NFL

Bills can dampen Dolphins playoff hopes as Vikings aiming to improve record vs Colts

By Sports Desk December 16, 2022

The business end of the NFL season is here as the playoff picture starts to emerge.

You can tell things are getting interesting as this weekend sees three Saturday games, meaning football fans can stretch out their weekend viewing even further.

Saturday sees the Minnesota Vikings host the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens visit the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills taking on the Miami Dolphins.

Sunday's action includes a clash in the NFC South where no team seems to want to finish first, but the winner of the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints will leave themselves with an inexplicable chance to do so.

Stats Perform has taken a look at the numbers behind a selection of Week 15's games.

Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

While the Vikings have been having a far better season than the Colts, they are just 7-18-1 all-time in the series between the two (including playoffs). It is the Vikings' worst record against any single opponent.

Indianapolis entered their bye week with a 54-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, in which they were outscored by 33 points in the fourth quarter (33-0), the largest point differential in a single fourth quarter in NFL history.

Matt Ryan needs 125 passing yards to reach 3,000 for the 13th consecutive season, which would make him the eighth QB in NFL history to accomplish the feat, joining Philip Rivers as the only two to do so without a Super Bowl victory.

Justin Jefferson set a franchise record with 223 receiving yards on 11 catches against the Detroit Lions. Jefferson is up to 4,516 career receiving yards, the most of anyone in NFL history in a player's first three seasons (next most being Randy Moss with 4,163).

Miami Dolphins (8-5) @ Buffalo Bills (10-3)

The Bills have a five-game winning streak at home against the Dolphins, tied for their longest of all-time. This is just one game shy of matching Buffalo's longest home win streak against a divisional opponent (twice against the Colts and once against the New England Patriots).

The Dolphins lost 23-17 to the Chargers last week, posting a season-low 127 passing yards. Miami's 10 completions in the game were their fewest since Week 13 of 2015 (nine).

Tyreek Hill had a 57-yard fumble return touchdown and 60-yard receiving touchdown last week, and leads the NFL with four plays of 50 or more yards this season. Hill had four total plays of 50 or more yards in his last three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sean McDermott is 9-2 (.818) in his career as a head coach against the Dolphins, the best record by any head coach with at least eight games against Miami all-time. Only two coaches have 10 or more career wins against Miami (Bill Belichick, 26, and Marv Levy, 15).

Atlanta Falcons (5-8) @ New Orleans Saints (4-9)

The Falcons' three-point loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in their last game was Atlanta's 10th game this season decided by six points or fewer, tied for the most in franchise history (also in 1995, 2015 and 2017).

Cordarrelle Patterson is one of three players in NFL history to average 5.0+ yards per rush and 9.0+ yards per reception over his career (minimum 400 rushes and 200 receptions), along with Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell.

The Saints have held their opponent to fewer than 300 net passing yards in 22 consecutive games, tied with the Bengals for the second-longest active streak in the NFL (after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 27).

Chris Olave has had at least 40 receiving yards in all 12 games of his career thus far, the second-longest streak by any NFL player to begin his career in the Super Bowl era behind fellow Saints player Michael Thomas (19).

Elsewhere...

Panthers QB Sam Darnold has won both of his starts this season and has not thrown a pick in either. He has now won seven straight starts dating back to 2020 in games where he has not thrown an interception, tied for the third-longest active streak among QBs (Jimmy Garoppolo 16, Jalen Hurts 13, Joe Burrow 7), and will look to extend it against the Steelers.

The Dallas Cowboys will have to find a way to stop Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence. Since November 1, Lawrence has the highest completion percentage in the NFL among players with at least 100 attempts (71.8). On the season, the Jaguars are 5-2 when he completes at least 70.0 per cent of his passes compared to 0-6 when he does not.

The Las Vegas Raiders will look to bounce back against the New England Patriots after blowing a 13-point lead with fewer than four minutes remaining in their 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week. Over the last 40 seasons, the only other time the team had lost a game it led by 13+ points with four minutes or less remaining was in Week 3 of the 1993 season to the Cleveland Browns. 

Tom Brady was 34-for-55 for 253 yards last week, the 11th time in his career he has attempted at least 55 passes. His teams are now 3-8 in such games, with wins in 2002 against Chicago, 2015 against Buffalo, and Week 9 of this season against the Rams. The Buccaneers (6-7) will hope he can guide them to a much-needed W against the Bengals.

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    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Radio Station KKFI said on social media that one of their presenters, DJ Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

    KKFI said in a statement: “Our hearts and prayers are with her family. This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Travis Kelce wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

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    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

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