NFL Numbers: Chiefs and Eagles' Fast Starts Increase Likelihood of Rare Rematch


NFL Numbers: Chiefs and Eagles’ Fast Starts Increase Likelihood of Rare Rematch

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Kansas City and Philadelphia are setting the stage for a possible Super Bowl rematch, as both teams have started the season strong, with six wins out of their first seven games, placing them at the top of the NFL standings. This marks only the sixth time in NFL history that the previous season’s Super Bowl contestants have held the best record in the league as they enter Week 8 or later.

The last occurrence was back in the 2000 season when the Titans and Rams, both at 8-2, shared this distinction as they headed into Week 12. However, neither of these teams made it to the Super Bowl that year, with the Titans losing in the divisional round and the Rams falling in the wild-card round.

In 1993, the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys also achieved this feat, finishing the season tied for the best record at 12-4 after their Super Bowl matchup the previous year. Interestingly, they faced each other again in the Super Bowl that season, with the Cowboys successfully defending their championship, marking the only time in NFL history when the same two teams met in back-to-back Super Bowls.

The Kansas City Chiefs secured a three-game lead in the AFC West by defeating the Chargers. This is only the fourth time in the last decade that such a lead has been established after seven weeks. The Chiefs, with Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback, have been exceptionally dominant within their division, boasting a 29-3 record against division opponents, a remarkable .906 winning percentage.

Patrick Mahomes is also making history with six career games in the regular season or playoffs, where he’s thrown for at least 400 yards and four touchdowns. Only Peyton Manning (nine) and Dan Marino (eight) have accomplished this feat more times in NFL history.

On the other side, the Philadelphia Eagles reached a 6-1 record by defeating the Miami Dolphins. Notably, wide receiver A.J. Brown extended his streak to five consecutive games with at least 125 yards receiving, joining Calvin Johnson (2012) and Pat Studstill (1966) for the longest such streaks in NFL history.

In a separate note, Washington’s Sam Howell continues to experience an alarming rate of sacks, being brought down six times in a game against the Giants. He has now been sacked at least four times in every game this season, only one short of the longest such streak since the merger, which is currently held by Deshaun Watson (2018-19), Jeff George (1997-98), and Blake Bortles (2014-15). Howell’s 40 sacks through seven games rank second since the merger, trailing only David Carr’s 43 in 2002, which set the NFL record for sacks that season.

Maxx Crosby’s impressive streak of consecutive defensive snaps for the Las Vegas Raiders was halted. He had played 267 consecutive snaps before leaving the field for two kneel downs at the end of a game against the Bears. Crosby’s three-game streak was the longest for a defensive lineman since Chandler Jones achieved five straight games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reached a significant milestone by earning his 300th regular-season victory, joining Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318) as the only coaches in NFL history to achieve this milestone. When considering coaching wins, including the postseason, Belichick currently trails Shula 347-331. He has also lost 170 games, which is eight fewer than Tom Landry, the coach with the most losses in NFL history.

The game between the Chicago Bears and the Las Vegas Raiders featured two undrafted quarterbacks. Rookie Tyson Bagent, who played at Division II Shepherd University, emerged victorious over veteran Brian Hoyer. This was the first game with two undrafted starting quarterbacks since Nick Mullens and San Francisco defeated Case Keenum and Denver in 2018. Hoyer’s losing streak as a starter extended to 13 games, making it the eighth longest such streak since the merger. Notably, Bagent became the 106th quarterback to win a start more recently than Hoyer, ending the game. This also pushed Hoyer into second place for the most franchises started for in his career, with eight, just one behind Ryan Fitzpatrick’s record.

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