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With Thursday's 56-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Atlanta Falcons recorded their second-highest margin of victory in franchise history, according to Pro Football Reference's play index.

The 42-point win, while impressive, fell 13 shy of the 55-point margin recorded in a 62-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints back in 1973.

The Falcons were actually well positioned to set the record Thursday night, as they entered the fourth quarter with a 56-0 lead, only to surrender 14 points in garbage time.

Despite getting outscored by 14 in the final quarter, the Falcons came awfully close to setting some team records.

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 21 of his 24 pass attempts in Thursday's 56-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to set a new franchise record for single-game completion percentage, per Jenna Laine of Fox Sports 1.

Ryan was dominant from the start, completing each of his four pass attempts for 54 yards and a touchdown on the first drive.

He was done for the day by the halfway mark of the third quarter, finishing with an 87.5 completion percentage.

No Falcon has ever completed a higher percentage of his passes in one game while attempting 20 or more throws. Scott Hunter did complete 10 of his 11 pass attempts in a 1976 game, posting a 90.9 completion percentage.

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Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester broke off a 62-yard punt-return touchdown in Thursday's 56-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take sole possession of the NFL record for most career return touchdowns, per the Falcons' official Twitter account.

Hester's 20th career return touchdown, which came midway through the second quarter, extended Atlanta's lead to 35-0. The Falcons had taken a 28-0 lead earlier in the quarter when Hester took an end-around for a 20-yard score.

Hester's record-setting score broke a tie at 19 touchdowns with his longtime mentor Deion Sanders. Unlike Sanders, Hester hasn't had the benefit of playing defense, which provides ample opportunities for interception- and fumble-return touchdowns. Of Sanders' 19 return touchdowns, only nine came on special teams.

Hester, on the other hand, has notched each of his 20 return scores on special teams, including an NFL-record 14 punt-return touchdowns. The speedster has added five more on kick returns, and he memorably took a missed field goal the distance in a 2006 game against the New York Giants.

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Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon had a hit in each of his five at-bats during Wednesday afternoon's rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers, collecting his third such game of the season. With that performance, he became just the sixth player in the modern era to record a hit in each of five or more at-bats on three separate occasions in a single season, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

Blackmon first did so with a six-hit performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks back on April 4, and then had a hit in each of his five at-bats against the Minnesota Twins on July 12. The 28-year-old was not retired by opposing pitching a single time in any of those five-hit games in 2014.

Several other players have collected three five-hit games in a season in the past, but only a select group of players have failed to record an out in each of those performances.

In fact, outside of Blackmon and Ichiro Suzuki, every player in this club currently resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ty Cobb was the first player in the modern era with three or more such games, doing so in the 1922 season. He was then followed by Tris Speaker (1923), Stan Musial (1948) and Tony Gwynn (1993), per Elias (via ESPN Stats & Info).

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With the conclusion of Monday night's 1-0 victory over the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays' pitching staff recorded its 21st shutout of the 2014 season. Per MLB Stat of the Day, this is the highest number of times an American League team has shut out their opponent in a single season since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973.

Monday's contest represented the staff's second scoreless performance in less than a week's time, and was the 11th shutout recorded since the All-Star break. Only the St. Louis Cardinals have held their opponents to zero runs scored as many times as the Rays, and the next best number in the American League is the Texas Rangers, who have recorded 17 shutouts this season.

This record has clearly proven to be a team effort, as the Rays surprisingly haven't had a starting pitcher, other than Drew Smyly, go the distance on his own to shut out the opposing team this season. Although David Price recorded two complete games before being traded to the Detroit Tigers, he was unable to prevent the opponent from scoring at least once on both occasions.

A 3.47 team ERA has certainly played in the Rays' favor, as only the Seattle Mariners (3.05), Oakland Athletics (3.25) and Baltimore Orioles (.346) have better marks in the American League. Tampa Bay has also held opponents to a .233 batting average, which is just five points shy of the AL-leading Mariners at .228.

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According to MLB MilestonesNew York Mets starter Jacob deGrom tied a modern-day MLB record Monday evening by striking out the first eight batters to begin a game.

The record was originally set by Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros in 1986.

Facing the Miami Marlins, deGrom struck out the side in the first and second innings. He retired four of the six batters swinging, while the other two went down with their bats on their shoulders.

DeGrom then opened the third inning by striking out second baseman Jordany Valdespin, followed by catcher Jeff Mathis, who also swung and missed at a third strike. As luck would have it, deGrom was unable to get the tie-breaking K, as Marlins starting pitcher Jarred Cosart singled to right to end the streak.

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With his 131st strikeout of the season in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees broke Mariano Rivera's franchise single-season record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher, according to a tweet from Elias Sports Bureau.

As the MLB career saves leader and one of the all-time Yankee greats, Rivera set the original mark back in the 1996 season, fanning 130 batters. Just like Betances, Rivera etched his name into the Yankee record books before he was anointed the closer, as The Sandman only collected five saves over 107.2 innings that year.

As Rivera grew to rely more on his world-famous cut fastball, his strikeout numbers went down over the course of his career, as he never once fanned 100 batters in a season after 1996.

Rather than pitching to contact, Betances has retired nearly 44 percent of his batters faced via the punch-out. Using an mid-90s fastball, cutter and breaking pitches that sport an 18 percent whiff rate per Brooks Baseball, the relief ace owns a remarkable 13.5 K/9 rate. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 60 innings this season, that mark is good for third in all of baseball behind only Kenley Jansen's 13.9 and Brad Boxberger's 14.4.

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Owning a total of 23 home runs and 22 stolen bases entering Thursday's action, Ian Desmond of the Washington Nationals is just the third shortstop in MLB history to have posted three consecutive 20-20 seasons, according to a tweet from MLB Stat of the Day.

It's a relatively new commodity to have players capable of hitting for power at a defensive-oriented position, as all three players in this club are currently under contract with an MLB team.

Alex Rodriguez was the first player to accomplish the feat in 1997-99 while serving as the shortstop for the Seattle Mariners. A-Rod even took it up a notch in his 1998 campaign, totaling 42 home runs and 46 steals for the only 40-40 season of his career. Having played third base for the majority of the final stages of his career, the slugger hasn't put together a 20-20 season since 2007.

After Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez was the next player to join this club, collecting four straight 20-20 campaigns from 2007-10 with the Florida Marlins. Although various injuries have limited the baserunning of the 30-year-old Ramirez for the past two seasons, he did post a 20-20 year as recently as 2012.

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In collecting hits No. 210 and 211 of the season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Indians, Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros broke Craig Biggio's franchise single-season hits record set back in 1998, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The record-tying base knock came on a fifth-inning double, after which Altuve set the new franchise mark with a single in the seventh.

The Astros' second baseman has put together one of the more productive campaigns in recent MLB history, as he's one of just eight players in the modern era to compile a 200-hit, 40-double and 50-steal season, according to MLB Stat of the Day. That stat line was most recently posted by Hanley Ramirez in 2007 with the Florida Marlins, and Ty Cobb is the only player in the modern era to have recorded two such years.

With numbers like these, it's no surprise that Altuve leads all of MLB with his 213 hits and a .344 batting average. Furthermore, his 53 steals entering Thursday are good for third in the majors, behind just Dee Gordon (62) and Billy Hamilton (56). Altuve has been somewhat selective with his baserunning, as he's been caught stealing less than half as many times as the two players above him.

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck recorded his 50th career touchdown pass on his second of three scoring strikes in Monday's 30-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In a game that saw the Colts go run-heavy while jumping out to a 17-6 lead, Luck still managed the trio of scoring passes despite completing only 20 of his 34 attempts for just 172 yards.

No. 49 came on a one-yard pass to running back Ahmad Bradshaw with the Colts facing a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the first quarter. Luck then hit the milestone in the final two minutes of the second quarter, connecting with third-string tight end Jack Doyle on a two-yard scoring strike off a play-action fake.

No. 50 moved Luck into fourth place on the Colts' all-time list for passing touchdowns, one ahead of current San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh (49).