NFL stats and records, Week 17: Ja'Marr Chase sets rookie records vs. Chiefs
1. Bengals clinch AFC North as Ja’Marr Chase has rookie record 266 receiving yards
Ja’Marr Chase has wowed time and time again in his rookie season, but he saved his best for Week 17. Needing a win to clinch the AFC North, Chase had 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Not only is that the most receiving yards a rookie has ever had in a game, it brings Chase to 1,429 rec yards on the season, the most by any rookie in the Super Bowl era.
Chase set the record for the most receiving yards in a game in Bengals history, became the first receiver with multiple games with 200+ rec yards in a season since 2013 and now has 13 rec TD overall. The only rookie to ever have more rec TD? Hall of Famer Randy Moss, who had 17 in 1998.
2. Joe Burrow stays on fire with possibly the greatest ever two-game stretch by a QB
Let’s also give plenty of credit to the guy throwing Ja’Marr Chase the ball. Joe Burrow had 525 pass yards last week against the Ravens and followed it up with another 446 pass yards and 4 passing TDs, along with a new career-high 148.0 passer rating.
Burrow is the first QB in NFL history to have 400+ pass yards, 4+ pass TDs and 0 INT in back-to-back games, and his 971 passing yards over the last two weeks is the most ever by a QB in consecutive victories.
3. Jonathan Taylor continues to shred the record books at just 22 years old
There have been plenty of talented running backs in Colts history, including Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Lenny Moore. None of them have finished a season with as many rush yards (1,734) or scrimmage touchdowns (20) as Jonathan Taylor.
But why keep this to just the Colts? Jonathan Taylor has 2,076 scrimmage yards this season and is the youngest player in NFL history to have 2,000+ scrimmage yards & 20+ TDs in a season at just 22 years old.
4. Another season with 40+ pass TDs for 44-year-old Tom Brady
Twice as old as Taylor, Tom Brady’s performance at age 44 continues to defy comprehension. With three passing touchdowns in Week 17, he reached 40 passing TDs for the second-consecutive season, joining Drew Brees in 2011 & 2012 as the only QBs to have 40+ pass TD in back-to-back years.
Brady accomplished the feat against a familiar opponent — the Jets. In fact, Brady now has 9,059 career pass yards against the Jets, the most ever by a QB against a single opponent. The only other QB with 9,000 yards against one team? Once again, Tom Brady, with 9,032 pass yards against the Bills.
5. Rob Gronkowski crosses the century mark to tie Tony Gonzalez
While Brady’s three TDs went elsewhere, tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn’t about to be left out of the fun. He led the Buccaneers with seven receptions and 115 receiving yards. It’s the 31st time Gronk has had at least 100 receiving yards in a game, tying him with Tony Gonzalez for the most such games ever by a tight end. That’s the all-time TE receiving yards leader. Not bad company.
6. Bill Belichick hits 10 wins for the 20th time in blowout over Jaguars
Brady and Gronkowski played big roles in the success of the Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick over the past two decades. Still, even with them gone, Belichick has managed to lead the Patriots to another playoff appearance and another 10-win season.
In fact, it’s the 19th 10-win season for the Patriots under Belichick, and Belichick’s 20th overall as a head coach (he led the Browns to an 11-5 record in 1994). That ties Belichick with the legendary Don Shula for the most 10-win seasons ever by an NFL head coach.
7. Cooper Kupp cracks the top-5 in single-season receiving yards with eyes still on the top spot
Cooper Kupp finished with 95 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Ravens as the Rams won their fifth-straight game. Kupp extended his record for the most consecutive games with 90+ rec yards since 1950 to 12 and now has 1,829 receiving yards this season. That’s enough to pass Isaac Bruce’s 1,781 rec yards in 1995 for the most in a season by a Rams receiver and fifth-overall on the all-time list. Kupp will need 136 rec yards in Week 18 against the 49ers to break Calvin Johnson’s record of 1,964 rec yards in 2012, a mark he’s reached three times this season.
8. It’s been 60 years since a rookie tight end has matched Kyle Pitts
Falcons TE Kyle Pitts once again led his team in receiving in Week 17 with 69 yards. That brings his season total to 1,018 rec yards. Pitts is the first rookie TE to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in the Super Bowl era and only the second to do so all-time (Mike Ditka had 1,076 in 1961). Pitts will need to overcame a hamstring injury suffered in Week 17 and have at least 59 receiving yards against the Saints in Week 18 to grab that #1 spot from Ditka.
9. Aaron Rodgers continues his incredibly efficient campaign
There is no QB better than Aaron Rodgers at putting up numbers while protecting the ball. On Sunday Night Football, he had 288 passing yards, two pass TDs and zero INTs. It was the 12th time this season he’s had 2+ pass TD and 0 INT. That’s the most such games in a season by any quarterback in NFL history. Rodgers now has 35 pass TDs this season to go along with just 4 INTs. His Packers also have the #1 seed in the NFC locked up.
10. Robert Quinn takes his place among Bears defensive greats
Over the decades, the Bears have made a name for themselves on the defensive side of the ball. That’s what makes Robert Quinn setting the team’s record for sacks in a season (since 1982, when individual sacks have been officially tracked) so impressive.
Quinn has 18.0 sacks this season, passing Richard Dent’s 17.5 sacks for the Bears in 1984. That’s the most sacks in the NFL (although T.J. Watt is right behind him with 17.5 ahead of his Monday Night Football clash with the Browns). The last player with 20+ sacks in a season? Aaron Donald, who had 20.5 sacks in 2018.
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