NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments from Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season.
1) The Vikings continue to close out close games
"Never say die" has been the theme of Kirk Cousins and the Vikings' 2022 season. After leading the greatest comeback in NFL history in Week 15 against the Colts, Cousins led another fourth-quarter comeback Saturday against the Giants, his NFL-high eighth of the season. Minnesota is 11-0 in one-possession games this season, the most wins in one-score games in a season in NFL history.
2) Justin Jefferson weekly rewriting of record books
Jefferson seems to do something that's never been done before each week. In this week's edition, Jefferson went over the century mark for the 24th time in his career, the most such games by any player in his first four NFL seasons. The thing about that is 2022 is Jefferson's third season. Hall of Famer Randy Moss held the previous record with 23 such games. Jefferson has reached the threshold in 50 percent of his career games (24 of 48), the highest in NFL history. The next closest player is Julio Jones at 38.6 percent (59 of 153).
Jefferson's 123 catches and 1,756 receiving yards this season are both the most in franchise history. He passed Moss (1,632 rec yds in 2003) and Cris Carter (122 rec in 1994 and 1995) on Saturday for those distinctions. Jefferson needs 209 yards over his final two games to break Calvin Johnson's single-season NFL record of 1,964 (2012).
3) Brock Purdy joins Kurt Warner on exclusive list
Purdy, 2022's Mr. Irrelevant, has been a revelation in San Francisco, looking every bit capable of leading a playoff team. Purdy has a 121.4 passer rating through his first three career starts, the third-highest in the Super Bowl era behind Patrick Mahomes (130.1) and Kurt Warner (125.0). Undrafted free agent (to Pro Football Hall of Famer) Warner and Purdy are the only quarterbacks over that span to have multiple pass touchdowns and win each of his first three career starts. The common thread between Mahomes and Warner is what 49ers fans are hoping Purdy can be after this season: Super Bowl champion. The defense should hold down its end of the deal -- the unit allowed fewer than 80 rush yards in their eighth straight win, the longest streak by any team since the 1934 Lions.
4) Josh Allen breaks record for most offensive TDs in first five seasons
Despite a sloppy performance and a slow start, Allen kept the Bills on pace to capture the AFC's top seed behind three offensive touchdowns and the Bills' most rush yards (254) in the Allen era. The scores brought Allen's total to 174 touchdowns in his first five seasons, the most by any player in the Super Bowl era. Allen passed Hall of Famer Dan Marino (171) to set the record Saturday in Chicago.
5) Can't stop, won't stop the Eagles' pass rush
Despite their loss to the Cowboys, the Eagles' pass rush has continued to produce at a historic rate. It goes beyond their NFL-leading 61.0 sacks, one shy of the franchise record set by Hall of Famer Reggie White and company in 1989 (62.0). The defense has at least six sacks in four straight games, tied for the longest streak in the Super Bowl era with the 1976 49ers (also four games). If Brandon Graham can record one sack over the final two games, the Eagles will be the first team since sacks were officially recorded in 1982 to have four players record double-digit sacks in the same season. The Eagles are still just one win shy of clinching the NFC East and the conference's top seed in the playoffs.
6) CeeDeez numbers: CeeDee Lamb puts up another big day
Lamb had his second career game with at least 10 receptions, 100 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas' win over Philly, tied with former teammate Amari Cooper for the most by a Cowboys player in team history. Lamb is the only Cowboy to do so in a single season. In fact, Lamb has more such games (two) than the rest of the 88 Club (Dez Bryant, Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson) combined (0).
7) Marcus Jones ready for Prime Time
Jones, who is tied for the NCAA record with nine career return scores of kicks (six kick, three punt), has been electric in limited opportunities with the ball in his hands. Jones is the only player in the last 75 years to have a receiving, punt return and interception return touchdown in the same season. He also joined Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as the only players in the Super Bowl era with a 40-plus yard TD on a reception, punt return and interception return in their careers.
Bonus: Patrick Mahomes has at least 12 wins in each of his last three seasons, tied for the third-longest streak since the 1970 merger. Only Peyton Manning (seven seasons from 2003-2009) and Tom Brady (six from 2010-2015) have had longer streaks.
Research shoutouts: Jack Andrade (@RealJackAndrade), Dante Koplowitz-Fleming (@DanteKopFlem), Matt Okada (@MattOkada), Cole Jacobson (@ColeJacobson32), Michelle Magdziuk (@BallBlastEm), Blake Warye (@bwaryeorblake), John Todd (@therealjohntodd)