All hail the clutch kickers.
The NFL witnessed a first in the last 45 years – three games decided by game-winning scores in the fourth quarter Sunday as time expired, the first time that has happened on the same day since 1970. All of them came on game-winning kicks.
The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Diego Chargers, 29-26, on Justin Tucker’s 39-yard field goal.
The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears, 23-20, on Blair Walsh’s 36-yard field goal.
And the New Orleans Saints scored seven touchdowns, but still needed a Kai Forbath 50-yard field goal as time expired to take home the 52-49 win over the New York Giants.
As if that wasn’t enough, two more games in Week 8 were decided in overtime, making it 11 overtime games this season, the fifth-most in NFL history through Week 8.
Other leaders and stats
- The NFL now has four undefeated teams left after the Denver Broncos knocked the Green Bay Packers from the ranks of undefeated teams. The Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots are still unblemished.
- In the case of the Broncos, Gary Kubiak became the fourth head coach in NFL history to get his team to 7-0 in his first season with the team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
- Several quarterback milestones were reached in Week 8: Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre for most regular-season victories (186) in a career. Drew Brees tied the single-game NFL record with seven touchdown passes and set another NFL record with 10 career games with at least five touchdown passes. Andy Dalton tied the NFL record for most road wins (23) in a quarterback’s first five seasons.
- Calvin Johnson reached 11,000 career receiving yards in his 127th game, the fewest games needed to reach that milestone, beating Torry Holt by four games.
- Julio Jones leads the league in receiving yards (892) and receiving yards per game (111.5). He is second in yards after catch (356).
- Danny Woodhead leads the league in yards after catch by a large margin, having 489 YAC so far.
- Rob Gronkowski leads the NFL with 10 receptions longer than 25 yards.
- Julian Edelman leads the league with nine catches inside the red zone and Gronkowski is second with eight.
- But Edelman and Atlanta’s Leonard Hankerson are tied for the NFL lead with seven dropped passes.
- Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman has a league-leading 22 carries longer than 10 yards.
- Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 8.5 yards per carry in the fourth quarter and leads with 8.4 yards on carries after he has already rushed 20 times in a game, more than 3 yards per carry better than any other running back. He also averages a league-best 7.7 yards per carry on first-and-10.
- Andrew Luck leads the NFL with 12 interceptions thrown, but Tom Brady is on the good end of that spectrum throwing an interception on only 0.3 percent of his attempts (one interception in 289 passes). Brady also leads with a 143.5 rating in the fourth quarter.
- Dalton has a league-best 20 pass plays longer than 25 yards.
- The ageless Charles Woodson leads the NFL with five interceptions.
- Ronald Darby leads the NFL with 14 passes defensed.