The Giants qualifying for the playoffs kept alive one of the NFL’s more remarkable streaks. New York’s playoff berth means there are at least four teams headed to the postseason which weren’t in it last season (the Vikings, Chargers and Ravens are the others). It is the 33rd consecutive season that this has happened.
Giant Scoring Output
The Giants beat the Colts, 38-10. It was the first time they have scored 30 points in a game since December 22, 2019, a streak spanning 49 games.
The Packers held Justin Jefferson to zero receptions in the first half, the receiver’s first game with zero receptions in a first half since his first career game in Week 1 of 2020, also against the Packers. In total, Jefferson had one catch for 15 yards. It is the first time in his three-year career he hasn’t had multiple catches in a game and just the second time he’s been held under 20 yards.
How Good Is Minnesota?
The Vikings are 12-4 with a point differential of minus-19. The Raiders are 6-10 with a point differential of minus-5. The Cowboys are 12-4 with a point differential of +145.
Ballhawk Defensive End
Aidan Hutchinson is the first rookie defensive lineman in NFL history to have three interceptions in a season.
Less Is More
The Lions traded T.J. Hockenson at the trade deadline. Since the trade, Lions tight ends Brock Wright, Shane Zylstra and James Mitchell have combined to catch nine touchdowns in their last nine games. Travis Kelce is the only tight end in the NFL who has more than nine touchdowns on the entire season.
Diamond In Rough
Jerick McKinnon has eight touchdown receptions this season, tied for the fourth-most by a running back in a season in the Super Bowl era. Only Marshall Faulk (nine touchdown receptions in 2001), Chuck Foreman (nine in 1975) and Leroy Hoard (nine in 1971) have more. McKinnon is the first running back since 1970 to record a touchdown reception in five consecutive games.
Austin Ekeler has 1,567 scrimmage yards with 18 scrimmage touchdowns (13 rushing, five receiving) this season and joined Priest Holmes (2002-03) as the only undrafted players with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in consecutive seasons in the common-draft era. Ekeler has 103 receptions this season, the third-most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history. Only Christian McCaffrey (116 receptions in 2019 and 107 receptions in 2018) has more.
Purdy Good Start
Brock Purdy passed for 284 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 37-34 overtime win at Las Vegas. Purdy is the fifth rookie quarterback ever to win each of his first four career starts, joining Ben Roethlisberger (won first 13 starts in 2004), Mike Kruczek (six in 1968), Virgil Carter (four in 1968) and Phil Simms (four in 1979).
Saints DE Cam Jordan had three sacks and a forced fumble in the Saints’ 20-10 win over Philadelphia. Jordan has 8.5 sacks this season and is the sixth player since 1982 to record at least seven sacks in 11 consecutive seasons, joining Reggie White (14), Chris Doleman (13), John Randle (12) and Derrick Thomas (11), and Robert Mathis (11). He also became the Saints’ career sack leader with 115.5, topping Rickey Jackson.
Justin Fields has 1,143 rushing yards this season and surpassed Michael Vick (1,039 in 2006) for the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Only Lamar Jackson (1,206 in 2019) has more. Fields needs 63 rushing yards in Chicago’s week 18 matchup against the Vikings to break Jackson’s record.
Maybe McDaniels Was Right
Raiders QB Jarrett Stidham, in his first career start, passed for 365 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers. Stidham joined Mike White (Week 8, 2021) as the only quarterbacks since 1950 with at least 350 passing yards and three TD passes in their first career start.