A look at seven statistical highlights from games played on Sunday, December 14, the 15th week of the 2014 season.
- The DENVER BRONCOS (AFC West), INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (AFC South) and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC East) clinched their respective divisions today. The Broncos won at San Diego 22-10, the Colts defeated Houston 17-10 and the Patriots knocked off Miami 41-13.
- The ARIZONA CARDINALS, who have the best record in the NFC at 11-3, will clinch a playoff spot tonight if the Dallas-Philadelphia game does not end in a tie. The Cardinals won at St. Louis (12-6) on Thursday night and tied a franchise record with their 11th victory.
- The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS have won six consecutive AFC East division titles (2009-present), tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only the Los Angeles Rams (seven, 1973-79) have posted a longer streak. The Patriots, who also won five consecutive division titles from 2003-2007, are the first team in NFL history to win 11 division championships in a 12-year span. With the victory, head coach BILL BELICHICK earned his 229th career win, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer CURLY LAMBEAU (229) for the fourth-most total victories by a head coach in NFL history.
- With Sundays 22-10 road victory at San Diego, the DENVER BRONCOS have won 12 consecutive divisional road games, tying San Francisco (12 from 1987-90) for the longest such streak in NFL history. The Broncos have not been defeated by an AFC West opponent on the road since December 19, 2010 (39-23 loss at Oakland). Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING passed for 233 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 125.6 passer rating against the Chargers. He has 4,143 passing yards this year, his NFL-record 14th career 4,000-yard passing season.
- Quarterbacks ANDREW LUCK of Indianapolis and RUSSELL WILSON of Seattle each led their respective clubs to victory today with both of their teams improving to 10-4. Luck and Wilson are the only starting quarterbacks to begin their careers in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to guide their team to at least 10 regular-season wins in each of their first three NFL seasons.
- Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON led the Seahawks to a 17-7 win over San Francisco. In the regular season as a starting quarterback, Wilson’s 34 wins and 21 home victories are the most in the Super Bowl era in a quarterback’s first three seasons. He passed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (33) and MATT RYAN (33) in wins and Ryan (20) in home victories.
- New York Giants rookie wide receiver ODELL BECKHAM, JR. had 12 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the Giants’ 24-13 win over Washington. He is the first rookie in NFL history with at least 12 catches, 140 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in a game.
Beckham now has at least 90 receiving yards in seven consecutive games, extending his NFL record streak for a rookie.
- Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN had 10 catches for 123 yards in the Steelers’ 27-20 win at Atlanta. Brown, who leads the NFL with 115 receptions this season, is the fourth player in NFL history with consecutive 110-catch seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (1994-95) and CRIS CARTER (1994-95) and WES WELKER (2007-09, 2011-12). Brown’s 115 receptions are the most in a single season in Steelers history, surpassing HINES WARD (112 catches in 2002).