Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Maurice Jones-Drew also returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, becoming only the sixth player in NFL history -- and the first rookie -- to gain 100 yards rushing and score on a kickoff return in the same game. The others were Brian Mitchell (2000), Gale Sayers (1966), Steve Van Buren (1945), Andy Farkas (1939), and Oren Pape (1932). Only Sayers and Jones-Drew rushed for 150 or more yards.
• The 27-point margin of defeat represented the Colts' worst regular-season loss since Dec. 10, 2001, when the Dolphins routed the Colts, 41-6, as the elder Jim Mora's tenure as Indianapolis' head coach wound down. (The Colts did suffer a 41-0 postseason loss to the Jets following the 2002 season.) That leaves the Jaguars as the only team not to lose a regular-season game by at least 27 points since the start of the 2002 season.
• At one point in the third quarter, Peyton Manning equaled his career high with nine consecutive passes without a completion. Manning did that only once before, in a loss to the Patriots in 2000.
• LaDainian Tomlinson scored three touchdowns in the Chargers' 48-20 victory over the Broncos, breaking the NFL's all-time single-season record. Tomlinson has scored 29 TDs, one more than Shaun Alexander scored when he broke Priest Holmes' mark last season.
Tomlinson has three more games to do something that only one other player has done in the last 60 years -- break the single-season touchdown record by more than a single TD. Since Don Hutson scored 17 touchdowns in 1942 -- three more than the previous record -- the mark has increased by one TD at a time except for 1965, when Gale Sayers scored 22 TDs (two more than the previous record).
• The Chargers completed a season sweep over the Broncos with Sunday's victory. It's the first time since 1982 that San Diego swept its two-game series against Denver, snapping a span of 23 consecutive seasons in which the Broncos defeated the Chargers at least once.
There have been only three other streaks that long in which one NFL team failed to sweep a series of two or more games over another. Only seasons in which the teams played at least twice are included in these streaks: the Lions against the Vikings from 1963 to 1990 (27 seasons), the Packers against the Bears from 1936 to 1960 (25 seasons), and the Falcons against the Cardinals from 1967 to 1990 (23 seasons).
• Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to his fellow Broncos rookie Tony Scheffler in a span of 48 seconds. How surprising is it that Cutler and Scheffler weren't the first rookie teammates to produce a pair of TD passes that quickly? They only equaled the record set in 1948 by Charlie Conerly and Bill Swiacki of the Giants.
• Buffalo also scored on a 57-yard run (Willis McGahee) and a 58-yard interception return (Nate Clements) -- all in the first half. No other team in NFL history scored TDs of at least 50 yards on a rushing play, a passing play, and a return in the first half of the same game.
• Willis McGahee gained 125 yards rushing to become the first player ever to record five consecutive 100-yard rushing games against the Jets. The previous record was four in a row by his Bills predecessor, Thurman Thomas.
• Artose Pinner scored three touchdowns in the Vikings' 30-20 victory over the Lions. Only three other players rushed for three or more TDs in a game against a former team: Marshall Faulk against the Colts (2001), Curtis Martin against the Patriots (2000), and Ottis Anderson against the Cardinals (1988). Pinner was the first ever to do so in his first visit to an ex-team's home field.
• Sunday night's matchup of Tony Romo vs. Drew Brees marked only the second time in the last 10 years that the league leader in passer rating -- Romo at 102.4 -- faced the leader in passing yardage -- Brees at 3,649 coming into the game. The other was a matchup of Steve McNair and Peyton Manning late in the 2003 season.
• Reggie Bush gained 125 yards receiving in the Saints' 42-17 victory one week after gaining 131 yards on nine receptions against the 49ers. Only two other running backs in NFL history had consecutive games with 125 or more yards receiving: LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003 and Lenny Moore in 1960. Bush was the first rookie to do so since Randy Moss in 1998.
• Vince Young ran 39 yards for a touchdown in overtime of the Titans' 26-20 victory over the Texans. Only five other quarterbacks have scored overtime TDs in regular-season play, but Young's was not the longest. That distinction goes to Michael Vick for his 46-yard TD against the Vikings in 2002.
• Tom Brady was held to 78 yards passing in the Dolphins' 21-0 win over the Patriots. It was only the fourth career start in which Brady failed to reach the 100-yard mark, and all have been against Miami.
• Jeff Feagles punted nine times in the Giants' win, and he placed six of those kicks inside the 20-yard line. Feagles was the first punter with as many as six inside-the-20 punts in a game since 2002. It was the third time in his career that Feagles had six "inside-the-20s", the most of any punter since the NFL started tracking that category in 1976.
• Jeff Garcia threw two touchdown passes in the Eagles' 21-19 victory over the Redskins. Garcia has thrown eight TD passes and no interceptions this season, his longest streak of TDs without an INT since leaving the 49ers after the 2003 season.
• Michael Lewis scored Philadelphia's other touchdown on an 84-yard interception return, joining teammates Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, who also scored on INT returns of 70 yards or longer this season. Only one other team in NFL history had three different players with INT-TDs that long in one season: the 2002 Packers (Marques Anderson, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and Darren Sharper).
• The Falcons defeated the Bucs, 17-6. Tampa Bay lost all six intradivision games this season, one year after winning the division. The only other team since 1970 to go winless in its division one season after winning the title was the Eagles in 2005.
• The Suns trailed, 30-27, after one period at Charlotte, but crushed the Bobcats, 114-84. It was only the second time in franchise history that Phoenix won a road game by 30 or more points after trailing at the end of the first quarter. (The Suns previously did so at Sacramento in 1988.)
• With Joe Johnson sidelined by a calf injury, the Hawks lost to the Kings, 117-92. It was only the second time in the last 25 seasons that no Hawks starter scored in double figures. The other was a 109-79 loss to the Hornets in 2003.
• No. 1 met No. 2 for the first time in the Trail Blazers' 93-83 win at Toronto. Andrea Bargnani, the first pick in the 2006 NBA draft, scored eight points for the Raptors; No. 2 pick LaMarcus Aldridge scored three points for the Blazers. It was only the fourth time in NBA history -- but the second season in a row -- that both players were held to single-digit scoring in the first meeting of the top two picks. The other such matchups: Andrew Bogut vs. Marvin Williams (2005 draft), Kwame Brown vs. Tyson Chandler (2001), and Cazzie Russell vs. Dave Bing (1966).
• What's gotten into those wacky Blue Jackets, defeating the Blues, 5-1, on Saturday night and the Senators, 6-2, on Sunday night? It's the first time in franchise history that Columbus has recorded victories by four or more goals in consecutive games.
• Kevin Weekes made 34 saves in leading the Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Panthers. Weekes is 5-1-3 with a 1.54 goals-against average over his last nine games vs. Florida dating back to February 2002, allowing no more than two goals in any of those games.
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