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WHAT TO LOOK FOR – A LOOK BACK

January 1, 2013
Richmond High School



FANTASTIC FINISH: The 2012 NFL season crescendoed with an action-packed Week 17 schedule, as 10 of yesterday’s 16 games had playoff implications. Sunday’s excitement was generated in part because of the NFL’s decision to schedule 16 divisional games in the season’s final week, a new tradition that was instituted in 2010. The NFL also sequenced yesterday’s action carefully to ensure as many meaningful games as possible in each broadcasting window, resulting in the highest collective Sunday rating since at least 2006 (when the Sunday primetime package went to NBC).

 

In the early afternoon games beginning at 1 PM ET, the CHICAGO BEARS kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-24 win against Detroit, but were later eliminated. The NEW YORK GIANTS were also in playoff contention at the start of the day and did their part with a 42-7 win against Philadelphia, but were eliminated by virtue of Chicago’s victory.

 

A meaningful batch of late-afternoon games followed, highlighted by the MINNESOTA VIKINGS’ thrilling 37-34 win against Green Bay to clinch the NFC’s No. 6 seed. Meanwhile, the DENVER BRONCOS defeated Kansas City 38-3 to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye; the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Miami 28-0 to secure a first-round bye; and the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS clinched the NFC West and a first-round bye with a 27-13 win over Arizona.

 

The afternoon excitement set the stage for a win-and-in nightcap on Sunday Night Football between the Dallas Cowboys and WASHINGTON REDSKINS for the NFC East title and No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Redskins earned a 28-18 victory and the final NFL playoff spot.

 

-- NFL --

 

HIGH SCORES: A record 11,651 points were scored during the 2012 season, with games averaging 45.5 points, the highest average in 47 seasons (46.1 in 1965).

 

The most points per game in a season since 1965:

 

YEAR

POINTS PER GAME

1965

46.12

2012

45.51

2011

44.36

2010

44.07

2008

44.06

 

-- NFL --

 

DENVER DOMINANCE: The Denver Broncos clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC yesterday, defeating Kansas City 38-3, Denver’s 11th consecutive win. All 11 wins have been by at least seven points and the Broncos joined the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (13) and 1942 Chicago Bears (11) as the only teams to win at least 11 games in a row by a margin of seven points or more in a single season.

 

 

Teams that have won 11 straight games, all by seven or more points, in a single season:

 

TEAM

YEAR

CONSECUTIVE WINS, 7+ PTS

Indianapolis Colts

2005

13

Chicago Bears

1942

11

Denver Broncos

2012

11

 

-- NFL --

 

 

MR. RODGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS (108.0) finished the year as the NFL leading passer for the second consecutive season.

 

He joins Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (1991-94) as the only qualifying players in NFL history to post a 100+ passer rating in four consecutive seasons.

 

Rodgers (104.9) and Young (96.8) rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time passer rating list.

 

-- NFL --

 

 

COOL BREES: New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 396 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints’ 44-38 loss to Carolina. Brees finished the season with 5,177 passing yards and 43 touchdowns.

 

He is the first quarterback in NFL history with consecutive 5,000-yard seasons and three career 5,000-yard seasons. Brees is the first ever to pass for 15,000 yards in a three-year span (15,273).

 

Brees is the first player in NFL history with at least 40 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons. He also finished the season as the NFL TD pass leader, tying BRETT FAVRE and Pro Football Hall of Famers LEN DAWSON, JOHNNY UNITAS and STEVE YOUNG for the most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes (four):

 

PLAYER

TEAM(S), YEARS

NO. OF SEASONS

Johnny Unitas

Baltimore,1957-1960

4

Len Dawson

Dall. Texans, 1962; Kansas City, 1963, 1965-66

4

Steve Young

San Francisco, 1992-94, 1998

4

Brett Favre

Green Bay, 1995-97, 2003

4

Drew Brees

New Orleans, 2008-09, 2011-12

4

 

-- NFL --

 

 

YEAR OF THE ROOKIE QB (PART 1): Rookie quarterbacks ANDREW LUCK of Indianapolis and RUSSELL WILSON of Seattle each led his team to victory on Sunday. Luck and Wilson each have 11 wins, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (13 in 2004), JOE FLACCO (11 in 2008) and MATT RYAN (11 in 2008) as the only rookie starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to win at least 11 games.

 

The starting rookie quarterbacks to win at least 11 games (since 1966):

 

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

RECORD

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

2004

13-0

Joe Flacco

Baltimore

2008

11-5

Matt Ryan

Atlanta

2008

11-5

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis

2012

11-5

Russell Wilson

Seattle

2012

11-5

 

-- NFL --

 

 

YEAR OF THE ROOKIE QB (PART 2): Washington’s ROBERT GRIFFIN III (102.4) and Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON (100.0) finished the season as the NFL’s No. 3 and No. 4 leading passers, respectively. Griffin and Wilson are the only qualifying rookies in NFL history with a 100+ passer rating.

 

Prior to 2012, BEN ROETHLISBERGER (98.1 in 2004) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (96.0 in 1983) were the only two qualifying rookies in NFL history to post a 90+ passer rating.

 

The rookies with the highest passer rating in NFL history (qualifiers):

 

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

PASSER RATING

Robert Griffin III

Washington

2012

102.4

Russell Wilson

Seattle

2012

100.0

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh

2004

98.1

Dan Marino

Miami

1983

96.0

Greg Cook

Cincinnati

1969

88.3

 

-- NFL --

 

 

YEAR OF THE ROOKIE QB (PART 3): Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON had one passing touchdown and one rushing TD in the Seahawks’ 20-13 win over St. Louis. Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes and tied PEYTON MANNING (1998) for the most passing TDs by a rookie in NFL history.

 

Three rookie quarterbacks finished with at least 20 touchdown passes in 2012, the most of any season in NFL history – Wilson (26), ANDREW LUCK (23) and ROBERT GRIFFIN III (20). Prior to 2012, only five rookies in NFL history passed for at least 20 touchdowns.

 

The rookies with 20+ touchdown passes in NFL history:

 

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

PASS TDs

Peyton Manning

Indianapolis

1998

26

Russell Wilson

Seattle

2012

26

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis

2012

23

Charlie Conerly

N.Y. Giants

1948

22

Cam Newton

Carolina

2011

21

Dan Marino

Miami

1983

20

Andy Dalton

Cincinnati

2011

20

Robert Griffin III

Washington

2012

20

 

-- NFL --

 

RUNNER’S WORLD: Minnesota’s ADRIAN PETERSON (6.03) and Buffalo’s C.J. SPILLER (6.01) finished the season ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, among running backs in rushing average in 2012.

 

On Sunday, Peterson and Spiller joined JAMAAL CHARLES (2010) and Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1963), BARRY SANDERS (1997) and O.J. SIMPSON (1973) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 1,200 yards in a season while averaging 6.00 yards per carry or better. No two players had previously accomplished the feat in the same season.

 

Peterson rushed for 199 yards in the Vikings’ 37-34 win over Green Bay. He finished with 2,097 yards, the second-most in a season in NFL history and nine yards shy of breaking Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON’s record (2,105 in 1984).

 

Spiller rushed for 59 yards in the Bills’ 28-9 win against the New York Jets, finishing the season with a career-high 1,244 yards.

 

The players to rush for at least 1,200 yards while averaging 6.00+ yards per carry in a season:

 

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

YARDS

ATT.

AVG.

Jim Brown

Cleveland

1963

1,863

291

6.40

Jamaal Charles

Kansas City

2010

1,467

230

6.38

Barry Sanders   

Detroit

1997

2,053

335

6.13

O.J. Simpson

Buffalo

1973

2,003

332

6.033

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota

2012

2,097

348

6.026

C.J. Spiller

Buffalo

2012

1,244

207

6.01


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