Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
A look at seven statistical highlights from games played Sunday afternoon, December 23, the 16th week of the 2012 season, including yet another record breaking performance by Drew Brees.
- The CINCINNATI BENGALS and INDIANAPOLIS COLTS each clinched a playoff berth today. The Bengals won at Pittsburgh 13-10 and the Colts earned a road win at Kansas City 20-13. All six playoff spots in the AFC have been clinched. The BALTIMORE RAVENS, who beat the New York Giants 33-14, clinched the AFC North. In the AFC, the HOUSTON TEXANS (AFC South), DENVER BRONCOS (AFC West), NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC East) and Baltimore Ravens (AFC North) have clinched their division. Indianapolis and Cincinnati have secured Wild Card berths. Last night, the ATLANTA FALCONS secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a 31-18 win at Detroit. In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons (NFC South) and GREEN BAY PACKERS (NFC North) have clinched their division. Tonight, the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS will clinch the NFC West with a win. The SEATTLE SEAHAWKS will secure a playoff berth with a victory. Both teams can still win the NFC West. The WASHINGTON REDSKINS and DALLAS COWBOYS remain in contention for the NFC East division title. The MINNESOTA VIKINGS, CHICAGO BEARS, NEW YORK GIANTS, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins remain in contention for a Wild Card berth.'
- New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 446 yards and three touchdowns in the Saints' 34-31 overtime win at Dallas. Brees has 4,781 passing yards and is the first player in NFL history to record at least 4,500 yards in three consecutive seasons. Over the past three seasons, Brees has 14,877 passing yards, the most in any three-year span in NFL history.
- Indianapolis rookie quarterback ANDREW LUCK passed for 205 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' 20-13 win at Kansas City. Luck has 4,183 passing yards and passed CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011) for the most by a rookie in NFL history. Luck, who threw the game-winning touchdown pass to REGGIE WAYNE with 4:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, has seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. That is tied for the most by a quarterback in a single season since the 1970 merger. The last QB to accomplish the feat was PEYTON MANNING in 2009.
- St. Louis rookie cornerback JANORIS JENKINS had a 41-yard interception-return touchdown in the Rams' 28-13 win at Tampa Bay. Jenkins has returned three interceptions for touchdowns this season, tied for the most by a rookie in NFL history. The other two rookies to accomplish the feat are both enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: LEM BARNEY (1967) and RONNIE LOTT (1981).
- Chicago cornerback CHARLES TILLMAN had a 10-yard interception-return touchdown in the Bears' 28-13 win at Arizona. It marked the eighth interception-return touchdown scored by the Bears, tied with the 1998 Seattle Seahawks for the second-most in a season in NFL history. The 1961 San Diego Chargers hold the NFL record with nine INT-TDs.
- New England wide receiver WES WELKER had 10 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 23-16 win at Jacksonville. Welker has 18 career games with at least 10 catches and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE and ANDRE JOHNSON (17) for the most such games in NFL history. Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY threw two touchdown passes, his 47th consecutive game with a TD pass. Brady tied Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS for the second-longest streak in NFL history.
- Kansas City running back JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 226 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown, in the Chiefs' loss to Indianapolis. Charles has three touchdown runs of at least 80 yards this season, tied with CHRIS JOHNSON (2009 and 2012) and Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (1997) for the most in a single season in NFL history. Charles, who averaged 10.3 yards per carry, has two games in his NFL career in which he has rushed for at least 200 yards, a 10.0+ average and a touchdown. Charles and ADRIAN PETERSON are the only players in NFL history with multiple such games.