NFL PREVIEW: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15

PLAYOFF PUSHEntering Week 15, two teams have clinched division titles – the GREEN BAY PACKERS (NFC North) and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (AFC West) – and two teams have clinched playoff berths – the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS and PITTSBURGH STEELERS

New Orleans (NFC South), Pittsburgh (AFC North) and the BUFFALO BILLS (AFC East) can clinch their respective division titles this week. Buffalo is aiming for its first division title since 1995, while the Steelers are looking to win the AFC North after missing the postseason in 2019. In each of the past 42 seasons (1977-2019, excluding 1982, when divisional play did not occur), at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs.

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MAHOMES MANIA: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the NFL with 4,208 passing yards and ranks third with 33 touchdown passes. This marks his third-consecutive season with at least 4,000 passing yards and he became the third player in NFL history to reach the mark in three of his first four seasons, joining PEYTON MANNING and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO.​

Last week, Mahomes passed for 393 yards, his sixth-consecutive game with at least 315 passing yards. With 315 passing yards on Sunday at New Orleans (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Mahomes will surpass DREW BREES (six games from 2012-13) and RICH GANNON (six games in 2002) for the most consecutive games with at least 315 passing yards in NFL history.

Through his first 44 career starts, Mahomes has 26 games with at least 300 passing yards. With at least 300 passing yards on Sunday, he will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (26 games) for the most such games by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first four seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City26*
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams26
Dan MarinoHOFMiami22
*In fourth season ​

Mahomes has also recorded a passer rating of 100-or-higher in 29 games throughout his four-year career. With a passer rating of 100-or-higher on Sunday, Mahomes would join DAK PRESCOTT (32 games) and RUSSELL WILSON (32) as the only quarterbacks with at least 30 games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher in their first four seasons in NFL history.

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KELCE’S KINGDOM: Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE leads the league with 1,250 receiving yards and is the first tight end with at least 1,200 receiving yards in three seasons in NFL history.

Kelce, who has recorded at least 125 receiving yards in four of his past five games, needs 128 receiving yards on Sunday at New Orleans (4:25 PM ET, CBS) to surpass GEORGE KITTLE (1,377 receiving yards in 2018) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONREC. YARDS
George KittleSan Francisco20181,377
Travis KelceKansas City20181,336
Rob GronkowskiNew England20111,327
Jimmy GrahamNew Orleans20111,310
    
Travis KelceKansas City20201,250*
*Entering Week 15

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RODGERS’ RECKONING: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS leads the league with 39 touchdown passes and ranks tied for third with 3,685 passing yards.

With a touchdown pass on Saturday night against Carolina (8:15 PM ET, NFLN), Rodgers will become the first player in NFL history with three seasons of at least 40 touchdown passes. He also reached the mark in 2016 (40 touchdown passes) and his MVP-winning 2011 season (45).

Last week, Rodgers passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 133.6 rating, his third-consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions. If he records at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Saturday, he will tie for the second-longest such streak within a single season in NFL history. Rodgers also had a four-game streak during his MVP-winning 2014 season. ​

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions within a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Russell WilsonSeattle20155
Drew BreesNew Orleans20194
Tom Brady#New England20074
Aaron Rodgers#Green Bay20144
    
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay20203*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player 

Overall, Rodgers has recorded at least three touchdown passes in 10 games this season. With three touchdown passes on Saturday, he will tie DREW BREES (11 games in 2012) and PEYTON MANNING (11 games in 2013) for the second-most games with at least three touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history. Only TOM BRADY (12 games in 2007) had more such games. Both Brady and Manning were named Associated Press Most Valuable Player those seasons.

The players with the most games with at least three touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES 
Tom Brady#New England200712 
Drew BreesNew Orleans201211 
Peyton Manning#Denver201311 
     
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay202010* 
*Entering Week 15 
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

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DOMINANT DAVANTE: Last week, Green Bay wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS recorded seven receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, his eighth-consecutive game with a touchdown reception.​

With a touchdown reception on Saturday night against Carolina (8:15 PM ET, NFLN), Adams will tie A.J. GREEN (nine games in 2012) for the second-longest streak of games with a touchdown reception within a single season in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (12 games in 1987) has a longer streak.

The players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception within a single season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco198712
A.J. GreenCincinnati20129
    
Davante AdamsGreen Bay20208*
*Active streak

Adams enters Week 15 with 91 receptions for 1,144 yards and ties for the league lead with 14 touchdown receptions. On Saturday, he can become the sixth player with at least 100 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions in a single season in NFL history.

The players with at least 100 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 15 touchdown receptions in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEPTIONSREC. YARDSREC. TDs
Antonio BrownPittsburgh20181041,29715
Randy MossHOFMinnesota20031111,63217
Marvin HarrisonHOFIndianapolis20011091,52415
Cris CarterHOFMinnesota19951221,37117
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco19951221,84815
      
Davante AdamsGreen Bay202091*1,144*14*
*Entering Week 15

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ANOTHER 50 FOR LARRY: Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD ranks second in NFL history with 1,423 receptions and 17,429 receiving yards, behind only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE in both categories.

This season, Fitzgerald has 45 receptions for 346 yards. With five receptions on Sunday against Philadelphia (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Fitzgerald will have recorded his 17th season with at least 50 receptions, tied with Rice (17 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 50 receptions in league history.

The players with the most seasons with at least 50 receptions in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAM(S)SEASONS
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco, Oakland Raiders17
Larry FitzgeraldArizona16*
Tony GonzalezHOFKansas City, Atlanta16
*Has 45 receptions in 2020

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ALL HAIL KING HENRY: Last week, Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history with four career games with at least 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

This season, Henry leads the league with 1,532 rushing yards and ties for the lead with 14 rushing touchdowns. With a rushing touchdown on Sunday against Detroit (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Henry – who led the NFL with 1,550 rushing yards and had 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019 – can become the fourth player in league history with at least 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons, joining SHAUN ALEXANDER (2004-05), Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS (1997-98) and LARRY JOHNSON (2005-06).

The players with at least 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONS 
Shaun AlexanderSeattle2004-05 
Terrell DavisHOFDenver1997-98 
Larry JohnsonKansas City2005-06 
    
Derrick HenryTennessee2019-20* 
*Has 1,532 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2020

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X MARKS THE SPOT: Miami cornerback XAVIEN HOWARD leads the league with a career-high nine interceptions and has recorded an interception in five consecutive games.

With an interception on Sunday against New England (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Howard will tie for the longest streak with an interception within a single season since 1970.

The players with the most consecutive games with an interception within a single season since 1970:​

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Mel BlountHOFPittsburgh19756
Doug EvansCarolina20016
Eric HarrisKansas City19806
Lester HayesOakland Raiders19806
Brian RussellMinnesota20036
Barry WilburnWashington19876
    
Xavien HowardMiami20205*
*Active streak