5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 13
There is still one game to go in Week 13, but we’ve already seen a boatload of significant NFL action this week. The last unbeaten team finally fell, with the Pittsburgh Steelers dropping a game at the 12th time of asking to Washington. At the other end of the spectrum, the New York Jets continue to wait for their first victory, largely thanks to the tactics of their now former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in their last gasp loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s been quite a week already.
Here are five stats to know — both traditional and our advanced statistics — from Week 13 of the NFL season.
Aaron Rodgers Has 400 Career Touchdown Passes
Viewers of Aaron Rodgers last season (including the author) may have considered the possibility that they were watching the final days of a player who, while for so long dominant, was becoming a shell of his former self. To borrow a phrase from another great in another sport, he took that personally. Rodgers has elevated his play in 2020, and Sunday saw him achieve a host of notable feats.
Rodgers dropped 290 yards and three touchdowns on the Philadelphia Eagles in a 30-16 win in Week 13. It was his ninth game of the year with three or more touchdown passes. With the three scores, Rodgers reached 400 regular-season touchdowns in just his 193rd game, the fastest any of the seven players with at least 400 scores. 36 of his 400 touchdowns have come in the 2020 season, meaning that Rodgers has at least 35 touchdowns in five different seasons. He is the first player to achieve this feat.
The Eagles were probably hoping that last year was the end for Rodgers, as he has now thrown at least two touchdowns against the Birds in each of his last six games (post-season included).
Davante Adams Had 10 Receptions, 121 Receiving Yards, and 2 Touchdowns
If Rodgers is indeed Batman, then Davante Adams is a more than capable Robin. And not Jason Todd’s Robin, either. We are talking Dick Grayson level. Adams reeled in 10 receptions for 121 yards and two of Rodgers touchdowns against the Eagles. Adams deeds gave him 34.1 PPR points in Week 13, the second-most among all wide receivers after Corey Davis. Sunday marked the fourth time this year that Adams has at least 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards, and a score. This is the second-most in a single season in NFL history, tied with Odell Beckham in 2014 and Torry Holt back in 2003. The single-season record is six and was set by Michael Thomas last year.
Adams has at least five receptions and a touchdown in each of his last seven games and is only the third player in NFL history to enjoy such a streak. Terrell Owens had seven such games back in 2007, while Antonio Brown managed eight in 2018. Adams will be looking to match his record next week when the Packers take on the Lions.
Travis Kelce Has 1,000 Receiving Yards Again
The struggles of most players for consistency among tight ends in 2020 should make everyone truly grateful for Travis Kelce. Kelce has been a picture of consistency for much of his career, and 2020 may be his finest season.
Kelce notched eight receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Kansas City Chiefs 22-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. In doing so, Kelce went over 1,000 yards receiving for the season. He has 1,000 yards in each of his last five seasons, making him the first tight end to ever accomplish this feat. He has 82 receptions this season, which also makes him the first tight end to ever have 80 or more grabs in five straight seasons.
Sunday marked the 24th time in his career that Kelce has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a regular-season game. Kelce moves into a tie for the third-most 100-yard games among all tight ends with the great Kellen Winslow, who managed his feat between 1980 and 1986. Only Tony Gonzalez (29) and Rob Gronkowski (31) have more 100-yard games than Kelce and Winslow.
Baker Mayfield Averaged 0.82 Passing Net Expected Points Against the Titans
It’s been pretty clear that the success that the Cleveland Browns have enjoyed this season has been based on their ground game and not on the arm of quarterback Baker Mayfield. Before Week 13, Mayfield had been asked to drop back and pass just 311 times, fewer than 21 other quarterbacks. He’s not displayed elite level efficiency when asked to pass either, averaging 0.13 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. This was 17th out of 24 quarterbacks with at least 300 dropbacks.
On Sunday, however, every just seemed to click. Mayfield completed 25 of his 33 pass attempts for 334 yards and four touchdowns as the Browns swept aside the Tennessee Titans. All four of his touchdowns came in the first half, with Mayfield joining Hall of Famer Otto Graham as the only Browns quarterbacks with four scores in the opening 30 minutes of a game in team history. Graham had four first-half scores in a 49-28 victory over the Cardinals, who in those days were still based in Chicago.
As his numbers would suggest, Mayfield’s efficiency was incredible against the Titans. He averaged 0.82 NEP, by far the best passing performance in the NFL in Week 13 (minimum 10 attempts). He now also has 70 passing touchdowns for his career, the most by a Browns quarterback in their first three seasons. The previous record was 67, held by Otto Graham.
Mayfield also recorded his first career reception, a six-yard catch on a pass thrown by Jarvis Landry. Mayfield is one of only five players in NFL history to record four or more touchdown passes and have a reception in the same game and the first since Michael Vick in 2006.
Justin Houston Had 3.0 Sacks Against the Houston Texans
Justin Houston‘s first season with the Indianapolis Colts saw the former Defensive Player of the Year register 11.0 sacks in 2019. He hadn’t come close to matching this output in 2020, with just 4.5 sacks in his first 11 games of the season. But he rolled back the years in their win over the Houston Texans in Week 13.
Houston was a man possessed against the team that shares his name, recording 3.0 sacks, three quarterback hits, and two tackles for loss. He has eight games in his career with at least 3.0 sacks, the fourth most in the NFL since the start of the 2000 season. Only DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers (nine), and John Abraham (10) have more such games than Houston. Interestingly, Houston is the only player in this group to have won all of his games when he records at least three sacks.
Houston also recorded a safety with one of his sacks. Houston now has four in his career and two this season. He moves into a tie with Jared Allen, Doug English, and Ted Hendricks for the most safeties since 1950. Only Houston, Allen, Junior Galette, and Jameel McClain have more than one safety in a season since 2000.