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What To Look For In Week 17

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 17

RACE TO 5,000: New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES (4,858), Washington quarterback KIRK COUSINS (4,630) and Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN (4,613) are the NFL’s top three passing yardage leaders this season.

Brees, Cousins and Ryan can each reach 5,000 yards passing on Sunday and would become the second trio of quarterbacks to reach 5,000 passing yards in the same season, joining Brees (5,476), TOM BRADY (5,235) and MATTHEW STAFFORD (5,038) who all accomplished the feat in 2011.

The quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards in a season:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM PASSING YARDS
 Peyton Manning 2013 Denver 5,477
 Drew Brees 2011 New Orleans 5,476
 Tom Brady 2011 New England 5,235
 Drew Brees 2012 New Orleans 5,177
 Drew Brees 2013 New Orleans 5,162
 Dan Marino^ 1984 Miami 5,084
 Drew Brees 2008 New Orleans 5,069
 Matthew Stafford 2011 Detroit 5,038
       
 Drew Brees 2016 New Orleans 4,858*
 Kirk Cousins 2016 Washington 4,630*
 Matt Ryan 2016 Atlanta 4,613*
 *Through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brees, who has recorded four of the NFL’s eight 5,000-yard passing seasons, is the only quarterback in league history to pass for at least 5,000 yards in multiple seasons.

— NFL —

BRADY BARELY BLEMISHED: New England quarterback TOM BRADY has passed for 25 touchdowns with two interceptions and leads the NFL with a 12.5 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season.

With three touchdowns and no interceptions at Miami on Sunday, Brady would have the highest single-season touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history (minimum 20 passing touchdowns).

The highest single-season touchdown-to-interception ratios in NFL history (minimum 20 passing touchdowns):

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM TOUCHDOWN PASSES INTERCEPTIONS TD/INT RATIO
 Nick Foles 2013 Philadelphia 27 2 13.5
 Tom Brady 2016 New England 25* 2* 12.5*
 Tom Brady 2010 New England 36 4 9.0
 Aaron Rodgers 2014 Green Bay 38 5 7.6
 Aaron Rodgers 2011 Green Bay 45 6 7.5
 *Through Week 16

— NFL —

ZOOMING ZEKE: Dallas rookie running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT leads the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards, the third-highest rushing total by a rookie in NFL history.

With 69 rushing yards at Philadelphia on Sunday, Elliott would become the second rookie in NFL history with 1,700 rushing yards in a season. Elliott needs 178 rushing yards against the Eagles to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1,808) as the NFL’s all-time rookie rushing leader.

The rookies with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM RUSHING YARDS
 Eric Dickerson^ 1983 Los Angeles Rams 1,808
 George Rogers 1981 New Orleans 1,674
 Ezekiel Elliott 2016 Dallas 1,631*
 Alfred Morris 2012 Washington 1,613
 Ottis Anderson 1979 St. Louis Cardinals 1,605
 Edgerrin James 1999 Indianapolis 1,553
 *Through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Elliott ranks second in the league with 1,994 yards from scrimmage (1,631 rushing, 363 receiving), the third-highest total by a rookie in NFL history.

With six scrimmage yards on Sunday, Elliott would become the third rookie in NFL history to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards, joining Dickerson (2,212 in 1983) and EDGERRIN JAMES (2,139 in 1999).

The rookies with the most yards from scrimmage in NFL history:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM SCRIMMAGE YARDS
 Eric Dickerson^ 1983 Los Angeles Rams 2,212
 Edgerrin James 1999 Indianapolis 2,139
 Ezekiel Elliott 2016 Dallas 1,994*
 Doug Martin 2012 Tampa Bay 1,926
 Billy Sims 1980 Detroit 1,924
 *Through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

DAK DAZZLES: Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT leads all rookie quarterbacks with 3,630 passing yards, 23 touchdown passes and a 105.6 passer rating this season while helping guide the Cowboys to a 13-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

With a victory at Philadelphia on Sunday, Prescott would record his 14th win as a starting quarterback, passing BEN ROETHLISBERGER (13 in 2004) for the most by a rookie starting quarterback in NFL history.

Prescott (23) needs four touchdown passes on Sunday to surpass PEYTON MANNING (26) and RUSSELL WILSON(26) for the most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

The most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in NFL history:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM TOUCHDOWN PASSES
 Russell Wilson 2012 Seattle 26
 Peyton Manning 1998 Indianapolis 26
 Dak Prescott 2016 Dallas 23*
 Andrew Luck 2012 Indianapolis 23
 *Through 15 games

Prescott has thrown only four interceptions in 451 passing attempts this season and ranks third among qualifying quarterbacks with a 0.9 interception percentage, trailing only TOM BRADY (0.5 percent) and SAM BRADFORD (0.8 percent).

Prescott is on pace to record the lowest interception percentage by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (minimum 200 passing attempts).

The rookie quarterbacks with the lowest interception percentages in NFL history (minimum 200 attempts):

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM PASSING ATTEMPTS INTERCEPTIONS INT PERCENTAGE
 Dak Prescott 2016 Dallas 451* 4* 0.9*
 Robert Griffin III 2012 Washington 393 5 1.3
 Nick Foles 2012 Philadelphia 265 5 1.9
 Charlie Batch 1998 Detroit 303 6 2.0
 Derek Carr 2014 Oakland 599 12 2.0
 *Through 15 games

— NFL —

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 347 yards with four touchdown passes for a 136.6 passer rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Packers’ 38-25 win vs. Minnesota last week. Rodgers leads the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns this season. New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES ranks second in the league with 35 touchdown passes in 2016.

With four touchdown passes at Detroit on Sunday Night Football, Rodgers would become the fourth quarterback in NFL history with at least 40 touchdown passes in multiple seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO(1984, 1986), PEYTON MANNING (2004, 2013) and Brees (2011, 2012).

With five touchdown passes at Atlanta on Sunday, Brees can become the first quarterback in NFL history with three seasons of at least 40 touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with at least 40 touchdown passes in multiple seasons:

 PLAYER SEASONS  TEAM(S) SEASONS WITH 40+ TD PASSES
 Peyton Manning 2004, 2013  Indianapolis, Denver 2
 Drew Brees 2011, 2012  New Orleans 2*
 Dan Marino^ 1984, 1986  Miami 2
       
 Aaron Rodgers 2011  Green Bay 1**
 *Has 35 touchdown passes through 15 games
 **Has 36 touchdown passes through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

GOOD COMPANY: Green Bay wide receiver JORDY NELSON had 154 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 16.

Nelson, who has 91 catches for 1,191 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdown receptions this season, can become the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 100 catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers CRIS CARTER (1995), JERRY RICE (1995) and MARVIN HARRISON (2001) and RANDY MOSS (2003).

The players with at least 100 catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in a season:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM RECEPTIONS REC. YARDS TD CATCHES
 Randy Moss 2003 Minnesota 111 1,632 17
 Marvin Harrison^ 2001 Indianapolis 109 1,524 15
 Cris Carter^ 1995 Minnesota 122 1,371 17
 Jerry Rice^ 1995 San Francisco 122 1,848 15
           
 Jordy Nelson 2016 Green Bay 91* 1,191* 14*
 *Through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

ROCKING RAIDER: Oakland wide receiver AMARI COOPER has 78 catches for 1,110 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season.

With one touchdown catch on Sunday at Denver, Cooper would become 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).

The players with at least 70 catches, 1,000 receiving yards and five touchdown catches in each of their first two seasons:

 

 PLAYER

 

SEASONS

 

 TEAM

SEASONS WITH 70+ CATCHES, 1,000+ REC. YARDS &

 5+ TD CATCHES IN FIRST 2 YEARS

 Odell Beckham Jr. 2014-2015  New York Giants 2
 Marques Colston 2006-2007  New Orleans 2
       
 Amari Cooper 2015-2016  Oakland 1*
 *Through 15 games

— NFL —

RINGING THE BELL: Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL ranks third in the NFL with 1,884 yards from scrimmage (1,268 rushing, 616 receiving) this season, despite only appearing in 12 games.

With 116 yards from scrimmage against Cleveland on Sunday, Bell, who had 2,215 scrimmage yards in 2014, can become the seventh player in NFL history to record multiple seasons with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in his first four career seasons.

The most seasons with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in a player’s first four seasons:

 

 PLAYER

 

TEAM

SEASONS WITH 2,000+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS

IN FIRST 4 YEARS

 Eric Dickerson^ Los Angeles 3
 Terrell Davis Denver 2
 Edgerrin James Indianapolis 2
 Larry Johnson Kansas City 2
 Ray Rice Baltimore 2
 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego 2
     
 Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 1*
 *Has 1,884 scrimmage yards through Week 16

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Bell leads the NFL with a 157.0 scrimmage yards per game average in 2016, the third-highest single-season average in NFL history.

The highest single-season scrimmage yards per game averages in NFL history:

 PLAYER SEASON TEAM SCRIMMAGE YARDS PER GAME AVERAGE
 Priest Holmes 2002 Kansas City 163.4
 O.J. Simpson^ 1975 Buffalo 160.2
 Le’Veon Bell 2016 Pittsburgh 157.0*
 Chris Johnson 2009 Tennessee 156.8
 Marshall Faulk^ 2000 St. Louis 156.4
 *Through 15 games
 ^Pro Football Hall of Famer

— NFL —

CATCH IT LIKE BECKHAM: New York Giants wide receiver ODELL BECKHAM JR. had 11 catches for 150 yards in the Giants’ Week 16 loss to Philadelphia, his 19th career game with at least 100 receiving yards, tying RANDY MOSS(19) for the most by a player in his first three seasons.

With 100 receiving yards at Washington on Sunday, Beckham would become the only player in NFL history with 20 career games of at least 100 receiving yards in his first three seasons.

The most 100-yard receiving games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history:

 PLAYER SEASONS TEAM 100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES IN FIRST 3 SEASONS
 Odell Beckham Jr. 2014-2016 New York Giants 19*
 Randy Moss 1998-2000 Minnesota 19
 T.Y. Hilton 2012-2014 Indianapolis 16
 John Jefferson 1978-1980 San Diego 16
 Bill Groman 1960-1962 Houston 16
 Harlon Hill 1954-1956 Chicago 16
 *Through 15 games in third season

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.