Reuben Frank
Wednesday November 10th, 2004

Ravens SS Ed Reed had the longest interception in NFL history on Sunday, but he didn't even have the longest interception of the day.

While Reed was busy returning an interception off Browns QB Jeff Garcia 106 yards, longest in NFL history, Kenny Wheaton of the Toronto Argonauts was 563 miles north at SkyDome, almost simultaneously returning an interception of a Hamilton Tiger-Cats QB Danny McManus pass for 116 yards in a CFL playoff game.

Having interceptions returned against them 6 percent of a mile isn't the only thing Garcia and McManus have in common. Garcia is a former CFL quarterback himself.

Reed's 106-yarder broke by three yards the NFL record for longest interception return set in 1987 by Vencie Glenn of the Chargers against Denver and matched in 1992 by Louis Oliver of the Dolphins against the Bills.

No AFC East team has as many interception return yards this year as Reed had during a play that officially took 19 seconds. The Jets (99), Bills (60) Colts (51) and Dolphins (44) are all still in single digits for the season.

Reed had more return yards on his NFL-record INT return than 15 NFL teams have all year. His one 19-second return adds up to more yards than the 49ers (34), Jaguars (21), Rams (10) and Broncos (2) have combined in 2004.

Even though Reed's return was the second-longest play in NFL history, he can't sit in Ravens defensive back meetings and brag about it. Because the longest play in NFL history was a 107-yard missed field goal return in 2002 by Ravens CB Chris McAlister.

Reed has 210 interception return yards this year and needs 140 in the Ravens' final eight games to break the NFL single-season record of 349 set in 1961 by Charlie McNeil.

More obscure, bizarre and ridiculous from the NFL's Week 9:

• Three backs -- Willis McGahee (37), Clinton Portis (34) and Jerome Bettis (33) -- had 33 or more carries Sunday. That matches the total for the previous six weeks combined -- Reuben Droughns (38 at Oakland Week 6), Portis (36 at Chicago Week 6) and Priest Holmes (33 at Baltimore Week 4) ... Chiefs QB Trent Green, who threw for 369 yards in a loss at Tampa, was the only NFL quarterback to throw for 300 yards. The last time only one quarterback passed for 300 or more yards was Week 14 of last year, when Green threw for 397 yards against Denver. This was the second straight weekend no NFC quarterback has thrown for 300 yards. Last time the NFC went without a 300-yard QB two straight weeks was the seventh and eighth weeks of 2002. No NFC quarterback has passed for 300 yards in a home game in four weeks, since Tim Rattay and Brett Favre did it the fifth week of the season.

• Of the 33 teams in NFL history that have opened a season 7-0 or better, the Eagles suffered the second-worst loss ever in their next game. Only the 2000 Vikings -- who were 7-0 before a 41-13 loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa -- suffered a more lopsided defeat. Twenty-two of those 33 teams won, one tied (the 1921 Akron Pros), six lost by a touchdown or less, and four lost by double figures -- the 1946 Cleveland Browns (34-20 to the 49ers), the 1985 Los Angeles Rams (28-14 to the 49ers) and the 2000 Vikings and 2004 Eagles ... Bears QB Craig Krenzel, who completed just eight passes Sunday, is the fourth quarterback in the past 20 games to complete 10 or fewer passes against the Giants. The Giants are 0-4 in those games.

• The Steelers' 56 carries on Sunday were the most by any NFL team since the Raiders had 60 on Dec. 28, 2002, in a 24-0 win over the Chiefs in Oakland and the most against the Eagles since the Giants had 60 on Nov. 20, 1981 ... Santana Moss had 157 receiving yards at Buffalo on Sunday, giving him more games with 157 or more than his more famous namesake -- Randy Moss -- in the last year. Randy Moss's last game with 157 or more yards came from the fourth week of last season, 172 vs. the 49ers ... Bills RB Willis McGahee is only the third running back since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to rush for 100 or more yards in each of his first three starts. The other two were Stump Mitchell, who did it four straight games for the St. Louis Cards in 1981, and Chris Brown, who did it three straight games for the Titans earlier this year. McGahee is the only rookie in Bills history with consecutive 100-yard rushing games. And he's done it twice in three weeks.

• If rookie WR Larry Fitzgerald catches 19 passes in the last eight games of the season, the Cards will become the first team in eight years to have a rookie receiver catch 50 balls in consecutive seasons. The Jets had Wayne Chrebet catch 66 in 1995 and Keyshawn Johnson catch 63 in 1996. Last year, Anquan Boldin caught 101 passes for the Cards ... Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has won 19 straight starts since Aug. 30, 2003, when Miami of Ohio lost to Iowa, 21-3, in Iowa City ... Only one player has had had more than 130 receiving yards in each of the last three weeks. Last time the NFL went three straight weeks without two or more receivers with 130 or more yards was weeks 13 through 15 of 1992 ... Eagles WR Terrell Owens has caught at least one touchdown in six straight Monday night games and will break the record he shares with former teammate Jerry Rice if he catches one against the Cowboys ... Tiki Barber is the first New York Giant to score two touchdowns two weeks in a row since Lionel Manuel did it on Oct. 25 and Nov. 2, 1987.

• AFC teams are 21-12 vs. the NFC this year, with those 21 wins coming by an average of 14 points per game and the 12 losses by an average of 7 points per game. AFC teams have beaten NFC teams by 18 or more points in seven out of those 33 games. No NFC team has defeated an AFC team by more than 17 points.

The Dolphins have just one win and it was by 17 points over the Rams, who are 4-2 against the NFC. The Bengals are 2-5 within the AFC but beat the Cowboys by 23. The Raiders are 1-5 vs. the AFC but have beaten Tampa Bay and Carolina. The Packers are 4-2 in the NFC but lost their two AFC games by a combined 36 points. The Falcons are 5-1 against conference rivals but with the one loss coming by seven points. They lost to the Chiefs by 46.

There will be 64 interconference games played this year. The AFC must go 18-13 the rest of the season to break the record for most wins in a season against the other conference. The AFC was 38-22 against the NFC in 1999.

The NFC hasn't finished with a winning record vs. the AFC since 1995 and must go 21-8 the rest of the year to win the regular-season battle of the conferences this year.

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