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SANCHEZ AND HOLMES MAKE NFL HISTORY
From Elias: Santonio Holmes caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Jets a 26-20 victory over the Browns. It was the longest overtime TD pass inside the 2-minute warning in NFL history.
SOLDIER FIELD NO LONGER HOSPITABLE TO FAVRE
From Elias: Brett Favre threw three interceptions in the Vikings' 27-13 loss at Chicago. It was Favre's fourth loss in his last five starts at Soldier Field, where he has won more starts than any other visiting quarterback has won at any stadium in NFL history (12).
DOLPHINS GO 3-DEEP AT QB IN WIN OVER TITANS
From Elias: Chad Pennington made his first start since September 2009, but it was Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen who threw touchdown passes in the Dolphins' 29-17 victory over the Titans. It was the first time since 1973 that two quarterbacks who didn't start threw TD passes in one game for the same team. The last QBs to do so were John Brodie and Joe Reed of the 49ers in a 40-0 win over the Saints. Brodie relieved the Niners' starter, Steve Spurrier, in the second quarter after Spurrier threw a pair of interceptions.
GARRETT SETS A RECORD IN COACHING DEBUT
From Elias: The Cowboys defeated the Giants, 33-20, at New Meadowlands Stadium in Jason Garrett's head-coaching debut. That was the largest margin of victory ever posted on the road by a NFL head coach immediately after a midseason change.
This is too good not to mention as a footnote. With that 13-point win, Garrett matched the largest margin of victory immediately following a mid-season change since ... wait for it ... Wade Phillips made his NFL head-coaching debut by leading the Saints to a 29-3 win over the Rams 25 years ago. Incidentally, the coach that Phillips replaced was his dad, Bum Phillips.
McCANN'S FIRST INTERCEPTION IS ONE TO REMEMBER
From Elias: Bryan McCann became the third player in modern NFL history (that is, since 1933) to score a TD of at least 100 yards with the first interception of his career. But he wasn't the first Cowboys player to do so. That would be Mike Gaechter, who, like McCann, returned his first INT for a 100-yard TD; Gaechter did it against the Eagles in 1962. The other player to go the length of the field for a touchdown with his first NFL interception was Chris Carr of the Raiders in 2006.
SMITH DISPLAYS HEISMAN FORM FOR 49ERS
From Elias: Troy Smith passed for 356 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' 23-20 overtime victory over the Rams. Only three other Heisman Award winners ever passed for 350 or more yards without an interception in an NFL game: Vinny Testaverde (3 times), Carson Palmer (3 times) and Doug Flutie (once).once
BRADFORD PLAYS ANOTHER INTERCEPTION-FREE GAME
From Elias: Sam Bradford extended his streak of passes without an interception to 138 in the Rams' loss at San Francisco. Over the last 20 years, only one other rookie had an INT-less streak that long: Bruce Gradkowski of the Bucs in 2006 (147).
ORTON'S 4 TD PASSES SINK CHIEFS
From Elias: Kyle Orton threw four touchdown passes, including three in the first quarter, to lead the Broncos to a 49-29 win over the Chiefs. This is hard to believe, but the last four players to throw three TD passes in the first quarter were Billy Volek, A.J. Feeley, J.P. Losman, and Brady Quinn - all of them for teams that ultimately lost the game. (The previous 18 players with three or more first-period TD passes were all winners.)
BILLS SQUEEZE OUT THEIR FIRST WIN OF SEASON
From Elias: The Bills survived a failed two-point conversion by the Lions with 14 seconds to play to post a 14-12 victory. It was Buffalo's first win of the season. The Bills have fallen on hard times over the past decade, but this was the first season since 1984 in which Buffalo was the last NFL team to win a game. (Buffalo was also the last team to win a game in 1971 and in the AFL in 1963.)
RAYNER SCORES SUBBING FOR HANSON AS LIONS' KICKER
From Elias: When Dave Rayner kicked a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter of Sunday's loss at Buffalo, he became the first Lions player other than Jason Hanson to score a three-pointer since Eddie Murray kicked the last of his 244 field goals for Detroit on December 22, 1991 (also at Buffalo).
GARRARD GOES DEEP FOR GAME-WINNER ON FINAL PLAY
From Elias: David Garrard's 50-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Mike Thomas as time expired was retribution eight years in the making for Jags fans. Jacksonville was victimized at home by the last game-winning pass of 50 yards or longer in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter, from Tim Couch to Quincy Morgan, giving the Browns a 21-20 win in 2002.
WILLIAMS' LONG TD ICES BUCS' WIN
From Elias: Cadillac Williams sealed the Bucs' 31-16 win over the Panthers with a 45-yard touchdown run with less than 3 minutes to play. It was Williams' longest gain on either a run or a pass reception since he scored from 71 yards out in his NFL debut (Sept. 11, 2005 at Minnesota).
COLTS MAINTAIN DOMINATION OF WEAK VISITORS
From Elias: The Colts defeated the visiting Bengals, 23-17, to drop Cincinnati's record to 2-7. Indianapolis has won 24 of its last 25 home games against teams with a losing record, dating back to November 2002. The exception was a 23-21 loss to the Jaguars two seasons ago.
LOVE CONTINUES TO WORK THE BOARDS
From Elias: Kevin Love grabbed 17 rebounds in the Timberwolves' 111-105 loss at Atlanta, giving him a total of 81 over his last four games. In the last seven seasons, only one other player averaged at least 20 rebounds over a span of four games: Marcus Camby, with 84 rebounds in four games two seasons ago.
KINGS' HOME ISN'T AS SWEET AS IT ONCE WAS
From Elias: The Kings' 100-94 defeat to the Pistons was Sacramento's fourth straight home loss. Since the start of the 2006-2007 season, the Kings have had 11 different home losing streaks of at least four games, most in the NBA over that span. In the previous eight seasons (1998-1999 through 2005-2006), Sacramento only lost four straight games at ARCO Arena once, in December 2005.
BONNER'S HOT SHOOTING OFF THE BENCH
From Elias: Matt Bonner came off the bench to make all seven of his three-point field-goal attempts in the Spurs' 117-104 win at Oklahoma City. Only two other non-starters have ever gone 7-for-7 or better from downtown in an NBA game. Seattle's Sam Perkins was 8-for-8 against the Raptors on January 15, 1997 and New Orleans' Bobby Jackson was 7-for-7 against the Heat on January 11, 2008.
SPURS WIN DESPITE RARE OFF-NIGHT BY DUNCAN
From Elias: Tim Duncan played 23 minutes but scored only six points and pulled down four rebounds in the Spurs' win. It was only the second time in 14 NBA seasons that Duncan played more than 20 minutes but failed to reach double-digit points or five rebounds. The other was in a win over the Clippers on January 8, 2009 (8 points, 4 rebounds in 31 minutes).
STOUDEMIRE'S SCORING CAN'T SAVE KNICKS
From Elias: Amar'e Stoudemire's 25 points weren't enough for the Knicks in their 104-96 home loss to the Rockets. New York is 0-3 this season when Stoudemire scores at least 25 points. In 2009-2010, Stoudemire's Suns were 24-9 and ended the season on a nine-game winning streak in such games.
GABORIK TRICKS KHABIBULIN
From Elias: Marian Gaborik scored his first three goals of the season to propel the Rangers to an 8-2 win over the Oilers. The goals came at the expense of Nikolai Khabibulin, who has surrendered 11 goals to Gaborik in 11 games against him. That matches Gaborik's highest total against any netminder; he's also scored 11 times against Dwayne Roloson.
RANGERS START SLOW THEN POUR IT ON
From Elias: The Rangers trailed, 2-1, early in the second period of their game against the Oilers, but the Blueshirts outscored Edmonton 7-0 the rest of way. Before Sunday, the Rangers hadn't scored seven unanswered goals in one game since 1999. That was in an 8-3 home win against the Kings.
BACKSTROM THRIVES ON WORK
From Elias: Niklas Backstrom made 37 saves in the Wild's 4-1 win over the Lightning at Tampa. Backstrom is 8-1-3 in the last 12 games in which he faced at least 35 shots on goal, dating back to October 2009.
ERSKINE'S RARE GOAL IS A GAME-WINNER
From Elias: Defenseman John Erskine's goal with 6:49 to play snapped a 4-4 tie and proved to be the game-winner in the Capitals' 6-4 victory over the Thrashers. It was only the ninth goal in Erskine's nine-year NHL career and just his second game-winning score. Erskine's first game-winner came in Washington's 2007-2008 season opener, against the same team he scored against on Sunday, the Atlanta Thrashers.
HOSSA REGAINS HIS SCORING TOUCH
From Elias: Marian Hossa ended his career-long seven-game point drought with a goal and an assist in the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win against the Ducks. What made Hossa's dry spell all the more remarkable was that it immediately followed his season-opening seven-game point streak. Hossa was the NHL's leader in goals (7) and points (11) through October 18, the date of Chicago's seventh game.