COLTS 39, BRONCOS 33
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck threw for three touchdowns and ran for another Sunday night, outplaying predecessor Peyton Manning in a 39-33 victory over the previously unbeaten Denver Broncos.
The victory ended the Broncos’ 17-game regular-season winning streak in the first game Manning played against his former team since being released in March 2012.
Manning finished 29 of 49 for 386 yards with three TDs and one interception. He was sacked four times and tried desperately to rally the Broncos (6-1) late.
But the Colts (5-2) took advantage of his and Denver’s uncharacteristic mistakes.
Luck converted an early fumble into a TD pass. Indy got nine points out of a second-quarter strip sack, and Luck scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter, a drive helped by a series of defensive penalties. When the Broncos finally had a chance to tie it, Manning was intercepted.
Indianapolis has not lost consecutive games under Luck.
If Peyton Manning wanted a preview of what retirement might look and feel like, the Indianapolis Colts gave him a brief glimpse Sunday night.
That ceremony turned out to be about the only bit of hospitality his former team extended, handing Manning and the previously unbeaten Denver Broncos a 39-33 defeat.
Before the game, though, it was a different story. More than 67,000 Colts fans got to their feet before kickoff to salute the player who brought the city a Super Bowl and more during his 14 years here.
What began as boos for the Broncos quickly turned to cheers once Manning was spotted coming out of the tunnel. The roar inside Lucas Oil Stadium — built in no small part thanks to Manning’s contributions to the Colts’ franchise — built steadily for much of a 90-second highlight reel of Manning’s career in Indianapolis.
The 37-year-old quarterback acknowledged the cheers while standing along the visitors’ sideline. He took off his helmet and turned to face the different sections, grinning sheepishly and waving on occasion.
Manning was treated to one other pregame cheer when he popped up on the stadium’s giant video board during the national anthem.
There were concerns that the Colts, who drafted Manning in 1998, might give him too lavish a welcome back, the kind of tribute usually reserved for departing hometown heroes rather than opposing quarterbacks. But some of the warmth came off the reception when Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay suggested in an interview last week that for all the winning Manning’s tenure included — the Colts won eight division titles and two AFC crowns — there should have been more than one Super Bowl.
Some in the crowd appeared to have moved on as well. For the all No. 18 Manning Colts jerseys pulled out of mothballs, there were plenty of fans backing his successor, Andrew Luck, with No. 12 jerseys. And then there were the signs:
“I’d rather have a young Colt than an old Bronco,” read one.
“12 is the new 18,” read another.
Small wonder that Luck has become an instant hit in Indy. He out-dueled Manning in this game, throwing three touchdowns and running for another. Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James and Jeff Saturday, three of Manning’s former teammates and key offensive contributors, also got rousing welcomes during pregame introductions.
CHIEFS 17, TEXANS 16
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamaal Charles ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, Alex Smith also ran for a score and the scrappy Chiefs held off the banged-up Houston Texans 17-16 on Sunday to remain unbeaten. The Chiefs were forced to punt the ball to Houston with 1:46 left in the game. But after Case Keenum threw an incompletion on first down, the young quarterback was stripped by linebacker Tamba Hali at his 2. Derrick Johnson recovered the fumble for the Chiefs. Smith simply kneeled from there as time ran out, allowing Kansas City (7-0) to extend the second-best start in franchise history. The 2003 team began the season 9-0.
Keenum, making his first NFL start in place of the injured Matt Schaub, threw for 271 yards and a touchdown for the Texans (2-5). But he didn’t get much help from his run game after Arian Foster left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return.
REDSKINS 45, BEARS 41
LANDOVER, Md. — Roy Helu’s third touchdown, a 3-yard run with 45 seconds to play, lifted the Redskins.
Robert Griffin III completed 18 of 29 passes for 298 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Redskins (2-4), who have both of their wins against backup quarterbacks. This time it was Josh McCown, who entered in the second quarter after Jay Cutler left with a groin injury.
Griffin also ran 11 times for a season-high 84 yards against a defense depleted by injuries, but the breakout performance came from rookie tight end Jordan Reed, who caught nine passes for 134 yards and one touchdown.
McCown, playing in a regular-season game for the first time since the 2011 season, completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards with one touchdown. Matt Forte rushed for three touchdowns, Alshon Jeffrey had 105 yards receiving, and Devin Hester tied Deion Sanders’ NFL record for return touchdowns with an 81-yard put runback for the Bears (4-3).
JETS 30, PATRIOTS 27, OT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Folk kicked a 42-yard field goal with 5:07 left in overtime. Folk got a second chance after he missed a 56-yarder moments earlier. But Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a teammate forward to try to block the kick, a new NFL rule. New York, given new life, ran the ball three times to set up Folk’s winner. Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Jets (4-3) topped Tom Brady and the Patriots (5-2). New England tied it at 27 with 16 seconds left in regulation on Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard field goal. New England had defeated New York in six straight regular-season meetings, and saw its 12-game winning streak against the AFC East end.
STEELERS 19, RAVENS 16
PITTSBURGH — Shaun Suisham drilled a 42-yard field goal with no time remaining. Suisham’s fourth field goal of the day pushed the Steelers (2-4) to their second straight win. Ben Roethlisberger completed 17 of 23 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. He hit Antonio Brown for a pair of big gains on Pittsburgh’s final drive, putting Suisham well within range to win it. Running back Le’Veon Bell ran for a season-high 93 yards on 19 carries. Joe Flacco passed for 215 yards and a touchdown, but couldn’t stop the defending Super Bowl champions (3-4) from losing for the third time in their last four games.
PACKERS 31, BROWNS 13
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers guided an undermanned offense with 260 yards and three touchdowns, and Eddie Lacy ran for another score. Lacy finished with 82 yards, while tight end Jermichael Finley had a 10-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter before leaving with a neck injury. The team said he had movement in his extremities.
Green Bay (4-2) won its third straight game.
Rodgers finished 25 for 36 in methodically carving up Cleveland (3-4) despite already being without two of his top targets in injured receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb. The defense took care of the rest against struggling quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 17 for 42 for 149 yards. The Browns’ Jordan Cameron caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
49ERS 31, TITANS 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Colin Kaepernick threw for 199 yards and ran for 68 and a touchdown. The 49ers (5-2) won their fourth straight before heading to London for a game with winless Jacksonville by jumping out to a 17-0 halftime lead. Frank Gore also ran for a pair of 1-yard TDs as San Francisco cruised. Tramaine Brock also intercepted a pass, Justin Smith had two of the 49ers’ three sacks and Kassim Osgood recovered a muffed punt for a TD.
The Titans (3-4) lost their third straight even with Jake Locker starting after missing two games with a sprained right hip and knee. Locker threw for 326 yards with two TD passes in a fourth-quarter spurt that came up short.
BENGALS 27, LIONS 24
DETROIT — Mike Nugent’s 54-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Bengals. The AFC North-leading Bengals (5-2) won a game for the second straight week by the same score thanks to Nugent’s right foot. He made an overtime kick to give Cincinnati a win after it blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead at Buffalo The Lions (4-3) looked like they did enough to send the game to OT, but rookie Sam Martin shanked a punt just 28 yards to midfield in the final minute. Andy Dalton, who threw three touchdown passes, took advantage with two short passes to set up the winning field goal. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on two of his three TD passes.
COWBOYS 17, EAGLES 3
PHILADELPHIA — Tony Romo threw for 317 yards and one touchdown and the Cowboys overcame a sluggish start to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Two teams that averaged a combined 58 points per game and allowed a combined 55 totaled 13 punts in a first half that ended with Dallas (4-3) leading 3-0. It was more two inept offenses than two dominant defenses.
The Eagles (3-4) have lost a franchise-worst nine straight games at home. Their last win at the Linc was over the New York Giants on Sept. 30, 2012.
A Cowboys defensive line missing three of its projected starters pressured and harassed Nick Foles before sending him to the sideline with a head injury on the last play of the third quarter.
FALCONS 31, BUCCANEERS 23
ATLANTA — Matt Ryan threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Jacquizz Rodgers, and the Falcons snapped their three-game losing streak. Harry Douglas had seven receptions for a career-best 149 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown catch, for the Falcons (2-4). Douglas flourished as Ryan’s No. 1 receiver with Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White inactive for the first time in his nine-year career due to hamstring and ankle injuries. Falcons safety William Moore sacked Mike Glennon to force a fumble on Tampa Bay’s first possession. Safety Thomas DeCoud returned the fumble recovery 30 yards for a touchdown. The Buccaneers (0-6) controlled the ball in the fourth quarter, but managed only two field goals by Rian Lindell.
BILLS 23, DOLPHINS 21
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Mario Williams forced a fumble when he sacked Ryan Tannehill with less than three minutes left, setting up the winning field goal. Dan Carpenter, released in August after five seasons with the Dolphins, beat his former team by making a 31-yarder with 33 seconds to go.
Rookie Nickell Robey returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game to help the Bills build an early 14-0 lead, but they had to rally after Brandon Gibson caught his second touchdown pass of the game to put Miami ahead.
The injury-plagued Bills (3-4) ended a streak of six consecutive road losses, including two this season, while Miami (3-3) lost its third game in a row.
PANTHERS 30, RAMS 15
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton completed 15 of 17 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in a heated game.
The Rams (3-4) lost their cool with several personal foul penalties — and then lost quarterback Sam Bradford to an apparent left knee injury late in the fourth quarter.
The extent of the injury was unknown and Bradford will undergo an MRI exam.
Bradford was running toward the sideline when he was pushed out of bounds by safety Mike Mitchell and came up holding his left knee. He was carted to the locker room.
Panthers quarterback Captain Munnerlyn intercepted Bradford on the game’s first play and returned it 45 yards for a score. Bradford had a long TD pass called back on a penalty.
The Rams were flagged for five personal fouls and Chris Long was ejected for throwing a punch.
CHARGERS 24, JAGUARS 6
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Philip Rivers threw for 285 yards and a touchdown, Ryan Mathews ran for 110 yards and a score, and the surging Chargers (4-3) showed little, if any, issues with a short week, a cross-country flight and an early start time. And they played nothing like a team looking ahead to its bye week. Then again, the Jaguars have made everyone look good. Jacksonville (0-7) has lost every game this season by double digits, becoming the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to garner that dubious distinction. The Oilers lost their first 10 games that season by at least 10 points.
Rivers completed his first 14 passes, picking apart Jacksonville’s defense with short throws and clock-eating drives. He finished 22 of 26.
Mathews topped the century mark for the second consecutive week.
NFL Today, Week 7
Monday, Oct. 21
Minnesota (1-4) at New York Giants (0-6), 8:40 p.m. EDT, ESPN. Josh Freeman makes his first start for the Vikings after the Buccaneers released the quarterback this month.
—Andy Dalton, Bengals, was 24 for 34 yards for 372 with three touchdown passes in Cincinnati’s 27-24 win over Detroit.
—Peyton Manning, Broncos, was 29 for 49 for 386 yards and three touchdowns and an interception in Denver’s 39-33 loss to Indianapolis.
—Matthew Stafford, Lions, finished 28 for 51 for 357 with three touchdowns in Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Cincinnati.
—Matt Ryan, Falcons, was 20 for 26 for 273 with three touchdowns in Atlanta’s 31-23 win over Tampa Bay.
—Robert Griffin III, Redskins, was 18 for 29 for 298 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Washington’s 45-41 win over Chicago. He added 84 yards rushing.
—Ryan Mathews, Chargers, had 21 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown in San Diego’s 24-6 win over Jacksonville.
—Matt Forte, Bears, had 16 carries for 91 yards and three touchdowns in Chicago’s 45-41 loss to Washington.
—Chris Ivory, Jets, had 34 carries for 104 yards in New York’s 30-27 overtime victory over New England.
—Alfred Morris and Roy Helu, Redskins. Morris had 19 carries for 95 yards and Helu had 11 carries for 41 yards and three touchdowns in Washington’s 45-41 win over Chicago.
—Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, had 19 carries for 93 yards in Pittsburgh’s 19-16 win over Baltimore.
—Frank Gore, 49ers, had 24 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns in San Francisco’s 31-17 victory over Tennessee.
—A.J. Green, Bengals, had six catches for 155 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown, in Cincinnati’s 27-24 win over Detroit.
—Calvin Johnson, Lions, finished with nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns in Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Cincinnati.
—Eric Decker, Broncos, had eight catches for 150 yards and a touchdown in Denver’s 39-33 loss to Indianapolis.
—Harry Douglas, Falcons, had seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta’s 31-23 victory over Tampa Bay.
—Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers, had 10 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 loss to Atlanta. Jackson was targeted on 22 passes.
—Jordan Reed, Redskins, finished with nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s 45-41 win over Chicago.
—Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, had eight receptions for 114 yards in his first appearance of the season in New England’s 30-27 loss to the New York Jets.
—Devin Hester, Bears, returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown in Chicago’s 45-41 loss to Washington. Including the postseason, Hester has 20 return touchdowns in his career, passing Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (19) for the most in NFL history. Hester is also the NFL career leader in punt-return touchdowns (13) and combined kick-return touchdowns (18 in the regular season and 19 overall.)
—Mike Nugent, Bengals, made a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give Cincinnati a 27-24 win over Detroit.
—Shaun Suisham, Steelers, was 4 for 4 on field goals, including a 42-yarder as time expired to give Pittsburgh a 19-16 victory over Baltimore.
—Nick Folk, Jets, was 3 for 3 on field goals, including a 42-yarder in overtime to give New York a 30-27 win over New England.
—Kassim Osgood, 49ers, recovered a fumbled punt for a TD in San Francisco’s 31-17 win over Tennessee.
—Logan Ryan, Patriots, returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown in New England’s 30-27 loss to the New York Jets.
—Captain Munnerlyn, Panthers, returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown in Carolina’s 30-15 win over St. Louis.
—Thomas DeCoud, Falcons, returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in Atlanta’s 31-23 win over Tampa Bay.
—Brian Orakpo, Redskins, returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown in Washington’s 45-41 win over Chicago.
—Antonio Allen, Jets, returned 23 yards for a touchdown in New York’s 30-27 win over New England.
—Nickell Robey, Bills, returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown in Buffalo’s 23-21 win over Miami.
STREAKS & STATS
The Eagles have lost a franchise-worst nine straight games at home. Their last win at the Linc was over the New York Giants on Sept. 30, 2012. ... The Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak with a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay. ... The Redskins scored 45 points in victory over the Bears, their most points since 2005. ... The Cowboys got their first road win and are 3-0 in the division for first time since 2007. ... New England’s 12-game winning streak against AFC East opponents ended in the loss to the Jets. Logan Ryan’s interception marked the 34th straight game in which New England has forced a turnover, the longest active streak in the NFL. ... Miami (3-3) lost its third game in a row. A month ago, the Dolphins were basking in their best start since 2002. They haven’t won since. ... Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who made his 100th career start, passed for 317 yards in the Cowboys’ 17-3 win at Philadelphia. Romo has 27,485 yards passing, the most in NFL history by a player in his first 100 career starts. ... New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith passed for a touchdown and rushed for a score in the Jets’ 30-27 overtime win over New England. Smith has led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime in all four of the Jets’ wins. He is the only quarterback since the 1970 merger with four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in his first seven career games. ... The Titans’ Chris Johnson has three TD catches of 66 yards or longer and 11 TDs of 66 yards or longer in his career. ... In the past two games, Cam Newton is 35 of 43 for 464 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions as the Panthers (3-3) have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. ... The 49ers (5-2) won their fourth straight. ... The Titans (3-4) lost their third straight. ... The Texans have their first five-game skid since Nov. 6-Dec. 11, 2005. ... Green Bay (4-2) won its third straight and took over first place in the NFC North.
The Panthers’ Steve Smith reached 800 careers receptions in a 30-15 win over the Rams. ... Jacksonville (0-7) has lost every game this season by double digits, becoming the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to garner that dubious distinction. The Oilers lost their first 10 games that year by at least 10 points. ... The Chargers’ Philip Rivers became the second quarterback in franchise history to throw for 30,000 yards. ... The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 7-0 with a 17-16 win over Houston. In the Super Bowl era, 31 teams have started 7-0 and all 31 qualified for the playoffs. Fifteen of those 31 clubs advanced to the Super Bowl and nine won the Super Bowl. Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles had 123 scrimmage yards (86 rushing, 37 receiving) and a touchdown in the Chiefs’ win over Houston. Charles has at least 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in each of the first seven games to start the season, joining Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson (1975) as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat.
St. Louis’ Sam Bradford, Chicago’s Jay Cutler and Philadelphia’s Nick Foles all left with injuries. Bradford was hurt in the fourth quarter of a 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers when he landed on his left knee after being shoved out of bounds by Panthers safety Mike Mitchell. He was to accompany the team on the flight back to St. Louis. Coach Jeff Fisher said Bradford “was in significant pain on the sideline.” ... Cutler injured his groin while being sacked in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins and didn’t return. The Bears also lost linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) and cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) to injuries in the second half. ... Foles suffered a head injury when he was sacked by George Selvie and Jarius Wynn on the final play of the third quarter. ... It wasn’t just the quarterbacks who got hurt. Green Bay lost another offensive threat when tight end Jermichael Finley was taken off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter following a late hit by safety Tashaun Gipson. The team said he had a neck injury but had movement in his extremities. Tampa Bay lost running back Doug Martin to a shoulder injury. ... Other injuries included Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall, who hurt his Achilles’ tendon. “It seems pretty significant,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.
“We talk about getting better and we completely missed an opportunity. That’s what not getting better looks like. Penalties, missed tackles, missed assignments, spirit, effort. We talk about playing with toughness, playing with effort, playing with enthusiasm and playing smart. That’s our style. I don’t think we did any one of those four today.” — Jaguars coach Gus Bradley on his team’s struggles in a 24-6 loss to the Chargers. Jacksonville is 0-7.