This season has been another banner year for wide receivers, with several hitting milestones in Week 16.
Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Antonio Brown, Keenan Allen and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown are among the receivers who reached memorable marks this week.
Kupp had 10 receptions for 109 yards for the Rams in a win at Minnesota for his record 14th game this season with at least 90 yards receiving, breaking the mark held by Brown (2014) and Michael Irvin (1995).
Kupp’s 132 receptions are the fifth-most ever and he needs 18 in the final two games to break Michael Thomas’ record of 149 set in a 16-game season in 2019.
Jefferson had eight catches for 116 yards in that same game, giving him 2,851 yards receiving in his two-year career. That breaks the mark of 2,755 set by Odell Beckham Jr. from 2014-15.
Brown had 10 catches for 101 yards in Tampa Bay’s win over Carolina for his record 23rd game with double-digit catches, breaking Andre Johnson’s career record.
St. Brown had nine catches for 91 yards and one TD, joining Beckham as the only rookies to have at least eight catches in four straight games.
Keenan Allen of the Chargers had four catches to give him 96 on the season for his fifth straight year with at least 95. The only other player to do that was Brown, who did it six years in a row from 2013-18.
Cincinnati’s dynamic duo of rookie Ja’Marr Chase and second-year star Tee Higgins also became the first set of teammates age 23 or younger to each record at least 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.
Led by Jefferson, Higgins and Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb, wide receivers from the 2020 draft class have combined for 13,505 yards receiving this season, the most ever for one draft class in one season, topping the 13,333 from the 1996 class in 1999.
Another pass catcher also got into the mix, with Atlanta rookie tight end Kyle Pitts recording six catches for 102 yards in a win over Detroit. Pitts’ 949 yards receiving are the second-most for a rookie tight end, trailing only Mike Ditka’s 1,076 in 1961.
Joe Burrow had a record-setting performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
Burrow threw for 525 yards and four TDs i n Cincinnati’s 41-21 win, the fourth-most yards in NFL history. Only Norm Van Brocklin (554 in 1951 against the New York Yanks), Warren Moon (527 in 1990 against the Chiefs) and Matt Schaub (527 in 2012 against the Jaguars) had more in a game.
But with Burrow also throwing for 416 yards in the first meeting of the season, he had a record 941 yards against Baltimore this year, breaking the mark held by Dan Marino (874 yards against the Jets in 1988) and Joe Montana (874 against Atlanta in 1990).
Burrow has three career games with at least 400 yards passing and three TDs, tying Marino for the most in a player’s first two seasons.
Burrow’s big day capped Cincinnati’s 4-0 sweep against division rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, marking just the fourth time one team swept those traditional powers. The Bengals also did it in 2009, the Jaguars in 1999 and the Oilers in 1998.
Josh Johnson made the most of his emergency start for the Ravens, even in a losing cause.
Johnson threw for 304 yards and two TDs against Cincinnati, seven weeks after coming off the bench to throw for 317 yards and three TDs for the Jets in a loss to Indianapolis.
Johnson became the second player since the merger to throw for at least 300 yards and a touchdown for two teams in the same season. Kyle Orton did it in 2011 for the Broncos and Chiefs, with both coming in losses to the Raiders.
BIG MAN TOUCHDOWNS
There has never been a day quite like Sunday for offensive linemen in the NFL.
Jacksonville’s Will Richardson, Conor McDermott of the Jets, Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson and Dallas’ Terence Steele all scored touchdowns, doubling the season total for offensive linemen from the first 15 weeks.
It was the most TDs scored in a week by offensive linemen since at least 1949, according to Sportradar, with the previous mark of two last being done in Week 14 of the 2010 season.
NO NO NOTRE DAME
Ian Book lost his first NFL start for the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, extending a long winless streak for Notre Dame quarterbacks.
Fighting Irish quarterbacks have lost their last 24 starts in the NFL, the longest streak for one college since at least 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
DeShone Kizer has 15 of the losses, with Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen having four apiece to go along with Book’s defeat.
Quinn has the last win with a 27-21 victory for Kansas City over Carolina on Dec. 2, 2012.
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