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BREES TIES NFL MARK FOR TD PASSES AFTER 2 GAMES
Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes in the Saints' 48-22 victory at Philadelphia, to increase his season total to nine in his first two games. That tied the NFL record for TD passes after two games, a mark that has stood for 44 years since it was set by Charley Johnson of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965.
SAINTS MARCH OVER EAGLES, AS THEY DID AGAINST LIONS
The Saints, who routed the Lions, 45-27, last week, are the fourth team in NFL history, and the first in more than 40 years, to score at least 45 points in each of their first two games of a season. The others were the Raiders in 1968, the Lions in 1962, and the Rock Island Independents in 1920.
KOLB GETS OFF TO FAST START
Kevin Kolb, who made his first NFL start in place of injured Donovan McNabb, threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson 6 minutes into the Eagles' loss to the Saints. Over the last 25 years, only one other player threw a TD pass of 70 yards or longer in the first quarter of his first NFL start: Sage Rosenfels for the Dolphins in January 2005.
Kolb finished the game with 391 passing yards, the highest total by a quarterback in his first NFL start during the Super Bowl era. The previous high during that time was 369 yards by Vinny Testaverde with the Buccaneers in 1987.
JACKSON MATCHES AN EAGLES GREAT FROM LONG AGO
DeSean Jackson, who scored on an 85-yard punt return last week, became only the second Eagles player with TDs of 70 yards or longer in each of the first two games of a season. The first was Tim Brown in 1962.
SANCHEZ STARTS AS FEW ROOKIES HAVE
Mark Sanchez followed last week's victory at Houston with a 16-9 win over the Patriots. Sanchez is only the fourth quarterback in the last 40 seasons to start and win his team's first two games in his rookie season. The others were Joe Flacco (2008 Ravens), Ryan Leaf (1998 Chargers), and John Elway (1983 Broncos).
Sanchez was the second rookie QB to start and win against the Patriots during Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach (2000¿2009). The other was Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
RYAN'S JETS FEATURE STAUNCH "D"
The Jets didn't allow an offensive touchdown (that is, a TD by rushing or passing) in either of their first two games this season-Rex Ryan's first two games as an NFL head coach. Over the last 60 years, only two other coaches' teams didn't allow an offensive TD in either of their first two NFL games: Kay Stephenson (1983 Bills) and Red Miller (1977 Broncos).
JOHNSON MAKES HISTORY WITH 3 LONG TOUCHDOWNS
Chris Johnson scored touchdowns of 57, 69, and 91 yards in the Titans' 34-31 loss to the Texans. That's more TDs of 50 yards or longer than Curtis Martin or Eric Dickerson scored in their entire NFL careers.
Johnson was the first player to score three TDs of 50 yards or longer in one game since Qadry Ismail did it for the Ravens in 1999, and he was the first player in NFL history to do so in a loss. Johnson was also the first player ever to score a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, each covering at least 50 yards, in the first quarter of an NFL game.
PALMER PASSES AND RUNS BENGALS TO VICTORY AT GREEN BAY
Carson Palmer passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in the Bengals' 31-24 victory at Green Bay. Only three other players ever recorded three TD passes and a rushing touchdown in one game at Lambeau Field - two of them for visiting teams: Steve Beuerlein (1999 Panthers) and Rich Gannon (1991 Vikings). David Whitehurst did it for the Packers in 1981.
GORE JOINS SANDERS IN SELECT GROUP OF TWO
Frank Gore scored on runs of 79 and 80 yards in the 49ers' 23-10 win over the Seahawks. The only other player in NFL history with two rushing touchdowns of 75 yards or longer in the same game was Barry Sanders (80 and 82 yards against the Bucs in 1997).
WARNER SETS RECORD FOR ACCURACY
Kurt Warner set an NFL record for completion percentage in one game (minimum: 20 passes), going 24-for-26 (92%) in the Cardinals' 31-17 victory at Jacksonville. That record doesn't change hands very often. Vinny Testaverde held the mark for 16 seasons (1993-2009), after a 19-year reign by Ken Anderson.
WOODSON PROVIDES OFFENSE WITH PACKERS ON DEFENSE
Charles Woodson scored on a 37-yard interception return in the Packers' loss to the Bengals. It was Woodson's fifth pick-six since joining Green Bay in 2006, the most in the NFL during that time. Woodson also became the first Packers player ever to score on an INT in four consecutive seasons.
FAVRE'S SHORT TD PASSES HELP VIKINGS WIN AT DETROIT
Brett Favre threw touchdown passes of one yard and three yards in the Vikings' 27-13 win at Detroit. Favre has thrown 34 one-yard TD passes in his career, by far the highest total in NFL history. In fact, no other player has thrown even 25 TD passes of one yard.
RAIDERS-CHIEFS STARTS SLOW, ENDS WITH A BANG
For the second straight week, both teams scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown in a game in which no TDs were scored for the first 57 minutes. Last week, it was Broncos-Bengals; this week, Raiders-Chiefs. There had been only two such games over the previous 19 seasons combined.
BEARS WIN WITHOUT A GROUND ATTACK
The Bears defeated the Steelers, 17-14, despite gaining only 43 yards on 18 carries. It was the Bears' third win in which they gained fewer than 50 rushing yards in the last 30 years.
BOSTON DOMINATES BALTIMORE
The Red Sox defeated the Orioles in the finale of their season series, posting a 16-2 mark versus the Birds this year. Its most wins in one season for the Red Sox against any opponent since they went 16-3 against Tampa Bay in 2002. It's also the first time since 1912 that Boston has won as many as 16 games in one season against a team while losing fewer than three (19-2 vs. New York).
BAY'S BIRTHDAY BASH
Jason Bay celebrated his birthday with a home run, as he did last year. Bay and Hideki Matsui are the only major-leaguers to homer on their birthday in both 2008 and 2009. The only other player ever to hit birthday homers in two consecutive years for the Red Sox was Dustin Pedroia (2007-2008).
RAYS TOP HALLADAY AGAIN
David Price outpitched Roy Halladay in the Rays' 3-1 win over the Blue Jays. It was Halladay's fourth loss to Rays this season, after he dropped three decisions to them last year. Over the last two seasons, Halladay is 3¿7 against Tampa Bay and 32-14 against all other teams.
ONE-AND-DONE FOR K-ROD
Francisco Rodriguez struck out the only batter he faced to nail down the Mets' 6-2 win over the Nationals. It was the 33rd save for Rodriguez this season but only the second in which he retired the minimum. Rodriguez notched five one-out saves last year when set the single-season record of 62 saves.
TEJEDA BAFFLES RIGHTIES
Robinson Tejeda allowed three hits over six innings and the Royals' bullpen did the rest in a 2-1 win at Chicago. Right-handed batters were 0-for-12 against Tejeda on Sunday and they're hitless in their last 39 at-bats against the Kansas City right-hander, dating back to August 31. That's the longest streak of consecutive hitless at-bats by right-handed batters against any major-league pitcher this season.
IT HASN'T BEEN EASY FOR LIDGE
Brad Lidge allowed a run in the ninth inning but he still managed to notch his 31st save of the season in the Phillies 4-2 win in Atlanta. Lidge has been charged with at least one run in 10 of his saves this year, the most such saves in one season for any pitcher Bobby Jenks in 2006 (10) .
GARCIA PLAYS LOSER
Freddy Garcia absorbed the loss for the White Sox on Sunday; he's 0-7 against the Royals dating back to September 2005. That matches the longest losing streak against Kansas City in the team's 41-year history. Four other pitchers lost seven straight decisions to the Royals: Clyde Wright (1972-1975), Jesse Jefferson (1976-1980), Dave Roberts (1976-1980) and Tim Belcher (1993-1995).
CHANGE THE RULES
Joba Chamberlain allowed seven runs in three innings in the Yankees' loss at Seattle. It was Chamberlain's sixth consecutive start in which he pitched no more than four innings, the longest such streak in one season for any major-league pitcher since Mike Johnson did that in seven straight starts for the Orioles and Expos in 1997.
ANGELS TURN THE TABLE ON RANGERS
The Angels hit four home runs without allowing any in a 10-5 win in Arlington. Texas had out-homered the Halos, 29-13, over the previous 14 games between them this season.
PRINCE PASSES ALBERT
Prince Fielder drove in one run as the Brewers defeated the Astros, temporarily giving him sole possession of the major-league lead in RBIs (128). Albert Pujols kept pace with Fielder, driving in one run on Sunday night. Since 1920, the first year that RBIs were officially tracked, the only player to lead the majors in that category in each of three consecutive seasons was Prince's dad, Cecil (for the Tigers, 1990-1992).
SPAN WHIFFS FOUR TIMES FROM THE LEADOFF SPOT
Denard Span was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the Twins' loss to the Tigers. Span was the first Minnesota player to bat four or more times in one game from the first spot in the batting order and strike out in each plate appearance since Zoilo Versalles on May 18, 1966 (0-for-4, 4 SO), the season after he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player.
DODGERS REACH 90 WINS
The Dodgers improved to 90-60 this season with a victory over Tim Lincecum and the Giants. It's the earliest in any season that the Dodgers have reached the 90-win mark (in terms of fewest games) since 1978, when they had a 90-58 record through 148 games.