TOP TEAMS ON TNF: The GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-1) visit the ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-0) as the two hottest teams in the league meet on Thursday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon). Green Bay enters the contest having won six consecutive games, while Arizona is 7-0 for the first time since 1974.
The two clubs enter the game with a combined .929 winning percentage, tied for the third-highest combined winning percentage by teams entering a regular-season primetime game in Week 8 or later since 1970. The winner of each of the previous matchups with a combined .929-or-better winning percentage advanced to the Super Bowl that season.
The teams with the highest combined winning percentage entering a primetime game in Week 8 or later since 1970:
|WEEK, SEASON||VISITING TEAM||HOME TEAM||WIN PCT.||FINAL SCORE|
|Week 8, 2015||Green Bay (6-0)||Denver (6-0)||1.000||DEN 29, GB 10|
|Week 11, 2013||Kansas City (9-0)||Denver (8-1)||.944||DEN 27, KC 17|
|Week 8, 2021||Green Bay (6-1)||Arizona (7-0)||.929||???|
|Week 9, 2006||Indianapolis (7-0)||New England (6-1)||.929||IND 27, NE 20|
If the Cardinals wins on Thursday night, it will mark the first 8-0 start in franchise history. Quarterback KYLER MURRAY, at 24 years and 82 days old on Thursday, would become the third-youngest quarterback ever to start and win each of his team’s first eight games of a season. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (1984) and JARED GOFF (2018) were younger. Both Marino and Goff took their teams to the Super Bowl that season.
The youngest quarterbacks to start and win each of their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history:
|Dan MarinoHOF||Miami||1984||23 years, 36 days||Advanced to Super Bowl|
|Jared Goff||L.A. Rams||2018||24 years, 14 days||Advanced to Super Bowl|
|Kyler Murray||Arizona||2021||24 years, 82 days*||???|
|*7-0 entering Thursday|
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25 TDs IN YEAR 22: Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY leads the league with 2,275 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes this season, and he is also the only player in the NFL with at least four touchdown passes in four games. No other player has done so in more than two games.
If Brady throws four touchdown passes on Sunday at New Orleans (4:25 PM ET, FOX), it will mark the sixth time in league history that a player has passed for at least 25 touchdowns in his team’s first eight games of a season. In four of the previous five occurrences, the player has gone on to win the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award that season, including Brady in 2007.
The players with at least 25 touchdown passes in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history:
|Tom Brady#||New England||2007||30|
|Patrick Mahomes#||Kansas City||2018||26|
|Tom Brady||Tampa Bay||2021||21*|
|*In first seven games|
|#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player|
Brady can also join PATRICK MAHOMES (2018), Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (2013) and RUSSELL WILSON (2020) as the only players with at least 25 touchdown passes and 2,500 passing yards through his team’s first eight games of a season.
This would mark Brady’s 16th season with at least 25 touchdown passes, tying Manning for the most such seasons in NFL history.
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FABULOUS FIRST 50: Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN has 17 touchdowns (15 passing, two rushing) against only three interceptions through his first six games of the season. He had at least four total touchdowns in two of those games.
With four total touchdowns against Miami on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Allen, who is expected to make his 50th career start, would have the third-most total touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) by a quarterback in his first 50 career starts in NFL history.
The quarterbacks with the most total touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) in their first 50 career starts in NFL history:
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||135|
|Johnny UnitasHOF||Baltimore Colts||112|
|Daryle Lamonica||Buffalo, Oakland Raiders||111|
|*In 49 career starts|
Allen enters Sunday with 27 career rushing touchdowns and can tie CAM NEWTON (28) for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in his first 50 career starts in NFL history.
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RUNNING THROUGH THE SOUTH: The league’s top-two rushers – Tennessee’s DERRICK HENRY (869 rushing yards) and Indianapolis’ JONATHAN TAYLOR (579) – will be on the same field on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) when the Colts (3-4) host the Titans (5-2) in an AFC South divisional matchup.
It will mark the seventh game in Week 8 or later since 2000 featuring the league’s top-two rushers and first since 2012 (Minnesota’s ADRIAN PETERSON and Seattle’s MARSHAWN LYNCH).
In addition to leading the league in rushing yards, Henry also has a league-high 10 rushing touchdowns. With 131 rushing yards on Sunday, a mark he has already hit in three games this season, Henry will become the third player ever with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first eight games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1958) and TERRELL DAVIS (1998).
The players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history:
|PLAYER||TEAM||SEASON||RUSHING YARDS||RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS|
|*Through first seven games|
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SUPER COOPER: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP leads the league with 809 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions this season. He is the first player in the Super Bowl era with at least 800 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions in his team’s first seven games of a season.
In Week 6, Kupp recorded nine receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns and in Week 7, registered 10 receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the fifth wide receiver ever to record at least nine catches, 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns in consecutive games.
With 125 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions at Houston on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), he will become the fourth player ever to accomplish the feat in three consecutive games, joining ANDRE RISON (1990), Pro Football Hall of Famer DON MAYNARD (1967-68) and CLOYCE BOX (1952).
The players with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the most consecutive games in NFL history:
|Don MaynardHOF||N.Y. Jets||1967-68||3|
|Cooper Kupp||L.A. Rams||2021||2*|
Kupp is the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with at least two touchdown receptions in four of his team’s first seven games of a season and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer DON HUTSON (1942) as the only players ever with at least two touchdown receptions in five of their team’s first eight games of a season.
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ROOKIE TAKEOVER: Cincinnati wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, ranks second in the league with 754 receiving yards, the most-ever by a player in his first seven career games.
If Chase, who has totaled over 95 receiving yards in each of his past three games, leads the league in receiving after this week, he will become the first rookie to lead the NFL in receiving yards through eight weeks in NFL history.
Miami wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE, the No. 6 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 44 receptions this season. With six catches – a mark he has eclipsed in each of the past two weeks – on Sunday at Buffalo (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Waddle will become the third player ever with at least 50 receptions through his first eight career games, joining SAQUON BARKLEY (58 receptions) and EDDIE ROYAL (52).
The players with at least 50 receptions through their first eight career games in NFL history:
|Saquon Barkley||N.Y. Giants||2018||58|
|*In first seven games|
Atlanta tight end KYLE PITTS, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, ranks third among all tight ends with 471 receiving yards this season. He recorded 119 receiving yards in Week 5 and 163 receiving yards in Week 7 (after Atlanta’s Week 6 Bye), the fourth-most by a rookie tight end in a single game all-time. He also became the second rookie tight end in NFL history with at least 100 receiving yards in consecutive games.
Pitts can become the third rookie tight end in league history with 100 receiving yards in at least three games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (five games in 1961) and CHARLE YOUNG (four games in 1973).
The rookie tight ends with the most games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:
No rookie tight end has ever had at least 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games.
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