NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments from Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season.
1) Patrick Mahomes remains undefeated against the Broncos and has second 5,000-yard passing season
Mahomes won his 11th straight game in 11 tries against the Broncos on Sunday. Mahomes and Andrew Luck (11-0 vs Titans) are the only players in the Super Bowl era with more than 10 wins and no losses against a single opponent. On a team level, the Broncos have fallen to the Chiefs in 15 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Mahomes' 328 pass yards put him over the 5,000-yard mark. With this being his second such season, Mahomes became the third player in NFL history with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons, joining Drew Brees (5) and Tom Brady (2). Mahomes also reached 40 pass touchdowns Sunday, making him just the second player to reach both of those thresholds in two career seasons (Brees). Mahomes needs 430 pass yards to break the all-time record for pass yards in a season (currently 5,477 by Peyton Manning in 2013) and 180 offensive yards to set the all-time record in that category (currently 5,562 by Drew Brees in 2011).
2) Mahomes doesn't need wide receivers
Entering the offseason, some (not me) asked how much Mahomes needed Tyreek Hill to succeed. The better question may have been "Does Mahomes need wide receivers?" Mahomes has thrown 27 of his league-leading 40 passing touchdowns to running backs or tight ends, the second-most in a single season in NFL history. Only Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle, who had 28 of his NFL-high 36 pass scores to those positions in 1963, has ever had more. Tittle's New York Giants lost in the NFL Championship to George Halas and the Chicago Bears.
3) Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers need one more win in January to reach postseason
The Packers kept their playoff hopes alive with a dominant 41-17 win over the Vikings on Sunday. The victory makes LaFleur and Rodgers 18-1 during the regular season as a duo in December and January, the highest win percentage (.947) by any head coach-quarterback duo since at least 1950. The pair with the second-best record also did the majority of their work on Lambeau Field: Hall of Famers Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr (18-3-2 W-L-T, .857 win pct.). With another January win over the Lions in Green Bay, the Packers will clinch a playoff berth after starting their season 3-6.
4) Mike Evans continues streak of 1,000-yard seasons
After not finding the paint since Week 4, Evans found the end zone three times and compiled 200 yards on 10 catches in the Buccaneers' Week 17 win which clinched the NFC South. The game put Evans at the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the ninth straight season, extending his own NFL record to start a career and tying Tim Brown for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only Jerry Rice has had more consecutive seasons all-time with 11 from 1986 to 1996.
5) Aidan Hutchinson makes late push for Defensive Rookie of the Year
With Pro Bowlers Sauce Gardner and Tariq Woolen leading the race for Defensive Rookie of the Year, Hutchinson tried to remind voters why the Lions drafted him second overall in April. Hutchinson had 0.5 sacks, one interception and a fumble recovery in the Lions' Week 17 win over the Bears. On the season, he's tallied 7.5 sacks and three picks. Hutchinson is the only player in the NFL with at least 5.0 sacks and three picks this season, while the latter is tied for the most in a season by any defensive lineman in the Super Bowl era.
6) Eagles' pass rush remains relentless in loss to Saints
The Eagles defense had seven sacks against the Saints in Week 17, setting a Philadelphia team record with 68 sacks in 2022. It was the unit's fifth straight game with at least six sacks, the longest streak by any team in the Super Bowl era. The Eagles are the first team to have four players record 10+ sacks in a single season, as Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Brandon Graham have each reached double-digits this season. Philadelphia needs five sacks against the Giants next week to set the Super Bowl era record for sacks in a single season. The record is currently held by the 1984 Bears with 72.
7) New quarterback, same Davante Adams
The Raiders might have decided to make a quarterback change in Week 17, but Adams is the same him. Whenever you are a wide receiver and on a list with Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, and Terrell Owens ... you're doing something right. Adams had his 15th career game with 100 receiving yards and multiple touchdown catches, trailing only the aforementioned foursome. As far as his season, Adams is the fifth player with four career seasons of 1,300 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. Rice, Moss, Harrison, and Owens are the other four.
Bonus: Brock Purdy has won each of his first four NFL starts, becoming the fourth rookie QB to do so since starts were first tracked in 1950. 2022's Mr. Irrelevant joins Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Phil Simms (1979) and Mike Kruczek (1976) on that list. Purdy can lead the 49ers to the NFC's No. 1 seed with a win over the Cardinals and an Eagles loss in Week 18.
Research shoutouts: Jack Andrade (@RealJackAndrade), Dante Koplowitz-Fleming (@DanteKopFlem), Matt Okada (@MattOkada), Cole Jacobson (@ColeJacobson32), Michelle Magdziuk (@BallBlastEm), Blake Warye (@bwaryeorblake), John Todd (@therealjohntodd)