Sunday, January 14, 2007

NFL & NBA Tidbits

• The Colts won despite gaining only 261 yards on offense. Since Peyton Manning arrived in 1998, they had never won a postseason game in which they gained so few yards. If you're wondering about the regular season, they have won three games since 1998 with so few yards (although Manning only played a few plays in one of them, the 2005 regular-season finale).
During the 2006 regular season, the Colts' lowest offensive output was 272 yards in a 21-14 win over the Jaguars back in September.

• The Saints are one of the six current NFL franchises that have never played in a Super Bowl, along with the Lions, Cardinals, Browns, Jaguars and Texans -- but that's a story for another day.
Today's story is that the Saints have moved to within a game of the Super Bowl for the first time in team history. That leaves the Cardinals and the Texans as the only NFL teams that have never advanced to within one game of a Super Bowl.

• The Saints and the Eagles -- two teams that had finished in last place in the 2005 season -- put on an entertaining playoff game won by the Saints, 27-24. And, by the way: Were you like us, and had heard or read repeatedly that this was the first playoff game in history in which each team had finished in last place in their respective divisions the previous season?
Where did that come from? In last year's playoffs, the Redskins met the Buccaneers (both had finished in last place in 2004); in the 2004 playoffs, the Jets met the Chargers (both had finished in last place in 2003); in the 2003 playoffs, the Cowboys met the Panthers (both had finished in last place in 2002).
You want unique? Here's unique. The Saints beat the Eagles 27-24 at the Superdome during the regular season, and then beat them by the same score in the same building in the playoffs. It's the first time in NFL history that one team has beaten another by the same score and in the same stadium in the postseason that it had during the preceding regular season.

Kevin Garnett became the 32nd player in NBA history to reach the 10,000-rebound mark when he collected the seventh of his 14 rebounds (to go with 32 points) in the Timberwolves' 109-98 victory over the Nets.
Among those 32 players, Garnett is one of 14 who carried a career average of more than 20 points per game, and his career average of 4.5 assists per game is the highest among the members of the 10,000-rebound club, narrowly ahead of Wilt Chamberlain (4.4), Elgin Baylor (4.3) and Bill Russell (4.3).

• The Rockets continued their torrid play with a 115-111 overtime win at Sacramento. Forty-year-old Dikembe Mutombo played 39 minutes and gathered 18 rebounds -- his 10th consecutive game with a double-digit rebound total.
Sacramento's Mike Bibby went 0-for-9 on three-point field-goal attempts, setting a franchise record for most threes attempted with none made.

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