NFL | What To Look For In Week Sixteen

NFLCommunications have shared what YOU need to be on the lookout for heading into Week Sixteen!

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 16

WORST TO FIRST:

As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

For the 2018 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 16, click here.

Two teams – the Chicago Bears (NFC North) and Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. The Houston Texans (10-4), who finished in last in the AFC South in 2017, can clinch the division title at Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET, CBS) with a win or tie or if both the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans lose or tie.

In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING:

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Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the NFL with 45 touchdown passes this season.

On Sunday night at Seattle (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Mahomes can continue his climb up the NFL’s single season touchdown pass leaderboard.

The players with the most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Peyton Manning# Denver 2013 55
Tom Brady# New England 2007 50
Peyton Manning# Indianapolis 2004 49
Dan Marino^# Miami 1984 48
Drew Brees New Orleans 2011 46
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City 2018 45*
Aaron Rodgers# Green Bay 2011 45
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 16

4,000 in 10:

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New England quarterback TOM BRADY ranks fifth in the league in passing yards (3,979) while Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS ties for seventh  in the league with 3,951 passing yards this season. Both quarterbacks have eclipsed 4,000 passing yards in nine different seasons during their careers.

In Week 16, Brady, who faces Buffalo on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), and Rivers, who faces Baltimore on Saturday night (8:20 PM ET, NFL Network), can join PEYTON MANNING (14 seasons) and DREW BREES (12) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record at least 10 seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Brees has 3,666 passing yards in 2018.

The quarterbacks with the most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS WITH 4,000+ PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 14
Drew Brees New Orleans 12
Tom Brady New England 9*
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers 9#
*Has 3,979 passing yards entering Week 16
#Has 3,951 passing yards entering Week 16

 

SHAKE & BAKER:

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Cleveland quarterback BAKER MAYFIELD, selected first overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 21 touchdown passes this season.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday against Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Mayfield would surpass ANDREW LUCK (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era.

The most touchdown passes by a rookie selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998 26
Andrew Luck Indianapolis 2012 23
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay 2015 22
Baker Mayfield Cleveland 2018 21*
Cam Newton# Carolina 2011 21
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 16

 

RUN & CATCH:

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Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY leads all running backs with 94 receptions in 2018.

With nine receptions on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM ET, FOX), McCaffrey would surpass MATT FORTÉ (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS
Matt Forté Chicago 2014 102
Larry Centers Arizona 1995 101
LaDainian Tomlinson^ San Diego 2003 100
Larry Centers Arizona 1996 99
Chrstian McCaffrey Carolina 2018 94*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

New York Giants rookie running back SAQUON BARKLEY leads all rookies with 82 receptions and needs seven catches at Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to surpass REGGIE BUSH (88 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in league annals.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in league annals:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS  
Reggie Bush New Orleans 2006 88  
Earl Cooper San Francisco 1980 83  
Saquon Barkley New York Giants 2018 82*  
*Entering Week 16

 

RECORD-SETTING TIGHT ENDS:

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Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE leads all tight ends with a career-high 1,220 receiving yards in 2018.

With 108 receiving yards against Seattle on Sunday night (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Kelce would surpass ROB GRONKOWSKI (1,327 receiving yards in 2011) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEIVING YARDS  
Rob Gronkowski New England 2011 1,327  
Jimmy Graham New Orleans 2011 1,310  
Kellen Winslow^ San Diego 1980 1,290  
Tony Gonzalez Kansas City 2004 1,258  
Todd Christensen Los Angeles Raiders 1983 1,247  
         
Travis Kelce Kansas City 2018 1,220*  
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

Philadelphia tight end ZACH ERTZ, who ranks third in the NFL with 101 receptions, needs 10 catches against Houston on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to surpass JASON WITTEN (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in league annals.

The tight ends with the most receptions in a single season in league annals:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RECEPTIONS  
Jason Witten Dallas 2012 110  
Tony Gonzalez Kansas City 2004 102  
Zach Ertz Philadelphia 2018 101*  
*Entering Week 16

 

KEEP IT 100:

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Five players – New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS (109 receptions), Minnesota wide receiver ADAM THIELEN (105), Philadelphia tight end ZACH ERTZ (101), Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES (100) and Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS (100) – have recorded at least 100 receptions this season.

Entering Week 16, six additional players – Pittsburgh wide receivers JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER (95 receptions) and ANTONIO BROWN (90), Houston wide receiver DE ANDRE HOPKINS (94), Carolina running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY (94), Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE (93) and Minnesota wide receiver STEFON DIGGS (92) – currently have at least 90 receptions.

With 10 players recording at least 100 catches this season, the 2018 season would surpass the 1995 season (nine) for the most players with at least 100 catches in a single season.

The seasons with the most players with at least 100 receptions in NFL history:

SEASON PLAYERS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS
1995 9
2015 7
Many tied 6
   
2018 5*
*Entering Week 16

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1