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Saturday, January 6, 2007
Elias Says ...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

NFL
• The Colts outscored the Chiefs by 15 points but outgained them by more than 300 yards in Indianapolis on Saturday. Final score: 23-8; final yards: 435-126. It was the 417th postseason game in NFL history, but only the sixth in which one team outgained the other by at least 300 yards.

The loss was Kansas City's sixth straight in postseason competition, a streak that began in the 1993 playoffs, tying the NFL record for consecutive postseason losses.

Joseph Addai
Addai
• Joseph Addai ran for 122 yards for the Colts, becoming the first rookie to gain 100 rushing yards in a postseason game since Jamal Lewis did so against the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 season. (Addai's rushing-yards total was the highest by an NFL rookie in a postseason game since Fred Taylor went for 162 yards vs. New England in the 1998 playoffs.)

• Adam Vinatieri kicked three first-half field goals for the Colts, including boots of 48 and 50 yards. He has made seven postseason field goals of 45 yards or longer, the highest total in NFL history. The old record had been five, by Matt Bahr and Gary Anderson.

• Ty Law's two interceptions of Peyton Manning lifted his career total of postseason interceptions to six -- five of which have come off Manning! That's the most postseason interceptions in NFL history by one player against another.

Law has also intercepted Manning four times in regular-season games, the second-most interceptions by any NFL defender against Manning. Terrell Buckley is the leader with five.

Lawrence Tynes
Tynes
• Lawrence Tynes missed a 23-yard field-goal attempt following Law's first interception. That was the shortest missed field-goal attempt in an NFL postseason game since San Francisco's Mike Cofer missed a 19-yarder vs. Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII following the 1988 season.

• The Seahawks' 21-20 win over the Cowboys was only the 15th of the 418 postseason games in NFL history to be decided by a single point. And it was the third of those 15 games decided by the minimum margin in which the winning team scored a two-point safety -- retrospectively, the difference between winning and losing.

A safety helped San Diego nudge past Miami 22-21 in the 1994 playoffs. And in the 1945 NFL title game, the Cleveland Rams defeated the Redskins 15-14 after the Rams were awarded a safety early in the game when Washington's Sammy Baugh, passing from his end zone, saw his pass hit the goal post (then on the goal line) -- a safety, according to the rules of the day.

Tony Romo
Romo
• Tony Romo was bucking some serious odds as he took the field at Seattle. No NFL quarterback, in his first season as a starter, had won his first postseason start while playing on the road since 1979, when the Rams' Vince Ferragamo and the Houston Oilers' Gifford Nielsen did so on consecutive days.

Romo became the seventh to lose such a postseason start since 1979. The others were Paul McDonald, Bernie Kosar, Jim Everett, Todd Marinovich, Brad Johnson and Ty Detmer.

• Referee Walt Anderson went under the hood twice during the last seven minutes of the game, and came out with two of the biggest overturns of on-field calls in the history of the NFL's replay rule. And by all visual evidence, it seemed that he got both plays right.

With 6:32 to play, after a challenge by Bill Parcells that followed Terry Glenn's fumble, he overturned a Seattle touchdown, ruling that Lofa Tatupu was out of bounds when he flung a loose ball back into play, creating a safety. And with 1:19 remaining, in a review initiated by the NFL replay official, he overruled the on-field call of a Dallas first down at the one-yard line, determining that Jason Witten had been stopped short of a first down. Tony Romo failed to hold the snap on what would have been a potential game-winning field-goal attempt on the next play -- and then just barely failed to run for a first down himself after recovering the ball.

During the regular season, Anderson overturned the on-field call on nine of 14 challenges by coaches. That 64-percent rate of overturns was the highest by any referee in the NFL this season.

NHL
• It has been a crazy few days and nights in the NHL. Two games Thursday night were won by teams (Dallas and San Jose) that overcame three-goal deficits, and two more games were won Friday night (by Columbus and Phoenix) in the same manner.

On Saturday afternoon, the weirdness continued in a slightly different flavor, pervading an original-six meeting of the Rangers and the Canadiens in Montreal. The Canadiens scored three power-play goals -- but lost 4-3 to New York. Montreal had won the last 17 games in which it had scored at least three power-play goals, since a 7-6 loss at Edmonton on Jan. 6, 2002, in which it scored three such goals.

Brian Gionta
Gionta
• If we told you that Brian Gionta scored a pair of goals for the Devils in their 3-2 win, and you had been paying close attention, you might have guessed that the game was played in Ottawa. Gionta has now scored six goals in his last five games in Ottawa, with at least one in each game. Those six goals are the only goals that Gionta has scored in 12 regular-season NHL games against the Senators, home or road.

• Alex Ovechkin ended his season-high five-game goal drought with a game-tying power-play tally in the third period of the Capitals' overtime win against the Thrashers. Ovechkin had two six-game goal droughts and one five-game dry spell during his 52-goal rookie season.

• The Predators extended their winning streak over the Blues to 13 games with a 3-2 victory in Nashville on Saturday night. It's the longest current winning streak by one NHL team against another and the longest since the Penguins won 14 straight games versus the Thrashers from January 2000 to November 2002.

• Marc Savard had two goals and two assists in the Bruins' 4-3 win over the Flyers. It was Savard's third game with four-or-more points this season (one five-point game, two four-pointers), tying him with Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla and Slava Kozlov for the league high.

Erik Cole
Cole
• Erik Cole did not score a goal in his first 17 career games against the Islanders but he ended that drought with a goal against the Isles two weeks ago. He then added two more goals when the teams met again in Raleigh on Saturday night, a game won by Carolina 4-2.

Cole could have had a hat trick in Saturday's game but he once again failed to convert a penalty-shot attempt early in the first period. It was the eighth penalty shot that Cole has taken over the last three seasons, three more than any other NHL player has attempted over that span. (Marian Hossa is second with five; Shean Donovan, Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan each have four.) Cole has scored only twice on his eight penalty-shot tries.

• The Sharks defeated the Blue Jackets 5-2 -- in regulation time, of course. The Sharks have not seen one of their games go to overtime since opening night (a 5-4 overtime win against the Blues), a span of 41 games. Since the five-minute overtime period was introduced in 1983-84, that matches the longest single-season stretch of games by one team without going to overtime. Toronto went 41 straight games without an extra session in the 1996-97 season.

NBA
• The Bulls' 106-89 victory on Saturday night ended the Pistons' streak of 12 consecutive wins in Chicago, which had been the longest current road winning streak by one NBA team against another and was the longest streak of that type since the Spurs won 13 straight on the road against the Grizzlies from 1996-2003.

Luol Deng
Deng
• Luol Deng continued his fabulous play for the Bulls, scoring 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor and connecting on his first three-point field goal of the season.

Deng has averaged 25.6 points over his last five games while making 64.7 percent of his field-goal attempts. It has been more than 15 years since the last time a Bulls player has had a five-game stretch in which his numbers were so high in both categories; the last to do it was Michael Jordan, when he averaged 36.4 points and shot 66.3 percent from the floor in the first five games of the 1991-92 season.

• The Trail Blazers won 110-105 in overtime at Sacramento, lifting their all-time record in overtime games against the Kings' well-traveled franchise to 14-3. That winning percentage of .824 is the third highest by one NBA team against another in overtime games (minimum: 10 such games). The Celtics are 12-2 (.857) in overtime games against the Kings franchise, while the Rockets are 10-2 (.833) against the Warriors.