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WELKER HITS DOUBLE-DIGITS AGAIN
Wes Welker caught 10 passes for 105 yards in the Patriots' win over the Panthers. It was Walker's sixth game this season with at least 10 receptions, doubling the previous team record. Troy Brown had three games with at least 10 catches in 2002, and Welker matched that in 2007.
COLTS WIN DESPITE MANNING'S 3 INT
The Colts defeated the Broncos, 28-16, to set an all-time NFL record with their 22nd consecutive regular-season victory. But by at least one measure, Indianapolis was fortunate to gain the win. It was the 12th game in which Peyton Manning threw at least three interceptions, and the Colts lost the first 11 of them. In fact, the Colts had lost the last 21 games in which their passers were picked off at least three times, dating back to a 24-14 win at Tampa in 1992 with Jeff George at quarterback.
MARSHALL MAKES HISTORY IN BRONCOS' LOSS
Brandon Marshall set an NFL record with 21 pass receptions in the Broncos' loss to the Colts. The previous record was 20, set by Terrell Owens in 2000, and Marshall almost broke it last season when he caught 18 passes against the Chargers. No other player in NFL history had two games with even 15 receptions.
ROOKIE HEAD COACHES GO HEAD-TO-HEAD AT INDIANAPOLIS
The Colts-Broncos game featured a matchup of two of the most successful rookie head coaches in recent NFL history. Jim Caldwell (12-0 coming into the game) and Josh McDaniels (8-4) were only the second pair of first-year head coaches in the last 40 years to face each other both having a record at least four games above the .500 mark. The others were Bill Cowher of the Steelers (10-4) and Dennis Green of the Vikings (9-5) in 1992.
CHARGERS EXTEND THEIR DECEMBER WINNING STREAK
The Chargers posted a 20-17 victory at Dallas to extend their December winning streak to 16 straight games, dating back to 2006. It was the Cowboys' mark that the Chargers broke last season. Dallas won 13 consecutive games in December from 1968 to 1972.
During San Diego's 16 consecutive December victories (equivalent to a full NFL season) LaDainian Tomlinson has rushed for 1,701 yards and 20 touchdowns, and Philip Rivers has passed for 3,498 yards and 28 TD (99.3 passer rating). Nate Kaeding is 31-for-33 on field goals.
TIED AFTER 45 MINUTES, COWBOYS LOSE AGAIN
The Cowboys have lost nine of their last 10 games that were tied at the end of the third quarter, dating back to 2002.
JOHNSON MAINTAINS THE BEST PACE IN MORE THAN A DECADE
Chris Johnson gained 117 rushing yards in the Titans' 47-7 rout of the Rams, to boost his total for the season to 1626. Johnson is the first player to reach the 1,600-yard mark in 13 games since Jamal Lewis in 2003 (1,622). The last player with a total as high as Johnson's after 13 games was Terrell Davis in 1998 (1,654).
Johnson's 66-yard touchdown reception was his seventh TD of 50 yards or longer this season. He is the first player to score seven or more TD of 50-plus yards on plays from scrimmage in one season since Lance Alworth scored seven in 1965.
NO ONE IMAGINES THEIR FIRST NFL GAME WILL GO LIKE THIS
Keith Null threw five interceptions in his NFL debut, as the Rams suffered a 47-7 loss to the Titans. Only one other player in NFL history was picked off at least five times in his debut. Tom O'Malley of the Packers threw six Int in his only appearance in the NFL (a 45-7 loss to the Lions in Green Bay's 1950 season opener).
GRANT SCORES EARLY TD AT SOLDIER FIELD
Ryan Grant ran 62 yards for a touchdown on the Packers' first play from scrimmage in their 21-14 win at Chicago. In the Bears' 298 regular-season games at Soldier Field, Grant's TD was the longest ever scored by an opposing player in the first 2 minutes of a game.
SAINTS WIN ANOTHER CLOSE ONE
For the second week in a row, the Saints (13-0) maintained their perfect record with a three-point win on a late field goal. Prior to that, New Orleans had lost its last six games decided by three points or less, dating back to October 2007.
BUSH SCORES BY AIR AND LAND
Reggie Bush caught a pair of touchdown passes in the Saints' 26-23 win over the Falcons. Bush has scored 17 rushing touchdowns and caught 11 TD passes in his NFL career. The only other active player who scored at least 10 touchdowns each by rushing and receiving over his first four NFL seasons was Brian Westbrook (13 rushing, 14 receiving).
PATRIOTS LOSE BATTLE OF TURNOVERS BUT WIN GAME
The Patriots defeated the Panthers, 20-10, despite committing three turnovers while Carolina didn't give the ball away even once. It was only the third win in Patriots history in which they recorded at least three giveaways and no takeaways (3-41).
Coming into Sunday's games, no team that was -3 or worse in turnover differential had won a game this season (0-35). But the Patriots and Dolphins both did in Week 14.
SCHAUB IS SENSATIONAL IN 1ST HALF
Matt Schaub passed for 365 yards, including 336 in the first half, in the Texans' 34-7 win over the Seahawks. That matched the third-highest first-half passing total in the past 20 years.
JONES SCORES TWICE IN JETS' WIN AT TAMPA
Thomas Jones scored both of the Jets' touchdowns in their 26-3 win at Tampa. Jones has scored at least 10 rushing TD in each of the last two seasons (something he never accomplished in his 20s). Only two other players in NFL history had more than one season of 10 or more rushing TDs in their 30s after not having any prior to that: John Riggins(3) and Ottis Anderson(2).
FAVRE'S DECEMBER DOLDRUMS
Brett Favre has thrown as many interceptions in his last two games (3) as he did over the Vikings' first 11 games of the season. Over the past five seasons, Favre has thrown more than twice as many interceptions as he has touchdown passes from December 1 to the end of the season (34 Int, 16 TD). During that same time, he threw 99 TD and 56 Int through the end of November.
BILLS USE 3 LATE INTS TO SECURE WIN OVER CHIEFS
For the second time in the last three weeks, the Bills intercepted three passes in the fourth quarter. Buffalo did it against Matt Cassel in Sunday's 16-10 win at Kansas City, after picking off three of Chad Henne's passes in the fourth quarter of a 31-14 win over the Dolphins two weeks ago. No other player has thrown three Int in the fourth quarter of one game this season.
RAVENS SCORED 5 QUICK TD IN VICTORY OVER LIONS
The Ravens scored their first five touchdowns in a span of 26 minutes, 5 seconds in a 48-3 rout of the Lions. That fell 10 seconds short of the fastest five TDs in one game in franchise history. That mark was set in a 44-41 win over the Seahawks in 2003.
GASOL TAKES DOUBLE-DOUBLE UP A NOTCH, ADDS A TWIST, AND DOES IT AGAIN
Marc Gasol scored 16 points, shooting 7-for-7 from the field, and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Grizzlies' 118-90 win at Miami. That's the second time this season that Gasol has posted a 15/15 game without missing a shot from the field. He scored 17 points with 16 rebounds and shot 8-for-8 against the Timberwolves in November. The only other player in NBA history with two such games in the same season was Wilt Chamberlain (6 in 1966-1967, 4 in 1972-1973).
ARIZA SHOOTS BLANKS IN LOSS AT TORONTO
Trevor Ariza missed all nine of his field-goal attempts in the Rockets' 101-88 loss at Toronto. The last Rockets player to shoot 0-for-9 or worse in one game was Rafer Alston, with an 0-for-11 performance against the Kings in April 2006. The last player to shoot 0-for-9 or worse at Air Canada Centre? That was Alston too. As a member of the Raptors, he went 0-for-12 in a loss to the Bucks in January 2005.
Not to pile on needlessly, but for the record Alston shot 0-for-8 from the field in the Nets' loss at Atlanta on Sunday.
NIEMI RECORDS HIS THIRD SHUTOUT
Antti Niemi made 18 saves in the Blackhawks' 4-0 win over the Lightning, to record his third shutout in nine starts in the NHL. Since the introduction of the center-ice red line, only three other goaltenders posted three shutouts in their first nine starts: Josh Harding of the Wild (2006-07), Mike Smith of the Stars (2006-07), and Ed Chadwick of the Maple Leafs (1956).
STEWART STILL SCORING POINTS IN BUNCHES
Chris Stewart assisted on the first goal and scored the second goal in the Avalanche's 3-2 win over the Flames. It was the fifth time in his last 10 games that Stewart was credited with at least two points. Stewart had only five multiple-point games in 73 career games in the NHL before this stretch.