Wednesday

Jon Lester Will Wear Number 34 With Cubs

Jon Lester has chosen to wear number 34 with the Chicago Cubs according to Yahoo sports.

There seem to be two reasons in particular that Jon Lester has chosen to wear number 34 in Chicago. The first of which is that the number he previously wore with the Boston Red Sox, number 31, is retired by Chicago for both Greg Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins. And secondly Lester wanted to honor two previous Chicago great athletes in both Walter Payton and Kerry Wood who also wore number 34.






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Thursday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 36

Mark Haynes, who wore jersey number 36 for six seasons with the New York Giants, was drafted in the first round (eigth overall) by the Giants in the 1980 NFL draft.  The defensive back played in 15 games as a rookie, starting 11 of those games, and notching an interception.

Although he may not have played up to the hype of his draft position as a rookie, as the New York Times stated back in 1982, he became "one of the two or three best cornerbacks in pro football" within a year.

For the 1981 season, he started all 16 games, notching another interception.  That season would see Haynes be named a first team All-NFL member by Pro Football Weekly.

Haynes would play four more seasons for New York, with his most prolific defensive stats coming in the 1984 campaign, when he picked off a hefty seven passes for a combined 90 yards in return.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 35

35 is another New York Giant number which has not been prolifically worn, although you might expect it to have been, by either a running back or defensive back.  Of those to wear number 35 for the Giants, my pick for the best is Kevin Dockery

Dockery, who played his college ball at Mississippi State, wore number 35 as a rookie for the Giants in 2006.  That season, number 35 got into 14 games for New York, and contributed 29 solo tackles.  He also proved deft at the art of the take-away, picking the ball off 2 times for a combined 100 yards, 1 of which would be a touchdown. 

In four total seasons as a Giant, Dockery had 119 solo tackles and 3 interceptions.  He saw action in 51 regular season games, starting 10 of them. 

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 34

Derrick Ward was drafted by the New York Jets in 2004 out of Fresno State University and Ottawa University in Kansas.

Ward would not play for the Jets however, as he was released and signed as a free agent by the New York Giants that same year, for whom he would wear number 34.

In his rookie NFL season, Ward filled a kick-returner role primarily. He put up 436 return yards on 16 returns to lead the league with a 27.3 yards per return mark. He also had one scamper of 92 yards.

In 2005 he saw time in the Big Blue backfield, getting into 14 games for them. In 35 attempts he picked up 3.5 yards per carry, and caught the ball twice for 13 yards. Willie Ponder and Chad Morton filled the primary kick-return duties in 2005.

In 2006, Ward was back at the kick-return game. However, Chad Morton held the lead in return attempts with 31, to the 23 that Ward returned.

2007 saw the Giants once again employing Ward in the running game. He saw the most backfield action up until this point in his pro career, with 125 attempts for 602 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was also thrown the football quite a bit with 40 targets that season.

2008 would prove to be Ward's final season as a New York Giant, and his most productive, rushing the ball. As part of the Earth, Wind and Fire backfield with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, Ward put up some impressive numbers. He averaged 5.6 yards per attempt, good enough to lead the league. In total he racked up 1,025 yards toting the rock, along with 384 yards receiving.




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Monday

BYU Retires Number 9 for McMahon

Jersey number nine was retired by Brigham Young University in honor of their all-time great quarterback Jim McMahon.

McMahon, who recently completed courses leading to his degree from BYU, also was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.

As a quarterback for the Cougars between the years 1977 and 1981, McMahon passed for 9,536 yards and 84 touchdowns.  His most prolific single season was in 1980 when he threw for 4,571 yards and a whopping 47 touchdowns.  Some of McMahon's collegiate football accomplishments inlcude:

  • 3-time Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year (1978, 1980 and 1981)
  • NCAA leader in Pass Completions for 1980 and 1981
  • NCAA leader in Passing Yards for 1980
  • NCAA leader in Total Touchdowns for 1980 (53) 

McMahon was drafted fifth overall in the 1982 NFL entry draft by the Chicago Bears, for whom he would also wear the number nine.


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Saturday

Ariza To Wear Number One With Rockets

Trevor Ariza will once again be wearing jersey number one with the Houston Rockets after a junior player agreed to give up his current number. 

Isaiah Canaan will now wear number zero after giving up number one so veteran, and former Rocket, Ariza, can once again sport nĂºmero uno in Houston.

Cannaan was the 34th overall draft pick in the 2013 NBA draft by Houston out of Murray State.  The point guard saw action in 22 games with the Rockets during the 2013-14 season, shooting .356 from the field overall.

Trevor Ariza played with the Houston Rockets during the 2009-10 NBA season, while wearing number one.  That season, Ariza scored 1,072 points.  That was his highest single seaon points total until 2013-14 when he notched 1,107 with the Washington Wizards.



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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 33

The number 33, you would think, would be very popular for running backs, or defensive backs, on a team with tradition and a big stage like the New York Giants. That doesn't seem to be the case though. That being said, there are several good football players who have worn number 33 for the New York Giants.

My pick for the best to wear 33 as a Giant is Mel Tripplet. Taken number 56 overall in the 1955 NFL draft, Tripplet rushed the ball 34 times for 138 yards and caught 3 passes for 9 yards as a rookie. Playing primarily fullback, his offensive statistics would increase significantly the following season.

In his sophomore campaign, Triplett gained 515 yards on 125 attempts, garnering 5 touchdowns rushing. He also caught 6 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.

In total Triplett played 6 seasons for New York, rushing for 2,289 yards and 11 touchdowns, as well as receiving 368 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Triplett was a key member of the 1956 New York Giants NFL Championship team, for which he was named the offensive player of the game.

Sources: pro-football-reference.com, nytimes.com









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Thursday

Tavares' Number 91 Retired By Generals

New York Islander John Tavares had his jersey number 91 retired recently, but not by his NHL team. That may eventually come, the retirement of number 91 by the Islanders that is, but not in the near future. Tavares also wore jersey number 91 with his OHL team, the Oshawa Generals, who raised his number to the rafters never to be worn again.

Tavares played three and a half seasons with Oshawa beginning with the 2005-06 campaign. In his first OHL season with the Generals, Tavares notched an impressive 77 points in a mere 65 games, 45 of which were goals.

His second season as a General was the most impressive, statistically, of his OHL career. Tavares put 72 goals in the net over 67 games, added with 62 assists for 134 total points.

All told as an Oshawa General, Tavares notched 183 goals in 223 regular season games.






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Wednesday

Elton Brand To Wear Number 7

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hawks big man Elton Brand will be switching his jersey number from 42 to 7 for this season. The former number one overall draft pick, in 1999, has worn number 42 for all 15 of his NBA seasons up until now.




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Monday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 32

The jersey number 32 will never be worn again by another New York Giant. That number has been retired in honor of Al Blozis, the lineman who played his college football at Georgetown University, was an NFL All-Pro, and gave his life for his country in World War II.

The New Jersey native played three seasons for the Giants between 1942 and 1944, before he joined the U.S. Armed Services fighting against the Axis powers in the Second World War.

Al Blozis was also a world class shot-putter, setting the world indoor record while a collegian in 1940.







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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 31

Jason Sehorn, one of the finest defensive backs the New York Giants have had, wore jersey number 31 while suiting up for the team between 1994 and 2002.

Drafted number 59 overall by the Jints in the 1994 NFL entry draft out of the University of Southern California, Sehorn would play in just eight games as a rookie, 14 more in his second pro season, before becoming a starter at cornerback, suiting up for all 16 regular season contests, while beginning 15 of them on the field.

Sehorn was a play-maker in that first season which saw him start in 15 games, 1996. He picked off 5 passes for 61 yards and a TD. He also forced five fumbles and made 83 tackles. Not too shabby for a first-time starter.

In eight seasons total with Big Blue, Sehorn notched 19 INTs for 228 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He also recorded 359 tackles and was a key member of the Giants 2000 NFC Championship team.

Sources: pro-football-reference.com





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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 30

Wearing jersey number 30 while playing for the New York Giants, Dave Meggett established himself as one of the most prolific return men in NFL history. Drafted number 132 overall in the 1989 NFL draft, Meggett immediately made an impact, particularly in the punt return game for New York.

As a rookie Meggett led the NFL in punt return yards with 582.  His return total for kick-offs as a rookie with New York was nothing to sneeze at either, with 577 yards.  He also acted as a running back, toting and receiving the ball for the Giants as a rookie.  In total, he put up a very impressive number of all-purpose yards with 1,807.  That was good enough to be the third highest number of all-purpose yards in the NFL that season.

Although his rookie season would be his finest statistically as a New York Giant, he did lead the NFL again in punt returns for his sophomore campaign with 467 yards.  And his all-purpose yards total number was once again impressive with 1,533, putting him number 6 overall in the NFL for the 1990 season.

Following the 1990 season, the Giants reached Super Bowl XXV, and Meggett would do is part in bringing New York the Championship.  In one of the closest Super Bowls ever, a 20-19 New York victory over the Buffalo Bills, Meggett returned two kickoffs for 26 yards, two punts for 37 yards, rushed the ball 9 times for 48 yards and caught the ball twice for 18 yards.

As a New York Giant over six seasons, Meggett racked up 2,230 punt return yards, 2,989 kick return yards, and 8,641 all-purpose yards.




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Tuesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 29

Although he was drafted by the Washington Redskins with pick number 123 in the 1953 NFL draft, Alex Webster wound up playing for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. His time above the border was brief however, as he returned to the States to play in the NFL for the New York Football Giants beginning in 1955.

As an NFL rookie, wearing jersey number 29, Webster made an immediate impact on the gridiron. He rushed for a hefty 634 yards and 5 TDs, averaging 5 yards per carry. He also hauled in 22 passes for 269 total yards and a TD.

His second season with New York would see his numbers increase in volume, if not average. He carried the rock for 694 yards and 7 TDs, averaging 3.9 yards per attempt. He also scored three times while catching the ball. That season would prove to be his peak from a touchdowns-scored perspective.

His rushing yardage peak would come in 1961 when he ran for 928 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

All told, in 10 years with the Giants, Webster put up some impressive offensive numbers while sporting jersey number 29.

- 4,638 yards rushing
- 3.9 yards per carry
- 2,679 yards receiving
- 11.2 yards per reception
- 39 rushing TDs
- 17 receiving TDs

Did you know.....that Webster was also a coach with the Giants, earning the 1970 UPI Coach of the Year award?

Sources: pro-football-reference.com, Wikipedia.com





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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 28


28 seems to have been a common number worn by New York Giants' defensive backs.  And there certainly have been some good ones.  Everson Walls may not have had the longest career with the Giants in particular, but he certainly showed that he could play the game while with the team.

Coming over from the archrival Dallas Cowboys, Walls may have felt the need to endear himself to the fans of New York.  And with his play, he certainly earned their respect as a member of Big Blue.  


In 1990, Walls' first season with the New York Giants, he racked up a healthy 6 interceptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Walls was a key component of the Giants' run to their second Super Bowl Championship as well, picking up an interception in their first playoff game that season.

He would play one more full season with the Jints, 1991, during which he would pick up another four picks, to go along with half a sack.

1992 saw him play in six regular season games for New York, with one INT, before he was let go, and subsequently signed by the Cleveland Browns.

Did you know.......that Walls started at safety for the first time in his career while with New York?

sources: pro-football-reference.com, wikipedia.com


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Monday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 27

Brandon Jacobs and Rodney Hampton.  Both could be considered the best New York Giant to wear number 27, and you could make a good case for either of the two running backs.  But, I have to pick just one.  So, on the basis of playoff contributions to a Super Bowl Championship, I'm going with Brandon Jacobs.

Jacobs wound up his college ball at Southern Illinois, also wearing number 27 for the Salukis.  He was taken by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft, and saw immediate goal line work.  Although he ran for just 99 yards during the regular season as a rookie, he punched the ball over the line seven times.

He would increase his touchdowns by 2 to 9 total in his sophomore campaign, dipped to 4 the following season, and then had a breakout campaign which saw him score a hefty 15 rushing touchdowns.  

But let's talk about his playoff performances.  He did see some very brief time in the post-season has a rookie.  Just one year later, however, Jacobs helped pound the Giants to the Super Bowl Championship.  In four playoff games for Big Blue, he scored three rushing touchdowns and caught a pass for a TD.  Over the four contests, he racked up a respectable 197 yards rushing.

Although his rough running style could be deemed a durability issue, it's been more of a concern for opponents than it has for Jacobs himself.

After a brief stint with the 49ers, the Giants picked Jacobs up again for the 2013 season, albeit wearing number 34 instead of 27.  

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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 26

The New York Giants made a rare trade in September of 1981, with the Houston Oilers, to acquire a young running back out of Miami University of Ohio.  That running back was the Giants' best to ever wear number 26, Rob Carpenter.

Carpenter played his first four NFL seasons with the Oilers, until a change in coaches and offensive philosophy let him become available for the Giants, who had their eye on him for some time.  An energetic player, Carpenter would immediately become an integral part of New York's running game.

In ten games with Big Blue during the 1981 regular season, 8 of them starts, Carpenter racked up 748 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns, as well as 201 receiving yards.

Parts of four more seasons would be spent in the backfield of Big Blue by Carpenter.  All told, he racked up 2,572 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns with the Giants during the regular season.

Did you know......Carpenter has four sons who have played football collegiately?

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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 25

Number 25 was worn by defensive back Mark Collins between 1986 and 1993 for the New York Giants.  Taken by the Giants in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft out of Cal State-Fullerton, Collins played in 15 games as a rookie, picking off one pass and picking up three fumbles.  He also made an impressive 60 tackles in his first season with the team.


Collins had an interception in each of his years with the Jints, accumulating 17 picks in his 8 seasons with New York.  He also picked up seven fumbles and made 515 tackles as a Giant.  He was a key member of the defense during the playoffs en route to the Super Bowl Championship in 1991.


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 24

Ottis Anderson may have had most of his best NFL seasons, at least statistically, with the St. Louis Cardinals wearing number 32, however he certainly made his mark as one of the great running backs to wear number 24 particularly in the playoffs, while playing with the New York Giants.

After six and a half seasons spent as a primary running back with the Cardinals, Anderson was traded to the Giants during the 1986 campaign.  He was not used heavily, in the remaining regular season games, or the playoffs with New York in his first season with the team.  He did make a contribution to the team's first Super Bowl Championship though, scoring a touchdown in the Giants win against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.

Over the next couple seasons, Anderson did not get a chance to tote the rock much.  Number 20 for the Giants was carrying the ball the majority of time.  Although he was not high on the depth chart, Anderson got his chance to show his stuff again, when Joe Morris sustained a foot injury, leading the team to start Anderson for all 16 games of the 1989 season.

As a 32 year-old running back, he certainly earned the title of "Comeback Player of the Year".  Carrying the ball 325 times during the regular season, Anderson gained 1,023 yards, the first season in which he cracked the 1,000 yard mark since 1984, while with the Cardinals.  The more impressive number that season may have been his 14 touchdowns, good enough for second overall in the NFL.

The following NFL season, 1990, Anderson again had the lion's share of carries for the Jints.  During the regular season he played in all 16 games, starting 11 of them, and garnering 784 yards on 225 carries.  His most important rushing stat during that regular season however was the 11 touchdowns he scored.

He will forever be remembered, across the NFL, as the MVP of Super Bowl XXV.  In the Giants' one-point victory over the Buffalo Bills, Anderson rushed for 102 yards, caught a pass for 7 yards, and ran in a touchdown, to help lead his team to the Super Bowl Championship.


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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 23

A defensive back or a running back.  That's who you're likely to see wearing number 23.  Well, how about a running back and punter?  Those are the two primary positions played by the best New York Giant to ever wear number 23.

Ernie Koy was drafted by the Giants in 1965 out of Texas.  And he seemed to do it all immediately as a Giant.  In his first year with the team, Koy ran for 174 yards on 35 attempts, caught 4 passes for 22 yards and punted the ball 55 times for 2,268 yards.

Over the next few seasons, his punting contributions would ease back, while his running and receiving contributions would increase.  The 1967 regular season saw Koy run for 704 yards and 4 touchdowns, catch 32 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, while punting the ball 40 times for 1,509 yards.

All-told, as a Giant, Koy played six NFL seasons, with the following numbers:

  • 1,723 rushing yards
  • 9 rushing touchdowns
  • 498 receiving yards
  • 6 receiving touchdowns
  • 8,583 punting yards
Did you know......Koy's father played major league baseball?  

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Wednesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 22

There were a few Giants who I strongly considered here.  Phillippi Sparks was a strong force in the secondary for New York, pulling in 22 interceptions over his career with the team.  Ray Rhodes played wide receiver for Big Blue, wearing number 82, before switching to defensive back and number 22.  For longevity as a Giant, and all-around statsical strength, my selection for the best New York Giant to wear number 22 however, is Dick Lynch.


Lynch played for the Giants between 1958 and 1966.  For one year, prior to joining New York, he played for the Washington Redskins after entering the NFL out of Notre Dame University.

As a top defensive back, Lynch twice led the NFL in interceptions (9 in both 1961 and 1963).  In 1963, he racked up 251 yards after interceptions, along with three touchdowns.  He was named first-team All-NFL by several news publications for his efforts in 1963.

Over his NFL career, he snagged 37 interceptions for 592 yards, and returned 4 of those for TDs.  

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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 21

The New York Giants' all-time leader in rushing yards.  All-time Giants' leader in rushing attempts.  Two-time NFL leader in yards from scrimmage.  All-time Giants' leader in rushing yards per game.  Yes, we are talking about the best Giant to ever wear number 21, Tiki Barber.


Over his ten-year NFL career, spent entirely with the Giants, Barber put up the following numbers:
  • 10,449 rushing yards
  • 15,632 yards from scrimmage
  • 55 rushing TDs
  • 12 receiving TDs
  • 67.9 rushing yards per game
  • 4.7 rushing yards per attempt
  • 17,357 all-purpose yards
Did you know......that Barber set the Giants' all-time record for rushing yards in a single game, with 234, against the Washington Redskins in 2006?




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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 20

Joe Morris, wearing number 20 for the New York Giants through most of the 1980s, was a key member of the team that won Super Bowl XXI after the 1986 NFL season.

Morris was steadily given more rushing attempts over his first three seasons as a Giant. In his third season, he started in eight games, racking up 510 rushing yards with 4 TDs.  But it was his fourth season in New York that he really got a chance to show his stuff.

In 1985, Joe Morris rushed the ball 294 times in the regular season for 1,336 yards and an NFL-leading 21 touchdowns.  Morris' stats didn't stop there however.  He also caught the ball 22 times for 212 yards, accumulating 1,548 yards from scrimmage.

Morris' contributions the following season would be critical to the Giants run towards the Super Bowl Championship.  During the regular season, Morris rushed for a hefty 1,516 yards, scoring 14 times while running the ball.  Add to that 233 yards receiving and a pass caught for a touchdown.

In the 1986 playoffs, Morris scored 4 TDs in three games, rushing for a combined 313 yards en route to earning a Super Bowl ring as the Giants' starting running back.

In total, Morris played seven seasons for the "Jints", rushing for 5,296 yards and 48 TDs, while catching passes for 884 yards and two TDs.

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 19

Seems like there are a lot of kickers or punters on this list.  Well, here's another one.  The best New York Giant to wear number 19 is Cary Blanchard who kicked for the Giants during the 1999 NFL season.

Blanchard went 18 for 21 in the 10 regular season games he played with New York, making 85.7% of field goals attempted.  In total Blanchard played eight seasons in the NFL, making 165 field goals and 188 extra points.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 18

There have been several kickers and punters who have sported jersey number 18 for the New York Giants. The most prolific punter in NFL history as a matter of fact, wore number 18 for the Giants between 2005 and 2009, although he also played for New York in 2003 and 2004, albeit wearing a different number.

Jeff Feagles was an NFL punter for an extremely long time.  Beginning his career in 1988 with the New England Patriots, he would wind up his extensive career as a New York Giant in 2009, wearing number 18.

In seven years with the Giants, Feagles punted 21,161 yards, and won a Super Bowl Championship with the team following the 2007 NFL season.  He was also named to the 2008 Pro Bowl as a member of the Giants.

At the time of this post, Feagles is the all-time NFL leader in both number of punts (1,713) and punt yardage (71,211).  

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Thursday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 17

His talent cannot be disputed.  Wearing the uncoventional number 17 for a wide receiver, he did not play with the New York Giants for a very long time, but he certainly made an impression, and caught one of the most famous passes in the history of the New York Football Giants.

Plaxico Burress was drafted out of Michigan State by the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he played the first five seasons of his career.  The big (6' 5") wide receiver would literally become a Giant as he joined New York beginning with the 2005 NFL season.

He had three strong regular seasons, statistically, with New York (he played in four seasons with the team between 2005 and 2008).  He had his highest receiving yardage total in his first year with Big Blue, hauling in 1,214 yards.  In his second season as a Giant, he came close to 1,000 yards receiving but did reach double-digits in touchdowns.  And in his third year with the team, Burress caught 12 touchdown passes.

It was that third year, and in particular the Super Bowl which followed that regular season, that cemented him as one of the most remarkable Giants in history.  On a late drive at the end of Super Bowl XLII, Burress caught the game-winning touchdown from Eli Manning to give the Giants the improbable victory over the heavily favored New England Patriots.


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Wednesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 16

Frank Gifford played his entire NFL career, between 1952 and 1964, with the New York Giants.  His achievements and contributions to the team eventually led not only to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Gifford, but also to the retirement of jersey number 16 in his honor by the New York Giants.

Gifford, who played collegiately at USC, was a multiple threat athlete who took to the field for the Giants at the halfback, flanker, defensive back and wide receiver positions.  He racked up the following numbers while with the Giants:

  • 3,609 yards rushing
  • 5,434 yards receiving
  • 34 rushing TDs
  • 43 receiving TDs
  • 823 yards passing
  • 14 passing TDs
His finest season may have been 1956 when he set a single-season high for himself of 819 rushing yards, and led the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,422.  He was ultimately named the NFL MVP in 1956, a year in which his Giants were the NFL Champions, beating the Chicago Bears 47-7 in late December

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 15

Jeff Hostetler wore number 15 while leading the New York Giants to their second Super Bowl Championship, becoming one of the most well-known, and well-respected, quarterbacks in Giant history.

The New York Giants selected Hostetler in the third round of the 1984 NFL draft out of West Virginia University.  Hostetler would back-up one of the greatest quarterbacks in Giants history, Phil Simms, before getting his chance to show his mettle several years after he was drafted.

The season where Hostetler would leave his mark as a New York Giant was the 1990 campaign, into the playoffs (occurring during early 1991).  Simms went down with a foot injury in mid-December of 1990 and Hostetler took over as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the Giants season.

Hostetler led New York to victories in the final two regular season games, throwing for a combined 313 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.  Hostetler and the Giants would march through their three playoff games that post-season, putting up some impressive numbers.  After a 31-3 victory over Chicago, the Giants won a close NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, 15-13, and an even closer game in the Super Bowl Championship versus the Buffalo Bills, 20-19.

In those three playoff games, Hostetler would complete 45 of 76 passes for 59.21%, 510 total yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Hostetler played two more seasons with the Giants before moving on to the Raiders for four seasons, and winding up his NFL career in one season with the Washington Redskins in 1997.

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 14

Y.A. Tittle.  He's one of the best NFL quarterbacks of all-time.  Add to that, the best New York Giant to ever wear number 14.

Tittle was a standout at LSU and earned MVP honors with the Tigers in the 1947 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. He began his NFL career at QB with the Baltimore Colts in 1948, and spent the majority of his career with the San Francisco 49ers.

It was in New York that he had his best years as a professional QB however.  Playing with the Giants between 1961 and 1964, Tittle threw 96 touchdowns in 54 games.  In 1962 and 1963, he led the league in touchdown passes with 33 and 36 respectively.  He also led the NFL in completion percentage with a 60.2% mark in 1963.

Tittle was named NFL MVP four times, toward the latter part of his career, before retiring from play after the 1964 NFL season with the Giants.  Over a stellar 17 year career, Tittle threw 242 touchdowns and passed for 33,070 yards.

Did you know.........the New York Giants have retired jersey number 14 in honor of Y.A. Tittle?

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Tuesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 13

Punters aren't often considered for lists like these.  But Dave Jennings certainly should be.  He is the best New York Giant to ever sport number 13, punter or otherwise.

The tall New Yorker, who played collegiately at St. Lawrence University, wore number 13 for the Giants between the years 1974 and 1984.  During that time he would go to four Pro Bowls and would be named All-Pro twice.

He led the NFL with 104 punts in 1979 for a total of 4,445 yards.  He would also lead the NFL in punting yardage with 4,211 in 1980, to go with a league leading 44.8 yards per punt.

Jennings spent three years with the New York Jets after his time with the Giants.

His career marks are:

  • 1,154 punts (6th all-time)
  • 47,567 punting yards (11th all-time)
  • 41.2 yards per punt
Did you know.............that Jennings did not play football in high school?  



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 12

Number 12 is not common to see worn on the front and back of a wide receiver's jersey these days.  But it is a wide receiver who wore number 12, and not all that long ago, who takes the claim as the best New York Giant ever to wear the number.  

Steve Smith began his NFL career with the Giants in 2007 after being selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft, out of USC.  As a rookie, Smith caught 8 regular season passes for 63 yards.  He was an integral part of the Giants receiving corps that post-season, pulling in 14 catches in the playoffs overall, with five of those coming in the Giants' Super Bowl victory.

Smith's finest regular season with New York was 2009, when he amassed 1,220 receiving yards.  He did so with 107 receptions, which set the Giants' single-season reception record, and 7 receiving TDs.  

Did you know................Smith caught three touchdown passes in the 2005 Orange Bowl for USC?  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 11


The New York Giants have retired jersey number 11 in honor of Phil Simms, one of the most revered quarterbacks in Giant, and NFL, history.  The number 7 overall draft pick in 1979 out of Morehead State, the Kentucky native would start 11 games as a rookie and put up a winning record of 6-5.



The next few years were a struggle, interrupted by injuries.  But in 1984 Simms showed the talent, and put up the numbers, that would prove him to be a world-class quarterback.   That season, 1984, Simms passed for 4,044 yards and 22 touchdowns.  He averaged 252.8 yards per game passing, good enough for fourth overall in the NFL.



1985 was another strong season for Simms, one in which he again threw for 22 regular season touchdowns.  He threw for 3,829 total yards and had his best single season completion percentage to-date at the time, a mark of 55.6%.  The Giants finished with a 10-6 record in the regular season with Simms at the helm that campaign.  They beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card game that season, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears in the Divisional matchup.



1986 is the season which would cement Simms as an all-time New York Giant great.  Leading the Giants offensively to a 14-2 regular season record, and an NFC East title, Simms marched the team through the playoffs, handily winning all three games that season, culminating in a 39-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills, and the first Super Bowl Championship in New York Giants history (note: the Giants had previously won the NFL Championship, but not in the incarnation of the "Super Bowl" until that point).  Simms put up a phenomenal performance in the Championship, eventually earning Super Bowl MVP honors.



Simms would remain with the New York Giants for the duration of his NFL career, unfortunately missing out on participation in their next Super Bowl Championship following the 1990 NFL season, due to injury.   Over his long career at QB with Big Blue, Simms put up the following numbers:




  • 33,462 passing yards

  • 164 regular season wins

  • 199 passing touchdowns

  • 2,576 passes completed

  • 204 passing yards-per-game







Did you know.......that Phil Simms has two sons who have played in the NFL?






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Monday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 10

There have been some phenomenal players to wear number 10 for the Giants.  Count among them Frank Tarkenton and Brad Van Pelt.  If you put it to a vote however, I'd venture to say that the vast majority of football fans would name Eli Manning as the best New York Giant to ever wear number 10 for Big Blue.

The Ole Miss grad was selected first overall in 2004, but not by the Giants. After a quick trade with the San Diego Chargers, who selected Manning, the Giants sent quarterback Philip Rivers west to obtain the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning.

In his fourth season with the Giants, Eli Manning led New York to its fourth Super Bowl appearance and third Super Bowl Championship, beating the favored New England Patriots, 17-14,  on a fourth quarter touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, with 35 seconds remaining in the game.

Four seasons later, Eli Manning would once again lead the Giants to a Super Bowl Championship.  And again over the New England Patriots.  As he was in Super Bowl XLII, Manning would be the Super Bowl MVP in XLVI.

Aside from leading the Giants to two Super Bowl Championships, and being named MVP in both of those Super Bowls, what has Manning done to earn the title of  Best New York Giant to Wear Number 10?  Just this:

  • Giants' All-Time Passing Yards Leader (35,345 yards as of the 2013 season)
  • Giants' All-Time Passing TD Leader (171 TDs as of 2013 season)
  • Giants' All-Time Passes Completed Leader (2,929 as of 2013 season)
It's certainly not a stretch to say that jersey number 10 will eventually be retired by the New York Giants in honor of Eli Manning. 

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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 9

The best New York Giant to wear jersey number 9 kicked them to two Super Bowl Championships.  Lawrence Tynes played for the Giants between 2007 and 2012, during which he averaged 83.6% in field goals and 99.1% in PATs during the regular season.  As good as he was in the regular season, it was his performance in the playoffs that endeared him to Giants fans and makes him the best to ever wear number 9 for Big Blue.

In his first season with the Giants, Tynes made the game-winning field goal, a kick of 47 yards, in overtime, to clinch the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers, sending New York to the Super Bowl which they would wind up winning, against the New England Patriots.  

If that wasn't enough, Tynes also kicked the game-winning field goal in the NFC Championship in January of 2012 against the San Francisco 49ers, again in overtime, and again to put the Giants in the Super Bowl to face the Patriots, which they would again, win.  


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 8

Matt Bryant wore jersey number 8 for the New York Giants during the 2002 and 2003 NFL seasons.  In 27 regular season games with New York, Bryant kicked 37 field goals and made 47 extra points.  In those two seasons, he connected on 7 of 9 field goals attempts longer than 40 yards.  His overall field goal percentage with the Giants was 80.4%.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 7

Jersey number 7 has been retired by the New York Giants in honor of Mel Hein, who played for Big Blue between the years 1931 and 1945.  Today, you're likely to see a quarterback wearing number 7.  But in the days that Hein played, it was okay for a player of his position, center, to wear number 7.


Hein, who played football collegiately for Washington State University and was an All-America selection in his senior season,  played his entire NFL career with the Giants.  The big lineman helped lead the Giants to two NFL Championships (1934 and 1938) and was named the most valuable player in the league for the 1938.

He was a first-team All-Pro five times and was All-NFL eight straight years.  He not only excelled at center, but also played defense for the Giants, excelling at pass-defending.  

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Thursday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 6

Number 6 seems to have been sparsely worn by members of the New York Giants.  Eventually you will see a Pro Bowl caliber player wear 6 for the Jints.  Quarterback Matt Cavanaugh did wear the number 6 for New York, but only for two seasons near the close of his NFL career, and he did not see much PT while with the Giants.

Kicker Paul McFadden wore number 6 in the one year he played in New York, in 1988, when he went 14 of 19 for field goals in 10 games, and 25 of 27 in extra point attempts.  

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Wednesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 5

There are a couple of strong considerations for the best New York Giant to wear number 5.  A quarterback and a punter.  Kerry Collins took the Giants to a Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens.  Although he played for the Giants over five seasons, his total NFL career was much longer.  Sean Landeta is one of the greatest NFL punters of all-time.  Although quarterbacks are seen as greater assets to their teams than punters,  no doubt, Landeta's contributions to the Giants, and overall standing amongst the best punters ever make him the selection as the best Giants to wear number 5.

Sean Landeta joined the Giants in 1985, punting the ball 81 times for 3,472 yards that season.  He would remain the Giants punter through two Super Bowl Championships with the team.  Over his 9 years with Big Blue, Landeta punted the ball 526 times for 22,806 yards in the regular season.

In a lengthy NFL career spanning the years 1985 through 2005, Landeta would rack up 60,707 yards in regular season punts, putting him number 2 on the all-time yards punted list, behind only Jeff Feagles.


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 4

Jersey number 4 has been retired by the New York Giants.  It was retired in honor of running back "Tuffy" Leemans, formally known as Alphonse Emil Leemans.   The Giants' famous number 4 took to the NFL gridiron between the years 1936 and 1943.  In his first season with the team, he led the league in rushing with 830 yards.  Over his NFL career, spent entirely with the Giants, Leemans racked up 3,132 yards rushing and 422 receiving with 20 total rushing and receiving touchdowns (17 and 3).  The Wisconsin native would help lead the Giants to the 1938 NFL Championship and would become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 3

A player wearing jersey number 3, at least these days, is most likely either a quarterback or a kicker.  Well, the best New York Giant to ever wear number 3 fits into one of those two categories.  Brad Daluiso played for the Giants between 1993 and 2000.  During that time span, he had a 76.9% field goal mark, making 123 field goals on 160 attempts.  He also knocked through 157 of 159 extra point attempts, good enough for a 98.7% mark.  His finest year, statistically, for the G-Men, was 1996 when he connected on 24 of 27 field goal attempts, and was a perfect 22 of 22 in PATs.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 2

Raul Allegre wore the number 2 jersey for his entire NFL career, although it was not spent wholly with the New York Giants.  He suited up with number 2 for Big Blue between the years 1986 and 1991 and while doing so, helped kick them to two Super Bowl championships.  With two key game-winning kicks during the 1986 regular season, it could be said that the Giants' first Super Bowl Championship might not have been, without the help of Raul Allegre.


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Tuesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 1

The best New York Giant to ever wear the jersey number 1 is also purportedly the first professional athlete to ever have their jersey number retired.  Ray Flaherty played for the Giants between the years 1928 and 1935, with a brief break in 1930 when he coached at Gonzaga.   For two years prior to becoming a Giant, Flaherty was a member of the New York Football Yankees.

Flaherty was also known as a phenomenal football coach, after ending his playing days with the Giants, leading the Washington Redskins to two NFL Championships.

Did you know.......that Flaherty also played minor league baseball?







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Wednesday

Saint Mary's To Retire Number 4 for Dellavedova

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Saint Mary's College will retire the jersey number 4 in honor of Matthew Dellavedova.  The jersey retirement ceremony will occur on February 15 when the Gaels face BYU.  The current point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dellavedova is the all-time leader for Saint Mary's in scoring, assists, free-throw percentage, 3-point shots as well as games played.  Dellavedova was wearing jersey number 9, but gave that up to Luol Deng, and then sported the jersey number 8.  

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Monday

Super Bowl Record Set For Pass Completions

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there were a few Super Bowl passing records which were in danger of going down in the contest between the Broncos and Seahawks. And even with the game being decided early and decisively, sure enough, a record was broken by Peyton Manning.

The previous record for pass receptions completed was 32 by Tom Brady and Drew Brees. No longer. The new record was set by Manning with 34 completions against the Seahawks in Seattle's 43-8 victory.




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Sunday

Super Bowl By The Numbers

1,277 - Most passing yards gained in a career - Tom Brady (New England)

204 - Most rushing yards gained in a game - Timmy Smith (Washington)

75 - Longest run from scrimmage in yards - Willie Parker (Pittsburgh)

54 - Longest field goal in yards - Steve Christie (Buffalo)

38 - Most rushing attempts in a game - John Riggins (Washington)

33 - Most career pass receptions - Jerry Rice (San Francisco)

8 - Most career touchdowns - Jerry Rice (San Francisco and Oakland) 

6 - Most touchdown passes in a game - Steve Young (San Francisco)

5 - Most games played on the winning team - Charles Haley (Dallas and San Francisco)

3 - Most rushing touchdowns in a game - Terrell Davis (Denver)

All statistics courtesy of NFL.com




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Saturday

Super Bowl Best Passing Numbers You Need to Know

With Peyton Manning back on top in the quarterback saddle, leading all passers in a record setting season, we shouldn't expect anything other than a record setting Super Bowl performance from the Tennessee grad. So what are some of the numbers that Denver's QB could be passing in the record book on Super Bowl Sunday?
  • 58 - most passes attempted 
    • Jim Kelly - Buffalo vs. Washington - Super Bowl XXVI
  • 32 - most passes completed
    • Drew Brees - New Orelans vs. Indianapolis - Super Bowl XLIV
    • Tom Brady - New England vs. Carolina - Super Bowl XXXVIII
  • 16 - most consecutive passes completed
    • Tom Brady - New England vs. New York - Super Bowl XLVI
Now it's conceivable that Manning could set the passes attempted record.  But it's doubtful.  Especially with the stout passing defense that the Seahawks will put up against the Broncos.  Looks for heavy doses of Knowshon Moreno and Monte Ball to bring the total passes attempted lower than you'd normally see from Peyton.

Passes completed though?  Manning could certainly set that mark.  Watch him go 34 for 38 and set the record.  Something to that effect.   

And most consecutive passes completed?  He can certainly equal that mark.  Of course, a certain amount depends on his receivers and whether they can hang on to the ball.  But that hasn't really been a problem for Manning and the Broncos all season.  

So what, if any, passing records will Peyton Manning set or break in this Super Bowl?  

note:  all stats courtesy of www.nfl.com  

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Friday

Michael Young Numbers You Need to Know

Michael Young, who spent the majority of his MLB career with the Texas Rangers, is expected to announce his retirement as a professional baseball player on Friday, Jan. 31. The longtime infielder primarily wore jersey number 10 throughout his major league career.

- .300 - Young's career batting average

- 2 - Number of times he led the American League in hits

- 124 - Rank o the career MLB hits leaderboard with 2,375

- 1 - Number of times Young led the American League in batting average (.331 in 2005)

- 7 - Number of time Young was an All-Star

- 185 - Career number of home runs Young hit

So does Young's MLB career warrant inclusion into the Hall of Fame? It might be a bit premature to answer that question, but if you look at his numbers on the whole, they are very impressive, both offensively and defensively. According to baseball-reference.com, Young's batting stats compare most similarly to Ray Durham, Joe Torre, B.J. Surhoff, Alan Trammell, Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg.







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Belichick to Pass Landry?

If Bill Belichick can win both the AFC Championship game this weekend against the Denver Broncos and the Super Bowl game against the eventual NFC Champion, he will eclipse Tom Landry for the most postseason wins by an NFL coach, according to ESPN. Landry boasts a 20-16 win-loss record all-time, while Belichick sits at 19-8 as of this post. Landry was at the helm for two Super Bowl Championships with Dallas, while Belichick led the Patriots to three Super Bowl Championships.




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Red Storm and Friars - Battle of Blockers vs Charity Stripers

According to the Bradenton Herald, the recent matchup between St. John's and Providence in Big East Basketball featured two teams leading the nation in two separate statistical categories.

The Red Storm have been blocking shots at an average clip of 8.9 blocks per game. Meanwhile, the Friars led the nation in free-throw shooting percentage, dropping shots from the stripe at a clip of 79.7%.

The Friars would wind up topping the Red Storm in the battle between these two stat leaders, in a double-overtime battle.




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Best NFC Team By The Numbers

With Super Bowl XLVIII on the horizon, we'll ostensibly see the best NFC team face the best AFC team for the NFL title.  But who was the best team by the numbers for the 2013 season?   Who can lay claim to the title of the best team in the NFC........by the numbers?

Offense - 2013 Regular Season

Yards Per Game 

1.  Philadelphia Eagles, 417.2

2.  Green Bay Packers, 400.2

3.  New Orleans Saints,  399.4

Total Points 

1.  Chicago Bears, 445

2.  Philadelphia Eagles, 442

3.  Dallas Cowboys, 439

Turnovers

1.  Seattle Seahawks,  + 20

2.  San Francisco 49ers, + 12

3.  Philadelphia Eagles, +12

Okay, so this is only the top three in each category, but that's all we need to start the conversation.  What one team sits in all three categories here?  Philly.  Were they the best team in the NFC during the regular season?  They did win their division.   They put up these numbers with two different starting quarterbacks.

Now what if we include the top three teams by win-loss record?

Record

1.  Seattle Seahawks, 13-3

2.  Carolina Panthers, 12-4

3.  San Francisco 49ers, 12-4

So what does that do to our numbers?  Now you need to add Seattle into the conversation, because they show up on the turnover list at the top slot, and the record list in the top slot.

Now let's transition over to the defensive side of the ball, but not completely.

Net Points

1. Seattle Seahawks, 186

2. San Francisco 49ers, 134

3. Carolina Panthers, 125

So the net points, obviously are tied closely to win-loss record.   Starting to look like we have the right two teams playing for the NFC East Championship.

How about on defense?

Defense - 2013 Regular Season


Points Against

1.  Seattle Seahawks, 231

2.  Carolina Panthers, 241

3.  San Francisco 49ers, 272


Yards Per Game Against

1.  Seattle Seahawks, 273.6

2.  Carolina Panthers, 301.2

3.  Cincinnati Bengals, 305.5

Interceptions

1.  Seattle Seahawks, 28

2.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21

3.  Arizona Cardinals, 20

Sacks

1.  Carolina Panthers, 60

2.  St. Louis Rams, 53

3.  New Orleans Saints, 49


So if you look at these numbers on the whole, who would you say is the best NFC team by the numbers for the 2013 NFL season?  I know who I would pick.  And they wear the coolest looking uniforms in the league.













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Thursday

Number 55 for Crawford, Number 2 for Brooks, As New Warriors

Recently acquired by the Golden State Warriors, guard Jordan Crawford will be wearing jersey number 55, while guard/forward MarShon Brooks will don number 2 for the Warriors.

Crawford comes over to Golden State from the Boston Celtics where he has been knocking down baskets at a .414 average from the field this season.  Since he began his NBA career in 2010-11, after being selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft out of Xavier University, Crawford has averaged .404 from the field and .827 from the stripe.

Brooks, who is switching from the number 12 he wore with the Celtics, was a first round draft pick in 2011, traded orginally by Boston to the Nets, and then back to Boston the following season.  He has scored 1,133 points over the past three NBA seasons.   

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Twenty Unanswered Points by Washington

According to Elias Sports, the Washington Wizards reeled off twenty unanswered points in their recent victory against the Miami Heat.  The Heat had not faced such a large barrage unanswered since December of 2006 against the New Jersey Nets.  The Wizards for their part, had not performed such a feat since 1999 when they scored 21 consecutive against the Chicago Bulls.  

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