Essentials from Sunday: NFL has record number of 8-0 teams

The NFL has the most 8-0 teams in the history of the league, despite the Denver Broncos suffering their first loss.

The AFC has two. The NFC has one.

The three remaining undefeated teams – the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers – make up the most 8-0 teams in NFL history.

The Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts to surrender their undefeated status, and the Carolina Panthers were the next closest to giving up that status, despite having a big lead against the Green Bay Packers before hanging on for a 37-29 win. The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns 31-10 on Thursday night, and the New England Patriots beat the Washington Redskins 27-10 on Sunday.

Before this season, 21 teams had started 8-0 during the Super Bowl era and all of them made the playoffs with 12 advancing to the Super Bowl and eight winning the Super Bowl.

In the Panthers’ win, Cam Newton threw three touchdowns and ran for another, the 15th time in his young career he has thrown multiple touchdowns and run for a touchdown, becoming only the third player in NFL history with 15 such games. Steve Young had 17 and Fran Tarkenton had 16 games like that.

The Patriots stayed undefeated and have now scored in an NFL record-tying 31 straight quarters. LeGarrette Blount rushed 29 times for 129 yards, the second-most carries for a Patriots running back in a regular-season game in the last 10 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Colts knocked the Broncos from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 27-24 win as Andrew Luck passed for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Luck now has 101 touchdowns tosses after 55 career games. Only Dan Marino (44 games), Kurt Warner (50) and Johnny Unitas (53) reached the 100-touchdown mark in fewer games.

The Colts also denied their former quarterback, Peyton Manning, from breaking Brett Favre’s all-time passing mark and win total. Manning came up 3 yards short and one win short, throwing an interception on his last pass of the game after 42-year-old Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-winning 55-yard field goal, the oldest kicker by five years to kick a game-winner that long in the fourth quarter, according to Elias.

OTHER ESSENTIALS

  • Marcus Mariota made the Tennessee Titans looked good for drafting him second overall. Mariota passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a 34-28 win over the New Orleans Saints. It was his second game with four touchdown passes and no interceptions, equaling his mark in the season opener. Both of those were roads games.
  • He also became the second player in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime, joining Daunte Culpepper (2004 vs. Houston).
  • Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown had 306 yards from scrimmage, including franchise bests in receptions (17) and receiving yards (284) in the Steelers’ 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders. DeAngelo Williams posted 225 scrimmage yards with 170 rushing and 55 receiving and two rushing touchdowns. They gave the Steelers the first duo in NFL history to have one player with at least 300 scrimmage yards and another player with at least 200 scrimmage yards in the same game.
  • Todd Gurley entered the Minnesota Vikings-St. Louis Rams game as the first rookie in NFL history with four straight games of 125 yards rushing or more, but it was Adrian Peterson who got 125 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 21-18 overtime win. It was Peterson’s 28th career game with at least 125 yards rushing, sixth-most in NFL history. Barry Sanders leads in that category with 46 such games, with Jim Brown (41), Walter Payton (38), Eric Dickerson (36) and Emmitt Smith (34) trailing him.
  • In that same game, Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked a 61-yard field goal, becoming only the second kicker in NFL history with two field goals of 60 yards or longer, according to Elias, joining Sebastian Janikowski.
  • Karlos Williams returned to action for the Buffalo Bills following a concussion in Week 6 and rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. Williams is the seventh player in NFL history to score a touchdown in each of his first five career games.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their 21st straight road game when facing a team with a winning record, the second-longest streak of its kind in NFL history, according to Elias. But take heart, Jaguars fans, because the record is long way away and it was held by one of the NFL’s currently undefeated teams, the Cincinnati Bengals, who lost 42 straight road games against teams with a winning record from 1990 to 2004.


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