Date: September 22, 2014

Elias Says...

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

NFL

Foles and Cousins put on a show

From Elias: Norm Snead vs. Sonny Jurgensen in 1967, Joe Theismann vs. Ron Jaworski in 1982, and yesterday, Nick Foles vs. Kirk Cousins. The Eagles and Redskins have faced each other in 158 regular-season games, but only those three quarterback matchups produced a pair of 300-yard passing performances. And among those three games, only yesterday's shootout, which resulted in the 37-34 Eagles, featured three or more TD passes by both QBs.

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Jackson

Jackson exacts a measure of revenge on Eagles

From Elias: DeSean Jackson's 81-yard reception on Sunday was the longest touchdown ever scored against the Eagles by one of their former players. The previous record was a 78-yard reception by Cris Carter, from Rich Gannon of the Vikings, in 1990. Carter had scored on a 42-yard pass from Gannon earlier in that game.

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Murray

Murray sets all-time rushing mark vs. Rams

From Elias: DeMarco Murray gained 100 yards on 24 carries in the Cowboys' 34-31 victory at St. Louis. Murray, who rushed for 253 and 175 yards in his two previous games against the Rams, set an all-time NFL record for rushing yards in a player's first three games against one team. Murray's total of 528 rushing yards versus St. Louis exceeded Eric Dickerson's three-game total against the St. Louis Cardinals by 3 yards.

Seattle's long OT drive denies Denver, ties record

From Elias: The Seahawks drove 80 yards in 13 plays to deny the Broncos possession in overtime and win the rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII, 26-20. Seattle made a total of only five touchdown drives of 13 or more plays over the past four seasons (2010-13), and added another in its opening-day win over Green Bay two weeks ago.

But of greater historical importance, the Seahawks tied the NFL record for the longest overtime touchdown drive, as measured by the number of plays, in a regular-season game. Two other teams drove 13 plays to an OT TD: Denver at Kansas City in 1978, and the Giants at Philadelphia in 2006.

Jennings shows Giants what he can do

From Elias: Rashad Jennings gained 176 yards on 34 carries in the Giants' 30-17 victory over the Texans. Jennings' rushing total was by far the highest in one game by a Giants player in his debut month with the team. The previous high was 116 yards by Rob Carpenter in October 1981, after he was acquired in a trade with the Houston Oilers. Carpenter had spent several seasons behind Earl Campbell on the Oilers' depth chart.

The Giants' victory snapped their streak of seven consecutive losses in the month of September, the longest such streak in team history.

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Sanu

Sanu & Dalton reverse roles

From Elias: Andy Dalton didn't throw a touchdown pass in the Bengals' 33-7 win over the Titans. But wide receiver Mohamed Sanu did, to Dalton himself. Sanu is now 4-for-4 as a passer in his three seasons in the NFL, and his 18-yarder to Dalton was the shortest of those four completions. He previously connected with A.J. Green (a 73-yard TD), Giovani Bernard (25 yards), and Brandon Tate (50 yards last week).

Over the last 30 seasons, only one other player completed each of his first four passes in the NFL, each for more than 10 yards, and he wasn't a quarterback either. Frank Wycheck, a tight end, did it for the Titans (1999-2001).

Brees and Colston pass legendary passing combo

From Elias: Drew Brees capped the Saints' scoring with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston in a 20-9 victory over the Vikings. That was Brees' 64th TD pass to Colston, a significant total for two reasons: (1) Brees-to-Colston broke a tie with Philip Rivers-to-Antonio Gates as the most prolific TD-pass tandem of the last 10 NFL seasons; and (2) Brees-to-Colston moved past not only Rivers-to-Gates but also Johnny Unitas-to-Raymond Berry into sixth place in NFL history.

Unitas and Berry topped that list by a wide margin when Berry retired following the 1967 season. The runners-up at that time were Frank Ryan and Gary Collins (49). Unitas-to-Berry remained in the top spot for more than 20 years thereafter, until passed by Dan Marino and Mark Clayton in 1990.

Browns rookie RBs make early impact

From Elias: Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West both scored in the Browns' 23-21 loss to the Ravens. That marked the first time since 1990 that a pair of rookie running backs both scored a rushing TD in the same game for the same team this early in a season. The last rookie RB teammates to do so in Week 3 or earlier were Johnny Johnson and Anthony Thompson of the Cardinals in 1990.

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Brown

Busy day for Brown yields little

From Elias: Donald Brown carried the ball 31 times in the Chargers' 22-10 victory at Buffalo. Brown was the first San Diego player with 30 or more carries in a game since LaDainian Tomlinson, who did it eight times, most recently in 2006.

But Brown's results were decidedly not LT-like; he managed only 62 yards. Of the 558 games of more than 30 carries in NFL history, only two others produced an average of 2.0 yards or less per carry: Eddie Price of the Giants in 1951 (1.5 yards per carry), and Edgerrin James of the Cardinals in 2006 (1.5).

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Smith

Smith's long TD drives are key to Chiefs' win

From Elias: Alex Smith led the Chiefs on touchdown drives of 62, 76, and 66 yards in Kansas City's 34-15 victory at Miami. It was only the fourth game in Smith's NFL career in which he engineered TD drives of 60 yards or longer three times in a span of four possessions. He previous did so for the 49ers at Seattle in 2006, at Houston in 2009, and at Philadelphia in 2011.

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Ginn Jr.

Ginn does a little of everything against his ex-team

From Elias: Ted Ginn Jr. did a little of everything in the Cardinals' 23-14 win over the 49ers. Playing against his former team, Ginn completed a 10-yard pass to Michael Floyd, gained 4 yards on his only carry, caught a pass for 8 yards, and returned a punt for 8 yards. The last Cardinals player to complete a pass, carry the ball, catch a pass, and return a kick, whether a kickoff or a punt, in one game was Stump Mitchell against the Giants 30 years ago.

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Luck

Luck completes long passes and short TDs in Colts' win

From Elias: Andrew Luck passed for 370 yards and threw four short touchdown passes in the Colts' 44-17 win at Jacksonville. Luck completed eight passes for 20 yards or more, one short of his personal high, and he became only the second player in Colts history to throw four TD passes of less than 10 yards in one game. The first was Jack Trudeau against the Dolphins in 1989.

Lions top Packers despite turnovers

From Elias: The Lions defeated the Packers, 19-7, despite committing two more turnovers (3) than Green Bay (1). That snapped Detroit's streak of 32 consecutive losses against opponents from its own division when finishing the game minus-2 or worse in turnover margin. The Lions' last such win was against the Bears at Soldier Field in 1995 with Don Majkowski throwing a late game-winning touchdown to Herman Moore.

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Gostkowski

Gostkowski has his teammates' backs

From Elias: It's not a good thing for the Patriots when Stephen Gostkowski outscores all his teammates combined. But that's what happened on Sunday, when Gostkowski kicked three field goals and New England survived a close call against the Raiders, posting a 16-9 victory. The Pats have a 5-5 record when Gostkowski accounts for more than half their points.

MLB

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Jeter

Jeter steals the show

From Elias: In a game that saw Masahiro Tanaka win in his return from the disabled list, Brian McCann hit a pair of homers, and Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th home run in Yankees franchise history, it's Derek Jeter who gets the tip of the cap from Elias. Jeter began the final homestand of his career with two hits in each game of the Yankees' four-game series against the Blue Jays. He's the first player to register four consecutive multiple-hit games at age 40 or older since Atlanta's Chipper Jones did it in 2012. Before Jones, the last two players to record two or more hits in each of four straight games after turning 40 years old both did so for the Mets: Gary Sheffield in 2009 and Moises Alou, who had three four-game streaks for New York in 2007 and one the previous year for the Giants.

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Hutchison

Never on Sunday

From Elias: Drew Hutchison, who absorbed the loss for the Blue Jays in the Bronx, is 0-6 on Sundays this season, the most losses on that day of the week among pitchers who haven't won a Sunday game. If that's not quirky enough for you, consider this: Hutchison's six losses on Sundays have come in six different months (one each in April, May, June, July, August and September).

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Kluber

Kluber fans them two at a time

From Elias: Corey Kluber struck out 14 batters in his eight innings of work, including at least two strikeouts in each of the first six innings of the game, as he improved his record to 17-9 this season in the Indians' 7-2 victory at Minnesota. Kluber, who registered a pair of strikeouts in each of the seven innings he pitched in his previous start, became the first pitcher to strike out two or more batters in as many as 13 different innings over a two-start span since the Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson did that in 2001 (May 8-13).

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DeGrom

Early strikeouts for deGrom

From Elias: Jacob deGrom struck out seven batters over the first three innings of the Mets' victory over the Braves, after he struck out the first eight batters he faced in his previous start (versus Miami). The last pitcher to record seven or more strikeouts through the first three innings in each of two consecutive starts is Cleveland's Danny Salazar, who also did it as a rookie, slightly more than one year ago (Sept. 8-13, 2013).

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McHugh

McHugh's seesaw season

From Elias: Collin McHugh won his seventh straight decision as the Astros topped the Mariners. McHugh, who lost six straight decisions before embarking on his current streak, is the only major-league pitcher with both a winning streak of seven or more games and a losing streak of six or more games this season (and when we refer to winning and losing streaks we are talking about games in which a pitcher had a decision). McHugh is the first pitcher to do that in one season since Doug Fister in 2011 (pitching for both the Mariners and Tigers) and he's the first rookie to do so since official rules defining a player's rookie status went on the books in 1958.

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Donaldson

Another walkoff home run for Donaldson

From Elias: Josh Donaldson hit his third walkoff home run this season, a two-run shot in the tenth inning that gave the Athletics an 8-6 triumph over the Phillies. Paul Goldschmidt (2013) is the only other major-leaguer who hit three walkoff homers in one season over the last three years (2012-2014). Donaldson matched the single-season record for the Athletics, set by Reggie Jackson in 1971 and matched by both Dave Kingman in 1986 and Matt Stairs in 1999.

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Betts

Betts opens the door to victory

From Elias: Mookie Betts led off the top of the first inning with a home run off Miguel Gonzalez that gave the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish in their 3-2 win at Baltimore. Betts, who won't turn 22 years old until October 7, is the youngest player to hit a first-inning leadoff homer for the Red Sox since Bobby Doerr took Bob Feller deep (a pair of Hall of Famers) at Fenway Park on August 1, 1939, less than four months after he celebrated his 21st birthday.

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Puig

Kemp drives in Puig three times

From Elias: Yasiel Puig scored four runs in the Dodgers' 8-5 victory over the Cubs and he was driven home three times by Matt Kemp (who had four RBIs). It was the third game this season in which a Dodgers player scored three runs on RBIs by one teammate. Adrian Gonzalez drove in Hanley Ramirez three times on April 11, and he had RBIs on three runs scored by Dee Gordon on August 14. No Dodger player scored three runs in a game that were driven in by one teammate in any of the past three seasons (2011-2013).

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Guthrie

Guthrie tames the Tigers

From Elias: Jeremy Guthrie allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, and despite coughing up a two-run lead, he was credited with the victory as the Royals defeated the Tigers, 5-2, to salvage the finale of their three-game series. Guthrie, who had allowed eight runs in each of his previous two starts against the Tigers (losses on July 10 and September 8), entered the game with a 10.13 ERA against Detroit this season. But during Guthrie's two seasons with Kansas City he is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in the five starts that he's made in which the Royals were in danger of being swept in a series.

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Cuddyer

Cuddyer homers again

From Elias: Michael Cuddyer homered in each of the three games he played during the Rockies' four-game series sweep of the Diamondbacks, including a solo shot in Colorado's 8-3 win on Sunday. That matches the longest home-run streak of Cuddyer's career. He homered in three straight games twice previously, both times for Minnesota during the 2009 season, but Cuddyer had never before had a three-game home-run streak within one series.

Pirates turn the table on the Brewers

From Elias: Vance Worley and Tony Watson combined to shut down the Brewers in the Pirates' 1-0 win on Sunday, after seven Milwaukee pitchers had a hand in its victory by the same score at Pittsburgh on Saturday. It's the first time that the Pirates traded 1-0 victories in consecutive games, each against the same opponent (winning one and losing one, in either order), since August 1-2, 1945 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The only other flip-flop of that kind in Brewers history was in a doubleheader against the White Sox, also in Chicago at Comiskey Park, on July 11, 1971.

White Sox victimize Rays with big innings

From Elias: Avisail Garcia hit leadoff homers in the White Sox' four-run second inning and in their six-run sixth inning, and Chicago held on for a 10-5 win over the Rays in a game that it led, 10-0. The White Sox entered the game having scored at least four runs in an inning only 24 times this season (third-fewest in the AL before Sunday). It was the third game this year in which they scored four or more runs in each of two innings, and two of those games have been against Tampa Bay.

Rua takes Street deep

From Elias: Ryan Rua's first major-league home run was a decisive shot off Huston Street that snapped a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning of the Rangers' 2-1 victory at Anaheim. Street, who entered the game with the score tied, came into 16 previous games this season in non-save situations (eight for the Padres and eight for the Angels) and he didn't allow a run in the 16 innings that he pitched in those games.

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Vogelsong

Giants swept by Padres

From Elias: Ryan Vogelsong absorbed the loss for the Giants on Sunday as the Padres completed a four-game series sweep with an 8-2 victory at San Diego. Vogelsong is 0-5 with a 4.93 ERA over his last seven starts in which the Giants were facing being swept in a series (since April 2012).

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Strasburg

Nationals keep rolling behind Strasburg

From Elias: The Nationals completed a four-game series sweep of the Marlins with a 2-1 win behind Stephen Strasburg as they finished their 11-game road trip through New York, Atlanta and Miami with a 9-2 mark and without allowing more than four runs in any of those games. Over the last 40 seasons, no major-league team has had a road trip of more than 11 games in which they held their opponent to four or fewer runs in each game. Washington is the third team to do so over that span (1975 to date) on a road trip of exactly 11 games, joining the 1998 Indians and 2005 Astros.


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