With the results of today's games, the ATLANTA FALCONS clinched the NFC South and homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, the PITTSBURGH STEELERS claimed the AFC North and a first-round bye, the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS won the AFC South and the GREEN BAY PACKERS secured a playoff spot.
This season, 22 different quarterbacks passed for at least 3,000 yards, the most in a single season in NFL history. The previous record was 19 in 2001 and 2009.
The INDIANAPOLIS COLTS defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-20 to clinch the AFC South and finish the regular season with a 10-6 record. The Colts have advanced to the postseason in nine consecutive seasons, tying the Dallas Cowboys (1975-83) for the longest such streak in NFL history. The Colts also notched their ninth consecutive 10-win season, the second-longest streak in league annals (16, San Francisco, 1983-98).
Also in the win, quarterback PEYTON MANNING had 264 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Manning finished the season with 4,700 passing yards (4,500 in 2009) and joins Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks DAN FOUTS (1980-81) and WARREN MOON (1990-91) as the only players in NFL history to have consecutive seasons with at least 4,500 passing yards.
Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN threw two touchdown passes and led the Falcons to a 31-10 win over Carolina. Ryan has won 33 games as a starter in his first three NFL seasons, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO for the most wins by a starting quarterback in his first three NFL seasons since at least the 1970 merger.
The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who defeated the Miami Dolphins 38-7, finished the regular-season with an NFL-best 14-2 record. With the win, Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK became the first head coach ever to win at least 14 regular-season games in four separate seasons (14 in 2003; 14 in 2004; 16 in 2007; 14 in 2010).
Kansas City running back JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs' 31-10 loss against Oakland. Charles, who averaged 6.38 yards per carry (1,467 yards on 230 attempts) this season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (291 attempts, 1,863 rushing yards, 6.40 yards per carry in 1963) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 1,400 rushing yards and average more than 6.30 yards per carry in a single season.
Houston running back ARIAN FOSTER rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans' 34-17 win over Jacksonville. Foster, who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Texans in 2009, led the NFL with 1,616 rushing yards this season and joins PRIEST HOLMES (1,615 in 2002) as the only undrafted players to reach 1,600 rushing yards in a season since the advent of the common draft in 1967. Foster also joins Holmes as the only undrafted players to lead the NFL in rushing since 1967. Holmes led the league with 1,555 rushing yards in 2001 with Kansas City.