Few Winning Teams Lead to 1 Winners Week 17 Game
It’s not exactly a winning weekend ahead of NFL football. Monday Night’s game between Buffalo (12-3) and Cincinnati (11-4) is the only one in Week 17 that features two teams with winning records.
It’s not exactly a winning weekend ahead of NFL football.
Monday Night’s game between Buffalo (12-3) and Cincinnati (11-4) is the only one in Week 17 that features two teams with winning records.
It’s only the seventh time since the merger that one of the final two weeks of the season has featured one or fewer matchups with winning teams, according to Sportradar.
The last time that happened was in Week 16 of the 2011 season when Atlanta (9-5) took on New Orleans (11-3). There was also only one match-up of winning teams in Week 16 of the 2009 season, Week 17 of 2003, Week 16 of 2001, and Week 16 of 1990.
There was also a week this late in the season without winning teams clashing, in week 16 of the 2007 season.
In total, only 11 teams have winning records with two weeks to go. It’s the fewest winning teams after 16 weeks since 1985, when 11 of 28 teams finished with winning records.
The previous record for winning teams over 16 weeks since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002 was 14, which occurred in 2004, 2007 and 2015.
LESS THAN ONE AND DONE
Nathaniel Hackett has joined a short list of managers who failed to even complete their first season.
Hackett was fired by Denver with two weeks left in the season. It’s the second straight season a freshman coach has been fired before the end of the season, with Jacksonville doing so at Urban Meyer in 2021.
Other coaches since the merger who did not complete their first season were Bobby Petrino (2007 Falcons), Pete McCulley (1978 49ers), and Lou Holtz (1976 Jets). Petrino and Holtz left alone for college jobs, with McCulley joining Hackett and Meyer as the only ones to be fired.
The Broncos are also guaranteed to miss the playoffs for a seventh straight season since winning the Super Bowl after the 2015 campaign — the longest playoff drought after a Super Bowl win.
The 2022 season has already been a record for major comebacks.
The Saints, Cowboys, Packers and Buccaneers all rallied from at least 10 points to win this week, giving the NFL a record 46 double-digit comebacks this season.
The previous mark for most wins in a season after trailing by at least 10 points was 43, achieved in 2013, 2014 and 2020.
The Vikings and Chargers lead the way with four double-digit returns apiece, while the Raiders blew the most with four.
JUST FOR FUN
Minnesota needed only a small comeback this week, overcoming a three-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Giants 27-24 for its record eighth fourth-quarter comeback of the season.
The game ended on Greg Joseph’s 61-yard field goal, giving Minnesota its record 11th win this season by eight points or less.
It was the fifth field goal for at least 60 yards in the final two minutes of a game since 2016, including three against the Giants. Jake Elliott did it for Philadelphia in 2017 and Graham Gano for Carolina in 2018.
The only others were Wil Lutz of New Orleans against Minnesota earlier this season and Justin Tucker last year for Baltimore against Detroit.
Kickers attempting field goals that change leads by at least 60 yards are 3-for-3 against the Giants and 2-for-15 against every other team since 2016.
In all, 16 field goals have been scored from at least 60 yards since the start of the 2017 season, matching the total in NFL history before that.
Watch out, Washington. Playing the 49ers seems to have a lasting negative impact.
Teams that have faced the 49ers this season are 0-13 when they play a game the following week, as it looks like their physical style could wear down their opponents. The only team to win its next game after playing in San Francisco was the Chiefs, who had a bye in between.
According to Sportradar, the last team whose opponents lost the following week each time was the 1934 St. Louis Gunners, who only played three games that season.
Three other teams saw their opponents lose 13 times the following week: the 1997 Packers (1-13), the 1989 Dolphins (2-13) and the 1984 Rams (2-13).
Patriots rookie Marcus Jones has a knack for big plays.
He returned a 69-yard interception for a touchdown in a loss to Cincinnati for his third touchdown of the season. He also caught a 48-yard touchdown pass against Buffalo in Week 13 and had an 84-yard punt return winner to beat the Jets in Week 11.
Jones joined Frank Bacon (1920), Bill Dudley (1947), and Tommy Harmon (1947) as the only players with a TD on a strike, punt return, and interception return in the same season.
The only other Super Bowl-era player to score at least 40-yard touchdowns in all three of these ways in his entire career was Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
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Josh Dubow, Associated Press