If the Broncos score 25-plus points in Week 17, they will become the second team since 1940 to score at least 25 points in 15 games in a single season. The other team to accomplish this feat was the 1983 Washington Redskins with Joe Theismann, John Riggins and Art Monk. Those Redskins advanced to Super Bowl XVIII before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders, 38-9.
Since Jim Schwartz took over as head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2009, they have finished above .500 only once. Schwartz’s offense has finished in the NFL’s top five in each of the past two seasons and is currently ranked third heading into Week 17. However, his scoring defense has never ranked higher than 19th, and is 17th in the NFL heading into Week 17. Detroit has been one of the NFL’s most-penalized teams since Schwartz took over, with the second-most penalties accepted against since 2009. In addition, the Lions have the fourth-most giveaways in the NFL since Schwartz took over.
The Chicago Bears have allowed 11 individual 100-yard rushing games this season, which is four more than any other team. Should Chicago give up 100 yards rushing to Eddie Lacy (or any other Green Bay Packers runner), the Bears will match the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16, for the most 100-yard rushing games allowed in a single season.
Four of the 100-plus-yard rushers against the Bears -- Brandon Jacobs, Benny Cunningham, Bryce Brown, and Ray Rice -- have not recorded another 100-plus-yard game all season. Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush have two 100-yard rushing games apiece vs. the Bears this season.
Tony Romo is 0-3 in regular-season elimination games and 1-3 in playoff games, which makes him 1-6, in his career, in games that can be described as "win-or-go-home." Kyle Orton has never played in a "win-or-go-home" game.
Since 2000, the Dallas Cowboys have the NFL's worst record in games played in Week 17. Their 2-11 record on the last game of the season is one worse than the Jaguars and Saints, and two games worse than the Buccaneers, Raiders, Bills and Lions.
Antonio Brown and Pierre Garcon are the only players in the NFL with 5-plus receptions in all 15 games this season. Since 1960, only one player in the NFL has had 5-plus receptions in all 16 games: Jimmy Smith of the 2001 Jacksonville Jaguars. Among the greats who had 5-plus receptions in 15 games, but not 16 games: Sterling Sharpe, Cris Carter, Jerry Rice (twice) and Marvin Harrison.
Luke Kuechly, is third in the NFL with 146 tackles this season, and has 310 tackles since 2012, the most in the NFL. Kuechly could become the second player to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons. The only player to accomplish this feat: Lawrence Taylor (DROY 1981, DPOY 1982). Even more notable, Taylor was Defensive Player of the Year in his rookie season, too.
Buffalo Bills defense
The bad news for the Bills? On Sunday, they will be completing their ninth consecutive losing season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. The good news? With 56 sacks and 22 interceptions, the Bills are on pace to become only the sixth team since 1964 to lead the league in sacks and finish in the top two in interceptions.
Don't expect Alex Smith to throw the long ball. Among the 18 NFL QBs with 3,000-plus yards passing this season, only Matt Ryan (34) has thrown fewer passes 21-plus yards downfield than Smith (38). Over three-quarters (75.8 percent) of Smith's passes are thrown no more than 10 yards downfield. The only QB with a higher percentage of passes thrown 10 yards downfield or less is the injured Sam Bradford, at 76.7 percent. Right behind Smith on the short-air-yards brigade are Jason Campbell (75.7 percent) and Chad Henne (75.2 percent).
Tom Brady's New England Patriots are seeking a first-round bye for the fourth consecutive season. How rare is this feat? Since 1990, only the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers (both from 1992 to 1995) made the playoffs four consecutive seasons with a first-round bye.
Jay Cutler vs. Green Bay
Does Marc Trestman have the right QB starting for the Chicago Bears on Sunday? Jay Cutler is 1-7 in his career against the Packers, and his 16 interceptions thrown to Packers defenders are Cutler's most against any NFL team (he has thrown 11 vs. Minnesota). Cutler has thrown multiple picks in five out of eight games vs. the Packers, and has been sacked 30 times in eight games against Green Bay.
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