to Divisional|
|2006||Seattle||9-7||Won division; Advanced to Divisional|
|2009||Arizona||10-6||Won division; Advanced to Divisional|
|2010||Indianapolis||10-6||Won division; Advanced to Wild Card|
|2011||Pittsburgh||12-4||Wild Card; Advanced to Wild Card|
|2012||New England||12-4||Won division; ???|
The New England Patriots scored an NFL-high 557 points this year, the third-most in a single season in NFL history.
The highest-scoring teams in NFL history and how they fared in the postseason:
|Year||Team||Points||Final Record||Advanced To|
|2007||New England Patriots||589||16-0||Super Bowl XLII|
|2011||Green Bay Packers||560||15-1||Divisional|
|2012||New England Patriots||557||12-4||???|
|1998||Minnesota Vikings||556||15-1||NFC Championship|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||547||13-3||Divisional|
|1983||Washington Redskins||541||14-2||Super Bowl XVIII|
Hail To The Redskins
The Washington Redskins have won seven in a row and are the fifth team in NFL history to advance to the playoffs after a 3-6 start.
The five teams in NFL history to qualify for the postseason after a 3-6 start:
|Cincinnati||1970||8-6||Advanced to Divisional|
|New England||1994||10-6||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Detroit||1995||10-6||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Jacksonville||1996||9-7||Advanced to AFC Championship|
The Indianapolis Colts, who finished 2-14 in 2011, are the second team to win 11 games following a season with two or fewer victories since 1970.
Undefeated At Home
The Seattle Seahawks finished the 2012 regular season undefeated at home.
Since 2000, only 20 teams have posted a perfect regular-season record at home. Of the previous 19 teams, five have gone to the Super Bowl (26.3 percent).
The teams (since 2000) to finish with 8-0 records at home and their final season result:
|2002||Green Bay Packers||12-4||Advanced to Wild Card|
|2003||Kansas City Chiefs||13-3||Advanced to Divisional|
|2003||New England Patriots||14-2||Won Super Bowl XXXVIII|
|2003||St. Louis Rams||12-4||Advanced to Divisional|
|2003||Seattle Seahawks||10-6||Advanced to Wild Card|
|2004||New England Patriots||14-2||Won Super Bowl XXXIX|
|2004||Pittsburgh Steelers||15-1||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|2005||Denver Broncos||13-3||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|2005||Seattle Seahawks||13-3||Advanced to Super Bowl XL|
|2006||Indianapolis Colts||12-4||Won Super Bowl XLI|
|2006||San Diego Chargers||14-2||Advanced to Divisional|
|2007||New England Patriots||16-0||Advanced to Super Bowl XLII|
|2008||Carolina Panthers||12-4||Advanced to Divisional|
|2009||New England Patriots||10-6||Advanced to Wild Card|
|2009||Minnesota Vikings||12-4||Advanced to NFC Championship|
|2010||New England Patriots||14-2||Advanced to Divisional|
|2011||Baltimore Ravens||12-4||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|2011||Green Bay Packers||15-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|2011||New Orleans Saints||13-3||Advanced to Divisional|
The Denver Broncos enter the postseason with 11 consecutive victories, the NFL's longest current winning streak. Denver is the No. 1 seed in the AFC and is tied for the fifth-longest winning streak to enter the playoffs since 1970.
Following are the longest single-season winning streaks entering the playoffs since 1970:
|Team||Year||Consecutive Wins||Playoff Result|
|Source: NFL *Undefeated in regular season|
|New England Patriots||2007||16*||Advanced to Super Bowl XLII|
|Miami Dolphins||1972||14*||Won Super Bowl VII|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||2004||14||Advanced to AFC Championship Game|
|New England Patriots||2003||12||Won Super Bowl XXXVIII|
|Houston Oilers||1993||11||Advanced to Divisional|
|San Diego Chargers||2009||11||Advanced to Divisional|
OT and Playoffs -- Winning Combination
The playoffs have featured at least one overtime game in 10 of the past 12 postseasons.
In 2010, the NFL adopted a modified sudden-death system for the playoffs, which was expanded to cover all NFL games in 2012. The system guarantees each team a possession or the opportunity to possess, unless the team that receives the opening kickoff scores a touchdown on its initial possession. Play continues in sudden death until a winner is determined, and the game automatically ends upon any score.
A look at NFL overtime playoff games since 2000:
|2000||WC||Miami 23, Indianapolis 17||RB Lamar Smith scores on 17-yard TD run|
|2001||Div.||New England 16, Oakland 13||K Adam Vinatieri connects on 23-yard FG|
|2002||Div.||Tennessee 34, Pittsburgh 31||K Joe Nedney wins it with 26-yard FG|
|2003||WC||Green Bay 33, Seattle 27||CB Al Harris returns INT 52 yards for TD|
|2003||Div.||Carolina 29, St. Louis 23 (2 OT)||QB Jake Delhomme connects with WR Steve Smith on 69-yd TD|
|2003||Div.||Philadelphia 20, Green Bay 17||K David Akers wins game with 31-yard FG|
|2004||WC||NY Jets 20, San Diego 17||K Doug Brien converts 28-yard FG|
|2004||Div.||Pittsburgh 20, NY Jets 17||K Jeff Reed connects on 33-yard game-winner|
|2006||Div.||Chicago 27, Seattle 24||K Robbie Gould converts game-winning FG from 49 yards out|
|2007||Champ.||NY Giants 23, Green Bay 20||K Lawrence Tynes wins it with 47-yard FG|
|2008||WC||San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17||RB Darren Sproles scores on 22-yard TD run|
|2009||WC||Arizona 51, Green Bay 45||LB Karlos Dansby scores on 17-yard FR-TD|
|2009||Champ.||New Orleans 31, Minnesota 28||K Garrett Hartley converts 40-yard game-winning FG|
|2011||WC||Denver 29, Pittsburgh 23||WR Demaryius Thomas catches 80-yard TD from QB Tim Tebow|
|2011||Champ.||NY Giants 20, San Francisco 17||K Lawrence Tynes connects on 31-yard FG|
Mister Rodgers' Neighborhood
Green Bay Pro Bowl quarterback AARON RODGERS led the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XLV and was named the MVP of the title game. In seven career playoff games, Rodgers ranks as one of the top postseason quarterbacks in NFL history.
His 105.5 passer rating is the highest mark in NFL postseason history (minimum 150 attempts), just ahead of another Packer, Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr (104.8).
The quarterbacks with the highest postseason passer rating (min. 150 attempts):
|Source: NFL *Active|
Rodgers has completed 144 of 220 attempts in his postseason career for a 65.5 completion percentage. He is one of only four quarterbacks in NFL playoff history (minimum 150 attempts) to complete at least 65 percent of his passes.
The quarterbacks with the highest postseason completion percentage (min. 150 attempts):
|Source: NFL *Active|
Rodgers has averaged 8.10 yards per pass attempt. He and KURT WARNER are the only quarterbacks in NFL postseason history (minimum 150 attempts) to average at least 8.00 yards per attempt with a completion percentage of at least 65.
Rodgers has thrown only four interceptions in 220 career attempts in the postseason. His 1.8 interception percentage is the third-lowest in NFL postseason history (minimum 150 attempts).
Pro Bowl quarterbacks PEYTON MANNING of Denver and AARON RODGERS of Green Bay have each had a 400-yard passing game in the postseason. Manning had two 400-yard games with Indianapolis (1/9/05 and 1/13/08) and Rodgers threw for 400 yards in a 2009 playoff game (1/10/10).
DREW BREES (three), Manning (two) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (two) are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 400 yards in multiple playoff games.
The 17 400-yard passing performances in NFL postseason history:
|Bernie Kosar||Cleveland||New York Jets||1/3/87||489|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||Detroit||1/7/12||466|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||San Francisco||1/14/12||462|
|Dan Fouts||San Diego||Miami||1/2/82||433|
|Jeff George||Minnesota||St. Louis||1/16/00||423|
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay||Arizona||1/10/10||423|
|Kurt Warner||St. Louis||Tennessee||1/30/00||414|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans||Seattle||1/8/11||404|
|Don Strock||Miami||San Diego||1/2/82||403|
|Peyton Manning||Indianapolis||San Diego||1/13/08||402|
|Daryle Lamonica||Oakland||New York Jets||12/29/68||401|
Super Bowl MVPs
There are five players in the 2012 postseason who have been named Super Bowl MVP: quarterback TOM BRADY of New England (XXXVI, XXXVIII), wide receiver DEION BRANCH of New England (XXXIX), linebacker RAY LEWIS of Baltimore (XXXV), quarterback PEYTON MANNING of Denver (XLI with Indianapolis) and quarterback AARON RODGERS of Green Bay (XLV).
Brady is one of only five players in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP multiple times and aims to join Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA as the only players to win the award three times.
The five players in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP multiple times:
|Player||Team||Super Bowl MVPs|
|Source: NFL *Active|
|Joe Montana||San Francisco||3 (XVI, XIX, XXIV)|
|Terry Bradshaw||Pittsburgh||2 (XIII, XIV)|
|Tom Brady*||New England||2 (XXXVI, XXXVIII)|
|Eli Manning*||New York Giants||2 (XLII, XLVI)|
|Bart Starr||Green Bay||2 (I, II)|
New England quarterback TOM BRADY has a 16-6 (.727) postseason record, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers TERRY BRADSHAW and TROY AIKMAN for the third-best postseason record as a starting quarterback in NFL history (minimum 15 starts).
The quarterbacks with the best records in postseason starts (minimum 15 starts):
|Source: NFL *Active|
A Proven Winner
New England's TOM BRADY is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to win at least three Super Bowls.
Only 11 QBs in NFL history have won multiple Super Bowls. Of the 11, three are active and seven have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Following are the starting quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls:
|Quarterback||Super Bowl Wins|
|Source: NFL *Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame **Active|
For the first time in the Super Bowl era, three rookie quarterbacks -- ROBERT GRIFFIN III (Washington), ANDREW LUCK (Indianapolis) and RUSSELL WILSON (Seattle) -- will start a game in the same postseason. Previously, only 11 rookie quarterbacks have started a playoff game in the Super Bowl era.
The rookie quarterbacks to start a playoff game (since 1966):
|Dan Marino||1983||Miami Dolphins||Advanced to Divisional|
|Bernie Kosar||1985||Cleveland Browns||Advanced to Divisional|
|Jim Everett||1986||L.A. Rams||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Todd Marinovich||1991||L.A. Raiders||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Shaun King||1999||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Advanced to NFC Championship|
|Ben Roethlisberger||2004||Pittsburgh Steelers||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|Joe Flacco||2008||Baltimore Ravens||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|Matt Ryan||2008||Atlanta Falcons||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Mark Sanchez||2009||New York Jets||Advanced to AFC Championship|
|Andy Dalton||2011||Cincinnati Bengals||Advanced to Wild Card|
|T.J. Yates||2011||Houston Texans||Advanced to Divisional|
|Robert Griffin III||2012||Washington Redskins||???|
|Andrew Luck||2012||Indianapolis Colts||???|
|Russell Wilson||2012||Seattle Seahawks||???|
The best postseason marks by rookies in NFL history:
Most Passing Yards By Rookie, Single Postseason
|Mark Sanchez||New York Jets||2009||539|
|Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens||2008||437|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||2004||407|
|T.J. Yates||Houston Texans||2011||343|
|Sammy Baugh||Washington Redskins||1937||335|
Most Passing TDs By Rookie, Single Postseason
|Mark Sanchez||New York Jets||2009||4|
|Sammy Baugh||Washington Redskins||1937||3|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||2004||3|
Highest Passer Rating By Rookie, Single Postseason
|Source: NFL (Minimum 50 attempts)|
|Mark Sanchez||New York Jets||2009||92.7|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||2004||61.3|
|T.J. Yates||Houston Texans||2011||53.8|
|Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens||2008||50.8|
|Shaun King||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1999||47.2|
Pro Football Hall of Famer SAMMY BAUGH holds the rookie record for the most passing yards (335) and touchdown passes (three) in a postseason game.
Most Passing Yards By Rookie, Playoff Game
|Sammy Baugh||Washington Redskins||12/12/37||335|
|Mark Sanchez||New York Jets||1/24/10||257|
|Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||1/7/12||257|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||1/23/05||226|
Six starting quarterbacks -- ROBERT GRIFFIN III (Washington), COLIN KAEPERNICK (San Francisco), ANDREW LUCK (Indianapolis), CHRISTIAN PONDER (Minnesota), MATT SCHAUB (Houston) and RUSSELL WILSON (Seattle) -- will make their playoff debuts this postseason. The players with the most passing yards in their first career postseason start:
|Kelly Holcomb||Cleveland Browns||429|
|Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||423|
|Randall Cunningham||Philadelphia Eagles||407|
|Kurt Warner||St. Louis Rams||391|
|Neil Lomax||St. Louis Cardinals||385|
Minnesota running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 2,097 yards, the second-most in a season in NFL history (Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON, 2,105 in 1984).
The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason:
|John Riggins, Washington||1982||610||4|
|Terrell Davis, Denver||1997||581||8|
|Terrell Davis, Denver||1998||468||3|
|Marcus Allen, L.A. Raiders||1983||466||4|
|Eddie George, Tennessee||1999||449||3|
Peterson needs 380 yards to pass TERRELL DAVIS (2,476 in 1998) for the most rushing in a single season in NFL history, including the playoffs. Davis, who rushed for 2,476 yards in 1998 for the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, had 2,008 rushing yards in the regular season and 468 in the postseason.
The players with the most rushing yards in a single season, including the postseason:
|Player, Team||Season||Regular Season||Playoffs||Total|
|Terrell Davis, Denver||1998||2,008||468||2,476|
|Terrell Davis, Denver||1997||1,750||581||2,331|
|Eric Dickerson, LA Rams||1984||2,105||107||2,212|
|Jamal Anderson, Atlanta||1998||1,846||276||2,122|
|Barry Sanders, Detroit||1997||2,053||65||2,118|
There are nine players in the 2012 playoff field who recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards in the regular season: Houston's ANDRE JOHNSON (1,598), Denver's DEMARYIUS THOMAS (1,434), Indianapolis' REGGIE WAYNE (1,355), New England's WES WELKER (1,354), Atlanta's RODDY WHITE (1,351), Cincinnati's A.J. GREEN (1,350), Atlanta's JULIO JONES (1,198), San Francisco's MICHAEL CRABTREE (1,105) and Denver's ERIC DECKER (1,064).
The No. 1 seed in each conference -- Denver (AFC) and Atlanta (NFC) -- both had two 1,000-yard receivers.
The players with the most receiving yards in a single postseason:
|Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona||2008||30||546||7|
|Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants||2011||28||444||4|
|Jerry Rice, San Francisco||1988||21||409||6|
|Steve Smith, Carolina||2003||18||404||3|
|Charlie Brown, Washington||1983||14||401||1|
There have been seven 200-yard receiving games in NFL postseason history. Denver's Thomas and Indianapolis' Wayne have each had one such performance.
The players with the most receiving yards in a postseason game:
|Eric Moulds, Buffalo||1998||1/2/99||Miami||9||240||1|
|Anthony Carter, Minnesota||1987||1/9/88||San Francisco||10||227||0|
|Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis||2004||1/9/05||Denver||10||221||2|
|Steve Smith, Carolina||2005||1/15/06||Chicago||12||218||2|
|Jerry Rice, San Francisco||1988||1/22/89||Cincinnati||11||215||1|
|Calvin Johnson, Detroit||2011||1/7/12||New Orleans||12||211||2|
|Demaryius Thomas, Denver||2011||1/8/12||Pittsburgh||4||204||1|
Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. HILTON was second among NFL rookies this season with 861 receiving yards. He was one of only three rookie wide receivers with at least 50 catches (50).
The rookies with the most receptions and receiving yards in a single postseason:
|Torry Holt||St. Louis||1999||20|
|Chad Morton||New Orleans||2000||15|
|Torry Holt||St. Louis||1999||242|
There have been only 20 punt-return touchdowns in playoff history. The last player with a punt-return touchdown in the postseason was New Orleans' REGGIE BUSH in the 2009 Divisional round (83 yards, the third-longest in NFL playoff history). No player has ever recorded more than one in a career.
There have been 22 playoff kickoff-return touchdowns. The last player with a kickoff-return touchdown in the postseason was Atlanta's ERIC WEEMS in last year's Divisional round (102 yards, the longest in NFL playoff history). RON DIXON of the New York Giants (2000-02) is the only player with two career kickoff-return touchdowns in the playoffs.
Four rookies had at least six sacks this season and all four are in this year's playoff field. Seattle defensive end BRUCE IRVIN led NFL rookies with eight sacks, followed by New England's CHANDLER JONES (six), Houston's WHITNEY MERCILUS (six) and Denver's DEREK WOLFE (six).
Baltimore Ravens linebacker TERRELL SUGGS has 10 postseason sacks in 11 career playoff games. Suggs is currently tied for the seventh-most postseason sacks.
Baltimore Ravens safety ED REED (eight) needs one interception to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer RONNIE LOTT (nine), BILL SIMPSON (nine) and CHARLIE WATERS (nine) for the most postseason interceptions in NFL History.
Green Bay's CASEY HAYWARD led all NFL rookies with six interceptions, tied for the fifth-most in the league this season.
Head of The Class
New England Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK (17) is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE GIBBS (17) for the third-most playoff wins all-time, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers TOM LANDRY (20) and DON SHULA (19).
With a win in the Divisional Playoffs, Belichick will surpass Gibbs for the third-most playoff wins.
The head coaches with the most playoff wins:
|Head Coach||Team(s)||Playoff Wins|
|Source: NFL *Active|
|Tom Landry||Dallas Cowboys||20|
|Don Shula||Baltimore Colts, Miami Dolphins||19|
|Bill Belichick*||Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots||17|
|Joe Gibbs||Washington Redskins||17|
|Chuck Noll||Pittsburgh Steelers||16|
Rookie head coach CHUCK PAGANO of the Indianapolis Colts will make his postseason debut in his first year at the helm.
Since 1990, 12 rookie head coaches have won their playoff debuts. Last year, San Francisco's JIM HARBAUGH led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game as a rookie head coach.
The rookie head coaches who won their first playoff game (since 1990):
|Bobby Ross||San Diego Chargers||1992|
|Barry Switzer||Dallas Cowboys||1994|
|Ray Rhodes||Philadelphia Eagles||1995|
|Steve Mariucci||San Francisco 49ers||1997|
|Jim Haslett||New Orleans Saints||2000|
|Bill Callahan||Oakland Raiders||2002|
|Jim Mora||Atlanta Falcons||2004|
|Sean Payton||New Orleans Saints||2006|
|John Harbaugh||Baltimore Ravens||2008|
|Jim Caldwell||Indianapolis Colts||2009|
|Rex Ryan||New York Jets||2009|
|Jim Harbaugh||San Francisco 49ers||2011|
JOHN HARBAUGH of Baltimore has led the club to a 5-4 postseason record through his first four seasons, including two AFC Championship Game appearances.
Harbaugh can become the sixth head coach in NFL history to win at least six postseason games in his first five seasons as a head coach.
The most postseason wins in a head coach's first five seasons:
|Head Coach||Team||Postseason Wins
1st 5 Seasons
|Tom Flores||Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders||8|
|Mike Holmgren||Green Bay Packers||7|
|Jimmy Johnson||Dallas Cowboys||7|
|Joe Gibbs||Washington Redskins||6|
|George Seifert||San Francisco 49ers||6|
San Francisco head coach JIM HARBAUGH has guided the 49ers to the NFC West title in each of his first two seasons. Harbaugh is the eighth head coach since 1970 to win a division title in each of his first two seasons.
The eight head coaches to win a division title in each of his first two NFL seasons since 1970:
|Chuck Knox||Los Angeles Rams||1973-77|
|Ted Marchibroda||Baltimore Colts||1975-77|
|Red Miller||Denver Broncos||1977-78|
|George Seifert||San Francisco 49ers||1989-90|
|Barry Switzer||Dallas Cowboys||1994-96|
|Mike Tomlin||Pittsburgh Steelers||2007-08|
|Jim Caldwell||Indianapolis Colts||2009-10|
|Jim Harbaugh||San Francisco 49ers||2011-12|
Harbaugh, Knox and Marchibroda are the only head coaches since 1970 to win division titles in each of their first two seasons after inheriting a team with a losing record.
2012 Playoff Head Coaches and Their Playoff Winning Percentages
|Bill Belichick, New England Patriots||17||7||.708|
|Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers||5||3||.625|
|Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins||8||5||.615|
|John Fox, Denver Broncos||6||4||.600|
|John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens||5||4||.556|
|Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers||1||1||.500|
|Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans||1||1||.500|
|Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks||2||3||.400|
|Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals||0||3||.000|
|Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons||0||3||.000|
|Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings||0||0||--|
|Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts||0||0||--|
- Tom Brady Says Patriots Can Adjust Minus Injured Tight End Rob Gronkowski
- Ravens Linebacker Ayanbadejo Sparks 'Word War' with Patriots
- Tom Brady and Shane Vereen Lead Patriots Back to AFC Title Game
- Matt Bryant Field Goal Lifts Falcons Over Seahawks into NFC Title Game
- Colin Kaepernick Leads 49ers Past Packers into NFC Title Game
- 'Flacco Fling' Helps Ravens Stun Broncos
- Nate Silver Picks Seahawks vs Patriots for Super Bowl XLVII
- Ex-Jets Assistant Mike Westhoff Says Tim Tebow Situation a 'Mess'
- Michael Strahan Among 15 Finalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Ex-Panthers Assistant Rob Chudzinski Gets Browns Coaching Job
- Seahawks Rookie Defensive End Bruce Irvin Gets Start vs Falcons
- Mike Mularkey Out as Jaguars Coach
- Cowboys Hire Defensive Coordinator
- Eagles Interested in Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly
- Mike Pettine Hired as Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator
- Chargers Name Tom Telesco New General Manager
- Ex-Falcons Personnel Director David Caldwell Named Jaguars GM
- NFL Final Eight Take Center Stage in Divisional Playoffs
- NFC Divisional Playoffs Preview: Packers at 49ers
- NFC Divisional Playoffs Preview: Seahawks at Falcons
- AFC Divisional Playoffs Preview: Ravens at Broncos
- AFC Divisional Playoffs Preview: Texans at Patriots
- Cowboys Dismiss Rob Ryan as Defensive Coordinator
- Tony Sparano Out as New York Jets Offensive Coordinator
- Robert Griffin III Suffered Partial Tear of Two Ligaments in Right Knee
- Seahawks Blast Redskins in NFC Wild-Card Game
- Boldin and Flacco Carry Ravens Past Colts in AFC Wild-Card Game
- Bills Select Syracuse's Doug Marrone as New Head Coach
- Chip Kelly to Stay with Oregon
- Aaron Rodgers Powers Packers Past Vikings in NFC Wild-Card Game
- Arian Foster Lifts Texans to AFC Wild-Card Win Over Bengals
- Post Lovie Smith, Bears Eye CFL's Marc Trestman as Head Coach
- Panthers Retain Ron Rivera as Head Coach
- Chiefs Reach Agreement with Andy Reid as Next Head Coach
- LSU Safety Eric Reid To Forego Senior Year, Enter NFL Draft
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: It's Playoff Time
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins
- NFL 'Super Season' Kicks Off
- Best NFL Playoff Performances
- What to Look For: Wild Card Weekend
- Chiefs Expected to Hire Andy Reid as Head Coach
- Kansas City Chiefs Hold First Pick in 2013 NFL Draft
- NFL 2012 Regular Season in Review
- 2012 NFL Records and Milestones
- Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis to Retire After 17 Years
- 49ers Seek Alternative to Kicker Akers, Waive Jacobs
- Titans Stick with Coach Mike Munchak, Fire GM Mike Reinfeldt
- Chargers Dismiss Head Coach Norv Turner, GM AJ Smith
- Cardinals Fire Ken Whisenhunt, GM Rod Graves
- Bears Fire Coach Lovie Smith
- Eagles Fire Longtime Coach Andy Reid
- Jets Fire GM Mike Tannenbaum
- Rookies Carry Redskins Over Cowboys to NFC East Title
- Josh Freeman Guides Buccaneers to Upset Win Over Falcons
- Titans Set NFL Record for Touchdown Returns in Win Over Jaguars
- Jets to Dismiss Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano
- Browns to Fire Shurmur, Heckert after Steelers Showdown
- Sean Payton Agrees to Five-Year Deal with Saints
- Jets Coach Rex Ryan Denies Report He Would Welcome Firing
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