Each week, Inside the Numbers delves into the statistics, streaks, and trends of the NFL. For additional Inside the Numbers content, visit this page.
The way Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown are playing, the NFL’s single-season receiving record could be in serious jeopardy.
The impressive performances of both receivers and the newly added 17th game to the schedule put Calvin Johnson’s 2012 record of 1,964 receiving yards at risk of being surpassed.
Hill has accumulated 1,104 receiving yards for the Miami Dolphins, making him the first player in over half a century to achieve 1,000 yards in the first eight games of the season. The only other players to reach this milestone in the first eight games are Charley Hennigan (1,122 in 1961), Elroy Hirsch (1,058 in 1951), and Don Hutson (1,032 in 1942).
Hill is on track to surpass Johnson’s record, even without the 17th game, as he currently averages 126.8 yards per game. In order to break Johnson’s record, he will need to maintain an average of 106 yards for the remainder of the season.
Brown is slightly behind that pace with 939 yards for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he is closing fast. He had eight catches for 130 yards and two TDs last week to set an NFL record with his sixth straight game with at least 125 yards receiving.
In his most recent six games, Brown has accumulated 831 yards and is on track to reach 1,995 yards, which is slightly higher than Johnson’s record.
Will Levis had a remarkable first appearance as the most recent rookie quarterback to receive a start this season.
In Tennessee’s 28-23 victory against Atlanta, Levis made four successful touchdown passes. This tied him with former Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (2015) and Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (1961) as the only players to achieve this in their first NFL games.
Levis became the seventh rookie quarterback to make a start this season, trailing behind Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Aidan O’Connell, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and Tyson Bagent. This marks the highest number of rookie starters in the first eight weeks of the season since the merger, not including the 1987 season with replacement players.
This week, there is potential for even more rookie starting quarterbacks as Jaren Hall is expected to take the field for Minnesota due to Kirk Cousins’ injury and Clayton Tune may also start for Arizona. If both quarterbacks are given the opportunity to start this week, it would match the record set in 2019 for the most rookie starting QBs in a regular season with nine.
On Sunday, Young and Stroud competed against each other, and Young secured his first victory for the Panthers in a 15-13 triumph. This was the fifth instance in the modern draft era where rookie quarterbacks drafted with the top two picks went head to head, and Young joined Peyton Manning (1998 vs. Ryan Leaf) as the only top picks to come out victorious.
In 2021, Zach Wilson defeated Trevor Lawrence, while Mariota came out on top against Jameis Winston in 2015 and Rick Mirer triumphed over Drew Bledsoe in 1993.
The 24-9 defeat of Kansas City by Denver marked the end of multiple lengthy streaks.
The Chiefs had a winning streak of 16 games against the Broncos, which was tied for the third-longest in the regular season. This was only surpassed by a 20-game streak for Miami against Buffalo in the 1970s and a 17-game streak for San Francisco against the Rams in the 1990s.
Since 1950, Patrick Mahomes has had a record of 12 wins and 0 losses as a starting player against the Broncos, which is equal to Otto Graham’s record and is considered the best record against one team.
Mahomes had a 13-game winning streak in the division, just one game short of the longest streak since the merger, which was held by Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.
Mahomes’ impressive streak of 35 consecutive games with at least one TD pass in the regular season or playoffs has come to an end. This streak was tied for the seventh-longest, but falls short of Drew Brees’ record of 60 consecutive games.
This particular game for the Chiefs was an uncommon one as it was not a close match. Prior to this, Kansas City had an impressive streak of 40 games in both the regular season and playoffs without losing by more than four points.
Carolina’s victory put an end to their prolonged streak of unsuccessful comebacks.
The Panthers had not won a game in which they were behind in the fourth quarter for 56 consecutive games, the longest streak since at least 1991. Their most recent victory before Sunday was on Oct. 21, 2018, against Philadelphia.
Carolina’s win resulted in every team in the league having both a win and a loss this season, marking the first occurrence of this in the first eight weeks since 1999.
Although the Panthers’ streak has come to an end, the 49ers have continued their own by suffering their 38th consecutive defeat when behind by at least eight points in the fourth quarter during the regular season or playoffs. This record also encompasses 37 losses under the guidance of coach Kyle Shanahan.
The Giants’ aerial attack regressed during their defeat against the Jets on Sunday.
The Giants had a net passing yardage of -9, with Tyrod Taylor completing 4 out of 7 passes for a total of 8 yards and rookie Tommy DeVito completing 2 out of 7 passes for a loss of 1 yard. They also allowed four sacks for a total of 16 yards against the Jets, resulting in a final passing yardage of -9 for the Giants.
That was the fewest yards passing in a game since Cleveland had minus-9 against Jacksonville on Dec. 3, 2000. The last team with fewer yards was the Chargers with minus-19 against Kansas City in Ryan Leaf’s third career start in 1998.
During the Jets’ 13-10 overtime victory, both teams collectively punted a total of 24 times. This is the third highest number of punts in a game since 1960, with only the 1998 Raiders-Chargers game (27 punts) and the 1987 Eagles-Giants game (25 punts) having more.
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