Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Colts trailed the Patriots 21-3 in the first half. Prior to Sunday's game, Bill Belichick owned a 45-1 regular-season record and a 4-0 postseason mark in games in which his team built a lead of at least 18 points. The only loss came on Nov. 10, 1991 -- in Belichick's first year as an NFL head coach -- when his Browns jumped out to a 23-0 lead before losing to the Eagles 32-30.
• The Colts erased a 21-6 halftime deficit by scoring 15 points in the third quarter; then they scored 17 points in the fourth. Only one other team in NFL history scored 15 or more points in both the third and fourth quarters of a postseason game: the Bears, en route to a 73-0 victory in the 1940 NFL title game at Washington. Chicago scored 26 points in the third quarter and 19 in the fourth.
• Anyone who had the trifecta of Peyton Manning, Dan Klecko, and Jeff Saturday scoring the Colts' first three touchdowns can buy a medium-sized tropical island and retire. Klecko caught a 1-yard TD pass from Manning, and Saturday fell on a fumble in the end zone. It was the first game in NFL postseason history in which an offensive lineman and a defensive lineman from the same team scored TDs.
• Marlin Jackson's interception ended the Patriots' last-minute drive. Like Tom Brady, Jackson attended the University of Michigan. When the Colts defeated the Patriots in November, it was another ex-Wolverine, Cato June, who picked off a pair of Brady's passes.
• Sunday's game was the third in the last four seasons in which Manning faced Brady during the postseason. They were the first QBs to face each other in the playoffs three times over four years since Brett Favre and Steve Young went head to head in four straight postseasons (following the 1995 to 1998 seasons).
• The Bears salted their 39-14 win over the Saints in the NFC Championship Game with 21 points in the fourth quarter -- the most points the Bears have ever scored in the fourth quarter of a postseason game. As mentioned above, even in the legendary 1940 NFL Championship Game, in which the Bears defeated the Redskins 73-0, they scored "only" 19 points in the final quarter.
• Chicago forced four Saints turnovers while not committing any of their own. Teams with a plus-four turnover differential have won 51 of 52 postseason games. (The exception was the Raiders' Christmas Eve win over the Colts in 1977.)
• The Saints were the first team to commit three fumbles in the first quarter of a postseason game since the Lions did so in the NFC title game 15 years ago.
• Reggie Bush scored on an 88-yard touchdown reception, tying the all-time NFL postseason record for longest TD by a rookie on a rushing or passing play. The mark was set by another Heisman Award winner, Billy Cannon of the Houston Oilers in the first-ever AFL title game, on New Year's Day in 1961.
• Adam Vinatieri became the NFL's all-time postseason scoring leader on Sunday, and he did it with a flourish. Vinatieri broke the previous record of 153 points, held by Gary Anderson, when he booted a 36-yard field goal to knot the AFC title game at 31-31 with 5:31 to play in the fourth quarter. He later added an extra point, lifting his total to 155 points in 20 postseason games.
Vinatieri had broken Anderson's career record of 32 postseason field goals earlier in the playoffs; including three on Sunday, Vinatieri has now made 37 field goals in postseason play.