John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor
A look at seven statistical highlights from games played Sunday afternoon, December 16, the 15th week of the 2012 season.
- Today marked the latest calendar day in NFL history in which six games were played between teams with winning records. Two teams clinched division titles today. The GREEN BAY PACKERS, who defeated Chicago 21-13, won the NFC North. TheHOUSTON TEXANS, who defeated Indianapolis 29-17, clinched the AFC South. The BALTIMORE RAVENS secured a playoff berth. With a victory tonight at New England, the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS will clinch a playoff berth. If the Patriots defeat the 49ers tonight, the ATLANTA FALCONS, who defeated the New York Giants 34-0, will clinch a first-round bye.
- Minnesota running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 36-22 win at St. Louis. Over the past eight games, Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards, which are the most over any eight-game span in a single season in NFL history This season, Peterson has rushed for 1,812 yards, the fifth-most through a team's first 14 games. Only three running backs have rushed for more yards than Peterson through 14 games and all three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: O.J. SIMPSON (2,003 in 1973; 1,817 in 1975), JIM BROWN (1,863 in 1963) and WALTER PAYTON (1,852 in 1977). The performance marked Peterson's franchise-record eighth consecutive 100-yard game. During that stretch, he has two 200-yard games. In his career, Peterson has four 200-yard rushing games and is one of only seven players in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
- Seattle rookie quarterback RUSSELL WILSON contributed four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing) in the Seahawks' 50-17 win over Buffalo in Toronto. Wilson is the first player in NFL history to have three rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown in the first half of a game. The Seahawks, who scored 58 points last week, are the first team since the 1950 New York Giants to score 50 points in consecutive games in a single season.
- New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints' 41-0 win over Tampa Bay. Brees has recorded at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns in a game 17 times and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (16) for the most such games in NFL history.
- Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS threw three touchdown passes in the Packers' 21-13 win at Chicago. Rodgers, who has 32 touchdown passes this season, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO and BRETT FAVRE as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with three seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes before age 30.
- Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING passed for 204 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos' 34-17 win at Baltimore. Manning, who has 4,016 passing yards this season, extended his NFL record by recording his 12th career 4,000-yard season. Manning, in his first season with Denver, is the fifth player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards with two different teams. He joins DREW BLEDSOE, BRETT FAVRE, Pro Football Hall of Famer WARREN MOON and KURT WARNER.
- Detroit wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON had 10 catches for 121 yards in the Lions' loss at Arizona. Johnson has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in seven consecutive games, tied with CHARLEY HENNIGAN (1961) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (1995) for the longest streak in NFL history. Johnson, who has 1,667 receiving yards this season, is the first player in NFL history with at least 1,600 yards in consecutive seasons. Johnson is the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH in 1965 with at least 1,600 receiving yards through his team's first 14 games.