2017 NFL Surprising Stats To Know: Week 16
Brandon Marianne Lee takes a look at the stats that catch her eye while researching and tells you what they mean for your team.
Week 16… a championship week. Live it. Breathe it. Believe it.
#FANation, we worked hard all year to take home that trophy, or belt, or cash. This is our moment.
And if you have one more week until your championship, stay tuned. I’ll be here dealing out the info. If you’re a DFS guy or gal, this is a big week for you, too. This is the last time we’ll have big slates filled with teams that still have something to play for.
As always, here are some surprising stats that will help guide you through the holiday weekend.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Only two players in NFL history have 12-plus consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus scrimmage yards. One is Emmitt Smith. The other is Frank Gore.
Bonus: Jack Doyle caught seven passes for 47 yards last week against the Broncos. Two weeks ago, Jesse James caught 10 passes for 97 yards against the Ravens, but no tight end has scored a touchdown against Baltimore since Week 6 when both Dion Sims and Zach Miller made it into the end zone.
Even though CB Jimmy Smith is on the sidelines for the rest of the year, the Baltimore Ravens haven’t allowed a receiving touchdown to a wide receiver since Week 9.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
The weather forecast in Green Bay calls for 13 degrees, 12 MPH winds. The coldest games that Case Keenum has played in, came in in Seattle, in both 2015 and 2016, when it was in the mid-30s at kickoff.
This is the first time since the year 2000 that the Minnesota Vikings are favored on the road against the Green Bay Packers. This will also be the first game that Brett Hundley will play in that will be under 15 degrees.
Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals
According to Pro Football Focus, Josh Shaw has allowed 212 catches on 27 targets thrown into his coverage this season in the slot. Golden Tate will play in the slot, as he has done in 79.1 percent of his routes during the 2017 season.
Over the last two games, Andy Dalton has thrown for under 145 yards in each matchup, and scored one touchdown to three interceptions. This led to his benching in back-to-back performances. Also, there is snow in this game’s weather forecast.
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
If Kenyan Drake posts 100-plus yards from scrimmage this week, that will be the fourth time in a row hitting those numbers. Since Week 13, Drake ranks third in the league with 447 scrimmage yards.
Kareem Hunt is the only rookie in NFL history with 200-plus yards from scrimmage, a rushing touchdown, and a receiving touchdown in two different games. He also holds the franchise rookie record, with 1,641 scrimmage yards. The Miami Dolphins allow an average of 95.2 rushing yards, 45.9 receiving yards and 1.1 touchdowns to opposing running backs per game.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
LeSean McCoy has 95 or more yards from scrimmage in four of his last five games. He also reached 10,000 rushing yards over the course of the fifth fewest carries in NFL history (2,145). He averages 102 yards per game over his last five played against the Patriots.
The last time Tom Brady played against the Bills, it was Week 13. He threw for 258 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interceptions. Over his last three games, Brady has thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions. However, all three games were on the road, and in his last home game, Brady threw for 227 yards and four touchdowns (and one pick).
Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears
Last week Josh Gordon caught five of his 11 targets for 47 yards. He’s caught 42.9 percent of his targets since returning to the NFL.
Kendall Wright saw double-digit targets in each of his last two outings. Over the last two weeks he logged 17 catches for 188 yards. He is currently available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Cameron Brate’s 14 touchdowns since the start of the 2016 season is the third most among tight ends. In Week 8 Brate caught four of his five targets for 64 yards against the Panthers. Earlier this week, rookie O.J. Howard was sent to IR due to an ankle injury.
Three quarterbacks in NFL history have 150-plus passing touchdowns and over 4,000 career rushing yards. Steve Young, Randall Cunningham, and Cam Newton. Only one quarterback has been able to run in a touchdown on the Bucs defense this season. That man is Eli Manning.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Two weeks ago, Julio Jones caught five passes for 98 yards against the New Orleans Saints. Three of those catches for 65 yards were in coverage from rookie Marshon Lattimore. That is the best stat line any receiver had against Lattimore this season, and Lattimore was coming off a two-game absence due to an ankle injury.
In Week 14, Michael Thomas caught 10 of his 14 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. Thomas leads the NFC with a career-high 94 catches. Only two wide receivers in NFL history have 90 or more catches in each of their first two seasons. They are Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Thomas.
Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins
C.J. Anderson carried the ball 30 times for 158 yards last week against the Colts. The week prior, Anderson saw 22 carries. Prior to Week 14, Anderson hadn’t seen more than 15 carries since Week 4. In every single game that the Broncos won this season, Anderson saw 20-plus carries. Below that, the Broncos have zero wins.
According to Pro Football Focus, over the last four weeks, Kirk Cousins has been sacked on 24.5 percent of his dropbacks, the third highest percentage in the league only behind Blaine Gabbert and Jameis Winston.
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans
Greg Zuerlein was put on IR on Wednesday with a back injury. Zuerlein scored 10 or more fantasy points in 10 of his 14 games played this season, with graduated scoring for distance. The Rams signed Sam Ficken, a Penn State Alum who will make his NFL regular-season debut in a game that could win the Rams their division.
Corey Davis has yet to go over 50 receiving yards or score a touchdown in the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
Antonio Gates scored his first touchdown since Week 2 last week against the Chiefs. Earlier this week the Chargers put Hunter Henry on IR due to a lacerated kidney. Over his last four games against the Jets, he scored five touchdowns.
The New York Jets have scored on each of their last 21 red-zone possessions, including 13 touchdowns and eight field goals.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers
Blake Bortles threw seven touchdowns so far in December. That is the absolute most in the league.
Duke Johnson scored a receiving touchdown against the Jaguars in Week 11. Joe Mixon only managed 31 rushing yards, but he scored the last rushing touchdown against Jacksonville and that was in Week 9. The last time a running back ran for over 100 yards was in Week 6. That player was Todd Gurley. Carlos Hyde ran over 100 yards one time this year, in Week 2, and he’s only scored one touchdown since Week 6.
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
Paul Richardson has 42 catches, 682 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Tyler Lockett has 41 catches for 523 yards and two touchdowns on the season. The Cowboys have allowed a league-high 19 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in 2017.
Last week Todd Gurley carried the ball 21 times for 152 yards and three touchdowns. In the air, he added 28 yards and another touchdown. In Week 14, Leonard Fournette went over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. If you remove his game against the Broncos, Elliot has averaged 110.7 rushing yards and 1.3 total touchdowns per game.
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
This could be the last home game of Larry Fitzgerald’s career. Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com reported that Fitzgerald is undecided about his future. Over the course of his seven home games in 2017, Fitzgerald averaged 7.9 catches for 83.7 yards and scored four touchdowns. The Giants allow an average of 156.9 receiving yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game to opposing wide outs.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
Despite missing one game due to injury and one game due to suspension, JuJu Smith-Schuster is tied for third among rookies with five touchdowns catches, and is third in receiving yards (699).
Andre Johnson is the only wide receiver in the Texan’s franchise history with multiple seasons with 100 or more catches. If DeAndre Hopkins catches eight passes this week, he will be the second. Hopkins has done just that four times this year, but five times he’s ended the game with seven catches.
Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Carr is the only quarterback in Raiders history with over 3,000 passing yards in each of his first four seasons. He hasn’t throw for over 300 yards since Week 9, and he hasn’t thrown for more than two touchdowns since Week 7.
If the Minnesota Vikings lose on Saturday night when they travel to Lambeau Field, the Philadelphia Eagles will clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFL playoffs, regardless of whether they win on Monday Night Football. No word yet on if they are considering benching key players for rest.