Archives for category: The Road to Super Bowl LI

And now there are four.

Professional football’s answer to the Final Four takes place Sunday afternoon as the AFC and NFC champions will be crowned.

For the four teams that are in the championship game, it’s their chance to make history and either win another Lombardi Trophy or take one for themseleves.

32 teams went through watching the Senior Bowl, the draft, OTAs, training camp, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, pre-season games, the regular season and now it comes down to this.

Win? You get to go to the Super Bowl in two weeks time.

Lose? Your next game is in September.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

For those teams that are in, it’s their chance to impress a national audience. For those teams that didn’t make the playoffs, it’s a chance to regroup, to circle their wagons and see what they could do to get better.

when the post-season started, there were 12 teams that were in the party. Now we’re down to four. The two winners will get to go to Minneapolis and be part of something bigger than themselves. It’s their chance to make some history.

Both Philadelphia and Jacksonville completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Eagles and Jaguars are the first “worst-to-first” teams since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to advance to the Championship Game.

Three of the remaining four clubs – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville – missed the postseason in 2016. This is the first time since 2008 in which three of the four teams in the Championship Games missed the playoffs in the previous season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: FROM “WORST TO FIRST”: The Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars both advanced to the Conference Championship Games after completing “worst-to-first” turnarounds this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

The last two teams that went from “worst-to-first” in their divisions to earn a Super Bowl berth were the 2003 Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who won Super Bowl XLIV.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their divisions and advance to the Super Bowl since 2003:

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD, PRIOR SEASON RECORD; ADVANCED TO)
2003 – Carolina (11-5, 7-9; Super Bowl XXXVIII)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3, 8-8; Won Super Bowl XLIV)
2017 – Jacksonville (10-6; 3-13; ???)
2017 – Philadelphia (13-3; 7-9; ???)

Three of the remaining four clubs – the Eagles and Minnesota in the NFC and the Jaguars in the AFC – missed the postseason in 2016, marking the fifth time since 1990 – and the first since 2008 – that three teams advanced to the Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous year.​

The seasons which had three teams advance to the Conference Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAMS TO ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE CHAMPIOHSHIP GAME WHO MISSED PLAYOFFS IN PREVIOUS SEASON
1996 – 3 (Carolina, Jacksonville, New England)
1999 – 3 (St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee)
2000 – 3 (Baltimore, New York Giants, Oakland)
2008 – 3 (Arizona, Baltimore, Philadelphia)
2017 – 3 (Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia)

OVER 100: Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) for 246 yards and a 100.1 passer rating in the Eagles’ 15-10 win over Atlanta in the Divisional Playoffs.

Foles, who faces Minnesota on Sunday night, can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to record a passer rating of at least 100 in each of his first three postseason starts.

The quarterbacks with the most starts with a passer rating of at least 100 to begin postseason career:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (1992-93)(5)^
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2009-10)(3)
Tony Eason, New England (1985)(3)
Joe Theismann, Washington (1982)(3)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 2017)(2)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DANGEROUS JAGUARS: Jacksonville defeated Pittsburgh, the Number 2 seed in the AFC, 45-42 in the Divisional Playoffs to advance to their third AFC Championship game in franchise history.

Jacksonville, who plays at Number 1 seed New England on Sunday, can become the 11th team to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990 when the current playoff format was adopted.

The teams to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990:

YEAR – TEAM (CONFERENCE)
1992 – Buffalo (AFC)
1997 – Denver (AFC)
1999 – Tennessee (AFC)
2000 – Baltimore (AFC)
2003 – Carolina (NFC)
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC)
2007 – New York Giants (NFC)
2010 – Green Bay (NFC)
2011 – New York Giants (NFC)
2012 – Baltimore (AFC)
2017 – Jacksonville (AFC)*
*Play at Number 1 seed New England on Sunday

RUMBLING ROOKIE: Jacksonville rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 45-42 victory over Pittsburgh in the Divisional Playoffs.

With one rushing touchdown on Sunday against New England, Fournette can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RUSHING TDS)
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2000)(4)
William Floyd, San Francisco (1994)(4)
Tony Dorsett, Dallas (1997)(4)^
Norm Standlee, Chicago (1941)(4)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (2017)(3)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PASSER: New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 35 of 53 passes (66 percent) for 337 yards and three touchdowns for a 102.5 passer rating in the Patriots’ 35-14 win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

Brady, who faces Jacksonville on Sunday, can become the first quarterback in postseason history to record four consecutive games with at least 300 yards and multiple touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive postseason games with 300+ yards and 2+ touchdown passes:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 2+ TDs)

Tom Brady, New England (2016-17)(3)*
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (2013, 2016)(3)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2010-11)(3)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo (1989-90)(3)^
Dan Fouts, San Diego (1980-81)(3)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN MACHINE: New England running back James White recorded two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Patriots’ win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

White, who had three touchdowns in SB LI, needs two touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (seven) and Larry Fitzgerald (seven) for the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns over a three-game span in postseason history.

The players with the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in a three-game span in postseason history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS)(MOST RUSH AND RECIEVEING TDS IN 3-GAME SPAN IN PLAYOFF HISTORY)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (2008-09)(7)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas (1995-96)(7)^
Many tied with 6
James White – New England (2016-17)(5)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BRING IT HOME: Minnesota defeated New Orleans 29-24 to advance to their 10th NFL/NFC Championship game in franchise history.

With a win against Philadelphia on Sunday, the Vikings will become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium and the fifth team to play in a Super Bowl that was hosted in their home state.

The teams to play in a Super Bowl hosted in their home state:

SUPER BOWL – DATE (WINNER)(LOSER)(SITE)
XXXVII – January 26, 2003 (Tampa Bay)(Oakland)(San Diego, California)
XIX – January 20, 1985 (San Francisco)(Miami)(Stanford, Calfornia)
XIV – January 20, 1980 (Pittsburgh)(Los Angeles Rams)(Pasdena, California)
XI – January 9, 1977 (Oakland)(Minnesota)(Pasadena, California)

As was the case when the playoffs started, all the games are “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

The winners get a lot of cash for their effort. Each player will get $51,000 for winning the AFC and NFC title, which comes out to $2,730.000 for each team. The winners advance to Super Bowl LII where the share is $112,000 for each winner ($59,360,000.00 for that team, $56,000 for each loser ($2,968,000 for the team).

In addition to the cash, they get some lovely parting gifts.

The AFC Champion receive the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Lamar Hunt, the founder of the American Football League and longtime majority owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. First presented following the 1984 season, the 2010 season marked the debut of its redesign by Tiffany and Company.

For the NFC? That winner receive the George S. Halas Trophy, named in honor of the former owner, coach and player of the Chicago Bears and one of the founders of the National Football League. First presented following the 1984 season, the 2010 season marked the debut of its redesign by Tiffany and Company.

Both the AFC and NFC trophies reflect the sterling silver material of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded each year to the Super Bowl champions and also designed by Tiffany and Company and the trophy designs are based on a football and features an etched conference logo and the NFL Shield. By the way, each team gets to keep the trophies.

Jacksonville (10-6) at New England (13-3), 3:05 p.m. on CBS. The AFC champion will be crowned in Foxboro as Jacksonville makes their way to Gillette Stadium for a meeting with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Jacksonville will make their first venture into the AFC Championship Game since 1999, when they lost to Tennessee 33-14 in Jacksonville at what was then the Gator Bowl before the stadium changed its name to EverBank Field. The Jaguars went into Pittsburgh last Sunday and came away 45-42 winners over the Steelers at Heinz Field in their second meeting of the 2017 season.

The Jaguars took a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a pair of Leonard Fournette TDs to open the scoring. Fournette had runs of 1 and 18 yards in the period to take the early lead before Steeler fans could get settled in the chilly 18-degree weather in the Steel City. After T.J. Yeldon added another score with a 4-yard run, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers ended Jacksonville’s bid for a shutout with 8:20 left before the intermission when he and WR Antonio Brown connected on an 23-yard TD pass. The Jaguars would then respond when Jacksonville’s Tevin Smith fullfilled the dream of every NFL lineman ever, picked up a Roethlisberger fumble and returned it 50 yards for a TD with 2:20 left before half. Pittsburgh ended the scoring in the first half when Roethlisberger and WR Martavis Bryant made it a 2-score game with 25 seconds left before the intermission.

Pittsburgh came out of the gates to start the third quarter and made the contest a 7-point affair with 9:09 left in the quarter when LeVeon Bell and Roethlisberger connected on a 19-yard TD pass as part of a 10-play, 77-yard drive that used 5:51 of clock to make the score 28-21. Fournette then put the lead back to 14 with a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. If the Steelers were going down, they were going down fighting, as Brown and Roethlisberger connected on a 43-yard TD strike with 9:05 left in regulation. Jacksonville then pulled away again as Tommy Bohannon caught a 14-yard pass from Blake Bortles for a 42-28 contest with 4:19 left.

Bell was not finished as he scored on an 8-yard run with 2:18 left. Jacksonville needed one more score to put the game away and got it from Josh Lambo, who kicked a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 left. Pittsburgh would have the last word as they would put the final tally on the scoreboard when WR JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a 4-yard pass from Roethlisberger with 1 second left in the contest. Fournette ran for 109 yards and three TDs (Bell led Pittsburgh with 67 yards) as the Jaguars outrushed Pittsburgh 164-83 and Bortles threw for 214 yards and a TD, while Roethilsbeger threw for 469 yards and five TDs with a pair of sacks and an interception.

Jacksonville on third down conversions was 8 of 14 and held the ball for 28:50 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down), while the Steelers ruled the clock and held the ball for 31:10, going 7 of 16 on third down, 4 of 6 on fourth down.

New England took care of Tennessee 35-14 last Saturday night in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium. After trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Pats scored 21 second quarter points unchallenged, taking a 21-7 lead with them to the break. New England outrushed the Titans 101-65 with Dion Lewis leading the way with 62 yards, while Brady threw for 337 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses, while Marcus Mariota threw for 254 with a pair of TDs, with eight sacks (neither QB threw an interception). New England on third down tries went 11 of 17 and kept the ball for 32:56, while the Titans held the pigskin for 27:04, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Jaguars had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Campbell and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

The Patriots had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: quarterback Brady, fullback James Develin, tight end Gronkowski and special teamer Matthew Slater.

The Pats lead the series with Jacksonville 7-0 and have outscored the Jaguars 214-119. New England’s last win in the series came in 2015 in Foxboro by a final of 51-17.

New England in post-season leads Jacksonville 3-1 in the series and has outscored the Jaguars 89-54. New England’s last playoff win over Jacksonville came in Foxboro in 2007 in the AFC Divsional Playoffs by a final of 31-20, while Jacksonville’s lone victory in the sereis came in the Sunshine State in 1998 in the AFC Wild Card Game by a final of 25-10.

New England’s favored by 9 and the over/under’s 46. For the Pats, it’s a chance to go back and get another Lombardi trophy. For Jacksonville, it’s their chance to knock off Goliath. It’ll be closer than 9 but New England prevails and moves on to the Twin Cities.

Minnesota (13-3) at Philadelphia (13-3), 6:40 p.m. on FOX. A pair of teams that have yet to win a Super Bowl meet in the NFC Championship Game in the City of Brotherly Love as the Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field.

Minnesota earned their way into the NFC Championship in a manner that not even Hollywood could have expected, coming away from US Bank Stadium 29-24 winners over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission against New Orleans before the Saints’ Michael Thomas ended Minnesota’s bid for a shutout when he and Drew Brees connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Brees and Thomas would connect again with 13:09 left in the contest when they connected on a 3-yard toss. After Kyle Horbath gave the Vikings a 20-14 lead with 10:12 left to play, New Orleans took the lead for the first time in the game when rookie RB Alvin Kamara caught a 14 yard TD pass from Brees with 3:01 left to. That lead would not last long, as once again it was Horbath putting the Vikings back on top with a 52-yard field goal with 89 seconds left.

New Orleans was not about to be outdone as they would use an 11-play, 50-yard drive that used 64 seconds of clock and took the lead back when K Wil Lutz connected on a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Minnesota, without time outs, engineered a drive that almost didn’t see the light of day as Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs opened with a 19-yard pass to their 39-yard line. After two Keenum passes were incomplete, the Vikings needed and got a miracle when Diggs caught Keenum’s desparation pass and took it into the end zone for a 61-yard TD pass as time expired for a walk-off TD to send Minnesota fans home happy and the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Minnesota outrushed New Orleans 95-80 and Keenum threw for 318 yards, while Brees threw for 294 (both men were sacked twice, Keenum threw an interception, while Brees threw two) and Diggs led all recievers with 137 yards on six catches, including the game-winner. Minnesota on third down was 10 of 17 and held the ball for 33:17, including the game-winning drive, while the Saints held the pigskin for 26:43, going 2 of 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Eagles erased a 10-9 deficit against Atlanta in the NFC Divisional Game at Lincoln Financial Field, taking a 15-10 win ove the Falcons Saturday afternoon in the City of Brotherly Love to advance to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2008 NFC Championship Game in Glendale, where they lost to Arizona 32-25. The Eagles used a pair of Josh Elliott field goals in the second half to take the lead, then held off a late Atlanta rally in the final seconds of the contest. The Falcons opened the scoring in the contest with a 33-yard field goal by Matt Bryant in the first quarter before the Eagles took the lead for the first time when RB LeGarrette Blount scored with 10:28 left before halftime from a yard out but Elliott missed the extra point. Atlanta then went to work and took the lead back with a 6-yard TD pass from Matt Ryan for a 10-6 lead. Elliott would make it a one-point game at the intermission with a 53-yard try and the Eagles would go on to score their final six points of the contest uncontested.

Philadelphia outrushed Atlanta 96-86 and Nick Foles threw for 246 yards, while Ryan threw for 210 yards (Ryan was sacked three times, Foles sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth downO) conversions and held the ball for 32:06, while Atlanta kept the pigskin for 27:54, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down tries.

Minnesota in regular 23 regular season meetings with Philadelphia leads the series 13-10 and have outscored the Eagles 543-528. The Eagles won the last meeting with the Purple Gang, taking a 21-10 win in the City of Brotherly Love in the 2016 season, while Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Twin Cities by a final of 48-30.

The week seven contest saw the Eagles take an 11-3 lead with them to the break at Lincoln Financial Field, thanks to a 98-yard kickoff return by Josh Huff, a Carson Wentz two-point conversion and a 35-yard field goal by Chris Strugis. Philly would hold Minnesota in check in the second half and take the win as Dorial Green-Beckham would catch a 5-yard toss from Wentz and Sturgis would add a 21-yard field goal to seal the win. Philly outrushed Minnesota 101-93 and Wentz threw for 138 yards and a pair of TDs, while Bradford threw for 224 yards and a TD but was sacked six times and picked off once. Third down tries in the week seven contest was nothing to cheer about (Philadelphia was 4 of 11, Minnesota was 9 of 19) but the Eagles found success in their only fourth down try, while the Viking were 1 of 3 on fourth down. In the week seven contest in the City of Brotherly Love, while the Eagles were 2 1/2 point underdogs in the contest, their 11 point allowed them to cover the spread; however, the 40 over/under was untouched as both clubs could only muster 31 points.

The Vikings had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Adam Thielen, while Philadelphia had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: guard Brandon Brooks, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcom Jenkins, tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Carson Wentz.

In the post-season, the Eagles and Vikings have played three times and Philadelphia has taken wins in all three contests, with the last win coming in 2008 in the Twin Cities by a final of 26-14 in the NFC Wild Card Game. The odds makers like the Vikings on the road as 3 point favorites with the over/under at 39. Both numbers make sense. Both teams want to go back to the Super Bowl; for the Vikings, it will be their first trip to the big game since 1977, when they lost to Oakland 31-19 in Super Bowl XI in Pasadena, while the Eagles’ last trip to the Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXXIX, when they lost to New England 24-21 in Jacksonville. It’s also added incentive for the Vikings, who would be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The football gods have been kind to the Vikings of late and they’ll be kind again. Minnesota covers the 3 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

The night before the 2017 NFL regular season kicks off, New England Patriot fans will get to celebrate the defending Super Bowl with three new shows on NFL Network.

Tonight, Do Your Job Part II: Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots, America’s Game: 2016 Patriots and NFL’s Top 10: Tom Brady Games air on NFL Network starting at 8 p.m.

Do Your Job Part II: Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots: At 8 p.m., Do Your Job Part II: Bill Belichick and the 2016 Patriots airs on NFL Network, providing a behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest moments and decisions that led to the Patriots’ win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Building off of the success of 2015’s Do Your Job: Bill Belichick and the 2014 Patriots and last year’s Worth the Wait: Gary Kubiak and the 2015 Denver Broncos, this year’s edition features sitdown interviews with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft, President Jonathan Kraft, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and others.

Narrated by Boston native and Academy Award-nominated actor Edward Norton, the hour-long show provides an inside look at the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history and second in three years. Among the topics discussed in Do Your Job Part II:

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower’s crucial sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan which resulted in a fumble in the second half of Super Bowl LI.

Patriots coaches explain the inside story of why the play worked, how the team’s commitment to fundamental football factored into the success of the play and how close Atlanta was to making a big gain

The Patriots’ defensive series following Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones’ catch which gave Atlanta a first down on New England’s 22-yard line with less than five minutes remaining in regulation

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels reveals the detailed preparation which led to the game-winning touchdown play

The following Patriots personnel were interviewed for Do Your Job Part II:

Robert Kraft – Chairman & CEO
Jonathan Kraft – President
Bill Belichick – Head Coach
Josh McDaniels – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Matt Patricia – Defensive Coordinator
Nick Caserio – Director of Player Personnel
Ernie Adams – Director of Football Research
Ivan Fears – Running Backs Coach
Brendan Daly – Defensive Line Coach
Josh Boyer – Cornerbacks Coach
Dante Scarnecchia – Offensive Line Coach
Jon Judge – Special Teams Coach
Brian Flores – Linebackers Coach
Chad O’Shea – Wide Receivers Coach
Steve Belichick – Safeties Coach

To view a trailer for Do Your Job Part II, visit: https://youtu.be/_l6MAPniosc

Do Your Job Part II premiered Sunday, September 3.

Provided below are select quotes from Do Your Job Part II:

– “We were confident that we could still make the plays that we needed to make to win.” – Bill Belichick on the Patriots’ approach at halftime trailing by 18 points

– “The conversation led us to…we’re not going to score 25 points in one possession. The goal was to score once. Let’s get a touchdown and try to score one time.” – Josh McDaniels

– “When you’re looking at the situation, there’s the quarterback of the year, they have one of the greatest wide receivers in the league – they’re going to throw the ball…Sometimes in those moments in the game, I’m totally wrong, 100 percent. Somehow it all worked out.” – Matt Patricia

– “That’s definitely got to be the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. It was just things equalizing.” – Robert Kraft on Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman’s catch

– “When we won the coin toss, I looked over at my Dad and said, ‘Game over.'” – Jonathan Kraft on winning the coin toss in overtime

– “I don’t really think it’s about what I’ve done. I think it’s in this case about what this team did. Collectively, this team accomplished a lot. This team was a special team. The 2016 team was a special team.” – Bill Belichick

America’s Game: 2016 Patriots: At 9 p.m., America’s Game: 2016 Patriots premieres, featuring in-depth interviews with Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower and LeGarrette Blount telling the story of the 2016 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Narrated by actor and Boston native, Chris Evans, America’s Game delves deep into the Patriots’ championship season. In the hour-long show, Edelman, Hightower and Blount recount the season in their own words, including the Patriots’ incredible 25-point comeback in Super Bowl LI which featured Hightower’s game-changing sack and Edelman’s circus catch late in the fourth quarter.

This year’s edition of America’s Game is the 51st episode of the long-running special which celebrates the Super Bowl champions.

To view a trailer for America’s Game, visit: https://youtu.be/0p8jpuYZ6II

Provided below are select quotes from America’s Game: 2016 Patriots:

– “He’s almost like, not human, because I feel like 99.9 percent of the world would be so nervous. ‘I have the whole season on my shoulders right now, I make one mistake it’s over for us.’ I don’t know if he even thinks about any of those things. You look in his eyes and you can just tell he’s not worried about messing anything up for us.” – LeGarrette Blount describing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s state of mind late in Super Bowl LI

– “Like I was 90 percent sure…So I’m sitting there like, ‘Gotta sell ’em it was a catch.’ Let’s go. I caught it! I caught it!” – Julian Edelman on his fourth quarter catch in Super Bowl LI

– “I honestly didn’t believe it, even after we did the Lombardi and the confetti. I still didn’t believe it. That’s stuff you see in a movie… Don’t give up. Keep fighting. But to actually live something that special… You don’t ever picture yourself in that situation.” – Dont’a Hightower on the Patriots’ comeback in Super Bowl LI

NFL’s Top 10: Tom Brady Games: At 10 p.m., the first episode of the NFL’s Top 10’s 11th season of shows premieres with a look at the top 10 games from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s career.

In honor of Brady winning his fifth Super Bowl, the NFL’s Top 10: Tom Brady Games details the 10 most significant games in his career. With commentary from both prominent national media members and those who have covered him closely, as well as UFC President Dana White, musician DJ Jazzy Jeff, actor C. Thomas Howell, star of The Bachelor Nick Viall and more, NFL’s Top 10: Tom Brady Games celebrates some of the greatest moments in the career of one of the NFL’s most iconic figures.

Provided below are select quotes from NFL’s Top 10: Tom Brady Games:

– “With as much as he’s accomplished, with his legacy so firmly in place, he’s still so driven in the moment to win the game.” – Ray Didinger

– “He’s the perfect guy. I tell my kids all the time, you don’t want to grow up =to be like Dad – you want to grow up to be like Tom Brady.” – Craig Carton

– “Think about big moments – he’s been the big quarterback that’s played in all of those moments.” – Kirk Morrison

ABOUT NFL MEDIA: NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms such as TuneIn.com and through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (NFL.com/watch), Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

ATLANTA (11-5, NFC South champion, 2nd seed) vs. New England (14-2, AFC East Champion, 1st seed). Ryan vs. Brady. Peach pie vs. Clam chowder. New England vs. Atlanta. The two best teams in the National Football League meet to determine who takes home the Lombardi Trophy. The home of the Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, is the site of the last game of the 2016 campaign. Super Bowl LI takes the stage as the Lone Star State hosts the big game for the third time.

Both teams took big wins in their respective championship games in front of their home crowds. Atlanta took Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers to task January 22nd in the final game at the Georgia Dome, coming away with an impressive 44-21 win over the Packers to take the Halas Trophy and the NFC Championship. Atlanta led from start to finish in the Big Peach, leading 24-0 at the half and increased that lead to 31-0 with 13:51 left in the third before the Packers ended Atlanta’s hopes of a shutout when WR Davante Adams caught a 2-yard TD pass from Rodgers (287 yards, three TDs, interception) with 9:19 left in the period. Green Bay, who had a chance to score in the first half, missed a 41-yard field goal try by Mason Crosby and was marching down the field before Aaron Ripkowski fumbled near the goal line and Atlanta recovered, was held to 99 yards rushing, while the Falcons tallied 101 yards and a pair of rushing TDs from Tevin Coleman and Ryan. Ryan, who threw for 392 yards and four TDs without an interception, connected with Julio Jones on a pair of TD passes, the longest going for 73 yards and WRs Mohamed Sanu and RB DeVanta Freeman. Atlanta ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:39, while going 10 of 13 on third down in the win. Green Bay, who turned the ball over twice, went 4 of 10 on third down tries (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the pigskin for 26:21.

New England took the AFC title and the Lamar Hunt Trophy in Foxboro after their 36-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger at Gillette Stadium. Pittsburgh made it a close contest in the first 30 minutes of action and trailed 17-9 at the half before New England and Brady pulled away to take control of things in the second half. As far as the rushing game went in the Sunday evening contest, neither club breached the 100-yard barrier and barely touched the 50 yard mark in the contest (New England outrushed Pittsburgh 57-54), while Brady threw for 384 yards and three TDs. Meanwhile, for his efforts, Roethlisberger threw for 314 yards and a TD but was picked off once. In forcing a pair of turnovers for their win, the Pats were 11 of 17 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:26, while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 28:34, going 9 of 15 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

New England leads the series 7-6 in regular season play and has won the last four contests, including taking a 30-23 win in the Big Peach in 2013. However, the Falcons have outscored New England 300-249. Atlanta’s last win over New England came in 1998 in Foxboro, where they left Gillette Stadium with a 41-10 win in hand. Atlanta is 0-1 in their only Super Bowl, while the Pats are 4-4 in eight trips to the big game.

Fpr one team, they’ll have a parade and a Lombardi Trophy to keep as well as bragging rights for the season. For the other, they’ll be talked about and second-guessed for years and years. Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. The last football game of the 2016 campaign. After this one’s over, there’s no more football until the pre-season, which means that most of America will be forced to watch those Gosh-awful Lifetime movies on Sundays until Baseball season. There have been 51 of these games and this contest is the star of the show in the sports world. The end of the 2016 NFL season will see a new champion.

It’s also the last chance for “THE DRILL.” It’s kinda sad but even Connie needs some time off (she can still fit into that prom dress she had in high school). (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

It’s the FINAL game of the 2016 campaign. When this one’s over, the winners get the Lombardi Trophy and each player gets a $107,000 check (Which comes out to $26,750 a quarter or $1,733.33 a minute). The loser? They don’t come away completely empty handed. Granted, the check isn’t as big as the winner’s. Each player on the losing team gets a whopping $53,000 or $13,250 a quarter or $883.33 a minute.

The last game of the 2016 campaign gets underway in Houston at NRG Stadium, which will make it the third time that Texas’ largest city has hosted the big game.

Two teams. One game. It all comes down to this.

New England has 9 Super Bowl berths, most in NFL history. Have won 8 consecutive division titles, longest streak in NFL history. Since 2001, have won 4 Super Bowl titles, most in NFL. Have 31-19 (.620) all-time postseason record, 2nd highest winning pct. in playoff history. Head coach Bill Belichick has 25 career postseason wins, most all-time and has won 4 Super Bowl titles (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX), tied with Chuck Noll for most in NFL history. As far as their resepctive divisons go, both clubs won their divisions with one loss under their belts (Atlanta lost to Tampa Bay at home in week one, while the Pats were shut out by Buffalo in Foxboro in week four).

Atlanta is making their 2nd Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. Atlanta won the NFC South title and advanced to postseason for 1st time since 2012. Ranked 1st in NFL in total points (540) and 2nd in total offense (415.8 yards per game). Head coach Dan Quinn is making 3rd Super Bowl appearance in past 4 seasons and Was defensive coordinator for Seattle in Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX.

“It’s an honor to get to go and play in this game,” says Patriots wide receiver Julian Edleman, who is the franchise postseason leader in both catches (84) and receiving yards (937). “This is what you fight for. This is what you train for. It’s to get an opportunity to play in this game,” he told the Boston Globe and the Christian Scientist Monitor.

“This is a really special team,” says Falcons fullback Patrick Di Marco told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We have so many playmakers on offense, defense and special teams. This is a special time for this organization. I am super proud and super excited we are going to be playing in Houston. The ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl – not just get there – and we still have a game ahead of us. We still have one more game to win.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will be making their seventh Super Bowl appearance together, the most NFL title games for any head coach and starting quarterback duo in league history. Belichick and Brady have won four Super Bowls together, tied with Pittsburgh head coach Chuck Noll and quarterback Terry Bradshaw for the most by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.

“I’m proud of this team,” says Belichick. “They all deserve this. It’s a good, hard-working group.”

Belichick is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Noll for the most Super Bowl victories by a head coach with four. Brady, who is making his NFL-record seventh career Super Bowl start, is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Bradshaw and JOE MONTANA for the most Super Bowl wins by a starting quarterback with four.

“You never know if you’ll get these opportunities in life and fortunately this team has got the opportunity,” says Brady about advancing to the Super Bowl. “Now we’ve got to do something and go try and take advantage of it.”

Brady and Montana are the only players in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP three times. Brady, who was the MVP of Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XLIX, can become the first player ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors four times.

Brady enters Super Bowl LI already holding numerous Super Bowl passing records, including attempts (247), completions (164), yards (1,605) and touchdown passes (13).

“He’s the best quarterback to ever play the game,” says Patriots running back Le Garrette Blount about Brady. “He’s obviously, in my opinion, the best ever.”

The Patriots have won nine consecutive games and advanced to the Super Bowl with a 36-17 victory over Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. In that contest, Brady passed for 384 yards and three touchdowns, including two scoring strikes to wide receiver Chris Hogan. Hogan finished the game with nine catches for a franchise postseason-record 180 yards and two touchdowns.

“I’m just happy to take advantage of this opportunity and be a part of this team,” says Hogan. “This whole team has worked so hard starting in April in OTAs. We’ve grinded through this entire year. This is what we worked for and this is what we wanted to get to.”

Patriots running back Blount, who led the NFL with a club-record 18 rushing touchdowns, added a rushing TD against the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Including the postseason, Blount’s 19 rushing touchdowns are tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (1996) for the most by a Patriots player in a single season.

The Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history (Super Bowl XXXIII, 1998 season) with a 44-21 win over Green Bay in the final game at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta, which led the NFL with 540 points scored, has won six consecutive games and is averaging 39.0 points per game over that span. The Falcons are the first team ever to advance to the Super Bowl by scoring at least 30 points in each of the club’s previous six games.

“I’m happy for everybody in our organization,” says Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. “We’ve worked hard to get to this point but the challenge is still in front of us. What we set out to accomplish is still in front of us. It’s really difficult to get to this point, and we will enjoy the process leading into it but our ultimate goal is still in front of us.”

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, who is in his second year with the team, will be making his third Super Bowl appearance in the past four seasons. Quinn was Seattle’s defensive coordinator in Super Bowls XLVIII (2013 season) and XLIX (2014).

“I am excited for the opportunity. But more importantly, I’m excited for these players,” says Quinn. “It’ll be a great challenge.”

Atlanta quarterback Ryan, who led the league with a franchise-record 117.1 passer rating, has continued his stellar play in the postseason with a 132.6 passer rating. Over the team’s six-game winning streak, Ryan has thrown 18 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a 133.3 passer rating.

“MVP,” says Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones when asked how to describe Ryan. “He’s a great player. He’s a great leader on this team and he’s my brother.”

Ryan has thrown at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive postseason games, the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat. In this year’s playoffs, Ryan has seven touchdown passes and no interceptions.

The Falcons have spread the ball out as Ryan threw a touchdown pass to 13 different players in the regular season, the most ever in a season in league history. Among his favorite targets is Jones, who led the NFL averaging 100.6 receiving yards per game this season (1,409 yards in 14 games).

“He’s a beast,” says Ryan about Jones. “He’s an absolute stud. I’ve been so lucky to play with him as long as I have.”

Jones had nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. It marked his second career postseason game with at least 180 receiving yards and two touchdowns and he is the only player in league history to accomplish that feat in multiple playoff games. In five career postseason games, Jones has 552 receiving yards and five touchdown catches. His average of 110.4 receiving yards per game is the highest in NFL postseason history (minimum five games).

Defensively, the Falcons are powered by Vic Beasley, Jr., who led the NFL in sacks (15.5), and a quartet of rookies – safety Keanu Neal, cornerback Brian Poole and linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell. All four rookies started in the NFC Championship Game and Atlanta can become the first team ever to start four rookies on defense in the Super Bowl. Jones (106) and Neal (105) led all NFL rookies in tackles this season.

“Every day, we are just trying to get one percent better for the guy next to us,” says Poole. “Every play, we are going to give it all we’ve got and not let our teammates down. We’re going out there trying to play ball and let people know that what we’ve got is serious.”

Beasley, who is in his second year, had a career-high 15.5 sacks and is the first Falcons player to lead the league in sacks. During the team’s current six-game winning streak, Atlanta has allowed just 19.3 points per game (27.6 points per game in the team’s first 12 games).

“We feel like we have the potential to be a great defense,” Beasley told WSB-TV. “Early in the season, we weren’t playing as well but we have come a long way and now we’re going to the Super Bowl.”

New England’s favored by 3 points in the last game of the 2016 National Football League season and the over/under is 59. Both numbers make a lot of sense. There’s a lot at stake and not just for those that have ads in this year’s contest. There’s a lot at stake for the teams that are involved. The winners will be looked at and heralded for eternity, while the losers will be second-guessed for the entire off season. The winner gets to pick last in the upcoming draft, the loser will pick 31st. Rise up, Atlanta! You’re picking last. Falcons cover the 3 and pull off the upset.

Records vs. Common Opponents

New England: 4-1 (Arizona. 1-0; Denver 1-0; Los Angeles Rams 1-0; Seattle. 0-1; San Francisco 1-0)

Atlanta: 5-1 (Arizona 1-0; Denver 1-0; Los Angeles 1-0; Seattle 1-1; San Francisco 1-0)(Atlanta’s win over Seattle came in the Divisional Round)

Playoff Records – New England: 31-19; Atlanta: 9-12

Broadcast Information – 6:30 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers (Field reporters). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Tony Boselli, James Lofton (Field reporters). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (New England), 82 (Atlanta). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (New England), 82 (Atlanta)

Referee: Carl Chefferss

Injury Report

ATLANTA – Atlanta reported no injuries.

New England – New England reported no injuries.

Weather Report: Game indoors

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

A sampling of NFL records set and milestones reached in 2016 (courtesy the National Football League and NFL Communications):

THE TEAMS

ARIZONA CARDINALS: Led the NFC in total defense (305.2 yards per game) and sacks (48).

QB Carson Palmer passed for 4,233 yards, his franchise-best third season with 3,500+ pass yards.

RB David Johnson set single-season franchise records in scrimmage yards (2,118), rushing touchdowns (16) and total touchdowns (20).

ATLANTA FALCONS: Won the NFC South division title for the first time since 2012. Ranked first in the NFL in total points (540) and second in total offense (415.8 yards per game).

QB Matt Ryan set a franchise record and ranked second in the NFL with 4,944 passing yards. Ryan has six seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards, the most seasons in franchise history. He also owns the top six passing yardage seasons in team history.

WR Julio Jones ranked second in the NFL with 1,409 receiving yards, his fourth season with at least 1,000 receiving yards, tied for the second most in franchise history.

In Week 4, became the first team in NFL history to have a 500-yard passer (Ryan, 503) and a 300-yard receiver (Jones, 300) in the same game. Jones’ 300 receiving yards and Ryan’s 503 passing yards both set franchise single-game records.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: QB Joe Flacco passed for 4,317 yards, a career-high and single-season franchise record. Flacco recorded his seventh career season with 3,000+ passing yards, the most in franchise history.

TE Dennis Pitta had 86 receptions, the most by tight end in a single season in franchise history.

BUFFALO BILLS: Set a franchise record with 29 rushing touchdowns and led the NFL in rushing yards per game (164.4).

RB Le Sean McCoy had 13 rushing touchdowns, tied for the second-most in a season in franchise history. McCoy had four games with 100+ rushing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns this season, tied for the most in Bills history.

CAROLINA PANTHERS: Defeated Arizona 30-20 in Week 8 in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game and became the first team since Tampa Bay in 2002-03 to win both a Championship Game and the rematch the following season by 10+ points each.

QB Cam Newton set franchise records in passing touchdowns (136) and rushing touchdowns (48).

RB Jonathan Stewart has 51 career total touchdowns, third-most in franchise history.

CHICAGO BEARS: Rookie RB Jordan Howard ranked second in the NFL with 1,313 rushing yards and surpassed Matt Forte (1,238 in 2008) as the Bears’ all-time rookie rushing leader. Howard had seven 100-yard rushing games this season, the most games with 100+ rushing yards by a rookie in team history.

Howard gained 202 yards from scrimmage (153 rushing, 49 receiving), including a rushing touchdown, in Week 8 and became the youngest player (21 years, 363 days) in Bears history to record at least 200 scrimmage yards in a single game.

In Week 13, Howard became the fifth rookie in Bears history to rush for three touchdowns in a single game.

CINCINNATI BENGALS: QB Andy Dalton had 4,206 passing yards, his second career season with 4,000+ pass yards (4,293 in 2013) and joined Carson Palmer (two) as the only quarterbacks in team history with multiple 4,000-yard passing seasons.

RB Jeremy Hill had nine rushing touchdowns and has at least nine rushing touchdowns in three consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in franchise history.

LB Vontaze Burfict has three seasons with 100+ tackles (101 in 2016), tied for the second-most in franchise history.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: WR Terrelle Pryor, Sr. had 1,007 receiving yards and became the seventh wide receiver in franchise history with a 1,000-yard receiving season.

LB Christian Kirksey had 143 tackles, the eighth-most in a season in team history.

DALLAS COWBOYS: Won the NFC East division title for the second time in the past three seasons and won 11 consecutive games from Weeks 2-13, tied for the longest winning streak in franchise history.

Ranked first in the NFL in rush defense, allowing 83.5 yards per game.

QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott became the first rookie quarterback and running back duo to start a season opener for the Cowboys since Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach and RB Calvin Hill in 1969.

Became the first team in NFL history to have a rookie pass for 20 touchdowns (Prescott, 23) and a rookie rush for 15 touchdowns (Elliott, 15) in the same season.

In Week 9, Prescott had three touchdown passes and Elliott rushed for two touchdowns, marking the second time in NFL history in which a rookie passed for three touchdowns and a rookie teammate rushed for two touchdowns in the same game.

WR Dez Bryant has 67 career touchdown catches and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (65) for the second-most in franchise history.

DENVER BRONCOS: Led the NFL in pass defense, allowing 185.8 yards per game.

In Week 10, rookie Justin Simmons blocked an extra-point attempt with 1:22 remaining in the fourth quarter and rookie Will Parks returned it for the game-winning two-point conversion in Denver’s 25-23 win at New Orleans. It marked the first-ever game-winning defensive two-point conversion since the rule was adopted in 2015 and the first to give the scoring team the lead.

DETROIT LIONS: Earned a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons.

Had eight wins after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime, the most in a single season in NFL history.

JiM Caldwell became the third head coach in franchise history to lead the Lions to the playoffs twice in his first three seasons.

QB Matthew Stafford passed for 4,327 yards, fifth-most in a season in team history and had a 93.3 passer rating, third-highest in team history.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: Won the NFC North division title for the fifth time in the past six seasons and have 217 victories at Lambeau Field, surpassing Chicago (216 at Wrigley Field) for the most wins by any franchise at one stadium in NFL history.

QB Aaron Rodgers passed for 4,428 yards, his sixth career season with at least 4,000 passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett (five) for the most in franchise history.

Rodgers and WR Jordy Nelson have connected on 59 touchdown passes, surpassing Favre and Antonio Freeman (57) for the most touchdown passes from a quarterback to a receiver in franchise history.

WR Davante Adams had 25 total receptions in Weeks 7 and 8, the most in a two-game span in Packers history.

RB Ty Montgomery rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns in Week 15 at Chicago and became the second Packer to rush for at least 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game against the Bears (Ahman Green, September 29, 2003).

HOUSTON TEXANS: Won the AFC South division title for the second consecutive season. It is the second time in franchise history the team has won back-to-back division titles (2011-12).

Led the NFL in total defense (301.3 yards per game).

WR De Andre Hopkins has 317 career receptions and surpassed Andre Johnson (312) for the most receptions in a player’s first four seasons in franchise history.

S Quinton Demps had six interceptions, tied for the second-most in a season in franchise history.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: WR T.Y. Hilton led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards and has four seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, the third-most in franchise history.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: In Week 16, QB Blake Brotles and WR Marqise Lee became the first pair of teammates in NFL history to throw touchdown passes of at least 20 yards to each other in the same game.

WR Allen Robinson joined Jimmy Smith as the only players in team history with at least 800 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions in consecutive seasons.

LB Paul Posluszny had 132 tackles and has five seasons with 100+ tackles with the Jaguars, the most in franchise history.

DE Yannick Ngakoue had eight sacks, the most by a rookie in franchise history.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Won the AFC West division title for the first time since 2010.

Ranked first in the NFL with 33 takeaways and tied for the league lead with a +16 turnover differential.

QB Alex Smith has 1,317 rushing yards in four seasons with Kansas City and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson (1,253) for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback in franchise history.

Rookie WR-PR-KR Tyreek Hill had 12 touchdowns (6 receiving, 3 rushing, 2 punt return, 1 kick return), tied for the most by a rookie in franchise history.

Hill had a 95-yard punt-return touchdown in Week 17, the longest punt-return touchdown in team history.

Overcame a 21-point deficit in their 33-27 overtime victory against San Diego in Week 1 and became the first team in NFL history to extend a winning streak of at least 10 games with a 21+ point comeback victory.

LOS ANGELES RAMS: TE Lance Kendricks has 17 career touchdown catches and surpassed Billy Truax (16) for the second-most touchdowns by a tight end in franchise history.

WR-PR Tavon Austin has 146 career punt returns and tied Le Roy Irvin (146) for the most punt returns in team history.

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Earned a postseason berth for the first time since 2008.

RB Jay Ajayi had 1,272 rush yards, the third-highest single-season total in franchise history.

Ajayi rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 30-15 win over Pittsburgh in Week 6 in Miami and joined Ricky Williams as the only players in franchise history to rush for at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in a game. Ajayi is the first Dolphin to rush for at least 200 yards in three games in a season.

WR Jarvis Landry had 94 receptions, the second-most catches in a season in Dolphins history. Landry also owns the single-season team record with 110 catches in 2015.

Rookie RB-KR Kenyan Drake had a 96-yard kickoff-return touchdown in Week 9, the second-longest by a rookie in franchise history (Mercury Morris, 105 yards, Septermber, 14, 1969).

MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Joined the 1969 Los Angeles Rams as the only teams since 1933 to start 5-0 without throwing an interception. Minnesota had eight sacks at Carolina in Week 3, tied for the third-most in a road game in team history.

CB Xavier Rhodes had a 100-yard interception-return touchdown and KR Cordarrelle Patterson had a 104-yard kickoff-return touchdown in Week 11 and became the first team since the 1962 Dallas Cowboys to have a 100+ yard interception-return touchdown and a 100+ yard kickoff-return touchdown in the same game. Minnesota is the fourth team in NFL history with two scoring plays of at least 100 yards in the same game and Rhodes’ 100-yard interception-return touchdown was the longest in franchise history.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Won the AFC East division title for the eighth consecutive season, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are the only team in league history to win 13 division titles in a 14-year span.

New England ecorded their sixth season with at least 13 victories (14-2), tied with Denver for the second most 13-win seasons in NFL history.

The Pats became the fifth team in NFL history – and the first since the 1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers – to have at least 16 consecutive seasons with a .500 or better record.

Head coach Bill Belichick has 201 regular-season victories with New England and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers George Halas (318 with Chicago), Don Shula (257 with Miami), Tom Landry (250 with Dallas) and Curly Lambeau (209 with Green Bay) as the only coaches to reach 200 career regular-season wins with one franchise.

Belichick has 260 career victories (including the postseason) and joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Shula (347), George Halas (324) and Tom Landry (270) as the only head coaches in NFL history with at least 250 career wins.

RB Le Garrette Blount set a franchise record with 18 rushing touchdowns.

WR Julian Edleman ranks second in franchise history with three seasons of 90+ receptions (98 in 2016).

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Led the NFL in total offense (426.0 yards per game) and ranked first with 6,816 total net yards (5,074 passing, 1,742 rushing).

QB Drew Brees has 53,763 pass yards in 11 seasons with New Orleans and became the sixth quarterback in NFL history to pass for 50,000 yards with one team.

WR Michael Thomas set franchise rookie records and led all NFL rookies with 92 receptions, 1,137 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches.

NEW YORK GIANTS: Earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2011.

QB Eli Manning passed for 4,027 yards, his franchise-record sixth season with 4,000+ passing yards.

WR Odell Beckham, Jr. had a career-high 101 receptions and joined Steve Smith (107 in 2009) as the only players in franchise history with a 100-catch season. Beckham had 1,367 receiving yards, the third-most in a single season in team history.

S Landon Collins had 125 tackles, the most by a safety in a season in franchise history.

Collins and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie each recorded two interceptions in Week 7, the first Giants duo to accomplish the feat since Kenny Hill and Terry Kinard on September 14, 1986 against San Diego.

NEW YORK JETS: RBs Matt Forte (1,110) and Bilal Powell (1,076) became the first running back duo in franchise history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards each.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: Earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2002. Oakland tied for the NFL lead with a +16 turnover differential.

In Week 1, the Sliver and Black became the fourth team in NFL history to score the game-winning points on a two-point conversion in the final minute of the fourth quarter when QB Derek Carr connected with WR Michael Crabtree on the game-winning two-point conversion with 47 seconds remaining. They are the first to do so in a season opener.

Carr passed for four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 4 and became the first Raiders quarterback to have a four TD and zero interception performance in back-to-back seasons since Rich Gannon in 1999 and 2000. Carr also accomplished the feat on November 1, 2015.

Crabtree had three touchdown receptions in Week 4 and became the first Raider to have three touchdown catches in a game since Jerry Porter on December 19, 2004.

WR Amari Cooper (1,153) and Crabtree (1,003) became the first Oakland duo since 2001 (Jerry Rice and Tim Brown) and third in franchise history to each have at least 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

LB Bruce Irvin had six forced fumbles, tied for the most in a single season in team history.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Rookie QB Carson Wentz became the first Eagles rookie to start at quarterback in a season opener since Davey O’Brien in 1939.

Wentz had 379 completions, the most in a season in franchise history and the most by a rookie in NFL history.

K Caleb Sturgis made 35 field goals, the most in a season in franchise history.

Philadelphia had kickoff-return touchdowns in Week 6 (Wendell Smallwood, 86 yards) and Week 7 (Josh Huff, 98 yards) and became the fifth team since 1970 to have kickoff-return touchdowns by different players in consecutive weeks.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Won the AFC North division title, their seventh division title since 2002.

The Steelers have 601 regular-season victories, joining Chicago (744), Green Bay (730) and the New York Giants (684) as the only teams in NFL history to reach 600 regular-season wins.

QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown have combined for 50 touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann (49) for the most touchdown passes from a quarterback to receiver in team history.

Roethlisberger had 15 touchdown passes through Week 5, the most by a Steelers quarterback in the first five games of a season.

K Chris Boswell made six field goals in Week 15, tied with Gary Anderson (10/23/88) and Jeff Reed (12/1/02) for the most in a single game in franchise history.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: QB Philip Rivers passed for 4,386 yards, his team-record eighth season with at least 4,000 passing yards. Rivers had 33 touchdown passes, tied for the second-most in a season in franchise history and has five 30-touchdown seasons, the most in Chargers history.

Rookie DE Joey Bosa (10.5) became the first Chargers rookie to record 10 or more sacks since 2005 (Shawn Merriman, 10.0).

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Rookie DL De Forest Buckner had 6 sacks, tied for the fifth-most by a rookie in franchise history.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Won the NFC West division title for the third time in the past four seasons and advanced to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

QB Russell wilson passed for 4,219 yards, the most in a season in franchise history.

TE Jimmy Graham had 65 receptions for 923 yards, the highest totals by a tight end in franchise history.

LB Bobby Wagner led the NFL and set a single-season franchise record with 167 tackles.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: QB Jameis Winston set franchise single-season records with 4,090 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes.

WR Mike Evans had 96 receptions, the second-most in franchise history.

Evans had 12 touchdown catches, tied for the most in a season in team history.

TE Cameron Brate had eight receiving touchdowns, tied for the most by a Buccaneers tight end in a season.

TENNESSEE TITANS: QB Marcus Mariota had 26 touchdown passes and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers George Blanda and Warren Moon as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to pass for at least 25 touchdowns in a season.

TE Delanie Walker had seven touchdown receptions, the third-most among tight ends in franchise history.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS: QB Kirk Cousins set a franchise record and ranked third in the NFL with 4,917 passing yards.

Cousins has 18 career games with at least 300 passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (15) for the most in franchise history.

WR De Sean Jackson had 1,005 receiving yards, his second 1,000-yard season with Washington, and is the eighth player in franchise history with multiple seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards.

TE Jordan Reed has 248 career receptions and surpassed Don Warren (244) for the third-most catches among tight ends in team history.

THE PLAYERS

ACCOMPLISHMENT(S)

JAY AJAYI – RB, Miami Dolphins: Rushed for 204 yards in Week 6 and 214 yards in Week 7 and became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards in consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers O.J. Simpson (twice) and Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

Ajayi ecame the first player since 1970 to rush for 200 yards in two of his first three career starts, became the fourth player in NFL history to record three games with at least 200 rushing yards in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Earl Campbell (four in 1980) and O.J. Simpson (three in 1973) and Tiki Barber (three in 2005).

Ajayi had 420 rushing yards in two games against Buffalo in 2016, the fourth-highest rushing total against one team in a single season.

LORENZO ALEXANDER –  LB, Buffalo Bills: Entered the season with nine career sacks in nine seasons and became the first player to begin his career in 1982 or later with a career total of fewer than 10 sacks to record at least 10 sacks (12.5) in his 10th NFL season.

DWAYNE ALLEN – TE, Indianapolis Colts – Had three touchdown receptions in the first half of the Colts’ 41-10 win at the New York Jets in Week 13 on Monday Night Football and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (December 18, 1995) as the only players to have three touchdown catches in the first half of a Monday Night Football game.

VIC BEASLEY JR. – LB, Atlanta Falcons: Led the NFL with 15.5 sacks.

Beasley three sacks, one forced fumble and a 21-yard fumble-return touchdown in Week 14 and became the 10th NFL player – and first Falcon – to record three sacks and a fumble-return touchdown in a single game since 1982.

ODELL BECKHAM JR. – WR, New York Giants: Ranked third in the NFL with 101 receptions and 1,367 receiving yards.

Has 288 career receptions, tied with Jarvis Landry for the most receptions in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history.

Has 11 career games with at least 140 receiving yards, the most in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history.

Beckham beame the first player in NFL history to record at least 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons and joined John Jefferson (1978-1980) and Randy Moss (1998-2000) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in each of his first three seasons.

Beckham reached 3,000 receiving yards in his 30th career game, the fastest in NFL history (Charley Hennigan, 31 games).

LE’VEON BELL – RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Led the AFC with 1,884 scrimmage yards (1,268 rush, 616 receiving).

Bell averaged 157.0 scrimmage yards per game in 2016, the third-highest single-season average in NFL history and had 236 rushing yards with three touchdowns and four catches for 62 yards in Week 14 and became the second player in NFL history with at least 225 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 50 receiving yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (November 19, 1961).

ERIC BERRY – S, Kansas City Chiefs: Intercepted a two-point conversion attempt and returned it for the go-ahead score with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter in the Chiefs’ 29-28 victory at Atlanta in Week 13, marking the first game-winning defensive two-point conversion scored when his team was trailing since the rule was adopted in 2015. Berry, who also returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the contest, became the first player to return an interception for both a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the same game.

ANQUAN BOLDIN – WR, Detroit Lions: Had eight touchdown catches in 2016 and became the second player in NFL history (Terrell Owens) to have at least 1,000 career receptions (1,076) and record a touchdown catch with four different teams (Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, San Francisco).

Is the fourth player in NFL history to have a season with at least five touchdown receptions with four different teams (Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, San Francisco), joining Terrell Owens (five teams), Irving Fryar and Brandon Marshall as the only players in league annals to accomplish the feat.

Played in his 200th career game in Week 15 and his 1,067 career receptions are the fourth-most in a player’s first 200 games.

JOEY BOSA – DE, San Diego Chargers: Led all rookies with 10.5 sacks, the highest total by a rookie since 2011 (Aldon Smith, 14.0).

SAM BRADFORD – QB, Minnesota Vikings: Completed 395 of 552 passes for a 71.6 completion percentage in 2016, the highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history, surpassing Drew Brees’ mark of 71.2 percent (468 of 657) in 2011.

TOM BRADY – QB, New England Patriots: Has 205 career victories including the postseason, the most by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

Brady became the fifth player in NFL history to reach 60,000 passing yards (61,582), joining Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Farve (71,838), Drew Brees (66,111) and Dan Marino (61,361).

Brady has 5,244 career completions and became the fourth player in NFL history to reach 5,000 completions, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (6,300), Peyton Manning (6,125) and Drew Brees (5,836).

Brady threw 28 touchdown passes with two interceptions in 2016, recording the highest touchdown/interception ratio in NFL history, has 21 career games with at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions, the most in NFL history and as passed for 28,678 yards at Gillette Stadium and surpassed Brett Farve (28,240 at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field) for the most passing yards by a quarterback at a single stadium in NFL history.

DREW BREES – QB, New Orleans Saints: Has 66,111 career pass yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) for the third-most all-time. Led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards, his NFL-record 5th season with 5,000+ passing yards.

Brees had 37 touchdown passes and extended his NFL-record streak to nine consecutive seasons with at least 30 TD passes, had nine career seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes, tied for the most in NFL history with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve and Peyton Manning.

Brees extended his NFL-record streak of seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards to 11, extended his NFL-record streak to 60 consecutive home games with a touchdown pass.

Brees has 58 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes, the most in NFL history.

Brees passed for four touchdowns and had a rushing touchdown in Week 12, his third career game with at least four touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown, the most in NFL history.

Brees passed for 465 yards in Week 6, his 15th career 400-yard game and surpassed Peyton Manning (14) for the most all-time.

ANTONIO BROWN – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Ranked second in the NFL with 106 catches and has 481 receptions over the past four seasons, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (469 from 1999-2002) for the most catches in any four-year span in NFL history.

Brown has four consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions, tying Marvin Harrison (four from 1999-2002) for the most consecutive 100-catch seasons in NFL history and reached 600 career receptions in Week 11 in his 96th career game, the fewest games to reach the milestone in NFL history.

DEZ BRYANT – WR, Dallas Cowboys: Had two touchdown catches and his first career touchdown pass in Week 16 and became the fifth player in NFL history with two touchdown catches and a touchdown pass in the same game.

DEREK CARR –  QB, Oakland Raiders: Has 81 career touchdown passes and is the fifth player in NFL history with 80 touchdown passes in his first three seasons.

In Week 8, Carr passed for 513 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Raiders’ 30-24 overtime win at Tampa Bay and became the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 500 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a single game.

BRANDIN COOKS – WR, New Orleans Saints: Had a 98-yard touchdown reception on Kickoff Weekend and an 87-yard touchdown catch in Week 6 and became first player in NFL history with two touchdown catches of at least 85 yards in his team’s first five games of a season.

AMARI COOPER – WR, Oakland Raiders: Had 83 receptions, 1,153 receiving yards and five touchdown catches and became the third player in NFL history to have at least 70 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdown catches in each of his first two career seasons, joining Odell Beckham, Jr. (2014-2015) and Marques Colston (2006-2007).

KIRK COUSINS – QB, Washington Redskins: Ranked third in the NFL with 4,917 passing yards.

Cousins became the second player in NFL history (Aaron Rodgers, 2008-09) to have at least 4,000 passing yards and four or more rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons.

STEFON DIGGS – WR, Minnesota Vikings: Became the first player in NFL history to have at least 13 catches in consecutive games (Weeks 9-10).

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT – RB, Dallas Cowboys: Became the fifth rookie since 1970 to lead the NFL in rushing yards (1,631) and the first since Edgerin James in 1999.

Elliott’s 1,631 rushing yards are the third-highest single-season total by a rookie in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1,808 in 1983) and George Rogers (1,674 in 1981).

Elliott ad five games with at least 125 rushing yards, trailing only Eric Dickerson (seven in 1983) for the most by a rookie.

Elliott became the first rookie running back to have a 60+ yard touchdown run and an 80+ yard touchdown catch in a season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965 and rushed for 130+ yards in four consecutive games (Weeks 3-6), the only rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

RHETT ELLISON – TE, Minnesota Vikings: Had a one-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings a 16-13 lead with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter in Week 9. Ellison, whose touchdown run was the first carry of his five-year career, became the first player in NFL history to score a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of regulation on the first carry of his career.

LARRY FITZGERALD – WR, Arizona Cardinals: Led the NFL with 107 receptions and at 33 years, 123 days old, became the oldest player to lead the league in receptions since Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (34 years, 71 days) in 1996.

Fitzgerald has 1,125 career receptions and moved into third place on the all-time receptions list has 104 career touchdown receptions, the eighth-most all-time.

Fitzgerald had 1,116 career receptions through his 200th career game in Week 15 and surpassed Jerry Rice (1,115) for the most catches in a player’s first 200 games in NFL history.

MATT FORTÉ – RB, New York Jets: Became one of only four players in NFL history with at least 50 rushing touchdowns (52), 500 receptions (517) and 20 receiving touchdowns (20), joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk and Herschel Walker.

WILL FULLER – WR, Houston Texans: Became the first rookie drafted in the first round to have at least 100 receiving yards in each of his team’s first two games of a season.

Became the only rookie in NFL history to have 300 or more receiving yards (323) and a punt-return touchdown in his team’s first four games of a season.

ANTONIO GATES – TE, San Diego Chargers: Had seven touchdown receptions in 2016, bringing his career total to 111 and tying Tony Gonzalez (111) for the most touchdown catches by a tight end in NFL history.

TED GINN JR. – WR, Carolina Panthers: Had an 88-yard touchdown catch in Week 12 and became the fourth player in NFL history to have a receiving touchdown, punt-return touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown of at least 85 yards each in his career.

FRANK GORE – RB, Indianapolis Colts: Moved into eighth place on the all-time rushing list with 13,065 career yards.

Gore rushed for 1,025 yards in 2016, his ninth career season with at least 1,000 yards, the fifth-most all-time and is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 12,500 rushing yards (13,065) and 400 receptions (414).

Gore is the only player in NFL history with 11 consecutive seasons with 1,200+ scrimmage yards.

A.J. GREEN – WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Has nine career games with at least 150 receiving yards, the fourth-most by a player in his first six seasons.

ROB GRONKOWSKI – TE, New England Patriots: Has 23 career games with at least 100 receiving yards, the third-most by a tight end in NFL history.

CASEY HAYWARD – CB, San Diego Chargers: Led the NFL with a career-high seven interceptions.

JOHNNY HEKKER – P, Los Angeles Rams: Set the single-season NFL record with 51 punts inside the 20-yard line.

TYREEK HILL – WR-PR-KR, Kansas City Chiefs: Joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers as the only players with at least five receiving touchdowns (six), three rushing touchdowns (three), a punt-return touchdown (two) and a kick-return touchdown (one) in a single season.

Hill scored on a three-yard run, a three-yard reception and an 86-yard kickoff-return in Week 12 and became the first player since Sayers in 1965 to have a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in the same game.

JORDAN HOWARD – RB, Chicago Bears: Ranked second in the NFL with 1,313 rushing yards, the third-highest total by a rookie not chosen in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. Alfred Morris (1,613 yards in 2012) and Mike Anderson (1,487 in 2000) are the only players drafted outside of the first four rounds with higher totals in their rookie season.

DE SEAN JACKSON – WR, Washington Redskins: Had an 80-yard touchdown catch in Week 14, his 22nd career touchdown of at least 60 yards, the second-most in NFL history.

SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI – K, Oakland Raiders: Has made 55 career 50+ yard field goals and surpassed Jason Hanson (52) for the most in NFL history.

DAVID JOHNSON – RB, Arizona Cardinals: Led the NFL in scrimmage yards (2,118) and touchdowns (20). Set an NFL record with 15 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards to begin a season.

Johnson tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15) as the only players in NFL history to record 15 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in a single season.

Johnson has 24 rushing touchdowns, eight receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown in his career and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers as the only players in NFL history with at least 20 rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown in a player’s first two seasons.

Johnson has scored multiple touchdowns in 11 career games, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James for the most such games in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history.

JULIO JONES – WR, Atlanta Falcons: Led the NFC with 1,409 receiving yards.

Jones had 475 catches through his 75th career game in Week 10, the most receptions in NFL history by a player in his first 75 games, had 7,306 career receiving yards through his 75th career game and became one of two players in league annals with at least 7,000 receiving yards in his first 75 games (Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth, 7,532).

TRAVIS KELCE – TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Led NFL tight ends with 1,125 receiving yards and ranked second with 85 receptions.

Had at least 100 receiving yards in four consecutive games from Weeks 11-14, tied for the longest such streak by a tight end in NFL history.

JARVIS LANDRY – WR, Miami Dolphins: Has 288 career receptions, tied with Odell Beckham, Jr. for the most receptions in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history.

ANDREW LUCK – QB, Indianapolis Colts: Reached 15,000 career passing yards in Week 1 in his 56th career game, tied for the second-fastest in NFL history.

Luck has seven career game-winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, the most in a player’s first five seasons in NFL history.

ELI MANNING – QB, New York Giants: Has 320 career touchdown passes, the seventh-most in NFL history.

Manning has 4,072 career completions and became the seventh player in NFL history to reach 4,000 completions and moved into eighth place on the all-time passing yards list with 48,214 career yards.

MARCUS MARIOTA – QB, Tennessee Titans: Threw multiple touchdown passes in eight consecutive games from Weeks 5-12, the second-longest single-season streak in NFL history by a quarterback in his first two seasons, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino’s streak of 10 games in 1984.

Mariota became the first quarterback in NFL history to have three games with a 70.0+ completion percentage, at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first two seasons.

VANCE MC DONALD – TE, San Francisco 49ers: Had a 75-yard touchdown catch in Week 2 and a 65-yarder in Week 9 and became the fourth tight end since 1970 and the first since 1997, with two touchdown catches of at least 65 yards in the same season.

DE MARCO MURRAY – RB, Tennessee Titans: Led the AFC with 1,287 rush yards.

In Week 10, Murray rushed for 123 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass and became the first non-quarterback since Pro Football Hall of Famer John Henry Johnson in 1960 (December 11, 1960) to have a 75+ yard touchdown run and a touchdown pass in the same game.

Murray also became the first player to record a touchdown run of at least 75 yards and a touchdown pass in the first quarter of the same game since Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe accomplished the feat for the Cleveland Indians in 1921 against the Columbus Panhandles.

Murray had 756 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns through Week 8, becoming the sixth player in NFL history with at least 750 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in his first eight games with a team.

LATAVIUS MURRAY –  RB, Oakland Raiders: Rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns in the Raiders’ 30-20 victory against Denver in Week 9, marking the third time a player has rushed for at least 100 yards and three touchdowns against the defending Super Bowl champions.

JORDY NELSON – WR, Green Bay Packers: Led the NFL with 14 touchdown receptions.

Has three seasons with at least 13 touchdown catches in his career, tying Pro Football Hall of Famers Lance Alworth, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison for the fourth-most in NFL history.

CAM NEWTON – QB, Carolina Panthers: Has 21,772 passing yards and 3,566 rushing yards in his career and is the only player in NFL history to have at least 20,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in his first six seasons.

YANNICK NGAKOUE – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Was the only rookie in the NFL with at least eight sacks (eight) and four forced fumbles (four).

GREG OLSEN – TE, Carolina Panthers: Had 1,073 receiving yards and became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON – WR-KR, Minnesota Vikings: Had a 104-yard kickoff-return touchdown in Week 11 and became the first player in league history with four career touchdowns of 100+ yards.

JULIUS PEPPERS – LB, Green Bay Packers: Has 143.5 career sacks and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (141.5) for the fifth-most sacks since 1982, the first year individual sacks became an official statistic.

JASON PIERRE-PAUL – DE, New York Giants: Had a career-high three sacks, a forced fumble and a 43-yard fumble-return touchdown in Week 12 and became the first player with at least three sacks and a fumble-return touchdown of at least 40 yards in the same game since 1982.

DONTARI POE – DT, Kansas City Chiefs: Had 1.5 sacks in 2016 and threw a two-yard touchdown pass in Week 16, becoming the first player with a touchdown pass and a sack in the same season since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

MATT PRATER – K, Detroit Lions: Converted a 58-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to force overtime in the Lions’ 22-16 win at Minnesota in Week 9, marking the second-longest game-tying field goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter in NFL history.

DAK PRESCOTT – QB, Dallas Cowboys: Had 13 wins as a starter, tied with Ben Roethlisberger (2004) for the most wins by a rookie starting quarterback in NFL history.

Prescott passed for 23 touchdowns with four interceptions and his 0.9 interception percentage is the lowest by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (minimum 200 passing attempts), h ad 11 games with a 100+ passer rating, tied for the third-most in a single season in NFL history and finished the season with a 104.9 passer rating, the highest single-season passer rating by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Prescott had multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games in Weeks 6-11, tied for the longest such streak by a rookie in NFL history, had 176 pass attempts without an interception to begin the season, surpassing Tom Brady (162) for the most pass attempts without an interception to start a career.

Prescott completed 32 of 36 passes (88.9 percent) for 279 yards in Week 15, the second-highest completion percentage in a single game in NFL history (with a minimum of 30 attempts).

TERRELLE PRYOR SR. – WR, Cleveland Browns: Joined Marlin Briscoe as the only players in NFL history with 1,000 receiving yards (1,007 in 2016) in one season and 1,000 passing yards in another (1,798 in 2013).

Pryor had 144 receiving yards, 35 passing yards and 21 rushing yards (including a touchdown) in Week 3 and became the first player to have at least 120 receiving yards, 30 passing yards and 20 rushing yards in a single game since Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford on December 6, 1959.

JORDAN REED – TE, Washington Redskins: In Week 4, reached 200 career receptions in his 38th game, the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 200 career catches, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow (39 games).

JALEN RICHARD – RB, Oakland Raiders: In Week 1, had a 75-yard rushing touchdown on his first career carry and became only the fourth player in NFL history with a 75+ yard rushing touchdown in his NFL debut.

MATT RYAN – QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ranked second in the NFL with 4,944 passing yards, his sixth consecutive 4,000-yard season, tying Peyton Manning(1999-2004) and Matthew Stafford (2011-2016) for the second-longest streak in NFL history.

Ryan led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating in 2016, the fifth-highest single-season rating in NFL history, has 3,288 career completions and surpassed Peyton Manning (3,131) for the most completions in a player’s first nine seasons in NFL history.

Ryan threw a touchdown pass to 13 different players in 2016, the most in a single season in NFL history and has passed for at least 200 yards in 55 consecutive games, the longest streak in NFL history.

PHILIP RIVERS – QB, San Diego Chargers: Recorded his 11th consecutive season with 3,000 passing yards (4,386), tied for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.

Has 314 career touchdown passes, the eighth-most in NFL history.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER – QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Has 301 career touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (300) for the ninth-most touchdown passes in NFL history and became the 10th player in NFL history to throw for at least 300 career touchdowns.

Roethlisberger reached 45,000 career passing yards in Week 10 in his 179th career game, the fifth-fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach the mark and is the eighth quarterback in NFL history to pass for 45,000 yards with one franchise.

AARON RODGERS – QB, Green Bay Packers: Led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 40 touchdown passes in multiple seasons (45 in 2011), has 36,827 career passing yards and 2,544 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers John Elway (51,475 passing, 3,407 rushing) and Fran Tarkenton (47,003 passing, 3,674 rushing) and Donovan McNabb (37,276 passing, 3,462 rushing) as the only players in NFL history with at least 35,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards in a career.

Rodgers as won 16 consecutive starts at Lambeau Field in the month of December and is the second player in NFL history to win 15 consecutive home starts in the month of December, joining Tom Brady (19 games from 2002-2012).

TREVOR SIEMIAN – QB, Denver Broncos: In Week 3, passed for 312 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 132.1 passer rating at Cincinnati and became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in his first career road start.

STEVE SMITH SR. – WR, Baltimore Ravens: Moved into seventh place on the all-time receiving list with 14,731 career yards.

Smith ecame the 14th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career catches (1,031) and is the only player in league history with at least 1,000 career catches (1,031), 1,000 punt-return yards (1,684) and 2,000 kickoff-return yards (2,371).

DARREN SPROLES – RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Is the first player in NFL history to have at least 30 career receiving touchdowns (30), 20 rushing touchdowns (22), a punt-return touchdown (seven) and a kick-return touchdown (two).

MATTHEW STAFFORD – QB, Detroit Lions: Led eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, the most such drives by a quarterback in a single season since 1970.

Stafford surpassed 30,000 career passing yards (30,303) in Week 17 in his 109th career game and became the fastest player to reach the mark in NFL history and passed for four touchdowns in Week 6 and at 28 years, 252 days old, became the fourth-youngest quarterback with 10 career four-touchdown passing games.

RYAN SUCCOP – K, Tennessee Titans: Converted a game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired in the Titans’ 19-17 victory at Kansas City in Week 15. Succop, who spent five seasons with the Chiefs from 2009-13, became the first kicker in NFL history to defeat his former team by converting a game-winning, come-from-behind 50+ yard field goal as time expired.

AQIB TALIB – CB, Denver Broncos: Had a 46-yard interception-return touchdown in Week 2 and has nine career interception-return touchdowns, tied for the fourth-most in NFL history with Pro Football Hall of Famers Ken Houston, Deion Sanders and Aeneas Williams.

DEMARYIUS THOMAS – WR, Denver Broncos: Had 90 catches for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns and became the third player in NFL history with five consecutive seasons of 90+ receptions, 1,000+ recieving yards & 5+ TD catches.

JUSTIN TUCKER – K, Baltimore Ravens: Led the NFL with 38 made field goals and ranked second with 141 points.

Tucket cconverted all 10 of his field-goal attempts of at least 50 yards this season, tying Blair Walsh (Minnesota, 2012) for the most 50+ yard field goals made in a single season.

Tucker made all four of his field-goal attempts in the Ravens’ 19-14 win over Cincinnati in Week 12. Tucker, who connected on field goals of 57, 54 and 52 yards in the first half, became the first player in NFL history with three field goals of at least 50 yards in the first half of a game. His three 50+ yard field goals are tied for the most ever in a game and he became the ninth player in league annals to accomplish the feat.

ADAM VINATIERI – K, Indianapolis Colts: Converted 43 consecutive field goal attempts dating back to 2015, surpassing Mike Vanderjagt (42) for the longest streak in NFL history.

Vinatieri became the only player in NFL history to score 100+ points (125 in 2016) in 19 different seasons.

MIKE WALLACE – WR, Baltimore Ravens: Had a 95-yard touchdown reception in Week 9 and became the third player in NFL history (John Taylor and Gus Tinsley) to have two career 95+ yard touchdown receptions. Wallace is the only player in league annals to have a 95+ yard touchdown catch with two different teams (Baltimore and Pittsburgh).

DE MARCUS WARE – LB, Denver Broncos: Has 138.5 career sacks and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers Richard Dent (137.5) and John Randle (137.5) and Jared Allen (136.0) for the eighth-most sacks since 1982.

CARSON WENTZ – QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Passed for 769 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions through Week 3 and became the only rookie in NFL history with a touchdown pass and no interceptions in each of his first three games to start a season.

Wentz guided the Eagles to a 3-0 start and became the first rookie since 1970 to start and win his team’s first three games to begin a season without throwing an interception.

RUSSELL WILSON – QB, Seattle Seahawks: Won his 50th career game as a starter in Week 6 in his 69th game, tied for the third-fastest starting quarterback to reach 50 career victories. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Stabler (62) and Tom Brady (65) reached the feat in fewer games.

Wilson has 34 career home wins as a starter, surpassing Joe Flacco and  Matt Ryan for the most home wins by a starting quarterback in his first five NFL seasons, has 31 career games with multiple touchdown passes and no interceptions, the most by a player in NFL history in his first five seasons to begin a career.

JAMEIS WINSTON – QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Passed for 4,090 yards and became the first player in NFL history to record at least 4,000 passing yards in each of his first two seasons (4,042 yards as a rookie in 2015).

Winston has 50 career touchdown passes and became the fifth player in league history to throw at least 50 touchdown passes in his first two seasons.

Winston threw his 40th career touchdown pass in Week 10 and at 22 years, 312 days old, became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 40 career touchdown passes.

Championship Sunday Broadcast Information (All Times Eastern)

NFC Championship – Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers (Field reporters). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Tony Boselli (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Green Bay), 82 (Atlanta).

AFC Championship – Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson, Jay Feely (Field reporters). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts, Ross Tucker (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Pittsburgh), 82 (New England). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Pittsburgh), 82 (New England).

Sunday Officials
NFC Championship: Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. – Bill Vinovich
AFC Championship: Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. – Terry McAulay

Sunday Odds
Favorite                Spread    Underdog              O/U
ATLANTA                 –  4      Green Bay             61
NEW ENGLAND             –  6      Pittsburgh            51

Sunday Injury Report

Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: RB James Starks (Concussion), C Joseph Tretter (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Davante Adams (Ankle), WR Geronimo Allison (Hamstring), WR Jordy Nelson (Ribs), S Morgan Burnett (Quad), CB Quinten Rollins (Neck)

ATLANTA – Atlanta reported no injuries

Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m.

Pittsburgh
QUESTIONABLE: LB James Harrison (Shoulder), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion), TE Ladarius Green (Concussion)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (Ankle), TE Martellus Bennett (Knee), RB Brandon Bolden (Knee), LB Qualin Hightower (Knee), WR Chris Hogan (Thigh), WR Malcom Mitchell (Knee), DE Jabaal Sheard (Knee)

Sunday Weather
NFC: Green Bay at ATLANTA, 3:05 p.m. on FOX (Game indoors)
AFC: Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 p.m. on CBS (Cloudy and 42 degrees)

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

The National Football League this afternoon issued a statement regarding tonight’s AFC Divisional game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. The game is still on the docket for this evening with an 7:20 Central Time kickoff.

The statement, coming from the league office in New York City, reads as follows:

Tonight’s Steelers-Chiefs Divisional Playoff game on NBC will move forward as announced at 8:20 p.m. ET. We feel comfortable, after consulting with local and state authorities and both teams, that we can proceed tonight without resulting in any negative impact on public safety resources. We will continue to monitor the weather and urge anyone traveling to the game to use appropriate caution and heed any warnings from local authorities.

The Chiefs on their website issued this statement regarding the game and the weather.

Fans are encouraged to stay informed of weather conditions for Sunday’s game by closely monitoring the local weather forecast. Fans are also advised to stay up-to-date on road conditions in the metro area by following both the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Kansas Department of Transportation on their social media accounts – including @MoDOT_KC and @KansasCityKDOT on Twitter and MoDOT Kansas City and KDOT on Facebook.

Fans should still use extreme caution and care when traveling to the Truman Sports Complex on Sunday. Local officials, as well as the Chiefs, are recommending that fans stay on major highways as much as possible, leave early to allow plenty of time for travel and remain patient as weather will be a factor for everyone’s commute.

The release further added:

Due to the unique nature of the postseason and the weather forecast, the team has slightly adjusted all gate times for the parking lots and the stadium for Sunday’s AFC Divisional Game. Parking lots will open at 2 p.m. Open park will last from 2-3 p.m. and direct parking will begin at 3 p.m. Arrowhead Stadium gates will open to all ticket holders at 5 p.m. For guests with tickets on the Scout Investments Club Level, stadium gates will open at 4 p.m. The Draft Room will also open at 4 p.m.

The weather outlook, according to The Weather Channel, calls for a low of 34 degrees with light rain.

 

 

 

Saturday and Sunday Playoff Broadcast Information (All Times Eastern)

Oakland at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN/ABC: TBD. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Oakland), 82 (Houston). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Oakland), 82 (Houston).

Detroit at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox (Field reporters). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Detroit), 82 (Seattle). XM: 88 (WetsWood1), 225 (Detroit), 82 (Seattle).

Miami at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS: TBD. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Miami), 82 (Pittsburgh). XM: 88 (WestWood1),
225 (Miami), 82 (Pittsburgh).

New York Giants at Green Bay, 4:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX: TBD. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (New York Giants), 82 (Green Bay). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (XM), 82 (Green Bay).

Saturday and Sunday Officials
Oakland at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday – Ronald Torbert
Detroit at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. Saturday – Brad Allen
Miami at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday – Craig Wrolstad
New York Giants at Green Bay, 4:40 p.m. Sunday – Ed Hochuli

Saturday and Sunday Odds (Home Teams in CAPS)

Saturday’s Games
Favorite         Spread       Underdog         O/U
HOUSTON          –  3 1/2     Oakland          36 1/2
SEATTLE          –  8         Detroit          42 1/2

Sunday’s Games
Favorite         Spread       Underdog         O/U
PITTSBURGH       – 10         Miami            47
GREEN BAY        –  4 1/2     New York Giants  44

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report  Oakland at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Oakland
OUT: QB Derek Carr (Ankle), T Donald Penn (Knee)

Houston
OUT: QB Thomas Savage (Concussion), LB John Simon (Chest)

Detroit at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Detroit
QUESTIONABLE: LB DeAndre Levy (Knee), T Riley Reiff (Hip), WR Andre Roberts (Shoulder), C Travis Swanson (Concussion)

Seattle
OUT: DT Anthony McDaniel (Concussion), RB C.J. Prosise (Shoulder)

Miami at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday

Miami
DOUBTFUL: CB Byron Maxwell (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tony Lippett (Thigh), LB Jelani Jenkins (Knee), S Bacarri Rambo (Chest)

Pittsburgh
QUESTIONABLE: LB Vince Williams (Shoulder), TE Ladarius Green (Concussion), S Robert Golden (Ankle)

New York Giants at Green Bay, 4:40 p.m. Sunday

New York Giants
DOUBTFUL: DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Core Muscle)

Green Bay
OUT – CB Quinten Rollins (Neck), RB James Starks (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Damarious Randall (Knee), C Joseph Tretter (Knee), T Bryan Bulaga (Abdomen), WR Randall Cobb (Ankle), LB Jayrone Elliott (Hand), LB Nicholas Perry (Hand), LB Joe Thomas (Back)

Saturday and Sunday Weather
Oakland at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday (Game indoors)
Detroit at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. Saturday (Cloudy and 35 degrees)
Miami at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday (Cloudy and 18 degrees)
New York Giants at Green Bay, 4:35 p.m. Sunday (Mostl cloudy and 14 degrees)

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel