With one week remaining in the 2014 regular season, at least four teams will advance to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2013 – Arizona (11-4), Dallas(11-4), Detroit (11-4) and Pittsburgh (10-5). Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
Three additional teams that missed the playoffs last season are still in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLIX – Atlanta (6-9), Baltimore (9-6), and Houston (8-7).
Playoff teams who missed the previous year's postseason
1990: 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991: 5 (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992: 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993: 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994: 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995: 4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996: 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997: 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998: 5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999: 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000: 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001: 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002: 5 (Atlanta, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003: 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004: 5 (Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005: 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006: 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007: 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008: 7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009: 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010: 5 (Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011: 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012: 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013: 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014: 4* (Arizona, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
*Through Week 16
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning leads the NFL with 39 touchdown passes this season.
With one touchdown pass against Oakland on Sunday, Manning will reach the 40-touchdown mark for the third time in his career (2004, 2013) and become the only player in NFL history to pass for at least 40 touchdowns in three separate seasons.
The quarterbacks with at least 40 touchdown passes in a single season:
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 2004, 2013
Drew Brees New Orleans 2011, 2012
Dan Marino Miami 1984, 1986
Tom Brady New England 2007
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 2011
Matthew Stafford Detroit 2011
Kurt Warner St. Louis 1999
*39 touchdown passes through Week 16
San Diego tight end Antonio Gates has 9,947 receiving yards and 99 touchdowns in his 12-year career.
Gates’ 99 career touchdown catches are tied for ninth in NFL history and with one on Sunday at Kansas City, he would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve largent and Tim Brown for seventh all-time. Gates can also join Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends in NFL history with 100 touchdown receptions.
The tight ends with the most touchdown receptions in NFL history:
Tony Gonzalez: 111
Antonio Gates*: 99
Shannon Sharpe: 62
Jerry Smith Washington: 60
Jason Witten*: 57
With 53 receiving yards on Sunday, Gates can join Gonzalez, Jason Witten and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 10,000 career receiving yards.
The tight ends with at least 10,000 career receiving yards:
Tony Gonzalez: 15,127
Jason Witten*: 10,453
Shannon Sharpe: 10,060
Antonio Gates*: 9,947
New England Patriots tight end Rob GronkowskiI has caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
With 76 receiving yards on Sunday against Buffalo, Gronkowski, who had 1,327 receiving yards in 2011, can join Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham as the only tight ends in NFL history with multiple 1,200-yard receiving seasons.
The tight ends with multiple 1,200-yard receiving seasons in NFL history:
*Through Week 16
New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has 90 or more receiving yards in each of his past eight games.
With at least 90 receiving yards on Sunday against Philadelphia, Beckham can join Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (1995) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 90 receiving yards in nine consecutive games.
New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and Tampa Bay rookie wide receiver Mike Evans each have 11 receiving touchdowns this season, while Carolina rookie Kelvin Benjamin has nine touchdown catches.
With one touchdown reception in Week 17 by Benjamin, they can become the first trio of rookies with at least 10 touchdown receptions each in the same season.
The rookie wide receivers through Week 16 with the most touchdown catches:
Odell Beckham, Jr.: 1st Round (No. 12 overall) - 79 Rec., 1,120 Yds., 11 TD
Mike Evans: 1st Round (No. 7 overall) - 63 Rec., 997 Yds., 11 TD
Kelvin Benjamin: 1st Round (No. 28 overall) - 72 Rec., 999 Yds., 9 TD
New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and Miami rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry lead all NFL rookies with 79 receptions each. With five receptions in Week 17, both players can surpass Earl Cooper for the fifth-most receptions in a season by a rookie.
Beckham and Landry, who were college teammates at Louisiana State, can also become the first rookies from the same college to lead their team in receptions in the same season since the 1970 merger.
The players with the most receptions in their rookie season:
Anquan Boldin: 101 (2003)
Eddie Royal: 91 (2008)
Terry Glenn: 90 (1996)
Reggie Bush: 88 (2006)
Earl Cooper : 83 (1980)
Odell Beckham, Jr.: 79* (2014)
Jarvis Landry: 79* (2014)
*Through Week 16
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