Broncos hand Chiefs 1st loss of season: NFL roundup
Saints rally past 49ers, Seahawks rout Vikings
DENVER — Peyton Manning went virtually untouched by Kansas City's sack-happy defence Sunday night, throwing for 323 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 27-17 victory over the NFL's last undefeated team.
The Chiefs, who came into the game with a league-leading 36 sacks, barely breathed on Manning, who finished 24 for 40.
The Broncos tied Kansas City at 9-1 atop the AFC West with a rematch set in two weeks.
With Lindsey Vonn and boyfriend Tiger Woods on the sideline to watch the NFL's must-see game of the year, the Denver offensive line, featuring tackles Chris Clark and Orlando Franklin, shut out Kansas City's sack duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali along with the rest of the KC defence, which came in with a league-leading 36 sacks.
Denver fell short of its league-leading average of 41.2 points but the Chiefs, who came in allowing a NFL-low 12.8 per game, couldn't keep up.
Alex Smith threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas City, which hadn't lost since a 38-3 setback in Denver last December to close out a 2-14 season.
NEW ORLEANS — Bloodied, Drew Brees recovered. Garret Hartley made a nifty comeback, too, for the New Orleans Saints.
Brees wiped off chin after absorbing a hard hit in the waning minutes and guided the Saints to a pair of late field goals, with Hartley kicking a 31-yarder as time expired to beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-20 on Sunday.
The Saints trailed 20-17 when Ahmad Brooks levelled Brees and forced a fumble that Patrick Willis pounced on for the Niners. But Brooks was flagged because his forearm whacked Brees at the base of his neck, awkwardly bending back the quarterback's head. The Niners disputed the 15-yard penalty for a hit to the head.
Brees moved the Saints into position for Hartley's tying 42-yard kick with 2:06 left, then set him up to win it.
Hartley, who had missed four field goals in the Saints' previous three games, made all three of his field goal attempts in the fourth quarter — he earlier hit from 21 yards.
Colin Kaepernick passed for a pair of scores, but finished with only 127 yards and was sacked three times as the Niners (6-4) lost their second straight.
SEATTLE — Percy Harvin made an impact in his season debut, returning a kickoff 58 yards late in the first half to set up Russell Wilson's 19-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, and the Seahawks rolled to their franchise-record 13th straight home win beating the Minnesota Vikings 41-20 on Sunday.
Harvin made his anticipated Seattle debut after missing the first 10 weeks of the regular season following hip surgery. His kickoff return proved one of the biggest plays as Seahawks improved to 10-1 and stayed on top of the NFC heading into their bye week.
Wilson and Marshawn Lynch wouldn't let Harvin's debut take the entire spotlight. Wilson had two touchdown passes, while Lynch had two touchdowns running and one receiving. Wilson completed 13 of 18 for 230 yards and a career-best passer rating of 151.4.
Christian Ponder threw a 38-yard TD to Jarius Wright in the first half for Minnesota (2-8), but threw two poor interceptions in the fourth quarter.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul scored on a spectacular, leaping 24-yard fourth-quarter interception return and the resurgent New York Giants won their fourth game in a row with a 27-13 victory over the slumping and injured-riddled Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Eli Manning threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle and Brandon Jacobs added a 1-yard run as the Giants (4-6) handed the Packers (5-5) their third straight loss, their longest skid since a five-game losing streak near the end of 2008.
Two of the three losses have come with quarterback Aaron Rodgers sidelined with a broken collarbone.
While Scott Tolzien played well at times in his first NFL start, the Giants intercepted him three times, setting up 10 points. Pierre-Paul's pick early in the fourth quarter gave New York a 14-point lead.
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger passed for 367 yards and four touchdowns, including two in the final 5 minutes as the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied to beat the Detroit Lions 37-27 on Sunday.
Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 147 yards and two scores and Pittsburgh's defence rebounded from a horrific second quarter to shut out Detroit in the second half. The Steelers (4-6) have won two straight and kept the Lions (6-4) winless in Pittsburgh for 58 years and counting.
Matthew Stafford threw for 362 yards with two touchdowns and an interception to become the Lions' all-time leading passer. Calvin Johnson hauled in six passes for 179 yards and both scores, but Detroit's two stars disappeared over the final 30 minutes.
Stafford completed just 3 of 16 passes in the second half, with none of the completions going to Johnson.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami held San Diego without a touchdown over the final three quarters, and Brent Grimes broke up Philip Rivers' final pass in the end zone as time expired, giving the embattled Dolphins a 20-16 win Sunday.
The victory gave the Dolphins something to celebrate amid a harassment scandal that has raised questions about the team's locker room culture. An NFL special investigator will question players this week about what might have happened between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 268 yards, including a 39-yard score to Charles Clay, who broke two tackles on the play. Miami managed 104 yards rushing behind a makeshift line.
The Dolphins (5-5) won for only the second time in the past seven games. The Chargers (4-6) lost their third game in a row to further hurt their chances of an AFC wild-card berth.
CHICAGO — Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal to lift the Chicago Bears to a 23-20 victory over Baltimore Sunday in a game delayed about two hours by a torrential downpour.
Justin Tucker tied it for the Ravens with a 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
The big delay came after Tucker kicked a 52-yard field goal with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter. Fans were ordered to take cover. Players headed to the locker rooms as heavy rains and winds whipped through Soldier Field. They emerged about two hours later with the sky clearing and the sun coming out, but the rain and wind returned in the third quarter, turning the stands into a sea of ponchos.
Gould won it with a 38-yarder on third-and-8 with 8:41 left in OT.
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and Cincinnati returned a blocked punt and a fumble for touchdowns during a 31-point second quarter that set a Bengals record and swept the AFC North leaders to a 40-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
The Bengals (7-4) head into their bye week with their division lead intact. They'd lost their last two games in overtime, tying the NFL record and allowing the Browns (4-6) to draw close.
The biggest quarter in club history left this one in hand by halftime. It ended as the most lopsided game in the intrastate series since Cincinnati's 30-0 win in Cleveland in 2006.
Dalton had a horrid start that helped Cleveland get a promising early lead. He threw two passes that were picked off by Joe Haden, who ran one of them back 29 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
When the quarter ended, Cleveland fell apart.
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Foles threw for 298 yards and ran for a touchdown, LeSean McCoy had two TDs rushing and the Philadelphia Eagles snapped a 10-game home losing streak with a 24-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
A year after finishing 4-12 under Andy Reid, Chip Kelly's Eagles (6-5) are first in the NFC East. They're a half-game ahead of idle Dallas (5-5). The defending division champion Redskins fell to 3-7.
The Eagles hadn't won at the Linc in 413 days since defeating the New York Giants on Sept. 30, 2012.
Down 24-0 in the fourth quarter, the Redskins rallied behind Robert Griffin III's TD passes of 62 yards to Darrel Young and 41 yards to Aldrick Robinson and both 2-point conversions.
RG3 then drove the Redskins to the Eagles 18 before his pass off his back foot was intercepted by Brandon Boykin.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Jairus Byrd had two interceptions in leading a Buffalo Bills defence that forced four turnovers in a 37-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Kyle Williams had two sacks and forced a fumble, and Da'Norris Searcy returned Geno Smith's third interception 32 yards for a touchdown. Buffalo (4-7) snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games.
Buffalo's EJ Manuel won Round 2 of the AFC East showdown of rookie quarterbacks by finishing 20 of 28 for 245 yards passing and two scores.
Smith, a second-round pick out of West Virginia, struggled in blustery conditions, finishing 8 of 23 for 103 yards four turnovers — including a lost fumble — before being yanked in favour of Matt Simms after three quarters.
The Jets (5-5) became the NFL's first team to alternate wins and losses through the first 10 games of the season.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Carson Palmer threw for 419 yards and two scores and did not throw an interception for the first time all year, leading the Arizona Cardinals to a 27-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Michael Floyd had a career-high 193 yards receiving, including a 91-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run. Will Blackmon was beaten on the play, and then slipped off the receiver and rolled into cornerback Alan Ball to set Floyd free the rest of the way.
The Cardinals (6-4) won their third straight game.
The Jaguars (1-9) at least scored a touchdown at home for the first time this year. On fourth-and-2 from the 38 on the opening drive, Chad Henne found tight end Danny Noble behind the defence for a 62-yard score. It was Noble's first NFL reception.
HOUSTON — Rookie Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes in his first NFL start and the Oakland Raiders extended the Houston Texans' franchise-record skid to eight games with a 28-23 victory on Sunday in coach Gary Kubiak's return from a mini-stroke.
McGloin, an undrafted free agent, was 18 of 32 for 197 yards in place of an injured Terrelle Pryor.
Kubiak wasn't on the sidelines, instead coaching upstairs from the booth on doctor's orders two weeks after collapsing at halftime of Houston's game against Indianapolis.
Houston (2-8) had a chance to take the lead late. But Matt Schaub's pass to Andre Johnson on fourth down from the 8 was broken up in the end zone to give Oakland (4-6) the win.
TAMPA, Fla. — Bobby Rainey rushed for 163 yards and scored three touchdowns Sunday to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 41-28 victory over the struggling Atlanta Falcons.
A waiver wire pickup who's filling in for the injured Doug Martin and Mike James, Rainey scored on first-half runs of 43 and 3 yards. He caught a 4-yard TD pass from Mike Glennon in the third quarter to help the Bucs (2-8) win for the second straight time following an 0-8 start.
The Falcons (2-8) have lost four straight by a combined score of 135-61.
The 5-foot-8, 212-pound Rainey also ran for 45 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in a 22-19 victory over Miami the previous week. He's been with the Bucs for four games after beginning the season as a kick returner and backup running back with the Cleveland Browns.