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ROOKIE READ SCORES ON PENALTY SHOT FOR FLYERS
From Elias: Matt Read's penalty-shot goal early in the third period turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Flyers in their 3-2 victory over the Panthers. It was the fourth penalty-shot goal by a Flyers rookie, following ones by Ilkka Sinisalo (Oct. 1981, the first goal of his NHL career), Eric Lindros (Dec. 1992) and Darroll Powe (April 2009).
MONTADOR BREAKS OUT IN BLACKHAWKS' WIN
From Elias: Steve Montador recorded the first two-goal game of his 10-year NHL career in Chicago's 6-3 win against the Oilers on Sunday. It was only the third multiple-goal game by a Blackhawks defenseman over the last six seasons. The others were two-goal games by Brent Seabrook (Dec. 23, 2007, also vs. Edmonton) and Duncan Keith (Jan. 7, 2010 at Boston). After going 30 games without scoring dating back to last season, Montador has tallied three goals in his last three games.
IT WORKED WITH SCHOENDIENST, SO WHY NOT MATHENY?
From Elias: Mike Matheny will be introduced on Monday as the new manager of the Cardinals. He will be the sixth first-time major-league manager to take over a defending World Series champion. The others were Bill Carrigan (1913 Red Sox), Jack Barry (1917 Red Sox), Bob O'Farrell (1927 Cardinals), Red Schoendienst (1965 Cardinals) and Bill Virdon (1972 Pirates). Carrigan was a midseason replacement for Jake Stahl. (We intentionally omitted Dick Howser, who managed one game after Billy Martin was fired by the Yankees in 1978, before Bob Lemon was hired for the remainder of the season.)
TEBOW FINDS A WAY TO WIN AGAIN
From Elias: Tim Tebow ran for one touchdown and threw a 56-yard TD pass in the Broncos' 17-10 win at Kansas City. It was the sixth time in Tebow's brief NFL career that he ran and passed for a TD in the same game. That's one more such game than Sammy Baugh, Phil Simms, Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson - or Cam Newton, for that matter - posted in their entire NFL career.
Inevitably, though, the attention on Tebow's performance gravitated to his total of two pass completions in Sunday's win. The Broncos took a 10-0 lead to the lockerroom after Tebow went 0-for-4 in the first half, becoming the first team to lead at the intermission without a first-half completion since 1994. The last team to do so - we think you'll like this - was the Packers at Soldier Field, after Brett Favre had an 0-for-6 first half. But like Tebow, Favre found the end zone anyway, with the longest TD run of his NFL career (36 yards late in the second quarter).
FOSTER TURNS SHORT PASS INTO ANOTHER LONG TD
From Elias: Arian Foster caught a short pass and turned it into his second 78-yard touchdown reception this season in the Texans' 37-9 victory at Tampa. The last running back to score on two pass plays of 75 yards or longer in the same season was Gale Sayers as a rookie for the Bears in 1965.
ROMO'S FAST START DOOMS BILLS
From Elias: Tony Romo completed his first 13 passes, including three touchdowns, as the Cowboys romped to a 44-7 win over the Bills. Over the last four seasons, only one other player threw three TD passes in a game before his first incompletion: Michael Vick, in a memorable 59-28 Eagles victory over the Redskins on Monday Night Football last November.
JACKSON FALLS 1 YARD SHORT OF RECORD STREAK (TWICE)
From Elias: Fred Jackson gained 114 rushing yards in the Bills' loss, including a pair of 19-yard runs. But that brought an end to Jackson's streak of eight consecutive games with at least one run for 20 yards or longer, one game short of the longest in the NFL since 1940. That record was set by Ryan Grant in 2007-2008.
SKELTON ERUPTS IN 4TH QUARTER
From Elias: John Skelton threw three touchdown passes, including two in the final 10 minutes, to give the Cardinals a 21-17 victory at Philadelphia. Prior to Sunday's game, Skelton had thrown 41 fourth-quarter passes, producing only one TD.
Skelton was the second QB to throw a pair of fourth-quarter TDs in a come-from-behind win at Philadelphia this season. (The other was Eli Manning on September 25.) Prior to 2011, no visiting QB had done that against the Eagles since Joe Montana in 1989.
EAGLES SET TEAM RECORD FOR LATE BLOWN WINS
From Elias: Sunday's loss dropped the Eagles' record to 3-6. Philadelphia has led in the fourth quarter in five of those losses, setting a new team record. The previous Eagles mark was set in 1988 and equaled in 1999. Philadelphia tied an NFL record by suffering five such losses in their first nine games of a season.
McCOY EXTENDS TOUCHDOWN STREAK IN LOSS TO CARDINALS
From Elias: LeSean McCoy extended his TD-scoring streak to nine games in the Eagles' loss, breaking Steve Van Buren's team record that had stood since 1947. McCoy is the first player to score a touchdown in each of his team's first nine games of a season since George Rogers of the Redskins did it in 1986.
BEARS SCORE TWO PICK-SIXES IN LESS THAN TWO MINUTES
From Elias: Major Wright and Charles Tillman scored on interception returns less than two minutes apart in the third quarter of the Bears' 37-13 rout of the Lions. Sunday's game was Chicago's 1,267th regular-season NFL game, but only the second in which they scored on two INT returns in the same period. Gary Fencik and Al Harris scored in the third quarter of the Bears' 1981 season finale against the Broncos.
IN HIS 18TH SEASON, SHANAHAN FINALLY LOSES 5 STRAIGHT
From Elias: The Dolphins defeated the Redskins, 20-9, to extend Washington's losing streak to five games. That's the first five-game losing streak of Mike Shanahan's career, coming in his 269th regular-season game. Only three NFL coaches advanced further into their career without losing five straight: Don Shula (376 games), Curly Lambeau (320), and Chuck Knox (311).
A FIRST FOR THE NFC WEST
From Elias: The Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks and 49ers all recorded victories on Sunday, marking the first time in 10 seasons under the current divisional alignment that all four NFC West teams won on the same week of play. The NFC West has posted four losses on the same week eight times since 2002, compared to 10 such weeks by the five other divisions combined.
DAWSON'S ONE MISS ECLIPSES FOUR FIELD GOALS
From Elias: Phil Dawson accounted for all of Cleveland's scoring on Sunday, but it will be his 22-yard fail late in the fourth quarter - a miss that was hardly Dawson's fault - that's remembered from the Browns' 13-12 loss to the Rams. With 2:10 to play, Ryan Pontbriand bounced his snap to holder Brad Maynard. Dawson's resulting FG attempt was the shortest to be missed in the last 3 minutes of a one-or two-point loss in the last 30 NFL seasons.
FLACCO HOLDS ON, BUT REED DOES NOT
From Elias: On the same day that Joe Flacco ended his team-record streak of seven games with a fumble, David Reed fumbled away not one but two kickoffs in the first half of the Ravens' 22-17 loss at Seattle. Prior to Sunday, Reed had fumbled only one of the 34 kickoffs he returned. That fumble, one week ago, was recovered by Baltimore. The last player to fumble three kickoff returns over a span of two games was Dwight Stone of the Jets in 1999.
STEELERS PREY ON ROOKIE QB
From Elias: William Gay and Lawrence Timmons made fourth-quarter interceptions against Andy Dalton to help seal the Steelers' 24-17 win at Cincinnati. It was the Steelers' 13th win in their last 14 games against a rookie starting QB.
COLTS UNABLE TO GAIN A LEAD FOR 5TH STRAIGHT GAME
From Elias: Adam Vinatieri kicked a field goal in the second quarter to give the Colts a 3-3 tie at the half. But that was as close as Indianapolis came, falling to 0-10 with a 17-3 loss to the Jaguars. It was the fifth consecutive loss in which the Colts never led, matching the longest such streak in franchise history. The Baltimore Colts lost five such games in a row in 1981, when they finished the season with a 2-14 mark.
The last NFL team to lose five in a row in the same season without holding a lead was the Jets in 2005.
FALCONS TAKE A CHANCE, PAY THE PRICE
From Elias: The Falcons failed on a fourth-and-one from their own 29-yard line, setting up the Saints for a game-winning score in New Orleans' 26-23 win at Atlanta. Over the last 15 seasons, only one other team attempted a fourth-down play from scrimmage in their own territory during overtime. (The Rams converted a fourth-and-one from their own 41 in an eventual loss to the Saints in 2004.)