Youth and success at the quarterback position highlighted the 2019 regular season as 208 games featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in a single season in NFL history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 started 287 games and recorded 144 wins in those starts this season, both the highest single-season totals since 1970. Three quarterbacks under the age of 25 – Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (2018 NFL Draft), Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (2017 NFL Draft) and Houston’s DESHAUN WATSON (2017 NFL Draft) – have led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons.
Competitiveness was a constant theme throughout the regular season as 68 percent of games (174 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the fifth-most such games in a single season in NFL history, while 52.3 percent of games (134 of 256) were decided by eight-or-fewer points, also tied for the fifth-most such games in single season in league annals. Additionally, 57 games saw a team come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.
Week 17 came down to the wire, as two playoff spots and two divisions titles – the NFC East and NFC West – were decided on the final day of the season. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.
Five of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2019: BUFFALO, GREEN BAY, MINNESOTA, SAN FRANCISCO and TENNESSEE. Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
Both the Green Bay Packers (NFC North) and San Francisco 49ers (NFC West) won their division after missing the postseason in 2018 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.
Teams to win their division a season after missing the postseason since 2003:
|SEASON||NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON|
|2019||Green Bay, San Francisco|
|2018||Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*|
|2017||Jacksonville*, L.A. Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*|
|2015||Houston, Minnesota, Washington*|
|2011||Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco|
|2010||Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle|
|2009||Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*|
|2008||Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota|
|2007||Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*|
|2006||Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego|
|2005||Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*|
|2004||Atlanta*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*|
|2003||Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams|
|*Worst to first|