NFL roundup: Broncos stay perfect
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 12, 2009
DENVER (AP) ó Kyle Orton moved Denver from its 2 to the end zone to tie it Sunday, then Matt Prater kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime for a 20-17 victory over New England that made rookie Broncos coach Josh McDaniels a winner over his old boss, Bill Belichick.
On a day when they wore mustard-yellow jerseys and vertically striped socks to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Broncos improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1998 ó the last time they went to the Super Bowl.
Orton threw for 330 yards and two scores and did his best John Elway impression. McDaniels pumped his fist over and over as he ran toward the stands after a postgame hug with Belichick at midfield. And the defense held New England (3-2) scoreless in the second half and looked a lot like the Orange Crush of yore.
Denver’s fourth-quarter drive certainly wasn’t “The Drive” ó Elway’s classic, 98-yard march that helped beat the Browns 23-20 back in 1987 ó but it will go down as one of the best in this franchise’s history.
Cowboys 26, Chiefs 20 OT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Miles Austin scored the winning touchdown in overtime on a 60-yard catch-and-run to cap a huge game in place of the injured Roy Williams. Austin had 10 catches for 250 yards as the Cowboys survived numerous mistakes against the winless Chiefs.
Austin also had a tackle-breaking 59-yard touchdown catch to give the Cowboys (3-2) a 20-13 lead with 2:16 left in the fourth quarter. On both plays, he slipped the grasp of cornerback Maurice Leggett and then made safety Mike Brown miss.
The loss dropped the Chiefs (0-5) to 2-28 in their last 30 games. Kansas City, winless for 315 days, tied it 20-20 on Matt Cassel’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe with 24 seconds left.
Falcons 45, 49ers 10
SAN FRANCISCOó Roddy White had a 90-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown and a 31-yard TD reception, and Michael Turner ran for three scores to end San Francisco’s five-game home winning streak.
White finished with eight catches for a career-high 210 yards against the 49ers’ usually stingy defense. Six of those receptions were in the first half for 185 yards, as Atlanta (3-1) came out of its bye week sharp in all phases and finished with a 477-279 advantage in total yards. Matt Ryan completed 22 of 32 passes for 329 yards and two TDs and also ran for a late score.
San Francisco (3-2) flopped in its biggest test yet, falling to its worst defeat since a 41-0 loss at Kansas City on Oct. 1, 2006, under former coach Mike Nolan.
Cardinals 28, Texans 21
GLENDALE, Ariz. ó Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown with 2:20 to go and the Arizona defense stopped the Texans three times at the 1-yard line in the final minute.
Matt Schaub brought the Texans back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to tie the game and had completed 11 straight when Rodgers-Cromartie, playing with a fractured right index finger, stepped in front of intended receiver Kevin Walter.
The young cornerback raced down the sideline, then high-stepped the final 20 yards for the score for the Cardinals (2-2).
Seahawks 41, Jaguars 0
SEATTLE ó Matt Hasselbeck returned from being sidelined two games with broken ribs to throw four touchdown passes, and the Seahawks rolled to their biggest home shutout in 25 years.
The Seahawks (2-3) were still missing seven starters, including three-fifths of their starting offensive line. Didn’t matter: Hasselbeck was back.
Bengals 17, Ravens 14
BALTIMORE ó Carson Palmer threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds left to cap an 80-yard drive fueled by Baltimore penalties.
All five of Cincinnati’s games this season have been decided by seven points for fewer. It appeared the Bengals (4-1) were destined to come out on the short end of this one until Palmer masterfully directed the final drive ó with the help of three yellow flags.
Eagles 33, Buccaneers 14PHILADELPHIAó Donovan McNabb showed he was fine after missing two games with a broken rib, throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
Rookie Jeremy Maclin had two TD catches and the lopsided score allowed Michael Vick to take extra snaps at quarterback in the fourth quarter. He completed his first pass in 33 months and had an 11-yard run.
Steelers 28, Lions 20
DETROIT ó Ben Roethlisberger had a season-high three touchdowns passes for the Steelers (3-2), supported by thousands of black-and-gold clad fans. They went ahead on Rashard Mendenhall’s TD run midway through the first quarter and took a 15-point lead in the third on Roethlisberger’s 47-yard pass to rookie Mike Wallace.
Detroit (1-4) drove into Pittsburgh territory on the ensuing series, but Daunte Culpepper’s up-for-grabs pass was intercepted by Ryan Clark. Culpepper bounced back with a 25-yard TD to Dennis Northcutt to pull within eight with 4:57 to go.
The Steelers’ three-and-out drive gave Detroit the ball back at its 29 with 3:07 to go and two timeouts, but it got to the Pittsburgh 21 before stalling.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison had three sacks, matching the total he had entering the game, and forced a fumble much to the delight of folks who filled Ford Field. The game drew 59,333 fans and at least half looked and sounded like they were rooting for the visitors.
Giants 44, Raiders 7
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó After a week of concern over whether Eli Manning would make his 83rd straight start, he threw two scoring passes and led the Giants on touchdown drives on their first four series. Then Manning rested his sore heel.
Manning tossed touchdown passes of 30 yards to Mario Manningham and 9 yards to first-round draft pick Hakeem Nicks. He finished 8 of 10 for 173 yards on a day the Giants gained 483 yards. New York (5-0) is off to its best start since winning the Super Bowl in 1990.
Vikings 38, Rams 10
ST. LOUIS ó Brett Favre threw for 232 yards and a touchdown a day after his 40th birthday. Spry and efficient, Favre showed no signs of a letdown after beating the Packers, his former team, last week, dodging defenders and winging passes in every direction to give Minnesota its first 5-0 start in six years.
Jared Allen returned one of his two fumble recoveries 52 yards for a touchdown and Adrian Peterson rumbled in for a pair of touchdowns, helping the Vikings to their 400th win (400-322-9).
Browns 6, Bills 3
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. ó Backup kicker Billy Cundiff hit an 18-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining. Cundiff’s kick ended a display of offensive ineptitude between the Browns and Bills in a how-bad-was-it game.
Colts 31, Titans 9
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Peyton Manning’s near-perfect start to the season continued as he had 309 yards and three touchdown passes, and the Colts never trailed in beating their AFC South rivals for their NFL-best 14th straight regular-season win.
Manning joined Kurt Warner and Steve Young as the only NFL quarterbacks to open a season by throwing for at least 300 yards in the first five games.”He will have to wait out a bye week to try and match them with a sixth such game.
Indianapolis (5-0) has not lost since its last visit to Nashville and leaves now with a firm grip on the AFC South.