5 NFL Stats to Know From Week 15

A lot of things were cleared up in the NFL this past weekend. The New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Seattle Seahawks all clinched a postseason berth. The Patriots have made the playoffs in each of the last 11 seasons, while the Packers will be playing in the tournament for the first time since 2016.

There were also some historic milestones achieved in Week 15. Christian McCaffrey became the first Carolina Panthers player ever to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage in a season. Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce became the first tight end ever to have four consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Adrian Peterson tied the great Walter Payton for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns with the 110th of his career against the Philadelphia Eagles, whilst also surpassing Curtis Martin for the fifth-most rushing yards in NFL history. Quite a day for Peterson.

Here are five interesting stats to know -- both traditional and via our advanced statistics -- from Week 15.

Lamar Jackson Broke the Single-Season Rushing Record for Quarterbacks

Much like last year with Patrick Mahomes, we shouldn’t be surprised in 2019 when Lamar Jackson does special things on the football field. Thursday night was just another entry in Jackson’s journal of wonder for this season.

Jackson completed 15 of 23 pass attempts for 212 yards and 5 touchdowns, adding another 86 yards coming on the ground, as the Baltimore Ravens wiped the floor with the New York Jets. The Ravens ran out 42-21 victors. The rushing yards took Jackson past Michael Vick's single-season quarterback rushing record of 1,039, set back in 2006.

This was Jackson’s seventh career game with 50+ rushing yards and multiple passing touchdowns, tied for the sixth-most such games in NFL history.

Player Team(s) Games with 50+ Rush Yards and Multiple Passing TDs
Cam Newton Panthers 22
Randall Cunningham Eagles 20
Michael Vick Falcons/Eagles 20
Steve Young Bucs/49ers 19
Russell Wilson Seahawks 14
Tobin Rote Lions/Packers 7
Lamar Jackson Ravens 7

Jackson has also had three games this season with 50+ rushing yards and 4 or more passing touchdowns. Cam Newton is the only other player in the Super Bowl era with this many such games…and it took Cam three seasons to have that many games. Jackson has 33 passing touchdowns this season, the most in the NFL, and a tie for the most by a Ravens quarterback in a single season in their history. You have to go back to Vinny Testaverde in the first season of the Ravens in 1996 for the other instance.

Jackson has sat out most or all of the fourth quarter in five games this season and is not a lock to play the entirety of either of the Ravens' next two matches either, if reports are to be believed. He could have had so many more.

Miles Sanders had 172 Yards from Scrimmage, Including 122 on the Ground

All season long, and especially since Jordan Howard went down with a shoulder injury, people have been waiting for the Miles Sanders breakout game. It would seem that this wait ended on Sunday.

Sanders rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles against Washington, adding 50 yards and another touchdown in the passing game. Sanders put up impressive counting stats but was also among the most efficient runners on a per play basis, according to our metrics. Sanders averaged 0.34 rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per attempt on Sunday, good for fifth among all backs with at least 10 carries.

Sunday was the first time an Eagles back had eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game since Week 4 of the 2017 season when LeGarrette Blount amassed 136 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Sanders' 172 yards from scrimmage were the most by an Eagles back since Week 2 of the 2014 season, when Darren Sproles had 178 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Sanders now owns two Philadelphia rookie records after his big day in Week 15. His 687 rushing yards are the most ever by a first-year Eagle, surpassing the 637 LeSean McCoy had in 2009. Sanders has a combined 1,120 yards from scrimmage in 2019, which is another Eagles high. The previous high was the 1,008 yards DeSean Jackson racked up in 2008.

Breshad Perriman Had 113 Receiving Yards and 34.0 PPR Points

If the Sanders breakout game was overdue, then I’m not sure how to describe the wait people have endured for the Breshad Perriman explosion. But like Sanders, it happened in Week 15.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were already without Mike Evans ahead of their game with the Detroit Lions, and things didn’t improve when Chris Godwin suffered what appeared to be a similar hamstring injury during the game. But the slack was picked up magnificently by Perriman, who had a career day with 5 catches for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It was only the second time that Perriman had caught five passes in a single game in his career, and both of these games have occurred in the last three weeks. He also reeled in five against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13. But the yardage was a new career-high, going past the 87 he had in that Jaguars game. Perriman had only seven receiving touchdowns in his career before Sunday and had never caught more than one in a game before.

Perriman’s deeds also ensured he had his best fantasy game, as he finished with 34.0 PPR points. This more than doubled his previous best of 16.0, which came against the Colts only last week. Not that it mattered, as Perriman was on the waiver wire in 90.9% of ESPN leagues this past week.

Perriman should continue to see volume if Godwin joins Evans on the sideline for the rest of the season, but to expect a similar outing anytime soon is likely to bring disappointment. Still, it’s always nice to see someone step up in a big spot.

A.J. Brown had 100+ Receiving Yards...Again

The Tennessee Titans offense spluttered somewhat on Sunday, as they lost 24-21 to the Houston Texans. But one player who was still able to perform was their first-year wide receiver, A.J. Brown.

The former Mississippi Rebel had a career-high 13 targets on Sunday, which he converted into 8 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. This was his third 100-yard outing in his last four games and his fourth of the season. Brown joins A.J. Green (2011) and Sammy Watkins (2014) in having this many 100-yard games as a rookie, the third-most in a season since 2010. Odell Beckham had nine in 2014, while Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, and Julio Jones all had five.

Brown has 893 receiving yards after 14 games. This is the third-most by a rookie in Oilers/Titans history, and the most since Ernest Givins had 1,062 in 1986. Brown has been one of the biggest beneficiaries ever since the Titans went to Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback. The splits with and without Marcus Mariota make for a compelling read. With Mariota at quarterback, Brown saw an average of 3.83 targets per game, which he converted into 2.3 receptions for 45.5 yards. With Tannehill at the helm, these numbers have shot up to 6.38, 4.1, and 77.5.

Kenyan Drake Scored Four Rushing Touchdowns

Many people were surprised when the Arizona Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake before Week 9 of the 2019 season, given that they already had David Johnson and Chase Edmonds on their roster. But it’s fair to say that Drake has been a worthy addition to the Arizona offense, with a team-high 417 yards since he joined. The one criticism coming into Week 15 was his apparent allergy to the endzone, with Drake having scored just one touchdown for the Cardinals. Well, he put that right on Sunday.

Drake scored four rushing touchdowns against the hapless Cleveland Browns, becoming the third Cardinals running back to have four rushing touchdowns in a game for the team, but the first since they’ve been known as the Arizona Cardinals. Wayne Morris had four scores for the St Louis Cardinals in Week 6 of the 1977 season. Phoenix Cardinals back Ronald Moore scored four times in Week 14 of the 1993 campaign. Drake is one of only seven running backs with four rushing touchdowns in a single game since 2010 but is the second player to manage it this season.

Doug MartinBucsRaiders20129
Marshawn LynchSeahawksGiants201410
Jonas GrayPatriotsColts201411
Derrick HenryTitansJaguars201814
Aaron JonesPackersCowboys20195
Kenyan DrakeCardinalsBrowns201915