Elias Says ...

10/31/2006 - NFL NHL Golf NBA + more

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

• The Patriots have won each of their last three road games, each by at least 20 points, in Cincinnati on Oct. 1 (38-13), in Buffalo on Oct. 22 (28-6) and in Minnesota on Monday (31-7). Since 1970, four other teams have won three in a row on the road, each by at least 20 points, the 2002 Raiders, 1992 Vikings, 1984 49ers and 1971 Colts.

• The Patriots had only one takeaway and a negative-three turnover differential in their first three games this season in which they went 2-1 and were outscored, 51-50. But in their four games in October they had 13 total takeaways and a plus-nine turnover differential. In those four wins the Patriots have outscored their opponents, 117-36.

• The Patriots scored touchdowns on both drives which they began in Vikings territory Monday, and on the season New England has scored touchdowns on nine of 10 drives which they began in opponents' territory, the best touchdown percentage for any NFL team this season.

• Tom Brady threw for 257 yards in the first half, a career high and the most this season in the NFL.

• This one took a while to unearth, but we think it was worth it: Troy Matteson was the first golfer in 33 years to play in five consecutive PGA Tour events and to finish in the top 10 in all five. The last was Tom Weiskopf, who went Matteson one better in 1973 by finishing in the top five in all five events, including a third-place finish in the U.S. Open.

Weiskopf's 1973 season was among the all-time greats. He finished in the top 10 in 15 of his 19 events and he sandwiched that streak of five straight top-fives with a pair of tournament victories at the Colonial Invitational and the British Open. (The streak as described was bookended not by Weiskopf finishing out of the top 10, but by tournaments that he elected not to play.)

• The Maple Leafs scored three power-play goals in a span of one minute, 26 seconds in the first period, their fastest three power-play goals since Feb. 9, 1954, when Toronto scored three times in one minute, 16 seconds against the Canadiens.

• The Blackhawks were shut out for the third consecutive game on Monday, this time by the Flyers, 3-0. It's the first time in nearly 32 years that Chicago has been blanked in three straight games. The last time it happened, in November 1974, the Black Hawks (then with a space in their nickname), lost to the Atlanta Flames (who did not move to Calgary until 1980), Canucks and California Golden Seals (who moved to Cleveland and then merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978).

• Keith Tkachuk ended his longest season-opening goal drought (nine games) with a goal on Monday. Before this season, Tkachuk had never gone more than five games into a season without scoring in 14 previous seasons.

• NBA opening day rosters were set on Monday and Connecticut is the college with the most players in the NBA, with 14. Next-most is Duke (13), North Carolina (12), Arizona (10) and UCLA (10).