NFL Research offers the best nuggets from each week of games in the NFL. Here are the most eye-popping statistical accomplishments from the Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL season.
1) Chiefs 27, Jaguars 20: Kansas City advances to fifth straight AFC Championship behind hobbled Patrick Mahomes
Having the best player on the planet has its perks. The Chiefs are now 5-0 in the Divisional Round with Mahomes as their starter. Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid have ensured the AFC Championship will be played in Arrowhead Stadium for a fifth straight season, extending the Chiefs’ own Super Bowl era record of four straight home conference championship games. Prior to drafting Mahomes, the Kansas City had never hosted an AFC Championship Game.
The head coach-quarterback duo will also tie Hall of Famers John Madden and Ken Stabler for the second-longest streak of conference championship appearances (5) by such a duo. Only Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (8) have ever had a longer streak. Mahomes has the highest completion percentage (70.0), pass touchdown-interception ratio (11-0), and passer rating in the Divisional Round in postseason history (minimum 3 starts). His five wins in the round are tied for the most without a loss all-time (Stabler).
As for his No. 1 target, Travis Kelce had 14 receptions against the Jaguars, the most by any non-running back in postseason history and more than the rest of his teammates combined (13). Kelce finished the game with 120 playoff receptions, trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for the most all-time.
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2) Eagles 38, Giants 7: Eagles dispose of division-rival Giants in Divisional Round
The Eagles put the Giants down early in their 38-7 win over their NFC East foe. The 31-point win was the largest playoff win over a divisional opponent since the 1970 NFL-AFL Merger. Philadelphia did so behind 268 rushing yards, the second-most in team postseason history behind the team’s 274 rush yards in the 1949 NFL Championship victory.
Jalen Hurts rushed for his 14th touchdown of the season, including playoffs, tying Cam Newton (2011) for the most by a QB in a single season all-time. Hurts joined Donovan McNabb as the only players in Eagles franchise history to have multiple pass touchdowns and a rush touchdown in a playoff game.
3) Bengals 27, Bills 10: Bengals get AFC Championship rematch with Chiefs after routing Bills
In its win over Buffalo, Cincinnati became the first team to ever lose a Super Bowl, start 0-2 the following season, and then make the conference championship game in said season. For the second straight year, that game will be on the road against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Joe Burrow has beat Mahomes three times in as many tries, making him and Tom Brady the only quarterbacks to hand Mahomes that many losses. However, it’s taken the latter six games to do so.
Burrow won his fifth career playoff game, tied with the Bengals’ franchise total prior to his arrival. The total also trails only Russell Wilson (6) for the most by a player in his first three career seasons. The 26-year-old Burrow and Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw are the only No. 1 overall picks to win at least four playoff games at 26 or younger. The other thing Bradshaw did at 26? Win the first of his four Super Bowls rings.
Ja’Marr Chase joined Hall of Famer Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history with at least 3,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns in their first two seasons, including playoffs. Chase (513) also passed Moss (463) for the most playoff receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons. The only player with more is former Washington receiver Charlie Brown.
4) 49ers 19, Cowboys 12: Mistakes doom Dallas, Niners return to NFC Championship
Coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers’ win over the Cowboys was their 12th straight, the franchise’s longest since it won the final nine games of the 1984 regular season before winning three playoff games including Super Bowl XIX over the Dolphins. It’s the team’s second straight conference championship appearance, and the team’s 18th overall, the most by any team since the conference were created in 1970.
Brock Purdy will be the fifth rookie quarterback to start a conference championship, joining Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, and Shaun King. None of those four made it to the Super Bowl. However, Purdy leads the NFL in quarterback wins (7), pass yards per attempt (9.0) and passer rating (116.0), while ranking second in pass touchdowns (14), since becoming the starter in Week 14. Christian McCaffrey’s streak of eight straight games with a touchdown is the longest by a 49ers player since Hall of Famer Terrell Owens did so in nine straight in 1998.
As for the Cowboys, Dak Prescott threw two interceptions to add to his NFL-high 17 this season (tied with Josh Allen, both were eliminated in Divisional Round). Prescott is now 0-3 in the Divisional Round, while the Cowboys are 0-7 in the round since winning Super Bowl XXX in 1995. It is the worst record in the NFL over that span. Kicker Brett Maher missed five extra points in the 2022 playoffs, the most in a single postseason and the second-most in a playoff career. Only Roy Gerela, who missed six in 15 career playoff games, has ever missed more. Maher played his fourth career playoff game Sunday.
Research shoutouts: Jack Andrade (@RealJackAndrade), Dante Koplowitz-Fleming (@DanteKopFlem), Matt Okada (@MattOkada), Cole Jacobson (@ColeJacobson32), Michelle Magdziuk (@BallBlastEm), Blake Warye (@bwaryeorblake), John Todd (@therealjohntodd)
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