The Falcons fell to 7-9 on Sunday thanks to their 29-15 loss to the Bills, and they also officially missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Rookie Kyle Pitts offered the franchise a glimmer of long-term hope in Week 17, however, by making history. With 69 receiving yards on two catches against Buffalo, the first-round pick became just the second tight end to top 1,000 yards as a rookie -- and the first since Hall of Famer Mike Ditka did it back in 1961.

Drafted fourth overall out of Florida this year, the 21-year-old Pitts suffered a hamstring injury before the end of Sunday's loss, head coach Arthur Smith confirmed after the game. So it's unclear if he'll have a chance to break Ditka's all-time rookie record for tight-end receiving yards (1,076) when the Falcons host the Saints in Week 18. But he's already etched his name in the record books thanks to Sunday's performance, bringing his 2021 receiving total to 66 catches for 1,018 yards.

Pitts is now also the Falcons' all-time leading rookie receiver, breaking a mark held by seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones for more than 10 years, according to ESPN. He's easily been veteran quarterback Matt Ryan's favorite target during a season in which No. 1 wideout Calvin Ridley has missed all but five games, drawing at least six pass targets in all but two games as a rookie.

He entered Week 17 ranked among the top 20 pass catchers in the entire NFL, with more receiving yards this year than starting wideouts like Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Terry McLaurin and DK Metcalf; as well as fellow tight ends George Kittle, Darren Waller and Mike Gesicki.