Two days after 20 children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., NFL stadiums fell silent before Sunday’s games to honor the memory of the victims. Some teams darkened their scoreboards and lowered their flags to half-staff, while others wore helmet decals or black ribbons.
After learning that he was the favorite player of one 6-year-old victim, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz wrote “R.I.P. Jack Pinto,” “Jack Pinto, my hero” and “This one is for you” on his shoes for the game against the Falcons in Atlanta. Cruz said he called the boy’s family after hearing he was a Giants fan and was told they planned to bury the boy in one of Cruz’s No. 80 jerseys.
“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Cruz said. “There are no words that can describe the type of feeling that you get when a kid idolizes you so much that unfortunately they want to put him in the casket with your jersey on. I can’t even explain it.”
The Patriots, the closest team to Newtown that played at home on Sunday, wore a helmet sticker with the city seal and a black ribbon on it; the cheerleaders and mascot wore black armbands, and owner Bob Kraft pledged $25,000 to the community, where he also owns a box-making factory. Before the game, the public address announcer asked for silence while 26 flares were sent into the air.
A moment of silence was observed at all 14 NFL games on Sunday.
PETERSON CHASES RECORD
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson had a season-high 212 yards on 24 carries in the Vikings’ win over St. Louis. He increased his season total to 1,812 yards rushing, beating his previous best of 1,760 yards in 2007.
With two games to go, Peterson has a chance at the NFL single-season record of 2,105 yards by Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.
Peterson has four career 200-yard games, including an NFL record 296 yards against San Diego in 2007.
JOHNSON’S HISTORIC YEAR
Despite Detroit’s subpar season, it hasn’t slowed down receiver Calvin Johnson’s run at records.
Johnson had 17 catches for 121 yards for his seventh consecutive 100-yard game in Detroit’s 38-10 loss to Arizona. That ties the NFL record set by Charley Hennigan in 1967 and matched by Michael Irvin in 1995. It was his 10th 100-yard game of the season, tying four players for second-most in NFL history.
Johnson also became the first receiver in NFL history with consecutive 1,600-yard seasons, joining Marvin Harrison (1999, 2001) and Torry Holt (2000, 2003) as the only players in NFL history with two. With 3,348 yards over the past two seasons, he is 1 yard short of Jerry Rice’s NFL record set from 1994-95.
With two games to go in the season, Johnson has 1,667 yards, leaving him 181 behind Rice’s single-season receiving record set in 1995.
ROMO REACHES MILESTONE
Dallas QB Tony Romo has surpassed 25,000 yards passing in his career.
Romo broke that mark with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.
That TD pass made Romo the 64th NFL player to go over the 25,000-yard mark.
San Diego running back Ryan Mathews broke his left collarbone in the Chargers’ loss to Carolina and is out for the season. … Redskins right tackle Tyler Polumbus suffered a concussion, while linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder) and offensive lineman Will Montgomery (knee) also went out. … Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith left Baltimore’s loss to Denver with a concussion after hitting his head while trying for a leaping catch. Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce also left with a concussion. …Vikings defensive end Brian Robison sprained the AC joint in his shoulder during Minnesota’s win at St. Louis and will undergo an MRI today. … Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll (left knee) and tight end Charles Clay (right knee) were hurt in the second quarter of Miami’s win over Jacksonville. … Rams offensive guard Harvey Dahl is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn right biceps.