The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Denver 16-3 to clinch the AFC East and earn a first-round bye. It marks the eighth consecutive division title for the Patriots, the longest streak in NFL history, breaking a tie with the 1973-79 Los Angeles Rams (seven). New England is the only team in NFL history to win 13 division titles in a 14-year span.
The OAKLAND RAIDERS defeated San Diego 19-16 and secured a playoff berth.
The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS clinched the NFC West on Thursday night with a 24-3 win over Los Angeles.
Wide receivers LARRY FITZGERALD of Arizona and ANQUAN BOLDIN of Detroit each played in his 200th career game today. Fitzgerald, who had seven catches against New Orleans, has 1,116 career receptions and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1,115) for the most catches in a player’s first 200 games in NFL history.
Boldin, who had three catches against the New York Giants, has 1,067 career receptions, the fourth-most in a player’s first 200 games. The only players with more are Fitzgerald (1,116), Rice (1,115) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (1,102).
New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES completed 37 of 48 passes (77.1 percent) for 389 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 127.9 passer rating in the Saints’ 48-41 win at Arizona. Brees has 21 career games with at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions, tying TOM BRADY for the most in NFL history.
Arizona running back DAVID JOHNSON had 108 scrimmage yards (53 rushing, 55 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns against New Orleans. Johnson is the first player in NFL history to begin a season with 14 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards, surpassing EDGERRIN JAMES (13 in 2005). Johnson also tied Pro Football Hall of Famer MARCUS ALLEN (1985) for the second-longest streak with at least 100 scrimmage yards at any point in a single season. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (15 in 1997) has a longer single-season streak in NFL history.
In his first two seasons, Johnson has 21 rushing touchdowns, eight receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown. He and Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS are the only players in NFL history with at least 20 rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown in a player’s first two seasons.
New York Giants wide receiver ODELL BECKHAM JR. had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 17-6 win over Detroit. Beckham, who has 85 catches for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, is the first player in NFL history to record at least 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.
Beckham is one of three players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in each of his first three seasons, joining JOHN JEFFERSON (1978-1980) and RANDY MOSS (1998-2000).
Green Bay running back TY MONTGOMERY rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 30-27 win at Chicago. Montgomery is the second Packer to rush for at least 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game against the Bears (AHMAN GREEN, September 29, 2003).
The two teams have met 192 times in the regular season, the most-played rivalry in NFL history. With Green Bay’s victory, the all-time series is now tied 93-93-6, marking the first time the series has been tied since 1933 (11-11-4).
Tennessee kicker RYAN SUCCOP converted a game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired in the Titans’ 19-17 victory at Kansas City. Succop, who spent five seasons with the Chiefs from 2009-13, became the first kicker in NFL history to defeat his former team by converting a game-winning, come-from-behind 50+ yard field goal as time expired.
Pittsburgh kicker CHRIS BOSWELL converted all six field-goal attempts in the Steelers’ 24-20 win at Cincinnati. Boswell’s six made field goals tied a franchise record set by GARY ANDERSON (10/23/88) and JEFF REED (12/1/02).
Steelers wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN had three catches for 58 yards in the win against the Bengals. Brown has 471 receptions since the start of 2013, the most catches by a player in any four-year span in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON had 469 catches from 1999 to 2002.