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A unique day in NFL history

November 05, 2007|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

It was a special day for special teams Sunday around the NFL and a day for defensive units to get defensive.

Nine players scored touchdowns on returns of all varieties: three kickoff returns, a punt return, three interception returns, a fumble return and, for good measure, a field-goal return.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in league history that players scored touchdowns with every possible type of return on the same day.

There have been only 17 field-goal returns for touchdowns, the last coming on Nov. 12, 2006.

Three of the returns on Sunday were for 100 yards or more, marking the first time that has occurred since 1958.

The bevy of return touchdowns is nothing new this season. Through Sunday's games, there have been 70, putting this season on pace for an NFL-record 132. The record is 125 set in 1999.

Historic performance

While Adrian Peterson was setting a single-game rushing record, LaDainian Tomlinson was making some history of his own.

His first-quarter touchdown was the 107th rushing touchdown of his career, moving him past Jim Brown into fourth place on the NFL all-time list. Emmitt Smith (164), Marcus Allen (123) and Walter Payton (110) are the only backs ahead of Tomlinson.

The Chargers, however, were unable to do much else on the ground. Tomlinson finished with 40 yards in 16 carries, and the Chargers had only 42 yards rushing as a team. They also had 10 penalties for 67 yards, meaning they had more penalty yards than yards on the ground.

Rushing ahead

Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White recorded his third consecutive 100-yard rushing performance during a victory over the Carolina Panthers. They are the only three 100-yard games for the second-year back from USC, who was given the lead role three weeks ago because of an injury to Chris Brown.

"It definitely is a groove," he said. "In this game, the more you're out there, the better you feel, the more comfortable you get. A lot of people said I couldn't do this, couldn't do that, but I'm having fun out there."

Scoring machine

Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh had a 15-yard touchdown reception, giving him 10 for the season and at least one in all eight games. It is the longest touchdown streak to start a season since Elroy Hirsch scored in 10 straight games with the Los Angeles Rams in 1961.

Nothing but net

Buffalo Bills kicker Rian Lindell made his 235th consecutive extra point, setting the NFL record for longest streak to open a career. The eight-year veteran passed the record set by Tommy Davis of the San Francisco 49ers from 1959 to 1965.

No quarter(back)

When Bills rookie running back Marshawn Lynch threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Robert Royal on a halfback pass against the Bengals, he became the first Bills player other than a quarterback to complete a touchdown pass since 1981, when running back Joe Cribbs connected with Curtis Brown for a nine-yard score against Dallas.

"Aw, man, it was high school," Lynch said. "I just wanted to make sure I got that tight spiral on the ball."

Kicking it old-school

Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson had three field goals and five extra points against the Denver Broncos, giving him 14 points for the game and 1,605 for his career.

That moved him past former Lions kicker Eddie Murray and into 10th place on the NFL's all-time scoring list.

"It's the old-man milestone," Hanson said. "That number will mean something when I'm finished, but right now the games are bigger than the milestones."

Sobering experience

Green Bay Packers receiver Koren Robinson had three catches for 18 yards in his first game after serving a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Robinson had served time in jail for alcohol-related offenses and also undergone extensive counseling for alcoholism.

He said in a story on that he was teary-eyed during the national anthem.

"Everything was going through my head, where I've been, what I came through to get back in this situation, to get back to this place," Robinson said.

Monday preview

The Baltimore Ravens (4-3) visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) in an AFC North showdown between two of the league's top defenses.

The Steelers have won 11 consecutive Monday night games at home dating to 1992.

Injury report

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