Date: January 17, 2011

Elias Says...

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

NFL

BOTH #1 CONFERENCE SEEDS EXIT THE PLAYOFFS

From Elias: With losses this weekend by the Falcons and Patriots, this will be the second time in the last three seasons that neither the AFC's #1 seed nor the NFC's #1 seed will play in the conference finals. That was also the case two years ago, when the Giants and Titans were the top-seeded teams and both were eliminated in the divisional round. Prior to that, there was at least one top-seeded team in the conference finals in 28 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1980.

Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants

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Cutler

CUTLER'S DEBUT EVOKES OTTO

From Elias: Jay Cutler, making his postseason debut, passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in the Bears' 35-24 win over the Seahawks. Only one other player in NFL history had at least two passing TDs and two rushing TDs in the same postseason game: Otto Graham, who did it in consecutive NFL title games in 1954 and 1955 (a pair of Browns wins).

Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks

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Cutler

LUCKMAN'S RECORD SURVIVES A CHALLENGE

From Elias: Sid Luckman's team record for passing yardage in a postseason game lives! Luckman has held the mark for more than 67 years, since passing for 286 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-21 win over the Redskins in the 1943 NFL title game (he also intercepted two passes in that game). The record appeared to be in jeopardy after Jay Cutler passed for 177 yards in the first half. But playing with a big lead, Cutler threw only 12 passes after halftime and fell 12 yards short of Luckman's mark.

Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks

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Olsen

OLSEN MATCHES A SEASON'S WORTH OF BIG PLAYS IN ONE AFTERNOON

From Elias: Greg Olsen caught three passes in the Bears' win, for 58, 33, and 22 yards. Olsen caught only three passes for 20 yards or longer during the entire 2010 regular season.

Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks

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Sanchez

SANCHEZ POSTS 4TH ROAD PLAYOFF WIN

From Elias: Mark Sanchez improved his postseason record to 4-1, all in road games, in the Jets' 28-21 win at New England. In only his second season in the NFL, Sanchez has already tied the all-time league record for road wins in postseason games by a starting quarterback. The co-holders are Len Dawson, Jake Delhomme, Joe Flacco, and Roger Staubach (for the record, those totals do not include neutral-site Super Bowl victories).

Sanchez has won as many postseason road games in his two seasons in the NFL as Dan Marino (1-6 on the road) and Brett Favre (3-7) combined for in the entire careers.

New York Jets, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings

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Sanchez

SANCHEZ HOLDS THE KEY TO BEATING PATS

From Elias: Mark Sanchez was only the second player to throw three or more touchdowns without an interception against the Patriots in a postseason game. The other was Jake Delhomme of the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII seven years ago, a game that Carolina lost. Only one QB had such a game against New England during the 2010 regular season, and that was Sanchez in the Jets' 28-14 win on September 19.

New York Jets, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers

NO TAKEAWAYS A RARITY FOR BELICHICK

From Elias: Sunday's loss to the Jets was only the second postseason game of Bill Belichick's head-coaching career in which his team didn't force a turnover. The first was the Patriots' victory over the Raiders in the so-called "tuck-rule game" nine years ago.

New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders

NBA

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Griffin

CLIPPERS TRIO CRASHES THE BOARDS

From Elias: Blake Griffin (15), DeAndre Jordan (15), and Ike Diogu (11) combined for 41 rebounds in the Clippers' 99-92 win over the Lakers. It was the first time in seven years minus a day that three players totaled more than 40 rebounds in a 48-minute game against the Lakers. The last teammates to do so were a different Clippers trio: Elton Brand (20), Corey Maggette (13), and Chris Kaman (8) .

Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers

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Duncan

DUNCAN REBOUNDS, SPURS WIN

From Elias: Tim Duncan grabbed 16 rebounds, two short of his season high, in the Spurs' 110-97 win over the Nuggets. San Antonio has won 16 of the last 17 regular-season games in which Duncan has recorded more than 15 rebounds, dating back to January 2008.

San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets

NHL

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Carlson

CAPS ROOKIE CARLSON MAKES THEM COUNT

From Elias: John Carlson's power play goal at the 8:00 mark of the third period snapped a 1-1 tie in the Capitals' 3-1 victory over the Senators. Carlson has scored only five goals this season but three were game-winners. Carlson is the only rookie defenseman in the NHL with more than one game-winning goal this season and his three game-winners rank him second on the team, behind only Alex Ovechkin (5) .

Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators

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Khudobin

THE WILD KID'S ALRIGHT

From Elias: Minnesota rookie Anton Khudobin recorded his first NHL shutout with a 4-0 win over Vancouver on Sunday. Khudobin was the first rookie goaltender to post a shutout against the Canucks since January 23, 2006, when the Curtis Sanford of the Blues blanked them, 4-0.

Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues

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Brouwer

BROUWER OPENS HIS SCORING ACCOUNT AGAINST NASHVILLE

From Elias: Troy Brouwer scored two goals 40 seconds apart in the third period to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead for the Blackhawks en route to a 6-3 win over the Predators. Brouwer had been goalless in 14 career games versus Nashville entering play on Sunday. The Predators were the only one of the Blackhawks' 14 Western Conference rivals that Brouwer never scored a goal against.

Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators

RANGERS' SCORING SLUMP CONTINUES IN LOSS TO FLYERS

From Elias: The Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Flyers on Sunday was the Blueshirts' ninth game in 2011 and in every one of those games New York scored two or fewer goals. That's the Rangers' longest such streak since March-April 1998, when they failed to score more than two goals in each of 10 consecutive games.

New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers


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