NFL Week 15 Statistical Review

Let’s take a look at some interesting numbers from Week 15 in the NFL:

Chiefs vs. Saints

  • Patrick Mahomes came into this game tied with an NFL-record six straight games with at least 315 passing yards
  • The Saints & Chiefs are the only two teams to score 21-plus in every game this year
  • The Saints have the No. 2 defense in the NFL but also have the most penalty yards in the NFL

How Not To Beat the Chiefs

  • Both QBs got off to a rocky start on the first two drives. Mahomes was 3 of 7 for 7 yards (missed some throws high on the run) … Brees was 0-for-5 with an INT (started a game 0-for-5 for the first time in his career)
  • Time of Possession in the first quarter: KC – 12:04, NO – 2:56. The Saints went three-and-out on their first four drives
  • The Saints defense really kept them in this game. In the first half, they held Mahomes to minus-3.4 EPA on dropbacks. Mahomes was forced to hold onto ball for 3.55 seconds (second-longest of career)
  • The first Chiefs TD was a shovel flip screen to Travis Kelce. Mahomes’ .5-second release was the quickest of any completion this season, per Next Gen Stats
  • The Saints got back into the game when Drew Brees hit Emmanuel Sanders on a pass that traveled 51 air yard (Brees’ longest in the past three seasons). That completion led to a Taysom Hill TD run.
  • Mahomes had 2 TDs on the run Sunday, moving more than 8 MPH (he has 13 such TDs on the year, which leads the NFL)
  • New Orleans ended the game with only 18:49 in time of possession to the Chiefs 41:11 while also committing 10 penalties
  • The Chiefs have now played a top 5 defense on 9 occasions with Mahomes as their starter (per Elias Sports). In those games they are 9-0 averaging 29.0 points per game

Texans vs. Colts

First Half

  • The Texans came into this game as the third-worst team in the NFL in opening drive points scored this season. Their struggles continued in this matchup as they were forced to punt on their first drive of the day.
  • On the other side of the ball, they are equally as horrible, allowing the most first drive points in the NFL. The Colts scored a rushing TD with Jonathan Taylor on the first drive.
  • Initially, the Texans seemed overwhelmed, as both of their first two drives ended in third-down sacks, including a strip sack on the second drive
  • The Texans lack of talent on offense in terms of weapons and on the OL has hindered their success so far this season and nothing changed in this one
  • When Deshaun Watson is sacked no more than once in a game, the Texans are 12-0. When he’s sacked 2-plus times, they are 16-23. Watson was sacked four times in the first half alone.
  • DeForest Buckner has 2 of those sacks.
  • The Colts went up 14-0 with back to back TDs to start the game, but the Texans came back with 10 unanswered points to make it 14-10 going into halftime
  • The Texans began having success targeting RB David Johnson and WR Chad Hansen (including a 38-yard wide-open TD pass to Hansen)

Second Half

  • Both offenses were stagnant to open the second half, trading FGs until the fourth quarter
  • Rodrigo Blankenship hit a career-long 53-yard FG attempt to give the Colts a 7-point lead
  • The Colts and the Texans both continued to gain yards in between the 20-yard lines but couldn’t convert into TDs
  • The Texans allowed 300-plus total yards of offense to an opposing team for the 18th straight game
  • The Texans tied the game on a TD to Keke Coutee halfway through the fourth quarter
  • The Colts scored a TD to Zach Pascal with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter, their first TD since their first two offensive drives
  • Watson drove the Texans into the red zone in the final minute. On fourth down from the 15-yard line, he hit WR Keke Coutee, who turned upfield and towards the end zone. Darius Leonard forced a fumble on the 2-yard line, and the Colts recovered to end the game
  • Despite the loss, Watson was impressive with an 81% completion percentage, 11.3 yards per completion, 2 TDs and 0 INTs (his only blemish was a fumble lost)
  • The Colts eclipsed 100 rushing yards for the seventh time in their last eight games (something they only accomplished in three out of their first six games)
  • The Colts are 9-1 when they have over 100 rushing yards in a game this season
  • The Texans are now 0-8 when they lose the turnover battle (2 turnovers Sunday and 0 forced)
  • They are also 2-5 when they commit more penalties than their opponent
  • The Texans were third in The 33rd Team’s Discipline Index this week but in this matchup they had more penalties and turnovers than they have averaged this season

Other Interesting Stats

  • Brandon Aiyuk moves to second all-time in receptions by a 49ers rookie, with 58
  • The 20 first-half points for the Bears Sunday tied for the most Chicago has scored in the first half in Minnesota since 1962
  • Russell Wilson has had six straight weeks with under 300 passing yards, per ESPN Stats & Info. He had five 300-yard passing games in the first eight games this season.
  • The Dolphins now have 20 straight games with a takeaway. That’s the longest active streak in the NFL dating back to last season, and the franchise’s longest streak with a takeaway since doing so in 42 straight games from 1982-85. (ESPN Stats and Info)
  • With a loss Sunday, the Patriots will finish .500 or worse for the first time since 2000 (Bill Belichick’s first season as N.E. head coach, when they finished 5-11.
  • Dez Bryant recorded his first touchdown since Dec. 10, 2017 – a span of 1,106 days
  • Three teams 0-13 or worse have gotten their first win against an opponent with a winning record:

In 2011, the 0-13 Colts beat the 7-6 Titans

In 1962, the 0-13 Raiders beat the 9-3-1 Patriots

And in 2020, the 0-13 Jets have beaten the 9-4 Rams (per NFL Research)

  • Jalen Hurts finished with over 300 yards, 3 TDs, zero INTs and a passer rating over 100; Carson Wentz has put up those numbers just once in his 68 career starts
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