Week 15 notable nuggets

With Week 15 nearly in the books, the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

The Falcons and Steelers clinched spots, joining the Patriots. The only other scenario in play is that the Bears can clinch with a win and a loss by the Packers. The Cardinals, Dolphins and Texans were all eliminated this week.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for a team to stake a claim in the NFC West. The entire division lost in Week 15, meaning the best record the NFC West champion can have this season is 8-8.  The only 8-8 teams in NFL history to win their division were the 1985 Browns and 2008 Chargers.

Here’s a compilation of notes and stats from the crew on the NFL Network research desk and the NFL communication offices:

Eagles 38, Giants 31

DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return TD was the first game-winning punt return TD on the final play of regulation in a game since at least 1983. Jackson has scored a rushing, receiving and punt-return touchdown in each of his first three seasons and joins Dick Todd (Washington, 1939-41) as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat. 

The Eagles set a franchise record with 28 fourth-quarter points, and their 21-point comeback is their largest fourth-quarter comeback since at least 1950.

Michael Vick had 140 yards rushing, his 10th career 100-yard game to extend his NFL record by a QB.

Ravens 30, Saints 24

Drew Brees has 4,122 pass yards this season to notch his fifth-straight 4,000-yard season, joining Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to reach that mark. Manning has done it twice: 1999-2004 and 2006-10.

Lions 23, Buccaneers 20 (OT)

Congrats to the Lions, who snapped an NFL-record 26-game road losing streak by picking up their first road win since Oct. 28, 2007 at Chicago. The Lions have won back-to-back games for the first time since 2007 when they won three straight.

Chiefs 27, Rams 13

Sam Bradford now has 3,065 pass yards this season, the third rookie in NFL history with 3,000-plus passing yards, joining Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.

Thomas Jones is the 25th player in NFL history to rush for 10,000 yards (10,045) and the first ever to accomplish the feat playing for at least five different teams. 

Cowboys 33, Redskins 30

Jason Witten (605) became the fourth tight end in NFL history to reach 600 career receptions. Witten reached 600 receptions in his 125th game to become the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach the mark.

In his first start since Nov. 9, 2008, Rex Grossman was 25 of 43 for 322 yards and four TDs, his second career 300-yard game and four-TD game.

Colts 34, Jaguars 24

David Garrard has 22 passing TDs this season, breaking Mark Brunell’s franchise record of 20 set in 1998 and 2000.

Bills 17, Dolphins 14

The Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to start a season 1-6 or worse at home and 6-1 or better on the road.

Raiders 39, Broncos 23

And where would we be without a few Tim Tebow stats? … Tebow’s 40-yard touchdown run was the third-longest rushing TD by a rookie QB since 1950, and the longest by any QB in franchise history. Tebow’s 78 rushing yards is the second-most by a Broncos QB behind Norris Weese‘s 120 rushing yards vs. the Bears in 1976.

The Raiders improved to 5-0 in divisional games this season, their first 5-0 start in divisional games since 1988.

Jets 22, Steelers 17

LaDainian Tomlinson became the third RB in NFL history with 50-plus receptions in nine seasons, joining Marshall Faulk (9) and Larry Centers (10).

Panthers 19, Cardinals 12

Larry Fitzgerald (27 years, 110 days old) became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 600 receptions and the second-youngest (8,053) to record 8,000 receiving yards behind Randy Moss (26 years, 297 days).

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