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TIGERS STARTERS STYMIE YANKS
From Elias: Anibal Sanchez allowed three hits over seven innings to earn the victory in the Tigers' 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium in Game 2 of the ALCS. Game 1 starter Doug Fister pitched six-and-one-third scoreless innings in the Tigers' win on Saturday. This is only the second time that any team's starting pitchers held the Yankees scoreless in each of the first two games of a postseason series. The first was in the 2000 ALCS, when Freddy Garcia and John Halama of the Mariners blanked the Bombers, who nevertheless managed a split of the first two games by blasting the Mariners' relief corps for seven runs in Game 2.
Including Detroit's ALDS against Oakland, its starting pitchers have a current streak of 22.1 scoreless innings. That's the longest shutout streak by any team's starters in one postseason since the A's recorded a 29-inning streak in 1974.
CANO'S SLUMP REACHES HISTORIC PROPORTIONS
From Elias: Robinson Cano went 0-for-4 in the Yankees' loss on Sunday, extending his hitless streak to 26 at-bats and dropping his batting average to .063 (2-for-32) over seven games in the 2012 postseason. Cano's hitless streak is the longest in one postseason in MLB history, and it's the longest overall since Dan Wilson's record 0-for-42 streak ended in 2000. His batting average for the postseason represents his lowest BA over any span of seven starts in his career, whether in the regular season or the playoffs.
GRIFFIN'S LONG RUN MAKES NFL HISTORY
From Elias: Robert Griffin III ran for two second-half touchdowns, including a 76-yarder to cap the scoring in the Redskins' 38-26 win over the Vikings. Griffin, who threw an 88-yard TD pass in his NFL debut last month, became the first player in NFL history with both a passing TD and a rushing TD of 75 yards or longer in the same season.
ROOKIE QB WILSON TAKES DOWN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WINNER
From Elias: Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, including a 46-yarder to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to play, in the Seahawks' 24-23 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Three weeks ago, Wilson defeated Aaron Rodgers in Seattle's controversial Monday night win over Green Bay. So six games into his NFL career, Wilson has already become the fifth rookie quarterback to start and win two games against opposing QBs who had won a Super Bowl. The others were Joe Ferguson vs. Len Dawson and Joe Namath (1973), Steve Fuller vs. Ken Stabler twice (1979), Mark Sanchez vs. Brady and Peyton Manning (2009), and Colt McCoy vs. Brady and Drew Brees (2010).
Wilson's pass to Rice was the longest game-winner by a rookie QB inside the 2-minute warning since 1999, when Tim Couch threw a 56-yard pass to Kevin Johnson on the final play to give the Browns a 21-16 win at New Orleans.
SMITH PICKED OFF 3 TIMES IN LOSS TO GIANTS
From Elias: Antrel Rolle intercepted Alex Smith twice in the Giants' 26-3 win at San Francisco. It was the first time since October 10, 2010 that Smith, who was also picked off by Prince Amukamara, threw multiple INTs in a game. His streak of 26 starts without a multi-INT performance was the longest in Niners history. The previous record was 23 by Steve Young (1996-1998).
RAVENS SURVIVE COWBOYS' GROUND ATTACK
From Elias: The Cowboys rushed for 227 yards at Baltimore, but the Ravens emerged with a 31-29 victory. Sound familiar? Last week, the Ravens defeated the Chiefs, 9-6, despite Kansas City's total of 214 rushing yards. From 1998 through 2011, a span of 14 seasons, only one team reached the 200-yard mark against the Ravens. (The Giants gained 207 rushing yards vs. Baltimore in 2008.)
But what made the Ravens' last two games truly rare was the fact that Baltimore posted a pair of victories in those games. Only three other teams in NFL history won back-to-back games in which they allowed at least 200 rushing yards in each: the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1934, the Vikings in 1973, and the Eagles in 1985.
37-YEAR-OLD BARBER SCORES ON LONG INT-RETURN
From Elias: At age 37, Ronde Barber scored on a 78-yard interception return in the Bucs' 38-10 win over the Chiefs. Only three other players in NFL history scored on an INT-return of 50 yards or longer at age 37 or older: Darrell Green (1997), Albert Lewis (1998), and Rod Woodson (twice in 2002).
FREEMAN FINDS A PAIR OF BUCS FOR BIG GAINERS
From Elias: Josh Freeman threw two 62-yard completions in Tampa Bay's win┐the first to Mike Williams for a touchdown, the other to Tiquan Underwood to set up a field goal. The last Bucs QB to connect with two different receivers on pass plays of 60 yards or longer in the same game was Trent Dilfer in 1998. The receivers were Bert Emanuel and Jacquez Green.
WEEDEN'S CONNECTION WITH GORDON IS 2ND ONLY TO COUCH
From Elias: Brandon Weeden passed for 231 yards in the Browns' 34-24 win over the Bengals, and his 71-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the second quarter was the second-longest completion by a rookie in team history. Tim Couch threw a 78-yard pass, also a TD, to Terry Kirby against the Titans in 1999.
BRYANT SETS TEAM MARK WITH LONG GAME-WINNER
From Elias: Matt Bryant kicked a 55-yard field goal with 1 second remaining to give the Falcons a 23-20 win over the Raiders. It wasn't the longest game-winning field goal of Bryant's career; he kicked a 62-yarder for the Bucs against the Eagles in 2006. But it was the longest in Falcons history, surpassing the 52-yard walk-off FG that Jay Feely kicked against the Bills in 2001.
HANSON TIES RECORD FOR OVERTIME FGs
From Elias: Jason Hanson kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime to give the Lions a 26-23 win at Philadelphia. It was Hanson's ninth regular-season OT field goal, tying Jim Breech, Steve Christie, and Jason Elam for the NFL record. (Of those kickers, only Christie booted an overtime FG in a playoff game. That was after Buffalo erased a 32-point deficit against Houston in a wild card win in January 1993.)
EAGLES BLOW ANOTHER LATE LEAD IN LOSS TO LIONS
From Elias: The Eagles lost on Sunday despite taking a 23-13 lead with 5:18 to play. It was the second straight game in which Philadelphia blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost. The Eagles' total of seven such losses over the last two seasons is the highest in the NFL.
JETS' RECEIVERS ARE QUIET IN BIG WIN
From Elias: Mark Sanchez didn't complete a pass longer than 12 yards in the Jets' 35-9 win over the Colts, but guess who did? Tim Tebow's only pass of the game was a 23-yard completion to linebacker Nick Bellore. Over the last 10 seasons, only one other team scored at least 35 points in a game without at least one completion longer than 12 yards to a wide receiver, tight end, or running back (Cleveland against Kansas City in 2009).
UNFORTUNATELY FOR RAMS, THEY DON'T AWARD POINTS FOR YARDS
From Elias: The Rams outgained the Dolphins, 462 yards to 192, but Miami outscored St. Louis, 17-14, to improve to 3-3. Over the last six seasons, only one other team posted a victory despite being outgained by that wide a margin, and that was also a Miami victory in 2009. The Jets won the yardage battle, 378-104, but the Dolphins won the game, 30-25.