5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 14
Another wild week of NFL action is in the books as Week 14 of the 2020 season is in the rearview mirror. The last week saw spluttering offenses, misfiring defenses, and a whole heap of thrilling action as the season draws inexorably toward its finale. The next few weeks are going to make for interesting viewing -- that's for sure.
Here are five stats to know -- both traditional and our advanced statistics -- from Week 14 of the NFL season.
Jalen Hurts Ran for 100 Yards in his First Start
The Philadelphia Eagles made a switch at quarterback ahead of Week 14, with Jalen Hurts coming in for Carson Wentz for their game against the New Orleans Saints. While the rookie wasn't perfect, he certainly gave the offense a boost in their victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Hurts went 17 for 30 as a passer, amassing 167 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' 24-21 victory. He became the eighth Eagles quarterback since 1950 to win his first start, joining players like Wentz, A.J. Feeley, and Donovan McNabb in achieving the feat. Hurts also ran for 106 yards, becoming only the second quarterback in NFL history to gain more than 100 rushing yards in their first career start. The only other player to achieve this was Lamar Jackson back in 2018.
The Saints had not allowed a single 100-yard rusher in their previous 56 regular-season games, the longest streak in the Super Bowl era. So to mark the end of the run, they allowed two in the same game. Miles Sanders managed 115 yards on 14 attempts, including an 82-yard touchdown run for his second yard scoring run of at least 70 yards this season. Sanders and Hurts are the first Eagles quarterback-running back duo to rush for 100-plus yards in the same game since 2002 -- when McNabb ran for 107 yards while Duce Staley also managed 126.
Patrick Mahomes Passed for 393 Yards
The record-breaking start to the career of Patrick Mahomes continued on Sunday in the Kansas City Chiefs' 33-27 win over the Miami Dolphins. After setting the NFL record for the most yards lost on a sack, with Mahomes absorbing a 30-yard loss in the first quarter, Mahomes finished his day with 393 passing yards and two touchdowns. These yards were enough to take him over the 4,000-yard mark for the season, making him the third player in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards in three of his first four seasons in the league. The other two are Peyton Manning and Dan Marino.
Mahomes has passed for at least 350 yards in 14 career games, which is the most for any player in NFL history in their first four seasons. He is also the second player to record 26 games with 300 or more yards in their first four seasons, tying Kurt Warner for this record.
Lastly -- but by no means least for one day's work -- this past Sunday marked the sixth game in a row in which Mahomes has eclipsed 315 passing yards. He is one of only three players with such a streak in the history of the game, following Drew Brees and Rich Gannon.
Haason Reddick Had 5 Sacks and 3 Forced Fumbles
The NFL has tracked sacks as an individual stat since only 1983. In that time, only 16 players have managed five or more in a single game, with the last such instance coming in 2017, when Adrian Clayborn had six for the Atlanta Falcons against the Dallas Cowboys.
So Haason Reddick joined some illustrious company in Week 14 when he had a franchise-record 5.0 sacks for the Arizona Cardinals in their 26-7 win over the New York Giants. But Reddick wasn't satisfied with racking up just sacks. He also forced three fumbles in the game. He is only the 21st player since 1982 to force three fumbles in a single game.
Games with five sacks and three forced fumbles are not exactly commonplace in NFL history. Indeed, Reddick is only the second player to achieve this double, joining Vonnie Holliday in this exclusive club. Holliday managed his double for the Green Bay Packers against the Buffalo Bills in 2002, helping the Packers pitch a shutout in a 10-0 victory.
James Robinson Has 1,000 Yards From Scrimmage
Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans will receive much of the praise from the game between the Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. He certainly deserves plenty of it, rushing as he did for 212 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee's 31-10 victory. But a special mention should be made to the back on the other side of the field in the game -- James Robinson. Robinson finished with 67 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards, pushing him to 1,035 rushing yards for the season.
Robinson is one of only four undrafted rookies to rush for at least 1,000 yards in the Super Bowl era, joining LeGarrette Blount, Phillip Lindsay, and Dominic Rhodes. Robinson has 1,361 yards from scrimmage this season, the most ever by an undrafted rookie.
The New England Patriots Lost Their Seventh Game
The New England Patriots' dominance of the AFC East is over. Following the Patriots' 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night, the team fell to 6-7 this year, meaning the maximum number of victories they can achieve in 2020 is nine.
They can no longer catch the division-leading Buffalo Bills, who sit at 10-3 after Week 14. This snaps the Patriots' streak of consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories at 17, the longest run in NFL history. You have to go back to 2002, the season following their first Super Bowl victory, for the last time the Patriots lost seven regular-season games in a single year.
The Patriots' offense was dire against the Rams, averaging a dismal -0.47 Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, the lowest mark in the entire league in Week 14. Their passing game was especially woeful. Behind Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham, their per-play passing efficiency was -0.69 Passing NEP per drop back, again the lowest among all 32 teams last week. The Patriots are still in the playoff mix, but this team is a far cry from the New England squads we have seen over the last two decades.