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Manning Throws Three 4th-Quarter TDs In Record-Breaking Game
From Elias: Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes, including three in the fourth quarter, in the Broncos' 37-13 win at Houston. Manning's total of 51 TD passes is an NFL single-season record, breaking the mark that Tom Brady set in 2007 (50).
It was the 13th time that Manning threw at least three touchdowns in the same quarter, extending his NFL record. To put Manning's total in perspective, the following players threw three or more TD passes in the same quarter only once each: Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Phil Simms, Steve Young, and Tony Romo. Even better, Terry Bradshaw, Drew Bledsoe, and Philip Rivers never did it.
Romo Rallies Cowboys To Rare Late Win vs Redskins
From Elias: Tony Romo threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 68 seconds remaining to give the Cowboys a 24-23 win over the Redskins. It was the first time that Dallas produced a game-winning play inside the 2-minute warning of a road game versus Washington since 1967. In that game, Don Meredith connected with Dan Reeves on a 36-yard pass with 10 seconds to play, and the Cowboys defeated the Redskins, 17-14.
With Sunday's victory, Dallas improved to 5-0 within the NFC East. That is the Cowboys' longest intradivision winning streak in any season since they finished 1998 with an 8-0 mark against their division rivals.
Garçon Breaks Monk's Longstanding Mark
From Elias: Pierre Garçon caught 11 passes in the Redskins' loss, increasing his season total to 107 receptions. That broke the team's single-season record; the previous mark of 106 was set by Art Monk in 1984. Only two current NFL teams have a single-season record for pass receptions that has stood since 1984: Charlie Hennigan, 101 for the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) in 1964; and Ozzie Newsome, 89 for the Browns in 1983 (tied by Newsome in 1984 and by Kellen Winslow in 2006).
Lions Blow Another Late Lead
From Elias: For the fifth time in their last six games, the Lions lost a game in which they led in the fourth quarter, as the Giants posted a 23-20 win at Ford Field. Only two other teams in NFL history suffered five losses after blowing a fourth-quarter lead, all in a span of six games: New Orleans in 1999 and Carolina in 2002.
Palmer Finds Redemption With Late Game-Winning TD
From Elias: Carson Palmer redeemed himself with a late touchdown pass that gave the Cardinals a 17-10 win at Seattle. Palmer's 31-yard TD pass to Michael Floyd with 2:13 to play more than compensated for his four interceptions earlier in the game. He was the first player in 60 years to throw a game-winning TD in the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter after throwing four or more INTs without a touchdown pass prior to that. The last player to do so was Arnie Galiffa of the Giants, with a 75-yard game-winner to Kyle Rote against the Chicago Cardinals at Comiskey Park in 1953.
Smith Has A Hand In All 3 Jets TDs
From Elias: Geno Smith passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in the Jets' 24-13 win over the Browns. It was the fourth game this season in which Smith produced TDs both by passing and by running. The only other rookies with four of more such games were Charlie Conerly in 1948 (4), Fran Tarkenton in 1961 (4), Tim Tebow in 2010 (4), and Cam Newton in 2011 (8).
Dalton Sets Bengals Mark For Home TD Passes
From Elias: Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes in the Bengals' 42-14 win over the Vikings. Dalton's total of 15 TD passes in his last four home games is a team record. The previous mark was 13, set by Boomer Esiason in 1989. Incidentally, Dalton has thrown only five touchdowns in his last four road games.
Steelers Rookie Bell Stars In Win At Lambeau
From Elias: Le'Veon Bell rushed for 124 yards and a game-winning touchdown with 1:25 to play in Pittsburgh's 38-31 victory at Green Bay. That was the highest single-game rushing total by a Steelers rookie since 1994, when Bam Morris gained 146 yards against the Giants. Prior to that, no Steelers rookie gained 120 or more rushing yards in a game since Franco Harris, who did it four times in 1972.
High-Scoring Chiefs Stifled By Colts
From Elias: Indianapolis stopped the NFL's hottest offense cold, posting a 23-7 victory at Kansas City. The Chiefs had averaged 41.8 points over their previous four games, which was the highest four-game mark in team history.
Kansas City became the first team since 1954 to score fewer than 10 points in a game immediately following a four-game stretch with an average of 40 or more points. The only other teams to have done that both won their low-scoring game: the Giants in 1950 (9-7 over the Eagles); and the Browns in 1954 (6-0 over the Eagles).
Rivers Maintains December Excellence
From Elias: Philip Rivers passed for 201 yards and a touchdown in the Chargers' 26-13 win over the Raiders. That improved Rivers' record to 29-6 (.829) in the month of December, giving him the second-highest December winning percentage in NFL history (minimum: 25 starts), behind only Tom Brady (44-7, .863).
Patriots Take Advantage Of Ravens Giveaways
From Elias: If you knew nothing more about Sunday's Patriots-Ravens game than the teams' respective turnovers totals¿Baltimore 4, New England 0¿there should have been no doubt about the game's result. The Patriots posted a 41-7 victory, and New England has now won the last 28 regular-season games in which it had a turnover margin of plus-4 or better, a winning streak that dates back to 1994.
Brees To Graham For 40th Touchdown
From Elias: Drew Brees' fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham was the 40th TD connection between them. That is now the second-highest such total in Saints history, breaking a tie with Aaron Brooks-to-Joe Horn. The team record is 63 touchdown passes from Brees to Marques Colston.
Carpenter Gains Revenge On His Former Team
From Elias: Dan Carpenter, who spent the past five seasons with the Dolphins, kicked four field goals to help the Bills defeat his former team, 19-0. Carpenter, whose last three field goals provided the game's only second-half points, became only the third player in NFL history to kick three fourth-quarter FGs in a victory over a former team. The others were George Blanda of the Raiders against the Houston Oilers in 1967, and Jeff Jaeger of the Bears against the Raiders in 1996.
It was first game in team history in which the Bills gained at least 200 rushing yards and held their opponent to less than 20 rushing yards. Buffalo outgained Miami, 203 to 14, on the ground.
Stacy Posts 4th 100-Yard Game
From Elias: Zac Stacy gained 104 yards on 33 carries in the Rams' 23-13 win over the Buccaneers. It was the fourth 100-yard game this season by Stacy, a fifth-round draft pick last April. Only two other active players not chosen in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft posted at least four 100-yard rushing games as a rookie: LeGarrette Blount, four for the Bucs in 2010 (undrafted); and Alfred Morris, seven for Redskins in 2012 (6th round).
Stephenson Posts Another TD vs Celtics
From Elias: Lance Stephenson scored 12 points and added 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Pacers' 106-79 win over the Celtics. Stephenson also recorded a marginal triple-double the last time Indiana faced Boston¿10 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. But a triple-double it was, and Stephenson has become first player with two TDs in one season against the Celtics since Kevin Garnett did it in 2006-07, his last season with Minnesota before joining Boston.
Raptors Are Surprise Winners At Oklahoma City
From Elias: The Thunder suffered their first home loss of the season (13-1) as the Raptors posted a 104-98 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Toronto came to Oklahoma with a 10-14 record, making Sunday's result highly unexpected. Over the last five seasons, OKC has a 69-11 record when hosting sub-.500 teams.
4 Rangers Are Becoming Regular Scorers
From Elias: The Rangers won for only the second time in eight games on their current homestand with a 4-1 victory against Minnesota. Benoit Pouliot, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello, and Chris Kreider, the New York goal scorers on Sunday, happen to be the Rangers' co-leaders in goals on the homestand with three apiece. They've accounted for 60 percent of the team's goals over their last eight games (12 of 20).
Lack Picks Up The Slack
From Elias: Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack replaced injured starter Roberto Luongo late in the first period and made 15 saves as he recorded a 2-1 win against the Jets. Lack is 4-0-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average in five games (three starts) in December. He is tied with the Capitals' Philipp Grubauer for the third most wins this month by a rookie netminder, behind Kings phenom Martin Jones, who made his NHL debut on December 3 and has won all eight games he has played, and the Blackhawks' Antti Raanta (5 wins).