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MANNING DOMINATES ANOTHER PLAYOFF GAME
Peyton Manning passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the Colts' 30-17 win over the Jets. It was the fourth playoff game in the last seven seasons in which Manning's yardage total was at least that high. All other NFL quarterbacks have combined for only three such games during that time (two by Kurt Warner, one by Aaron Rodgers).
YOUTH IS SERVED IN COLTS' RECEIVING CORPS
Pierre Garcon gained 151 receiving yards and Austin Collie gained 123 in the Colts' victory. It was the first NFL postseason game in which teammates in their first or second season in the NFL posted 100-yard receiving games.
ROOKIE COLLIE STARS IN COLTS' WIN
Austin Collie was only the second rookie to gain at least 100 yards receiving in a conference title game. The first was Reggie Bush (7 receptions for 132 yards) in the Saints' loss to the Bears three years ago.
COLTS RALLY AGAINST THE UNLIKELIEST OPPONENT
The Colts trailed, 17-6, before scoring 24 unanswered points against a Jets team that allowed the fewest points in the NFL during the regular season (14.8 per game). Only one other team overcame a deficit at least that large to win a playoff game against the league's stingiest team: the Eagles trailed the Saints, 20-7, before rallying for a 36-20 Wild Card victory in January 1993.
SANCHEZ'S 80-YARDER IS LONGEST IN 42 YEARS
Mark Sanchez's 80-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards was the second-longest completion ever thrown by a rookie in an NFL playoff game. The longest was a 93-yard TD pass from Daryle Lamonica to Elbert Dubenion in the Bills' 26-8 loss to the Boston Patriots in the 1963 AFL Eastern Division Playoff.
SAINTS PREVAIL OVER VIKINGS IN OVERTIME THRILLER
The Saints became the fourth team to reach the Super Bowl with an overtime victory, defeating the Vikings, 31-28, at the Superdome. It was only the second postseason game in NFL history in which as many as eight touchdowns were scored, but neither team ever led by more than seven points. The first was the Raiders' 37-31 double-overtime win over the Baltimore Colts on Christmas Eve in 1977.
SAINTS WIN DESPITE HUGE YARDAGE DEFICIT
The Vikings outgained the Saints, 475 yards to 257 yards. New Orleans became the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game despite gaining at least 200 fewer yards than its opponent.
FAVRE SETS MULTIPLE RECORDS IN LOSS TO SAINTS
In Sunday's loss to the Saints, Brett Favre rewrote a good chunk of the NFL record book, setting career postseason records for games started by a quarterback, completions, passing yards, and interceptions. All were previously held by Joe Montana except the record for INTs, which Favre shared with Jim Kelly coming into the game.
MAVS ROUT KNICKS AT MSG
The Mavericks routed the Knicks, 128-78, on Sunday, posting the largest margin of victory in the 1701 NBA games played at the current Madison Square Garden, which the Knicks have called home since February 1968. That had been by far the highest total of NBA games played at any arena at which there had never been one decided by 50 or more points. That distinction now crosses the Hudson River to the Izod Center, formerly known as Brendan Byrne Arena, where the largest margin of victory in 1150 NBA games was 45 points in a Nets win over the Washington Bullets (124-79 on Jan. 9, 1993).
KAMAN LEADS CLIPPERS TO VICTORY OVER WIZARDS
Chris Kaman scored 20 points in the Clippers' 92-78 victory at Washington. Kaman, who scored 23 points against the Wizards last month, became only the fifth center to post two 20-point games in the same season in head-to-head starts against Brendan Haywood. The others are Shaquille O'Neal (2004-2005 and 2005-2006), Dwight Howard (2006-2007), Andrew Bogut (2007-2008), and Amar'e Stoudemire (2007-2008).
LAKERS LOSE DESPITE THREE 20-POINT SCORERS
Kobe Bryant (27), Andrew Bynum (22), and Pau Gasol (21) all topped the 20-point mark, but the Lakers fell to the Raptors, 106-105, at Toronto. The Lakers had won 16 consecutive games, spanning the last four seasons, in which at least three players scored 20 or more points. Their last such loss was on March 12, 2006 against the Seattle SuperSonics.
GONCHAR SUPPLIES THE POWER IN PENGUINS' WIN
Sergei Gonchar scored one goal and assisted on the other in the Penguins' 2-1 victory at Philadelphia, a game in which all three goals were scored on a power play. The Penguins have scored 31 power play goals in 157 opportunities (19.7%) in the 37 games in which Gonchar has played this season, but they¿re only 5-for-66 with a manpower advantage (7.6%) in the 16 games Gonchar has missed.
HURRICANES ROUT BRUINS
The Hurricanes took a 5-0 lead early in the third period and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Bruins. It was the first time in nearly 23 years that the Hurricanes/Whalers held a five-goal lead over Boston. The last time was on March 5, 1987, when the Hartford Whalers posted a 10-2 victory over the Bruins.