MORE TEAMS, MORE GAMES, MORE WILD
Two on Saturday (January 14), three on Sunday (January 15) and, for the second consecutive season, one on Monday (January 16).
Seven of the 12 teams in action this weekend are new to the postseason in 2022, having missed the playoffs a year ago. BALTIMORE, JACKSONVILLE, the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, MIAMI, MINNESOTA, the NEW YORK GIANTS and SEATTLE. Two of those teams – Jacksonville (AFC South) and Minnesota (NFC North) – won their divisions.
Since 1990, at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before. Additionally, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 years, including 2022.
Each of the 12 teams playing this weekend hope to earn their first of four wins needed to capture the Lombardi Trophy. Winners in the Wild Card round have won the Super Bowl 11 times, including in each of the past two seasons.
The Wild Card round participants to win the Super Bowl:
|SEASON||TEAM||SUPER BOWL RESULT|
|1980||Oakland Raiders||Defeated Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV, 27-10|
|1997||Denver Broncos||Defeated Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII, 31-24|
|2000||Baltimore Ravens||Defeated New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, 34-7|
|2005||Pittsburgh Steelers||Defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XL, 21-10|
|2006||Indianapolis Colts*||Defeated Chicago in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17|
|2007||New York Giants||Defeated New England in Super Bowl XLII, 17-14|
|2010||Green Bay Packers||Defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25|
|2011||New York Giants*||Defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17|
|2012||Baltimore Ravens*||Defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII, 34-31|
|2020||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Defeated Kansas City in Super Bowl LV, 31-9|
|2021||Los Angeles Rams*||Defeated Cincinnati in Super Bowl LVI, 23-20|
PASSING IN THE PLAYOFFS
A mix of established veterans and emerging stars make up the starting quarterbacks in the 2022 playoff field vying for the Super Bowl LVII title.
Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY enters the 2022 postseason as the league’s all-time playoff leader in games started by a quarterback (47), wins by a starting quarterback (35), passing yards (13,049), touchdown passes (86), Super Bowl titles (seven) and Super Bowl MVPs (five). He is looking to become the first quarterback ever to win multiple Super Bowls with two different franchises.
Dak Prescott led a 98-yd drive to win an NFL game, if it’s Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford, etc. we’d be lauding like crazy…criticize the performance yes, but keep that same energy when Dak gets it done #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/RMBbdtyBdR
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) December 14, 2022
Brady’s opposing quarterback on Monday night (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes) will be Dallas’ DAK PRESCOTT.
He will be making his fifth-career postseason start. In each of his past three starts in the playoffs, Prescott has recorded both a touchdown pass and a rushing touchdown. He can become the sixth quarterback ever to record both a touchdown pass and rushing touchdown in four career postseason games. Brady (five games) and Kansas City’s PATRICK MAHOMES (four), who will be in action next weekend, are among the group Prescott can join.
The players with the most postseason games with both a touchdown pass and a rushing touchdown in NFL history:
|Steve YoungHOF||San Francisco||7|
|Tom Brady||New England, Tampa Bay||5*|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||4*|
|*Active in 2022 postseason|
Prescott can also become the first quarterback in NFL history to record a rushing touchdown in four consecutive postseason games.
In the AFC, Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN will be making his seventh-career postseason start when the Bills host the Dolphins on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS, Paramount+). In both of his playoff games last season, Allen recorded at least 300 passing yards and four touchdown passes.
Josh Allen slinging it to John Brown pic.twitter.com/7Et2pebkwL
— alex (@highlghtheaven) January 8, 2023
Allen can join MATT RYAN as the only players ever with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in three consecutive postseason games. He can also become the first player in NFL history with at least four touchdown passes in three consecutive playoff games.
Two rookie quarterbacks have an opportunity to start this weekend: San Francisco’s BROCK PURDY and Miami’s SKYLAR THOMPSON. This would mark the first playoff round since the 2012 Wild Card round (ROBERT GRIFFIN III, ANDREW LUCK, and RUSSELL WILSON) to feature multiple rookie starting quarterbacks.
ME: Does the NFL seem easier to you than college?
BROCK PURDY: pic.twitter.com/pMhzYxpA6l
— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) January 9, 2023
Each player would be looking to become the first starting rookie quarterback to win a postseason game since Wilson in 2012.
The most recent rookie starting quarterbacks to win a postseason game:
|ROOKIE QB||TEAM||SEASON||ROUND||OPPONENT||FINAL SCORE|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle||2012||NFC Wild Card||at Washington||SEA 24, WAS 14|
|T.J. Yates||Houston||2011||AFC Wild Card||vs. Cincinnati||HOU 31, CIN 10|
|Mark Sanchez||N.Y. Jets||2009||AFC Divisional||at San Diego Chargers||NYJ 17, SD 14|
Both Purdy and Thompson were selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. They can become the first two rookies selected in the seventh round or later or be undrafted to start a postseason game in the common-draft era. They can also become the fourth and fifth rookie quarterbacks selected outside of the first round to win a playoff game in the common-draft era.
The rookie quarterbacks selected outside of the first round to win a postseason game in the common-draft era:
|ROOKIE QB||TEAM||SEASON||ROUND||DRAFT ROUND|
|Russell Wilson||Seattle||2012||NFC Wild Card||3rd|
|T.J. Yates||Houston||2011||AFC Wild Card||5th|
|Shaun King||Tampa Bay||1999||NFC Divisional||2nd|
SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT (24 years, 310 days old on Saturday) and Jacksonville quarterback TREVOR LAWRENCE (23 years, 100 days old) will each be making their first career postseason starts when the Jaguars host the Chargers on Saturday night (8:15 PM ET, NBC, Peacock, Universo).
Dan Orlovsky: what do you want Tua to do, throw to receivers who aren’t open?!
— MikeDawg ⚡️ (@MichaelMaitlen) December 12, 2022
Their combined age of 48 years and 45 days will be the sixth-youngest combined age of opposing starting quarterbacks in a playoff game in NFL history.
The youngest combined age of opposing starting quarterbacks in a postseason game in NFL history:
|1985 Divisional||Cleveland at Miami||Bernie Kosar & Dan MarinoHOF||46 years, 152 days|
|2012 Wild Card||Seattle at Washington||Russell Wilson & Robert Griffin III||47 years, 2 days|
|1983 Divisional||Seattle at Miami||Dave Krieg & Dan MarinoHOF||47 years, 178 days|
|2000 Wild Card||Tampa Bay at Philadelphia||Shaun King & Donovan McNabb||47 years, 252 days|
|2019 Wild Card||Buffalo at Houston||Josh Allen & Deshaun Watson||47 years, 339 days|
|2022 Wild Card||L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville||Justin Herbert & Trevor Lawrence||48 years, 45 days|
Lawrence was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With a win on Saturday would become the fifth quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft to win his first career postseason start since 2000.
The accuracy and ball placement of Trevor Lawrence 🔥🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/aMgS4GOTk9
— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) January 8, 2023
The quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft to win their first career postseason starts since 2000:
|PLAYER (DRAFT YEAR)||TEAM||FIRST POSTSEASON START|
|Joe Burrow (2020)||Cincinnati||2021 AFC Wild Card vs. Las Vegas|
|Baker Mayfield (2018)||Cleveland||2020 AFC Wild Card at Pittsburgh|
|Alex Smith (2005)||San Francisco||2011 NFC Divisional vs. New Orleans|
|Michael Vick (2000)||Atlanta||2002 NFC Wild Card at Green Bay|
The Jaguars won their first AFC South division title since 2017 after finishing with the league’s worst record in 2021. With a win on Saturday, Jacksonville would become the first team in NFL history to win a postseason game the season after finishing with the league’s worst or tied for the worst record.
Los Angeles running back AUSTIN EKELER led the league in scrimmage touchdowns in 2022.
Totaling 18 touchdowns (13 rushing, five receiving). In 2021, Ekeler tied for the league lead with a career-best 20 touchdowns (12 rushing, eight receiving).
This man told us to draft him in fantasy football and promptly finished as the overall RB1 on the season.
Led all RBs in red zone touches, catches, and TDs. Finished top 6 in YPRR, evaded tackles, and yards created per touch. @AustinEkeler = legend. 🐐pic.twitter.com/s9mRdX371h
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) January 10, 2023
With two touchdowns in the postseason, Ekeler will become the seventh player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdowns in consecutive seasons, including playoffs, and the first since Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (2005-06).
For the first time in NFL history, five teams that hired a new head coach prior to the season advanced to the playoffs – Jacksonville (DOUG PEDERSON), Miami (MIKE MCDANIEL), Minnesota KEVIN O’CONNELL), the New York Giants (BRIAN DABOLL) and Tampa Bay (TODD BOWLES).
All five of those coaches will be on the sidelines this weekend, with two facing each other. When Minnesota hosts the New York Giants on Sunday (4:30 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), it will mark the fourth playoff game since 1970 featuring two rookie head coaches.
The playoff games featuring to rookie head coaches since 1970:
|2022 NFC Wild Card||N.Y. Giants at Minnesota||Brian Daboll & Kevin O’Connell||???|
|2009 AFC Championship||N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis||Rex Ryan & Jim Caldwell||IND 30, NYJ 17|
|2008 AFC Wild Card||Baltimore at Miami||John Harbaugh & Tony Sparano||BAL 27, MIA 9|
|2000 NFC Wild Card||St. Louis Rams at New Orleans||Mike Martz & Jim Haslett||NO 31, STL 28|
Several wide receivers look to extend active postseason streaks this weekend.
Tampa Bay wide receiver JULIO JONES has recorded at least 50 receiving yards in each of his nine career playoff games. Miami wide receiver TYREEK HILL has done so in each of his past eight. Jones can become the fourth player ever with at least 50 receiving yards in 10 consecutive postseason games and Hill can become the sixth player to reach the mark in nine consecutive playoff games.
The players with at least 50 receiving yards in the most consecutive postseason games in NFL history:
|Julian Edelman||New England||13 (Jan. 11, 2014 – Feb. 3, 2019)|
|Gary Clark||Washington||10 (Jan. 10, 1988 – Jan. 9, 1993)|
|Jerry RiceHOF||San Francisco||10 (Jan. 1, 1989 – Jan. 17, 1993)|
|Julio Jones||Atlanta, Tennessee||9* (Jan. 8, 2012 – Jan. 11, 2022)|
|Wes Welker||New England||9 (Jan. 12, 2008 – Jan. 20 – 2013)|
|Tyreek Hill||Kansas City||8* (Jan. 19, 2020 – Jan. 30 – 2022)|
Jones’ teammate MIKE EVANS recorded at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in both of Tampa Bay’s playoff games last season. With another such performance against Dallas on Monday night (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes), Evans will become the fourth player ever with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in three consecutive playoff games. He will be joining LARRY FITZGERALD (four games) and Pro Football Hall of Famers RANDY MOSS (three) and JERRY RICE (three).
🚨 TOM BRADY & MIKE EVANS ARE BACK ON THE SAME PAGE!!!! 🚨
— TB EGO (@TomBradyEgo) January 1, 2023
Cincinnati wide receivers JA’MARR CHASE and TEE HIGGINS were each crucial in the Bengals’ Super Bowl run last year. They look to have the same success in the 2022 postseason.
Ja’Marr Chase said “fuck a coin toss, get mossed.” pic.twitter.com/1b0PSJDWdW
— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) January 8, 2023
Chase’s 368 receiving yards in the 2021 playoffs were the most-ever by a rookie in the postseason. With 96 receiving yards against Baltimore on Sunday night (8:15 PM ET, NBC, Peacock, Telemundo), Chase will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (463 receiving yards) for the second-most postseason receiving yards ever by a player in his first two seasons. Only CHARLIE BROWN (643) has more.
The players with the most postseason receiving yards in their first two career seasons in NFL history:
|*In second season|
Including the playoffs, Chase has totaled 2,869 receiving yards in his career. He can become the third player ever with at least 3,000 receiving yards in his first two seasons, including playoffs. He will be joining Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (3,189) and JUSTIN JEFFERSON (3,016).
Justin Jefferson on Stephon Gilmore 🤧 pic.twitter.com/AS47Vp7Mqt
— PFF (@PFF) December 17, 2022
Higgins finished the 2021 postseason with three consecutive games with at least 95 receiving yards. With 95 receiving yards on Sunday, he will become the fourth player ever with at least 95 receiving yards in four consecutive playoff games.
The players with at least 95 receiving yards in the most consecutive postseason games in NFL history:
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||6* (Jan. 17, 2021 – Jan. 30, 2022)|
|Antonio Brown||Pittsburgh||4 (Jan. 3, 2015 – Jan. 15, 2017)|
|Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona||4 (Jan. 3, 2009 – Feb. 1, 2009)|
|Tee Higgins||Cincinnati||3* (Jan. 22, 2022 – Feb. 13, 2022)|
Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON led the NFL with 128 catches and 1,809 receiving yards this season. With 91 receiving yards against the New York Giants on Sunday (4:30 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), Jefferson will become the sixth player in NFL history with at least 1,900 receiving yards in a single season, including playoffs.
The players with at least 1,900 receiving yards in a single season, including playoffs, in NFL history:
|Cooper Kupp||L.A. Rams||2021||2,425|
|Jerry RiceHOF||San Francisco||1995||1,965|
In five postseason games with Tampa Bay, running back LEONARD FOURNETTE has totaled 555 scrimmage yards (111 per game) with a touchdown in each game. Going back to the 2017 postseason with Jacksonville, Fournette has scored a touchdown in seven consecutive playoff games.
With a touchdown against Dallas on Monday night (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes), Fournette will become the third running back in NFL history to score a touchdown in eight consecutive postseason games. He will be joining Pro Football Hall of Famers THURMAN THOMAS (nine consecutive playoff games) and EMMITT SMITH (eight).
The running backs with the most consecutive postseason games with a touchdown in NFL history:
|Thurman ThomasHOF||Buffalo||9 (Jan. 17, 1993 – Jan. 2, 1999)|
|Emmitt SmithHOF||Dallas||8 (Jan. 23, 1994 – Dec. 28, 1996)|
|Marcus AllenHOF||L.A. Raiders||7 (Jan. 8, 1983 – Jan. 5, 1986)|
|Terrell DavisHOF||Denver||7 (Jan. 4, 1997 – Jan. 17, 1999)|
|Leonard Fournette||Jacksonville, Tampa Bay||7* (Jan. 14, 2018 – Jan. 23, 2022)|
|John RigginsHOF||Washington||7 (Jan. 15, 1983 – Dec. 30, 1984)|
MINING FOR PLAYOFF GOLD
San Francisco defensive lineman NICK BOSA led the NFL with a career-high 18.5 sacks this season. He became the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record a sack in 13 games within a season.
All of Nick Bosa’s 18.5 sacks👑 pic.twitter.com/kBNK9dix32
— 49erscast (@49erscast1) January 10, 2023
With a sack against Seattle on Saturday (4:30 PM ET, FOX, FOX Deportes), Bosa will become the fourth player to record a sack in 14 games in a season, including playoffs.
The players with the most games with a sack in a season since 1982, including the postseason:
|Nick Bosa||San Francisco||2022||13*|
|*Entering Wild Card|
In six career playoff games, Bosa has totaled eight sacks, with at least half a sack in each game. He can join LAMARR WOODLEY as the only player with at least half a sack in each of their first seven career playoff games since 1982.
With two sacks on Saturday, Bosa can become the third player since 1982 with at least 10 sacks within his first seven career playoff games. He will be joining Woodley (11 sacks) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RICHARD DENT (10.5).
The players with the most sacks in their first seven career playoff games since 1982:
|Michael StrahanHOF||N.Y. Giants||8.5|
|Nick Bosa||San Francisco||8*|
|*In first six playoff games|
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY led all running backs with 741 receiving yards this season. In his lone career playoff game in 2017 with Carolina, he recorded 101 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
Here’s your reminder that Christian McCaffrey is a 49er #FTTB pic.twitter.com/9ZMtu0daR3
— ✈️ (@ClubAntt) January 5, 2023
With 100 receiving yards on Saturday, McCaffrey would become the third running back ever to record at least 100 receiving yards in multiple postseason games- He will be joining TONY NATHAN (three games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LENNY MOORE (two).