Beasts of East: All 8 NFL teams in East divisions above .500

Nov 29, 2022, 8:34 AM | Updated: Nov 30, 2022, 8:20 am
Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) celebrating his interception against the Atlan...

Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) celebrating his interception against the Atlanta Falcons with his teammates near the end of the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Landover, Md. Washington won 13-19. (AP Photo/Jessica Rapfogel)

(AP Photo/Jessica Rapfogel)

              Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett (7) celebrates a two-point conversion against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Miami Dolphins tight end Cethan Carter (82) is congratulated by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) and wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) after Carter scored a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles' DeVonta Smith reacts following an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Washington Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) celebrating his interception against the Atlanta Falcons with his teammates near the end of the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Landover, Md. Washington won 13-19. (AP Photo/Jessica Rapfogel)
            
              Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (7) celebrates a two-point conversion catch with his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates as he scores the game-winning touchdown during overtime of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) celebrates after recovering a fumble by New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara with teammates linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (51) and safety George Odum during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
            
              Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson (87) leaps over New York Giants cornerback Jason Pinnock (27) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Two years after no team in the NFC East won more than seven games, all four have pulled off the trick with six weeks to go.

Washington (7-5) beat Atlanta on Sunday to join Philadelphia (10-1), Dallas (8-3) and the Giants (7-4) with winning records, giving the division a combined winning percentage of .711 for the best mark through 12 weeks by any division since the merger.

Making the performance more impressive is the turnaround from 2020, when Washington won the NFC East with a 7-9 record.

The AFC East isn’t far behind this season, with all four teams in that division also posting winning records, with Miami and Buffalo tied for the top spot at 8-3, followed by the Jets (7-4) and Patriots (6-5).

Before this season, the only times since the league went to eight divisions in 2002 when all four teams in a division had winning records through 12 weeks came in the 2021 AFC West, the 2014 AFC North, and the AFC East and NFC South in 2008.

The NFC South is at the other end of the division standings, with Tampa Bay (5-6) in the lead despite having a losing record. The only other times since 2002 when every team had a losing record through 12 games came in the 2020 NFC East, the 2015 NFC East, the 2014 NFC South and the 2010 NFC West.

According to projections from Football Outsiders, there is a 16% chance that the entire NFC East makes the playoffs and a 15% chance that happens for the AFC East. It’s more likely both divisions will have four teams with winning records, with the NFC East doing that 52% of the time and the AFC East 60% of the time.

Football Outsiders projects all four NFC South teams to have a losing record 35% of the time.

300 CLUB

Josh Jacobs punctuated the best day of his career in memorable fashion.

Jacobs scored on an 86-yard run in overtime to lead the Raiders past the Seahawks for the fourth-longest scrimmage touchdown ever in overtime, trailing only Ron Jaworski’s 99-yard TD pass to Mike Quick for the Eagles in 1985, Garrison Hearst’s 96-yard TD run for the 49ers in 1998 and Teddy Bridgewater’s 87-yard TD pass to Jarius Wright for the Vikings in 2014.

Jacobs finished with 224 yards rushing and two TDs and 74 yards receiving, becoming the sixth player ever to gain at least 300 yards and score multiple touchdowns from scrimmage in a single game, joining Cloyce Box (1950), Billy Cannon (1961), Stephone Paige (1985), Priest Holmes (2002) and Adrian Peterson (2007).

Jacobs is the only player since at least 1950 to rush for at least 225 yards and have at least 70 yards receiving in a game.

GO FOR 2

The Chargers and Jaguars took late-game gambles that paid off in a big fashion.

Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley and Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson both opted to go for 2-point conversions in the closing seconds when trailing by one.

Both teams delivered, making this the first week since the NFL added the play in 1994 that two teams won on a 2-point conversion in the final two minutes of regulation.

The Chargers scored with 15 seconds left and the Jaguars did it with 14 seconds to play. Before Sunday, only two teams in NFL history had scored on a game-winning 2-point conversion in the final 15 seconds, with the Vikings doing it in 2002 and the Chargers in 2018.

There now have been 23 teams since 2000 that went for 2 when trailing by one point in the final minute, with 11 of those attempts being successful.

The win by Jacksonville was the first for the franchise when trailing by at least seven points in the final minute of regulation after losing their first 183 tries.

RARE SHUTOUT

The San Francisco 49ers ended the fourth-longest scoring streak in NFL history.

The Niners blanked New Orleans 13-0 on Sunday, ending the Saints’ streak of scoring in 332 consecutive games.

The last time the Saints failed to score came in the 2001 season finale when they lost 38-0 to the 49ers. That was the longest active scoring streak in the NFL, two games more than Baltimore’s current run.

The NFL record for consecutive games with at least a point is 420 games by the 49ers from 1977-2004.

San Francisco has held four straight opponents scoreless in the second half, just the eighth time that has happened since the merger.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts threw for 153 yards and ran for 157 on Sunday night in a win over Green Bay, joining an exclusive group.

The only other players to rush and pass for at least 150 yards in the same game are Lamar Jackson, Michael Vick and Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick did his in the 2012 playoffs against Green Bay.

___

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Beasts of East: All 8 NFL teams in East divisions above .500