Analysis

NFL Week 16: Storylines We’re Following on Christmas Weekend

Titans vs. Chiefs Derrick Henry

Saturday

Texans at Titans

Titans RB Derrick Henry has rushed for at least 200 yards in four consecutive games against the Texans. In that span, he has totaled 892 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. 

Falcons at Ravens

The Falcons, who will be eliminated with a loss, haven’t won a game with kickoff temperatures of 25 degrees or colder since 1966 against the Vikings at Metropolitan Stadium. Temperatures on Saturday aren’t supposed to exceed 22 degrees in Baltimore.

 

Lions at Panthers

Amon-Ra St. Brown (89 receptions, 974 yards) needs one catch to join Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. as the only players ever with at least 90 receptions and 900 receiving yards in each of their first two seasons. St. Brown (179 career receptions) can surpass Beckham (187) and Christian McCaffrey (187) for the fourth-most catches in NFL history by a player in his first two seasons.

Bills at Bears

Bears QB Justin Fields, who has rushed for at least 70 yards in five straight games, can break Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record for quarterbacks by averaging 69 yards per game over his final three. Saturday’s game will mark the first matchup in NFL history in which both starting quarterbacks enter the game with at least 700 rushing yards on the season.

best offensive players NFL

Saints at Browns

The Saints have yielded at least 148 yards rushing in four of their past six games, giving up a season-worst 231 against Atlanta. Now they face a Browns’ offense that averages 149 yards a game on the ground. 

Seahawks at Chiefs

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes completed his final 20 passes last week against Houston, and needs six to start Saturday’s game to break the record for consecutive completions. The current record of 25 is owned by four different quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill (2015), Marcus Mariota (2018), Philip Rivers (2018) and Nick Foles (2018).

Giants at Vikings

Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has more receiving yards this season (1,623) than every active Giants wide receiver combined (1,474).

Bengals at Patriots

Joe Burrow is second in the NFL in completion percentage against man coverage this season, per Sports Info Solutions. He’s also third in yards per attempt against man and fourth in quarterback rating against man. New England runs man coverage 31% of the time, 10th-highest in the NFL this season.

Commanders at 49ers

The 49ers have allowed the NFL’s fewest rushing yards per game (74.7) this season and are the second team in NFL history top allow 70 or fewer yards in seven consecutive games (2000 Ravens). The 49ers can be the first to do so in eight straight games. Washington, meanwhile, has allowed 21 or fewer points in 10 straight games; the Niners have done it in seven straight. They rank as the two longest active streaks.

Eagles at Cowboys

The Cowboys have won 14 of their last 15 home games against divisional opponents. The Eagles beat Dallas in Week 6, but Dak Prescott didn’t play in the game. This time, Jalen Hurts won’t play.

Raiders at Steelers

Friday marked the 50-year anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, two days after the passing of the game’s hero, Franco Harris, who will have his number retired Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be in the single digits, with wind chills well below zero. Raiders QB Derek Carr is 0-6 lifetime in games played below 37 degrees.

Sunday

Packers at Dolphins

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is set to make his third start on Christmas, surpassing Ben Roethlisberger and Dave Krieg for the most by a quarterback in NFL history. Rodgers has and NFL-high eight touchdown passes in Christmas games, and needs 21 passing yards to break Roethlisberger’s mark for most on the holiday (505).

Broncos at Rams

Russell Wilson is on pace for career-low numbers this season. With three games left, he has just 11 passing touchdowns and a 60.4 completion percentage, which if it holds up, would be a career-low by a large margin. He’s also been sacked 43 times in 12 games, second most in the NFL.

Buccaneers at Cardinals

Tom Brady is one win shy of becoming the first player in NFL history with 250 regular-season victories. On the flip side, last week marked the first time Brady had lost eight games in a season in his career.

Chargers at Colts

Chargers WR Keenan Allen is the only receiver in the league who has at least 40 receptions without a drop.

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