NO NEED TO PANIC
Since realignment in 2002, 131 of the 216 playoff teams (60.6 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including five teams last season and three division champions – HOUSTON (AFC South), NEW ORLEANS (NFC South) and PHILADELPHIA (NFC East).
Last season, seven playoff teams began the year by winning their first two games, the most in a single season since 2006 (seven teams).
A look at how playoff clubs in 2019 and 2018 began their seasons:
|Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result||Team||After 2 games||Playoff Result|
|Baltimore||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||Baltimore||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Buffalo||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||Chicago||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Green Bay||2-0||Advanced to NFC Champ||Dallas||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Houston||1-1||Advanced to Divisional||Houston||0-2||Advanced to Wild Card|
|Kansas City||2-0||Won Super Bowl LIV||Indianapolis||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Minnesota||1-1||Advanced to Divisional||Kansas City||2-0||Advanced to AFC Champ|
|New England||2-0||Advanced to Wild Card||L.A. Chargers||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|New Orleans||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||L.A. Rams||2-0||Advanced to Super Bowl LIII|
|Philadelphia||1-1||Advanced to Wild Card||New England||1-1||Won Super Bowl LIII|
|San Francisco||2-0||Advanced Super Bowl LIV||New Orleans||1-1||Advanced to NFC Champ|
|Seattle||2-0||Advanced to Divisional||Philadelphia||1-1||Advanced to Divisional|
|Tennessee||1-1||Advanced to AFC Champ||Seattle||0-2||Advanced to Wild Card|
Last season, Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES became the fastest player to reach 70 career touchdown passes (27 games) in NFL history, and he can continue to rewrite the record books in 2020.
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2020
Entering Week 2, Mahomes has 9,623 passing yards in 32 career games. On Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers (4:25 PM ET, CBS), he can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (36 games) as the fastest player to reach 10,000 career passing yards in league history.
The fastest players to reach 10,000 career passing yards in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||GAMES TO REACH 10,000 PASSING YARDS|
|Kurt WarnerHOF||St. Louis Rams||36|
|Marc Bulger||St. Louis Rams||38|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||32*|
|*Has 9,623 passing yards in 32 career games|
Last week in the Chiefs’ season-opening win, Mahomes passed for three touchdowns versus zero interceptions for a 123.3 passer rating, his 16th career game with at least three touchdown passes.
With at least three touchdown passes in Week 2, Mahomes will surpass PEYTON MANNING (16 games) and DAK PRESCOTT (16) for the third-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (27) and KURT WARNER (21).
The players with the most games with at least three touchdown passes in their first four seasons in NFL history:
|Kurt WarnerHOF||St. Louis Rams||21|
|Patrick Mahomes*||Kansas City||16|
|*In fourth season|
Since entering the NFL in 2016, Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT has 98 touchdown passes and 21 rushing touchdowns, the most among quarterbacks.
— Cowboys Break (@CowboysBreak) September 16, 2020
With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday against Atlanta (1:00 PM, ET), Prescott will become the third quarterback to record at least 100 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first five seasons in NFL history, joining JEFF GARCIA and CAM NEWTON.
The players with at least 100 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||TD PASSES||RUSHING TDS|
|Jeff Garcia||San Francisco||113||21|
|*In fifth season|
GURLEY AMONG GREATS
In his first game with Atlanta last week, running back TODD GURLEY rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown, the 71st scrimmage touchdown of his career.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 13, 2020
Gurley, appearing in his 75th career game on Sunday at Dallas (1:00 PM ET, FOX), needs one scrimmage touchdown to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer EMMITT SMITH (72 scrimmage touchdowns) for the third-most scrimmage touchdowns by a player through his first 75 career games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (79) and LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (79) have more.
The players with the most scrimmage touchdowns in their first 75 career games in NFL history:
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||San Diego Chargers||79|
|Todd Gurley||St. Louis/L.A. Rams, Atlanta||71*|
|*Entering 75th career game on Sunday|
Last week, New York Giants running back SAQUON BARKLEY recorded six receptions for 60 yards, his 12th-career game with at least five catches. Since entering the NFL in 2018, his 149 receptions and 1,219 receiving yards each rank fifth among running backs.
The Saquon Barkley we all know and lovepic.twitter.com/bNAt9dU7If
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2020
Appearing in his 31st career game on Sunday at Chicago (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Barkley needs one reception to tie HERSCHEL WALKER (31 games) as the fourth-fastest running back to reach 150 career receptions in NFL history.
The fastest running backs to record 150 career receptions in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||GAMES TO REACH 150 RECEPTIONS|
|Reggie Bush||New Orleans||26|
|Alvin Kamara||New Orleans||29|
|Saquon Barkley||N.Y. Giants||30*|
|*Has 149 receptions in 30 career games|
HOME ON THE ROAD
Running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 93 yards last week in his first game with Detroit, and he enters Week 2 ranking fourth on the NFL’s all-time list of rushing touchdowns (111) and fifth in rushing yards (14,309).
This is weird to say:
First down Lions, courtesy of Adrian Peterson.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 13, 2020
Entering Sunday’s divisional matchup at Green Bay (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Peterson has rushed for a touchdown in each of his past eight games at Lambeau Field, a streak spanning 12 seasons (2008-19) and two teams (Minnesota and Washington).
With a rushing touchdown this week, Peterson will extend his streak of scoring a touchdown at Lambeau Field to nine games, the second-longest streak of scoring a touchdown at a visiting stadium in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (10 consecutive games at the Oakland Coliseum) has a longer such streak.
The players with the most consecutive games scoring a touchdown at a stadium as a visitor:
|PLAYER||OPPOSING TEAM||STADIUM||SEASONS||CONSECUTIVE GAMES|
|LaDainian TomlinsonHOF||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Coliseum||2001-2011||10|
|Adrian Peterson||Green Bay Packers||Lambeau Field||2008-present||8*|
|Neal Anderson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Tampa Stadium||1987-1993||7|
|Haywood Jeffires||Cincinnati Bengals||Riverfront Stadium||1990-95||6|
|Joey Galloway||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Coliseum||1995-2001||6|
NEW TEAM, SAME HOP
Arizona wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS came to the Cardinals this offseason after recording 632 receptions in seven seasons with Houston, tied for the second-most receptions by a player through his first seven seasons in NFL history. In his debut with Arizona last week, he led the team with a career-high 14 receptions for 151 yards in its season-opening victory.
Deandre Hopkins went absolutely OFF in his Cardinals debut 😳
14 REC (career high)
— Overtime (@overtime) September 13, 2020
With at least six catches on Sunday against Washington (4:05 PM ET, FOX), Hopkins will surpass EARL COOPER (19 receptions in his first two games with San Francisco in 1980) and ERIK METCALF (19 receptions in his first two games with Atlanta in 1995) for the most receptions by a player in their first two games with a team in NFL history.
The players with the most receptions in their first two games with a team in NFL history:
|Earl Cooper||San Francisco||1980||19|
|Jamison Crowder||N.Y. Jets||2019||18|
|*14 receptions in Week 1|
SCHUSTER & LADDERS
Pittsburgh wide receiver JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER recorded six catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns last week in the Steelers’ season-opening victory. In 43 career games, the fourth-year receiver has 2,964 receiving yards and 19 receiving touchdowns.
— Eduardo Mendez (@LaloMen_) September 15, 2020
Smith-Schuster, who will be 23 years and 303 days old on Sunday vs. Denver (1:00 PM ET, CBS), needs 36 receiving yards and a touchdown reception to surpass ODELL BECKHAM JR. (23 years, 325 days) as the fourth-youngest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 career receiving yards and 20 career receiving touchdowns.
The youngest players to reach 3,000 career receiving yards and 20 career receiving touchdowns in NFL history:
|Mike Evans||Tampa Bay||23 years, 74 days|
|Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona||23 years, 108 days|
|Randy MossHOF||Minnesota||23 years, 231 days|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||N.Y. Giants||23 years, 325 days|
|Hakeem Nicks||N.Y. Giants||23 years, 352 days|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||Pittsburgh||23 years, 303 days*|