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PETERSON'S QUICK STRIKES FUEL VIKINGS' VICTORY
From Elias: Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter as the Vikings built a 28-0 lead en route to their first victory of the season, 34-10 over the Cardinals. Peterson scored Minnesota's first two TDs 23 seconds apart. The last player to score a pair of rushing touchdowns that quickly was Emmitt Smith in 1999.
VIKINGS 28-0 START RARE FOR A WINLESS TEAM
From Elias: Minnesota's fast start was noteworthy on a team level too. The Vikings became only the fifth winless team in NFL history with four or more losses (and no ties) to score at least 28 points before their opponent scored. The last team to do so was the Giants in 1987, posting a 30-7 win over the Cardinals after an 0-5 start that included three losses by their replacement players during a player strike. Sunday's game was a distant echo of the Vikings' first win of the 1962 season, when they took a 31-0 lead over the L.A. Rams after an 0-5 start.
A PAIR OF EX-EAGLES QBs START IN VIKES-CARDS GAME
From Elias: Sunday's Vikings-Cardinals matchup was billed as the meeting of two ex-Eagles quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. Neither QB threw a TD pass in the game, which was also true the last time two former Philadelphia quarterbacks started against each other: Sonny Jurgensen (Redskins) versus Norm Snead (Giants) in 1973.
However, McNabb scored on a 4-yard run in the first quarter. Combined with Adrian Peterson's three TDs, Minnesota was the first team to score four rushing touchdowns in one period since the Jets did it at Shea Stadium against the Boston Patriots in 1968.
BIG BEN'S 5TH TD PASS HELPS WALLACE ATTAIN RARE STREAK
From Elias: Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes in the Steelers' 38-17 win over the Titans. It was Roethlisberger's second 5-TD game, a feat that eluded such outstanding quarterbacks as Johnny Unitas, Steve Young, and, at least to this point in their careers, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers.
It was the fifth TD, a 40-yard pass to Mike Wallace with less than 3 minutes to play, that extended Wallace's streak of games with a 40-yard reception to four games. The only other active players with a four-game streak of 40-yard receptions at any point in their careers are Devery Henderson and Nate Washington (both in 2008). But this was the second time that Wallace has done so. The last player with two four-game streaks in his career was Gene Washington of the 49ers (1970 and 1974).
UNDRAFTED BALDWIN LEADS SEAHAWKS TO WIN
From Elias: Doug Baldwin caught eight passes for 136 yards, including a game-winning TD pass with 2:37 to play, in the Seahawks' 36-25 win over the Giants. Over the last 15 years, only one other undrafted rookie gained that many receiving yards in one game: Hank Baskett for the Eagles in 2006 (177 yards).
BREES POSTS THIRD STRAIGHT 350-YARD GAME
From Elias: Drew Brees capped a 359-yard performance with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Thomas with 50 seconds remaining to give the Saints a 30-27 victory at Carolina. That was Brees' third consecutive game with at least 350 passing yards, tying an NFL record set by Dan Fouts in 1980 and matched seven times previously (including by Tom Brady earlier this season and by Brees in 2008-09).
It was only the third time that Brees threw a game-winning TD pass in the final minute of the fourth quarter, including one in the sixth start of his pro career for the Chargers in 2002.
EAGLES CAN'T OVERCOME VICK'S INTs
From Elias: Michael Vick threw a career-high four interceptions in the Eagles' 31-24 loss at Buffalo. Vick had thrown as many as three INTs only once before, and that was in a victory over the Jets in 2005. He has now been picked off on seven of his last 118 passes; that's as many INTs as he threw on his previous 461 passes combined, dating back to December 2006.
TEBOW RALLIES BRONCOS WITH TD RUN & PASS
From Elias: Tim Tebow couldn't rally the Broncos to victory, but his performance in a 29-24 loss to the Chargers caught our attention. For the third time in the last four games in which he has thrown at least one pass, Tebow scored a touchdown and threw a TD pass in the same quarter- in this case, the fourth quarter. That nearly matches the total of such games for all other NFL players combined during that period (that is, since Dec. 19, 2010). Aaron Rodgers has done it twice, Michael Vick once, and Philip Rivers in the second quarter of San Diego's win over Denver on Sunday.
GREEN-ELLIS RUNS FOR PERSONAL BEST IN WIN OVER JETS
From Elias: BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 30-21 win over the Jets, two weeks after Darren McFadden gained 171 rushing yards versus New York. Prior to that, the Jets had allowed 100-yard games to only two opposing rushers in their previous 35 games.
RAIDERS SALUTE OWNER'S PASSING WITH VICTORY
From Elias: The Raiders rallied for 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 25-20 come-from-behind win at Houston, a day after the death of team owner Al Davis, who was head coach of the team from 1963 to 1965. Only two NFL coaches won 10 or more games in a season with a team that had fewer than two wins a year earlier. Davis was one of them, leading Oakland to a 10-4 record in his first season as head coach, after the Raiders posted a 1-13 mark in 1962. (The other was Tony Sparano of the Dolphins in 2008.)
DALTON TOPS GABBERT IN BATTLE OF ROOKIE QBS
From Elias: For the second time in just three NFL starts, Blaine Gabbert lost to a fellow rookie quarterback, as Andy Dalton led the Bengals to a 30-20 win over the Jaguars. But Gabbert's consolation prize on Sunday was his 74-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hill with less than nine minutes to play. It was the longest fourth-quarter go-ahead TD pass by a rookie since Peyton Manning connected with Marshall Faulk for 78 yards in 1998.
CHIEFS TIE TEAM COMEBACK RECORD VS. MANNING-LESS COLTS
From Elias: Matt Cassel's last three touchdown passes of his four on the day produced 21 unanswered points as the Chiefs rallied from a 24-7 deficit for a 28-24 win over the Colts. That matched the largest margin that Kansas City has ever overcome to win a game. Indianapolis lost one game in which it led by 17 or more points in each of Peyton Manning's first three seasons, but had not done so in any of Manning's last 174 starts, dating back to September 2000.
49ERS ROLL BACK THE CLOCK WITH BIG WIN
From Elias: The 49ers routed the Bucs, 48-3, posting their largest margin of victory since defeating the Broncos, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV (Jan. 1990). San Francisco won only two other regular-season games by 45 or more points: 49-0 over the Lions in 1961 and 48-0 over the Rams in 1987.
BREWERS' LONG HITS PRODUCE BIG INNING
From Elias: The Brewers scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth in their 9-6 win over the Cardinals. Milwaukee had five extra-base hits in its big inning, including home runs by Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt. That tied the all-time postseason record for extra-base hits in one inning, set by the Mets against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the 2000 NLCS.
UNFORTUNATELY FOR CARDS, NLCS STARTS JUST LIKE NLDS
From Elias: The Cardinals' 9-6 loss on Sunday was reminiscent of their 11-6 defeat in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Phillies eight days earlier. St. Louis blew three-run leads in both games. Prior to 2011, the Cardinals had a 65-4 record in postseason games in which they led by three or more runs.
PLEKANEC FINDS WINNIPEG TO HIS LIKING
From Elias: Tomas Plekanec scored one goal and assisted on two more to help the Canadiens spoil the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg with a 5-1 victory over the Jets on Sunday. Plekanec has scored three or more points in a game 19 times in his NHL career, and 14 of those 19 three-point games have come on the road.