The National Football League is thankful for many things. Thrilling games decided in the final minutes and players with gleaming futures making significant contributions in the present are high on that list.

Through 11 weeks, only one other season in NFL history has produced more games within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter. And, through 11 weeks, only two other prior years have produced more games decided by one score.

MOST GAMES WITHIN EIGHT POINTS IN FOURTH QUARTER, THROUGH 11 WEEKS, NFL HISTORY MOST GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER, THROUGH 11 WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
2016123 201696
2020114 201589
2013114 202087
2007113 201986
2004113 201886
 198886

RARIFIED AIR: When the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS travel to play the DENVER BRONCOS on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Saints quarterback TAYSOM HILL can continue a unique climb within an exclusive group.

  • Making his first NFL start at quarterback last week, Hill passed for 233 yards, rushed for 51 yards and had two rushing touchdowns.
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer PAUL HORNUNG entered the NFL as the first-overall selection in the 1957 draft. Among those who began their careers since Hornung joined the league, Hill is one of only 10 players with at least 500 career rushing yards, 300 career passing yards and 300 career receiving yards.​

The players with at least 500 career rushing yards, 300 career passing yards and 300 career receiving yards, among those that entered the league since 1957:

PLAYERYEARSPASS YARDSRUSH YARDSREC. YARDS
Taysom Hill2017-20438589312
Terrelle Pryor2011-181,9946461,563
Kordell Stewart1995-200514,7462,874658
Walter PaytonHOF1975-8733116,7264,538
Dan Reeves1965-723591,8881,483
Dick Hoak1961-704141,858818
Paul Lowe1960-693264,9951,045
Tom Moore1960-673832,4451,152
John David Crow1958-687594,9633,699
Paul HornungHOF1957-663833,7111,480
  • Last week, New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS had nine receptions for 104 yards while running back ALVIN KAMARA rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 24-9 win over Atlanta.
  • Thomas has 489 career receptions and surpassed JARVIS LANDRY (481) for the most receptions by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.
  • Kamara has 531 rushing yards and 648 receiving yards this season and is the first player with at least 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons in NFL history. He is also the sixth running back with four-or-more consecutive seasons with at least 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the Super Bowl era (1966-2020).

FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE IN INDY: The TENNESSEE TITANS and INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, both 7-3 and tied atop the AFC South, meet in a key showdown on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). It’s the teams’ second meeting in three weeks. In Week 10 on Thursday Night Football, Indianapolis defeated Tennessee, 34-17, as running back NYHEIM HINES totaled two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). Last week, each team won an overtime thriller.

  • In that win last week, the Colts overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Green Bay, 34-31, in overtime. This season in the NFL, there have been 12 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 14 points to win, tied with the 1996 and 1979 seasons for the third-most such games through Week 11 in NFL history. Only the 1987 (15 games) and 2011 (14) seasons had more.
  • The Titans, meanwhile, overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat Baltimore, 30-24, in overtime. This season, there have been 33 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win, the most through Week 11 in NFL history.
  • Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for 133 yards, including the game-winning 29-yard touchdown in overtime, last week. He leads the NFL with 1,079 rushing yards this season.
  • Henry, who also registered a 5-yard overtime touchdown run in Week 6, is the first player with multiple overtime rushing touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.
  • This season, the Titans have won an NFL-high five games in which they’ve scored the game-deciding points in either overtime or the last two minutes of regulation. Through the season’s first 11 weeks, the league has produced 28 games – or 2.54 per week – in which the winning team earned the deciding points in either the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.

The games in which the deciding points were scored in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime this season:

WEEKRESULTPLAYTIMEQTRWEEKRESULTPLAYTIMEQTR
1Chi 27, Det 23TD pass1:5446Ten 42, Hou 36TD run6:30OT
1Ten 16, Den 14FG0:1747Ari 37, Sea 34FG0:15OT
2Dal 40, Atl 39FG0:0047Cle 37, Cin 34TD pass0:114
2KC 23, LAC 20FG1:55OT7Det 23, Atl 22TD pass0:004
2Ten 33, Jax 30FG1:3647Phi 22, NYG 21TD pass0:404
3Buf 35, LAR 32TD pass0:1548Den 31, LAC 30TD pass0:004
3Chi 30, Atl 26TD pass1:5348NO 26, Chi 23FG1:36OT
3Det 26, Ari 23FG0:0049NE 30, NYJ 27FG0:004
3Sea 38, Dal 31TD pass1:47410Ari 32, Buf 30TD pass0:024
3Ten 31, Min 30FG1:44410Det 30, Was 27FG0:004
5Chi 20, TB 19FG1:13411Dal 31, Min 28TD pass1:374
5Dal 37, NYG 34FG0:00411Ind 34, GB 31FG7:10OT
5NO 30, LAC 27FG5:08OT11KC 35, LV 31TD pass0:284
5Sea 27, Min 26TD pass0:15411Ten 30, Bal 24TD run5:21OT

STRIKING DISTANCE: Through 11 weeks, 23 of 32 teams are either in first place or within three games of first place.

  • In five of eight divisions – the AFC East, AFC South, NFC East, NFC South and NFC West – the gap between first and second place is no more than a game and a half.

BRADY-MAHOMES IV: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the Chiefs against TOM BRADY and the Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Including their 2018 AFC Championship contest, Mahomes and Brady are meeting for the fourth time, with Brady having won two of the three previous games, all with his former team, the Patriots.

  • The Buccaneers are allowing the NFL’s fifth-fewest yards per game (310.5), while the Chiefs on offense are averaging 414.1 yards per game, second in the league.
  • Kansas City is 5-0 in road games this season, tied with Pittsburgh for the best road record in the NFL. Chiefs head coach ANDY REID has the fifth-most wins (110) on the road in NFL history, including postseason.

The head coaches with the most wins on the road, including postseason, in NFL history:

COACHROAD WINS
Don ShulaHOF148
George HalasHOF138
Bill Belichick128
Tom LandryHOF119
Andy Reid110

MEN OF STEEL: The PITTSBURGH STEELERS can clinch the first NFL playoff berth this week, needing a win plus a Miami loss or tie and a Las Vegas loss or tie (and assuming both the Dolphins and Raiders don’t tie). The 16th team since the 1970 league merger to begin a season 10-0, Pittsburgh hosts the BALTIMORE RAVENS on Thanksgiving night (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Over the past 50 seasons, only 11 teams have opened 11-0. Nine of those teams reached the Super Bowl, and five brought home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.​

The teams that began a season 11-0 since 1970:

YEARTEAMRECORDSEASON RESULT
2015Carolina15-1Advanced to Super Bowl 50
2011Green Bay15-1Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs
2009Indianapolis14-2Advanced to Super Bowl XLIV
2009New Orleans13-3Won Super Bowl XLIV
2007New England16-0Advanced to Super Bowl XLII
2005Indianapolis14-2Advanced to AFC Divisional playoffs
1998Denver14-2Won Super Bowl XXXIII
1991Washington14-2Won Super Bowl XXVI
1985Chicago15-1Won Super Bowl XX
1984Miami14-2Advanced to Super Bowl XIX
1972Miami14-0Won Super Bowl VII

THE CLOSE-GAMES BAROMETER: Good teams win close games, and the data proves it. The CLEVELAND BROWNS, who travel to play Jacksonville on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), are off to their best start since 1994, when they opened 8-2. One of the hallmarks of their overall success in 2020 has been winning close games. The Browns (4-0, 1.000) are one of seven teams this season with a winning percentage of at least .700 in games decided by seven points or less. The PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-0, 1.000), KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0, 1.000), TENNESSEE TITANS (6-1, .857), NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1, .800), BUFFALO BILLS (4-1, .800) and LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-1, .750) are the others.

  • Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, 86 of 103 teams (83.5 percent) that finished with a .700-or-better winning percentage in games decided by seven points or less have made the playoffs.​

In Week 11, Cleveland defensive end OLIVIER VERNON registered three sacks and a safety, while linebacker SIONE TAKITAKI returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the Browns’ 22-17 win. Cleveland, which also recorded a safety and an interception return for a touchdown in Week 5, is the fourth team in NFL history to produce two games in the same season with both a safety and an interception-touchdown, joining the 1997 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1996 NEW YORK GIANTS and 1947 PITTSBURGH STEELERS.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville rookie running back JAMES ROBINSON has 1,011 scrimmage yards this season and is the fifth undrafted rookie with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in the common-draft era, joining DOMINIC RHODES (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001), PHILLIP LINDSAY (1,278 in 2018), CLARK GAINES (1,124 in 1976) and LEGARRETTE BLOUNT (1,021 in 2010).

STELLAR YOUNG QUARTERBACKS FACE OFF IN BUFFALO: The LOS ANGELES CHARGERS and BUFFALO BILLS renew a rivalry that dates back to their AFL roots on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • Last week, Chargers rookie quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for a career-high 366 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 116.5 rating. Meanwhile, Chargers wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN had a career-high 16 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown.
  • With at least 300 yards passing on Sunday, Herbert can match ANDREW LUCK (six games in 2012) for the most 300-yard passing games by a rookie in NFL history. His five such games this year are tied with JOE BURROW (2020), DANIEL JONES (2019) and KYLER MURRAY (2019) for the second-most in league annals.
  • Herbert has five games with at least three touchdown passes this season, the most by a rookie in NFL history. Herbert, who has 22 touchdown passes this season, is also the first rookie quarterback with at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games in NFL history. He can make it eight straight on Sunday.
  • Allen, who leads the NFL with 81 receptions this season, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 15 catches in two career games, joining ANTONIO BROWNBRANDON MARSHALLWES WELKER and JASON WITTEN. Allen has six career games with at least 13 receptions, surpassing ANTONIO BROWN (five games) and WES WELKER (five) for the most in NFL history.
  • Buffalo is coming off a bye. In the Bills’ Week 10 game at Arizona, quarterback JOSH ALLEN passed for 284 yards with two touchdowns and had a touchdown reception. Allen, who had 20 touchdown passes and nine rushing touchdowns in 2019, has 21 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns this season and joins DAK PRESCOTT (2016-18) and DESHAUN WATSON (2018-19) as the only players with at least 20 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history.

BOSTON COMMON: Two of the premier rushing quarterbacks in the NFL face off when the ARIZONA CARDINALS meet the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY leads all quarterbacks and ranks second in the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns, trailing only DALVIN COOK (13). From Weeks 6-10, Murray became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era and fourth quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in five consecutive games. Plus, his 10 rushing touchdowns through Week 10 tied JOHNNY LUJACK (1950) for the most by a quarterback in his team’s first nine games of a season in league annals.
  • Among quarterbacks this season, New England’s CAM NEWTON ranks second behind Murray with nine rushing touchdowns. Newton has 67 career rushing touchdowns, the most by a quarterback in NFL history. In 2020, Murray and Newton have established a historic pace through 10 games.

The most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

QUARTERBACKTEAMYEARRUSH TD
Johnny LujackChicago Bears195010
Kyler MurrayArizona202010
Cam NewtonNew England20209
Cam NewtonCarolina20119
Tobin RoteGreen Bay19569
Kordell StewartPittsburgh19978
Steve GroganNew England19768

  • Arizona wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS leads the NFL with 912 receiving yards this season. Last week, he became the youngest player to reach 700 career receptions and the fifth player in NFL history with 700 receptions in his first eight seasons. Earlier this season, he became the third player in NFL history with at least 800 receiving yards in each of his first eight seasons, joining GARY CLARK and Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE.

DREAMERS OF THE DAY ARE DANGEROUS MEN: Quarterback RUSSELL WILSON is on the Monday Night Football marquis this week (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) as the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS travel across the country to meet the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES.

  • In Week 11, Wilson earned his 93rd regular-season win as a starting quarterback, surpassing PEYTON MANNING (92) for the most wins by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history. The victory also moved Wilson past TOM BRADY (101) for the most wins including postseason over a starting quarterback’s first nine seasons in NFL annals. Since entering the NFL as the Seahawks’ third-round selection (75th overall) in the 2012 draft, Wilson is 102-50-1 (.670), including postseason.
  • Wilson, who leads the league with 30 touchdown passes and ranks second in passing yards (2,986) this season, can join PEYTON MANNING as one of two quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 3,000 passing yards and 20-or-more touchdown passes in each of their first nine seasons.

RODGERS NEARS 50,000: Quarterback AARON RODGERS and the GREEN BAY PACKERS are at home on Sunday Night Football against the CHICAGO BEARS (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Rodgers needs 165 passing yards to become the 11th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000. He enters the week with 49,835 career passing yards.

  • Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS had seven receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown against Indianapolis in Week 11. Adams is the fourth player in NFL history with at least seven receptions and a touchdown catch in five consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer CRIS CARTER (1999), T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH (2007) and ADAM THIELEN (2018).

RAMS RECEIVERS STANDING OUT: On Monday night in Tampa Bay, teammates COOPER KUPP and ROBERT WOODS helped the LOS ANGELES RAMS to a key NFC victory to close out Week 11. This week, the Rams host the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX) with an opportunity to improve their conference record to 8-1.

  • Kupp (11 receptions for 145 yards) and Woods (12 receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown) became the first pair of NFL teammates in 10 years, and the fourth pair in NFL history, to each record at least 11 catches and 130-or-more receiving yards in the same game.

The teammates each with at least 11 receptions and 130 receiving yards in a game in NFL history:

TEAMDATE, OPPONENTPLAYERRECYARDSPLAYERRECYARDS
Los Angeles Rams11/23/2020, at Tampa BayCooper Kupp11145Robert Woods12130
Houston Texans9/19/2010, vs. WashingtonAndre Johnson12158Kevin Walter11144
Washington11/4/1990, at DetroitArt MonkHOF13168Ricky Sanders11132
Dallas9/15/1985, at DetroitDoug Cosbie11159Tony Hill11181

WEEK 12 NFL SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 29-30

(All times Eastern)

Thursday, Thanksgiving, November 26
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions12:30 PMCBS
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys4:30 PMFOX
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers8:20 PMNBC
Sunday, November 29
Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons1:00 PMCBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills1:00 PMCBS
New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals1:00 PMFOX
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts1:00 PMCBS
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars1:00 PMCBS
Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings1:00 PMFOX
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots1:00 PMFOX
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets1:00 PMCBS
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos4:05 PMFOX
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams4:05 PMFOX
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers4:25 PMCBS
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers8:20 PMNBC
Monday, November 30
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles8:15 PMESPN