Elias Says ...

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

Was it the most noteworthy single game in Elias Says history? You make the call:

• The Bears' comeback from 20 points behind was the largest deficit overcome by any NFL team in a win which advanced a perfect start to 6-0 or better. The previous largest was 17 points by the 2005 Colts against the Rams to bring the Colts to 6-0, and also by the 2003 Chiefs vs. the Packers to go 6-0.

It was the first game in NFL history in which the winning team came back from a deficit of 20 or more points by means of three touchdowns on returns.

It was the first win in Bears history in which they trailed by at least 20 points in the second half.

• The Cardinals are the first team in NFL history to lose consecutive games in one season after leading by at least 14 points at the end of the first quarter in each game.

• In Monday's loss to the Bears, Matt Leinart became the first player in NFL history to throw at least two first-quarter touchdown passes in each of his first two career starts.

Rex Grossman completed only 14 of 37 passes (38%), threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles on Monday and the Bears still won!

The last time a team won on the road while committing as many as six turnovers was almost 20 years ago: on Dec. 21, 1986, the Bears won in Dallas, 24-10, while throwing three interceptions and losing three fumbles.

The last time a team won on the road while completing less than 40 percent of its passes and throwing at least four picks was almost 22 years ago: on Dec. 2, 1984 the Cowboys won in Philadelphia, 26-10, despite Danny White going 8 for 25 with four picks and Tony Dorsett throwing an interception on his only pass.

Devin Hester had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown on Monday night after having an 84-yard touchdown on a punt in the Bears' first game. The only two other rookies in NFL history who had at least two 80-yard punt-return touchdowns in their rookie seasons were George Atkinson for the 1968 Raiders and Craig Yeast for the 1999 Bengals.

• The Bears are only the second team in NFL history to score at least twice on fumbles and at least once on a return of either a kickoff or a punt in one game. On Oct. 25, 1964 the Browns beat the Giants, 42-20, behind fumble-return touchdowns by Paul Wiggin and Charlie Scales and a punt return by Leroy Kelly.

Edgerrin James had a key fumble in the fourth quarter and gained only 55 yards on 36 carries. That's the most carries in one game in NFL history by a player who did not average at least two yards per rush. The old record was set way back on Nov. 25, 1951, by the Giants Eddie Price, who ran 32 times for 47 yards.

• The Cubs have called a press conference for Tuesday afternoon, reportedly to announce the hiring of Lou Piniella. This will be the first time since 1981 that a team hired a manager who had at least 1,500 wins to his credit. In May 1981, the Angels replaced Jim Fregosi with Gene Mauch, who had been serving as the team's director of player personnel.

• Ken Macha was fired as Athletics manager today, after having a 93-69 record this season and going to the postseason. Unless the A's have a change of heart and re-hire Macha (as they did last year), this will be the fourth time that an Oakland manager has led the team to 90 wins and a postseason appearance and not returned the next year. It also happened to Dick Williams after 1973, Alvin Dark after 1975 and Art Howe after 2002.


Martin Havlat assisted on the Blackhawks' first two goals Monday in Chicago's 5-3 win over Colorado, giving him 12 points on the season. Havlat is only the third player in NHL history with as many as 12 points over the first five games of a season after switching teams that offseason. Wayne Gretzky had 13 points in the Kings' first five games of the 1988-89 season. And Joe Malone had 13 points in the Quebec Bulldogs' first five games of the 1919-20 season.

The last Blackhawks player with as many as 12 points over the first five games of a season was Stan Mikita in 1968-69.

• Monday's Hurricanes-Lightning game was the first in NHL history pitting American-born head coaches who have won a Stanley Cup against each other. John Tortorella led Tampa Bay to a Stanley Cup win in 2004 and Peter Laviolette directed the Hurricanes to the Cup in 2006. Three other U.S.-born coaches won Stanley Cups (Leo Dandurand with the Canadiens in 1924, Bill Stewart with Chicago in 1938 and Bob Johnson with Pittsburgh in 1991) but they never coached in the league at the same time.

Brendan Shanahan scored his seventh goal in six games as the Rangers beat the Devils on Monday night, 4-2. Shanahan is the third player in Rangers history to score at least seven goals in the team's first six games of a season. The others were Don Murdoch in 1976-77 (8 goals) and Bob Nevin in 1968-69 (7 goals).

Shanahan scored seven-or-more goals in his first six games of a season twice before: with Detroit in 1998-99 (7 goals) and 2001-02 (8 goals).

Shanahan scored a goal vs. Martin Brodeur tonight. It was only his third career goal in 17 career games against Brodeur, and his first since April 6, 1996.

• Carolina's Justin Williams scored three goals in the Hurricanes' win over the Lightning on Monday night. There was only one hat trick over the first seven days of the current NHL season (by the Capitals' Alexander Semin on Oct. 7) but there have been seven in six days since then, by Mathieu Schneider, Ryan Smyth, Jonathan Cheechoo, Brian Gionta, Mats Sundin, Chris Drury and Williams.