Elias Says ...

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


• Now Devin Hester knows how Ted Ginn Jr. felt. It was Ginn who returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, then watched as his Ohio State team lost to Florida 41-14 in the BCS Championship Game. Hester returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a TD, but his Bears lost to the Colts 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI on Sunday.

Hester was the fourth player to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown in an NFL postseason game. Only one of those four played for the winning team: Ron Dixon in a Giants' victory over the Eagles in January 2001. The other players on losing teams included Nat Moore of the Dolphins against the Raiders (1974) and Vic Washington of the 49ers against the Cowboys (1972).

• The Colts became the first team to win a Super Bowl by overcoming a deficit of more than seven points after doing so in their conference title game as well.

Peyton Manning's game-changing 53-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne traveled 35 yards in the air beyond the line of scrimmage. The Bears allowed only two completions during the regular season on opponents' passes thrown at least 30 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

But Manning and Carson Palmer shared the NFL regular-season lead with 13 completions each that were caught at least 30 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Of quarterbacks with 20 such attempts this season, Manning led the NFL in completion percentage (41.9 percent) and passer rating (121.4).

• Manning was hit by Tank Johnson before throwing his TD pass to Wayne. Manning led the NFL with a 98.4 passer rating during the 2006 season when contacted by the defense before throwing the ball or while in the act of passing.

• Manning completed 97 passes during the 2006-07 postseason, by far the highest total in NFL history. The previous mark was 77 by Kurt Warner during the playoffs following the 1999 season.

• Manning is the latest in a long line of legendary quarterbacks who won Super Bowls at Miami. The previous Super Bowl-winning QBs there are all Hall of Famers: Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Steve Young and John Elway.

Kelvin Hayden virtually locked up the victory for the Colts with a 54-yard interception return in the fourth quarter. Hayden had no previous interceptions in his NFL career in the regular season or the postseason. Over the last 20 years, the only other player to score a postseason touchdown on the first INT of his NFL career was Tommy Polley of the Rams in a NFC divisional win over the Packers in January 2002.

Joseph Addai caught 10 passes for 66 yards for the Colts. The only other rookie with 10 or more receptions in an NFL postseason game was Chad Morton of the Saints in a loss to the Vikings in January 2001 (13 receptions for 106 yards).

Dominic Rhodes rushed for 113 yards and Addai for 77 in the Colts' victory. They are the first teammates in Super Bowl history to gain at least 75 yards rushing each. Two near-misses: Duane Thomas (95) and Walt Garrison (74) of the Cowboys in Super Bowl VI, and Clarence Davis (137) and Mark van Eeghen (73) of the Raiders in SB XI.

• With his final extra-point conversion, Adam Vinatieri broke Terrell Davis's record for points scored in one postseason. Davis scored 48 points for the Broncos in the playoffs following the 1997 season.

Thomas Jones gained 112 yards on 15 carries. Only two other players gained 100 or more yards rushing in a Super Bowl loss: Thurman Thomas (135 yards in Super Bowl XXV) and Tom Matte (116 in SB III).

Muhsin Muhammad, who set a Super Bowl record with an 85-yard TD reception for the Panthers in SB XXXVIII, became the third player to catch a TD pass in a Super Bowl for two different teams. The others were Jerry Rice (49ers and Raiders) and Ricky Proehl (Rams and Panthers).

• Colts WR Aaron Moorehead and his father Emery, a tight end on the 1985 Bears, are the first father and son to play for a winning team in a Super Bowl.


Tyronn Lue's buzzer-beater gave the Hawks a 115-113 overtime victory against the Nets, who lead the NBA with six losses by one or two points this season -- as many as they suffered over the previous three seasons combined. The only team with fewer one- or two-point losses than New Jersey over that span was the 76ers (5).

• Lue was the third player to beat the Nets at the buzzer in the last 12 days. Monta Ellis and Cuttino Mobley did so on consecutive nights two weeks ago (Jan. 24-25). Only one other team has lost at least three games at the buzzer for the entire season: the Jazz (4).


Aaron Baddeley shot a pair of 64s on Saturday and Sunday to win the FBR Open. Over the last six seasons (2001-2006), only three other winners shot 64 or better in each of the last two rounds:
Kirk Triplett in the 2006 Chrysler Classic of Tucson, Ben Crane in the 2003 BellSouth Classic, and David Toms in the 2001 Compaq Classic of New Orleans.