Date: December 7, 2009

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NFL

SAINTS NEED OVERTIME BUT STAY PERFECT

The Saints improved their record to 12-0 with a 33-30 overtime victory at Washington. That's the longest winning streak ever extended by an OT win. The previous mark was held by the Titans, whose overtime victory against the Packers last season was their 11th straight win.

Sunday's win was the Saints' second this season in which they trailed by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter on the road. No other team has won even once under those circumstances this season.

New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers

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Hartley

HARTLEY'S RECORD STREAK SACRIFICED IN QUEST FOR WIN

The Saints maintained their perfect record for the season, but their kicker's perfect career mark on field goals was sacrificed in an attempt to clinch the win in regulation. Garrett Hartley kicked four field goals, including an 18-yard game-winner, against the Redskins. But Hartley's 58-yard attempt at the end of the fourth quarter was the first miss of his NFL career, snapping a 16-for-16 streak. Hartley's first field goal of the day broke Kris Brown's 10-year-old record for consecutive field goals to start a career.

New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins

PATS BLOW ANOTHER DOUGLE-DIGIT LEAD IN LOSS TO DOLPHINS

The Patriots squandered a 14-0 first-half lead in Sunday's 22-21 loss at Miami. It was New England's third loss this season in which it led by at least 10 points. The Patriots suffered only one such regular-season loss in their previous seven seasons combined.

New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins

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Brady Jr.

BRADY THROWS A PAIR OF UNCHARACTERISTIC INTS

Tom Brady threw an interception on a 2nd-and-goal from the 5 with less than 5 minutes to play in Sunday's loss. It was only the second INT on 219 goal-to-go passes in Brady's NFL career.

Brady was also picked off trying to drive the Patriots to a game-winning score in the final minute, marking the first time since 2006 that he threw two INTs in the fourth quarter of the same game.

New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins

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Jacobs

GIANTS SCORE TWICE FROM DISTANCE IN WIN OVER COWBOYS

The Giants scored two long second-half touchdowns (a 74-yard pass to Brandon Jacobs and a 79-yard punt return by Domenik Hixon) to rally for a 31-24 win over the Cowboys. It was the first time in 96 regular-season games between those teams that the Giants scored two TDs of 70 yards or longer. (The Cowboys did it once, in a victory over the Giants in 1998).

New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys

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Gradkowski

I'LL TAKE FOOTBALL FOR EIGHT HUNDRED, ALEX

The answer is: Jim Plunkett and Bruce Gradkowski. The question: Who are the only Raiders quarterbacks ever to throw three touchdowns in one game at Pittsburgh? Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, and Rich Gannon all started either a regular-season or postseason game at Three Rivers Stadium or Heinz Field. But Gradkowski's 3-TD performance in the Raiders' 27-24 win was only the second at Pittsburgh by a Raiders QB. Plunkett did it in a 45-34 regular-season win in 1980.

Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Murphy

MURPHY'S TD RECALLS ONE FROM 47 YEARS AGO

Louis Murphy's 75-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter at Pittsburgh was the longest TD catch by a Raiders rookie since Dick Dorsey scored from 90 yards out on a pass by Cotton Davidson in 1962.

Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Benson

SCOTT, JOHNSON, AND BENSON ARE THE BENGALS' 100-YARD TRIO

Cedric Benson gained 110 rushing yards in the Bengals' 23-13 win over the Lions, giving Cincinnati a different 100-yard runner in each of its last three games. Bernard Scott and Larry Johnson were the first two. Over the last 15 seasons, the only other team with a different 100-yard rusher in each of three consecutive games was the 2006 Packers (Noah Herron, Ahman Green, and Vernand Morency).

Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions

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Tomlinson

TOMLINSON REGAINS HIS FORM

LaDainian Tomlinson found the end zone again in the Chargers' 30-23 victory at Cleveland. After scoring only once on 61 carries over his first four games this season, Tomlinson has scored eight rushing TDs in his last six games. That's a modest total only for a player who set an NFL record with 17 rushing TDs over a six-game span in 2006: LT leads the NFL in rushing TDs since November 1.

San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns

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Freeman

FREEMAN'S 5 INT'S SINK BUCS

Josh Freeman became the third different rookie quarterback to throw five interceptions in a game this season, doing so in a 16-6 loss at Carolina. The others were Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford. Only two other rookies had a 5-INT game in the previous 14 seasons combined: Kyle Orton and Ryan Fitzpatrick (coincidentally, both in 2005).

Freeman became the first player to throw two INTs on plays starting inside the opponents' 5-Yard line in the same game since Michael Vick did it in 2004.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers

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Vick

FAVRE, UNITAS, AND MICHAEL VICK? WELL, SORTA

Michael Vick ran for one touchdown and passed for another in the Eagles' 34-7 victory at Atlanta. It was the 11th time that Vick scored a rushing and passing TD in the same game. You might think Vick would rank highly in that category, but with Sunday's performance he tied Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas (among others) for 28th place in NFL history.

Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons

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Brown

BROWN'S INTERCEPTION IS A RARE BIRD

Chris Brown threw an interception on a play from the Jaguars 5-yard line in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 23-18 loss at Jacksonville. It was the first fourth-quarter red-zone INT thrown by a running back in nearly eight years. The last was by Corey Dillon in the Bengals' final game of the 2001 season.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans

BRONCOS SET 3-DECADE RUSHING HIGH AGAINST LONGTIME RIVALS

The Broncos rushed for 245 yards in their 44-13 victory at Kansas City. It was the highest rushing total by the visiting team in this longstanding rivalry since 1977, when Denver gained 249 rushing yards at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos faced the Chiefs 61 times in the interim.

Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs

NBA

KNICKS STAGE ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL RALLY

The Knicks overcame a 13-point second-quarter deficit to defeat the Nets, 106-97. That marked the third time during the 2009 calendar year that the Knicks, who trailed 11-0 in Friday's victory at Atlanta, won consecutive games after falling behind by at least 10 points in each. The only other team to do that even twice this year - and we do mean this year - not this season is the Trail Blazers.

New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers

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O'Neal

Z TO THE RESCUE IN CAVS' WIN

The Cavaliers posted a 101-86 victory at Milwaukee despite being outscored by 18 points with Shaquille O'Neal on the floor (39-21). Over the last 10 seasons, only two other starting centers were -15 or worse in a victory of 15 or more points: Kwame Brown for the Lakers in 2006 (-15 in a 111-94 win over the Timberwolves); and Mark Blount for the Celtics (-16 in a 113-98 win over the Nets).

Note that the Cavs outscored the Bucks by nearly a 3-to-1 margin with Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the game (48-17).

Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks

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Wallace

WALLACE PLAYS A QUIET 35 MINUTES IN PISTONS' WIN

Ben Wallace played 35 minutes in the Pistons' 98-94 win over the Wizards, but you'd never know it by his zeroes in the PTS and PF columns. This was only the seventh time in the last 40 seasons that a player didn't score or commit a foul in a game in which he played at least 35 minutes. Wallace has done it three times, all other NBA players combined have done it four times: Doug Overton (2004), Horace Grant (2001), Matt Maloney (2000), and John Johnson (1980).

Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards

NHL

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Callahan

HOWARD CONTINUES HIS TURNAROUND WITH WIN AT MSG

Jimmy Howard made 28 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Ryan Callahan, in his 3-1 win over the Rangers. Howard has started 10 of the Red Wings' last 14 games, posting a 7-3-0 record and a 2.17 goals-against average over that span. His career record up to that point was 2-7-1 (2.84 GAA).

New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings


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