ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts to a play during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Passing yards, rushing attempts, sacks, losing streaks — all of these and more are among some standout numbers from the past NFL season.

A lot of wacky stuff happens during the 17-week circus that we call the NFL regular season, some of which we can relay using numbers that are either amazing, unbelievable or both. Here’s a look at some of the strangest, wildest and most interesting statistics from the 2016 campaign.

1. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan averaged 9.3 yards per pass attempt — the highest qualified mark in the NFL this century. And Ryan’s 117.1 passer rating was the fifth-highest in NFL history.

2. For the first time in NFL history, two teams — the 49ers and Browns — lost 13 consecutive games in the same season.

3. The Falcons averaged 6.69 yards per offensive play, which is the fourth-highest rate in modern NFL history.

4. The Panthers surrendered 161 points in the fourth quarter, which is the highest total in modern NFL history.

5. The Steelers didn’t commit a turnover in the fourth quarter or overtime while tied or within a score.

6. The Raiders became just the 10th team in NFL history to average more than 9.0 penalties per game. Seven of those 10 teams were Raiders teams.

7. Eight of the Jets’ 34 turnovers came in the red zone. Nine of Kansas City’s 33 takeaways came in the red zone.

8. On 3rd-and-10 or longer, the Dolphins had just five first downs all season. They were 5-for-53 in those situations.

9. Exactly 25 percent of the league’s 12 80-plus-yard plays belonged to the Saints.

10. Saints quarterback Drew Brees passed for 5,000 yards for the fifth time in his NFL career. Only four other quarterbacks have hit that mark once (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Dan Marino and Matthew Stafford), and zero have done it twice.

11. Brees led the league with 5,208 passing yards, ensuring that the NFL leader in that category won’t win the Super Bowl for the 51st consecutive year.

12. Reigning MVP Cam Newton’s completion percentage of 52.9 ranked dead last in the league by a 3.7 percent margin.

13. Tom Brady’s 28-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio is the best in NFL history. On the road, he went 7-0 with 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

14. Matthew Stafford of the Lions led an NFL-record eight fourth-quarter comebacks.

15. Ryan didn’t throw a single interception on 125 third-down passes.

16. In the second half of one-score games, Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi averaged 6.7 yards per carry.

17. When in the red zone, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 119.9 passer rating.

18. Only two of Blake Bortles’ 23 touchdown passes came with the Jaguars leading.

19. Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 95 first downs. Nobody else in football did that 75 times.

20. Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley caught 80.6 percent of the passes thrown his way on third down, picking up the first down on 88 percent of those receptions.

21. 33-year-old Colts running back Frank Gore rushed for 1,000 yards, becoming just the fourth back ever — and the first in 30 years — to do so beyond the age of 32.

22. Rams running back Todd Gurley became just the 12th back in NFL history to average fewer than 3.2 yards per carry while making 16 starts.

23. One year after leading the NFL with eight rushes of 30 yards or more, Gurley had zero. His longest run of the season was a 24-yard touchdown.

24. Bills running back Reggie Bush finished the season with minus-3 rushing yards on 12 attempts, becoming the first back in modern NFL history to rush for negative yardage on 10-plus carries.

25. Johnny Hekker of the Rams became the first punter in NFL history to land 50-plus punts inside the 20. Ultimately, 51 of Hekker’s 52 punts that crossed the 20 pinned teams inside their own red zone. Only one went for a touchback.

26. A record eight qualified quarterbacks completed 67 percent of their passes. Prior to 2000, only nine quarterbacks had ever hit that mark. NFL quarterbacks completed a record 63.0 percent of their passes.

27. The league-wide sack rate of 5.8 was the lowest in NFL history.

28. There were an average of 2.8 turnovers per NFL game this season, the lowest rate in league history.

29. There were an average of 40.6 first downs per game, the highest rate in league history. The average play also netted a record 5.5 yards.

30. There were an average of 52 rushing attempts per game, the lowest rate in league history.

31. The average drive spanned a record 5.8 plays and a record 30.6 yards, resulting in an average of 1.91 points. That, too, is a record.

32. A record 76 extra points were missed in 2016.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.