HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL:
Through the first 14 weeks of the 2019 season, five teams – the BUFFALO BILLS (9-4), GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-3), MINNESOTA VIKINGS (9-4), PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5) and SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (11-2) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.
The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, in 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs. Heading into Week 15, two teams – GREEN BAY in the NFC North and SAN FRANCISCO in the NFC West – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.
BREES, BRADY IN RACE FOR MANNING’S RECORD:
In Week 15, New England quarterback TOM BRADY (536) will get the first shot at the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, held by PEYTON MANNING (539), when the Patriots travel to Cincinnati Sunday (1:00 PM, CBS). Saints quarterback DREW BREES (537) will follow on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) when New Orleans hosts the Colts. Since 1950, eight players have held the career mark, one of the game’s most hallowed records.
The players that have held the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, since 1950:
END OF CAREER
NOTE – With 187 touchdown passes, Baugh and Layne were tied at the end of the 1961 season
- Brees last week threw five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown against San Francisco. Brees has 11 career games with at least five touchdown passes, the most such games in NFL history. He also became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining MARK MALONE (Week 1, 1985), AARON RODGERS (Week 7, 2019) and MARK RYPIEN (Week 11, 1991).
FOOTBALL IS FAMILY:
The BUFFALO BILLS (9-4) and PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-5) meet on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC) in a game with significant AFC playoff implications. The game is also significant to the Edmunds family and in NFL history. Pittsburgh running back TREY EDMUNDS, 24, and safety TERRELL EDMUNDS, 22, will square off against their brother, Bills linebacker TREMAINE EDMUNDS, 21.
Sunday’s contest is expected to be the first known NFL game in 92 years with three brothers on the same field. The last time it is believed to have occurred was the end of the 1927 season when JOE, COBB and BILL ROONEY played for the DULUTH ESKIMOS.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, Tremaine (No. 16, Buffalo) and Terrell (No. 28, Pittsburgh) became the first pair of brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft. The Edmunds’ father, FERRELL EDMUNDS, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end during his seven-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.