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RAVENS STRIKE EARLY ON RICE'S LONG TD
Ray Rice scored on an 83-yard run 17 seconds into the Ravens' 33-14 win over the Patriots. It was the longest touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in any postseason game in NFL history. The previous record was an 82-yard pass from Bob Waterfield to Glenn Davis at the 27-second mark that gave the Rams an early lead over the Browns in the 1950 NFL Championship Game. The Browns came back to win that game, 30-28.
RAVENS' GROUND ATTACK CRUSHES PATRIOTS
The Ravens rushed for 234 yards and four touchdowns in their victory at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots had won their previous 11 playoff games at Foxborough, dating back to 1997, allowing an average of 84 rushing yards and a total of two rushing TDs in those games.
BALTIMORE POSTS ANOTHER ROAD PLAYOFF WIN
The Ravens won a pair of playoff games on the road last season: a Wild Card game at Miami and a divisional playoff at Tennessee. The last team to win a road game in consecutive postseasons was Baltimore during the playoffs following the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Prior to that, no team had done so since the Cowboys after the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
BRADY PICKED OFF 3 TIMES IN LOSS TO RAVENS
Tom Brady threw three interceptions in the Patriots' loss to the Ravens (as many as he threw in his first 357 passes in postseason play, spanning 11 games from 2002 to 2006). Brady has thrown a total of 12 INTs in his last eight playoff games, after being picked off only three times in his first 10 postseason appearances.
WARNER IS NEARLY PERFECT IN PLAYOFF VICTORY OVER PACKERS
Kurt Warner completed 29 of 33 passes, including five touchdown passes, in the Cardinals' 51-45 victory over the Packers. Five other starting quarterbacks threw more TD passes than incompletions in a playoff game (season listed in parentheses): Daryle Lamonica, Raiders vs. Oilers (13-for-17, 6 TDs in 1969); Dave Krieg, Seahawks vs. Broncos (12-for-13, 3 TDs in 1983); Tony Eason, Patriots vs. Dolphins (10-for-12, 3 TDs in 1985); Peyton Manning, Colts vs. Broncos (22-for-26, 5 TDs in 2003); and Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Jaguars (26-for-28, 3 TDs in 2007).
WARNER JOINS MONTANA IN ELITE GROUP OF 2
This is the second consecutive season in which Kurt Warner threw at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a playoff game. Warner threw four TDs in the Cardinals' victory over the Eagles in the NFC Conference Final last season. The only other player with two such playoff games in his entire career was Joe Montana, who did twice in January 1990, including a 5-TD performance in Super Bowl XXIV against the Broncos.
FITZGERALD'S FIRST 5 PLAYOFF GAMES ARE RECORD-BREAKERS
Larry Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes in the Cardinals' win over the Packers. Fitzgerald has gained 628 receiving yards and caught nine TD passes in five career playoff games. Those are the highest totals ever compiled in those categories over a player's first five postseason games. Fitzgerald fell one reception short of the highest mark in a player's first five playoff games (37), a record shared by Darrell Jackson and Hines Ward.
RODGERS HAS A SECOND HALF FOR THE AGES
Aaron Rodgers passed for 304 yards and four touchdowns in the second half of the Packers' loss at Arizona. Several players have passed for 300 yards in first half of an NFL playoff game, the most recent being Peyton Manning in the Colts' 2005 Wild Card win over the Broncos. But Rodgers is the first player in NFL history to pass for 300 or more yards in the second half of a playoff game.
Rodgers also tied the record for touchdown passes in the second half of a playoff game. The record was set by Sid Luckman in the Bears' victory over the Redskins in the 1943 NFL Championship Game and tied by Frank Reich in the Bills' epic come-from-behind win over the Houston Oilers in January 1993.
WALLACE BREAKS OUT IN CELTICS' WIN AT TORONTO
Rasheed Wallace, starting for injured Kevin Garnett, scored 29 points in the Celtics' 114-107 win at Toronto. It was Wallace's highest point total in more than two years, since he scored 36 points for the Pistons in a loss at Chicago. Wallace had gone 56 games without scoring at least 25 points, his longest such streak since a 75-game streak spanning 2004 and 2005.
KAMAN DOMINATES IN CLIPPERS' WIN
Chris Kaman scored 22 points in the Clippers' 94-84 win over the Heat. Jermaine O'Neal, who started at center for the Heat, scored only two points in 20 minutes of playing time. It was the fifth game this season in which Kaman outscored the opposing starting center by at least 20 points. He did so only four times over six previous seasons in the NBA.
STAMKOS SCORES AGAINST BOTH DEVILS GOALIES IN SUSPENDED WIN
Steven Stamkos scored two goals in the Lightning's 4-2 win at New Jersey, the second coming roughly 46 hours after the first in a game that was suspended due to a lighting failure at Prudential Center on Friday night. Stamkos's second goal came in the third period against Yann Danis, who replaced Martin Brodeur in goal for the Devils when the game resumed on Sunday. Stamkos has scored five goals in five games versus Brodeur, including four in four games this season. No other NHL player has scored more than two goals off Brodeur this season.
A WINNING WEEKEND FOR WARD
Cam Ward followed his 2-1 win against the Avalanche on Friday with a 4-1 victory over the Senators on Sunday. It's only the second time that Ward has posted consecutive wins this season. His other two-game winning streak was in early October against the Lightning and Panthers. The last two games marked the first time that Ward has allowed fewer than two goals in consecutive games this season.
BLACKHAWKS SHOOT, DUCKS WIN
The Ducks won 3-1 at Chicago despite being outshot by the Blackhawks, 43-12. It was the first time in Ducks history that they won a game in which they were outshot by a margin of 30 or more. There have been five such victories in the NHL this season, and three have been against the Blackhawks.
GARON MAINTAINS POST-HOLIDAYS FORM WITH SHUTOUT OF STARS
Mathieu Garon posted his second shutout of the season with a 2-0 win against the Stars on Sunday night. Garon has allowed two or fewer goals in each of his five starts since the NHL's Christmas break (he's 3-1-1 in those five games), after doing so in only four of nine starts this season before the holiday break.