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BRAND POSTS ANOTHER 20 IN SIXERS' VICTORY
From Elias: Elton Brand led the 76ers with 20 points in their 106-96 win at Madison Square Garden. Brand averaged more than 20 points per game in five of his first eight seasons, but his current streak of four straight games with at least 20 points is his longest since then. (His last such streak was in April 2007.)
HOW MANY 30-POINT SCORERS DOES IT TAKE TO BEAT THE SUNS?
From Elias: Joe Johnson scored 34 points and Al Horford added 30, but the Suns handed the Hawks their first loss of the season, 118-114, at Atlanta. It was the first time since 1993 that Atlanta lost a game in which two of its players reached the 30-point mark. Its last such loss was a 110-107 defeat to the Charlotte Hornets in which Dominique Wilkins scored 41 points and Kevin Willis scored 34.
T-WOLVES BLOWN OUT AGAIN
From Elias: For the third time in seven games, the Timberwolves lost by at least 25 points, this time by a score of 120-94 at Houston. In the last 20 seasons, only two other teams have suffered three 25-point losses in their first seven games: the Bulls in 2003 and the SuperSonics in 2005.
BLUES BLANK THE RANGERS FOR THE FIRST TIME
From Elias: The Blues have been playing the Rangers for 43 years but until Ty Conklin's 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night they had never shut them out in 128 regular-season games (nor in their only playoff meeting, a six-game series in 1981). Before Sunday, the closest the Blues came to shutting out the Rangers was on Nov. 26, 1967, in the first game between the teams. The Rangers won, 1-0, on Phil Goyette's goal against Seth Martin at 14:57 of the third period.
OILERS BEAT DEFENDING CHAMPS AGAIN
From Elias: The Oilers, the team with the worst record in the NHL last season, have played the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks twice this season and won both games: 7-4 on October 29 and 2-1 on Sunday. (Even more remarkable is that both games were played in Chicago.) It's only the third time that the team that finished with the worst record in the league in the previous season has won its first two games against the defending Cup winner. The previous instances were by the New York Americans over the Red Wings in 1937-38, and the Devils against the Oilers in 1987-88.
DUCKS AND PREDATORS: FIFTH TIME'S THE CHARM
From Elias: The Ducks took leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 in their game against the Predators, only to have Nashville tie the score each time. But when Paul Mara put Anaheim ahead for the fifth time, 5-4, there was effectively no chance for the Predators to respond, since Mara's game-winning goal came at the 19:58 mark of the third period. The Ducks were the first NHL team to score five go-ahead goals in one game since Nov. 14, 2009, when the Penguins did so in a 6-5 overtime win against the Bruins. That was also the last NHL game in which one team (Boston) had four score-tying goals.
GREEN WORKS OVERTIME AND IT PAYS
From Elias: Mike Green's power play goal 29 seconds into overtime gave the Capitals a 3-2 win over the Flyers. Green has recorded 11 overtime points over the last four seasons (five goals, six assists), to lead the NHL during that time. His teammate, Alex Ovechkin, ranks second with 10 points (five goals, five assists), although Ovechkin didn't pick up an assist on Green's game-winner against Philadelphia.
VIKINGS' LATE RALLY IS THEIR FIRST OF ITS KIND
From Elias: The Vikings overcame a 24-10 deficit in the final 4 minutes of the fourth quarter and then scored in overtime for a 27-24 victory over the Cardinals. It was the first time in team history that Minnesota won a game after trailing by 14 or more points with less than 4 minutes to play. In fact, no NFL team had done so since the Colts rallied late for a 38-35 overtime win at Tampa in 2003.
VICK KEEPS HIS INTERCEPTION ACCOUNT CLEAN
From Elias: Michael Vick passed for one touchdown and ran for another in the Eagles' 26-24 win over the Colts, but it was the zero under "INT" that was also significant. Vick has thrown 138 passes and no interceptions since joining the Eagles in 2009. Donovan McNabb had three streaks without an INT that long during his 11 seasons with Philadelphia. Then again, McNabb's interception rate with the Eagles of one INT per 47 passes was the third best by any player for any team in NFL history (minimum: 1500 passes).
JETS RALLY LATE FOR VICTORY AT DETROIT
From Elias: The Jets erased a 10-point deficit in the final 3 minutes of the fourth quarter in their 23-20 overtime victory at Detroit. The Jets had only one other win in team history in which they overcame a double-digit deficit inside the 3-minute mark. That was a 21-17 victory at Tampa in 2000, with Wayne Chrebet scoring the game-winning TD on a pass from Curtis Martin.
SUNDAY WAS AS GOOD AS IT CAN GET FOR THE JETS
From Elias: With losses by the Patriots, Dolphins, and Bills, the Jets gained ground on all three of their division rivals. That's something that Gang Green had done six other times since the merger, but never without beating one of their division rivals head-to-head.
STRUGGLING BROWNS POST RARE WIN OVER PATRIOTS
From Elias: The Browns, with a 2-5 record coming into the game, posted a 34-14 victory over the Patriots. It was only the second time that a team with a record at least three games below .500 defeated New England with Tom Brady starting. Prior to Sunday's loss, the Patriots had a 25-1 record with Brady starting against teams that were minus-3 or worse. The loss was by one point at Miami in December 2004 (29-28).
The last time the Patriots lost by 20 or more points to a team at least three games below .500 was 1992, when they were shut out, 34-0, by the Falcons at Atlanta. Bill Belichick was coaching the Browns at that time. (In fact, on that day, Belichick's Browns defeated Mike Ditka's Bears, 27-14.)
GIANTS ROUT SEAHAWKS WITH FIRST-HALF FIREWORKS
From Elias: The Giants scored early and often in a 41-7 victory at Seattle. New York led 21-0 after the first quarter, marking the first time in team history that the Giants scored as many as 21 points in the opening period of a road game. By halftime, they had extended the lead to 35-0, the largest halftime lead on the road in franchise history. In fact, the only other game in which the Giants led by 35 or more points at the half was a 45-14 win over the Redskins at Yankee Stadium in 1959 (38-0 at halftime).
WHAT WILL CHARLIE TELL HIS GRANDKIDS 50 YEARS FROM NOW?
From Elias: Maybe Charlie Whitehurst will remember his first NFL start for the 36-yard touchdown pass he threw to Ben Obomanu in the fourth quarter. But it will be hard for him to forget the fact that Seattle was trailing, 41-0, at that point. Over the last 20 years, only one other QB saw his team fall behind by more than 40 points without scoring in his first NFL start: Spergon Winn of the Browns in a 48-0 loss to the Jaguars in 2000.
NO TEAM IS 7-1 OR BETTER AFTER 8 GAMES FOR FIRST TIME IN 51 YEARS
From Elias: The Patriots were the only NFL team to start the weekend with only one loss. Cleveland's victory over New England makes this the first season since 1959 in which every NFL team lost at least two of its first eight games. (There were only 12 NFL teams when this last happened.)
RIVERS MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY IN 4-TD EFFORT
From Elias: Philip Rivers passed for 295 yards and four touchdowns in the Chargers' 29-23 win at Houston. Rivers didn't throw more than two passes without a completion at any time during the game, and he hasn't thrown five straight passes without at least one completion since September 2009.
RAIDERS WIN 3 IN A ROW
From Elias: It's all coming together in the Bay Area. The Giants won the World Series, and the Earthquakes advanced to the Eastern Conference final in Major League Soccer. (Yes, you read that right-Eastern Conference.) The Warriors are undefeated in their first four home games of the new season. And on Sunday, the Raiders overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit to post a 23-20 overtime victory over the Chiefs for their third straight win. That's Oakland's first three-game winning streak since 2002. Every other NFL team already had at least one three-game winning streak during that period.
FALCONS STOP FREEMAN, BUCS IN 4TH QUARTER
From Elias: Josh Freeman's fourth-quarter magic disappeared after his 6-for-6 performance in the fourth quarter of a 38-35 Halloween win over the Cardinals last week. Freeman threw a costly interception on Sunday, and was unable to rally the Bucs in a 27-21 loss to Atlanta. He was 34-for-49 (69%) for 352 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the fourth quarter during October.
RAVENS PLAY MISTAKE-FREE IN WIN OVER DOLPHINS
From Elias: The Ravens neither punted nor turned the ball over in their 26-10 win over the Dolphins. Over the last 10 seasons, only two other teams played a game with no punts or giveaways: the Browns against the Giants in 2008 and the Jets against the Seahawks in 2004.
COWBOYS ALLOW 28 POINTS IN SECOND QUARTER
From Elias: The Packers scored 28 points in the second quarter of their win over the Cowboys. That tied the most points ever allowed by Dallas in a quarter. The Eagles scored 28 in the second quarter on November 15, 2004.
FAVRE'S FIRST 400-YARD WIN (YES, HIS FIRST EVER)
From Elias: Brett Favre set a career high with 446 passing yards in the Vikings' 27-24 overtime win over the Cardinals. Seventy-three different players have passed for at least 400 yards in an NFL victory, including Don Horn (1969 Packers), Tim Rattay (2004 49ers), and Matthew Stafford as a rookie last season for the Lions. But until Sunday, Brett Favre had never done so. His only previous 400-yard performance came in a loss to the Bears in 1993 (402 yards).