Peyton Manning, Broncos best Chargers: NFL roundup
Lions edge Bears, Steelers down Bills, Rams trounce Colts
SAN DIEGO — Peyton Manning threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, three to Demaryius Thomas, as he efficiently led the Denver Broncos to a 28-20 victory against San Diego on Sunday in their first game since coach John Fox had heart surgery.
Fox, who was released from the hospital Friday, planned to watch the game on TV at his off-season home in Charlotte, N.C., a team spokesman said.
With interim coach Jack Del Rio in charge, Manning kept the Broncos (8-1) rolling. He threw touchdown passes of 11, 7 and 34 yards to Thomas on consecutive drives spanning the second and third quarters.
Julius Thomas had a 74-yard catch-and-run on Denver's first drive.
The Broncos' scoring drives lasted 57 seconds; 2 minutes, 27 seconds, 1:25, and 3:26.
Manning has thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns in nine games. San Diego fell to 4-5.
INDIANAPOLIS — Tavon Austin returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown and caught two TD passes, almost single-handedly ending the Rams' three-game losing streak with a stunning 38-8 victory Sunday at Indianapolis.
The smallish receiver caught only two passes, for 138 yards, and averaged 36.0 yards on four punt returns including the one he fooled the Colts' coverage unit by waving away his teammates and then grabbing the bouncing ball at his own 2-yard line before sprinting down the sideline for a TD.
St. Louis (4-6) won for the first time since Kellen Clemens replaced the injured Sam Bradford. Clemens was 9 of 16 for 247 yards with the two longest pass plays of his NFL career — a 57-yard TD to Austin in the first half and an 81-yarder to Austin in the second half.
Indy (6-3) struggled again without Reggie Wayne. Andrew Luck finished 29 of 47 for 353 yards with one TD and three interceptions.
NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees completed 34 of 41 passes for 392 yards and three touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints opened a 42-17 lead over the Dallas Cowboys early in the fourth quarter on Sunday night.
Brees connected with Kenny Stills on a 52-yard touchdown pass, with Marques Colston on a 22-yard scoring strike, with running back Pierre Thomas for a 1-yard score and with running back Darren Sproles for a 28-yard score with 5 seconds left in the first half.
Sproles also had a 3-yard touchdown run, and Mark Ingram added a 4-yard scoring run in what was shaping up to be by far his best game of the season.
DeMarco Murray had 82 yards rushing on 13 carries and a touchdown for Dallas, highlighted by his 35-yard scamper on a fake reverse. That set up his 7-yard scoring run, which gave Dallas a short-lived 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. Dallas did not score again until Tony Romo's 21-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams in the last minute of the third quarter.
CHICAGO — Calvin Johnson had two second-half touchdown receptions, Reggie Bush rushed for 105 yards and the Detroit Lions beat Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears 21-19 on Sunday in a key matchup of NFC North rivals.
Johnson broke Herman Moore's franchise record with his 63rd career touchdown reception with 2:22 to go, giving the Lions a 21-13 lead with a 14-yard grab in the corner of the end zone. He also had a tiebreaking 4-yard TD reception on the first drive in the third quarter.
Bush had 89 yards on the ground in the second half as Detroit (6-3) swept the season series against Chicago (5-4).
Cutler threw for 250 yards and a touchdown in his first action since he injured his groin last month. He looked progressively worse as the game wore on and departed late in the game with what the team said was an ankle injury.
SAN FRANCISCO — Drayton Florence's interception in the final minute sealed a 10-9 victory for Carolina on Sunday to snap the San Francisco 49ers' five-game winning streak and give the Panthers their fifth straight win.
Graham Gano kicked a 53-yard field goal with 10:05 remaining that held up as the Panthers (6-3) twice shut down Colin Kaepernick on last-ditch drives with swarming defence.
DeAngelo Williams broke two tackles for a 27-yard touchdown run late in the first half that pulled Carolina within 9-7. Gano missed wide left on a 48-yard field goal in the third period, but came through later.
San Francisco (6-3) got the ball back with 5:25 left at its 1, then again with 1:02 to go.
Phil Dawson kicked a season-best 53-yard field goal among his three for the 49ers, who lost tight end Vernon Davis and rookie safety Eric Reid to concussions.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh shut down rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel in his return, pounding the Bills in a 23-10 win on Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and a touchdown, Le'Veon Bell added 52 yards rushing and a score as the Steelers (3-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.
A week after giving up 610 yards and 55 points in a loss to New England, Pittsburgh held the Bills (3-7) to 227 total yards, more than one-third coming on a meaningless drive in the final minutes.
Manuel completed 22 of 39 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Steelers limited Buffalo to 95 yards rushing, nearly 50 below its average, and sacked Manuel three times.
ATLANTA — Russell Wilson threw a pair of touchdown passes, Marshawn Lynch ran for 145 yards and the Seattle Seahawks routed the hapless Atlanta Falcons 33-10 Sunday in a one-sided rematch of last season's NFC divisional playoffs.
After struggling for wins the last two weeks, the first-place Seahawks (9-1) blew out a team that once had Super Bowl hopes but is just two defeats away from its first losing season since 2007.
The Falcons (2-7) trailed 23-3 at the half after the Seahawks scored a touchdown with 1 second remaining — a complete reversal of their post-season game last January. Atlanta led 20-0 in that one at the half, but Seattle rallied for the lead in the final minute before the Falcons pulled out a 30-28 victory.
No such dramatics this time.
BALTIMORE — Justin Tucker kicked a 46-yard field goal with 5:27 left in overtime, and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 Sunday after blowing a 17-point halftime lead and giving up a touchdown on the final play of regulation.
The tense victory ended a three-game skid for the Ravens (4-5) and thrust them into a second-place tie in the division, just one game behind Cincinnati (6-4) in the loss column. It was the defending Super Bowl champions' first victory since Oct. 6.
The Bengals have lost two straight in overtime.
Cincinnati pulled even when A.J. Green caught a desperation pass from Andy Dalton for a 51-yard touchdown. Green positioned himself behind the pack and caught the ball after it flicked off the hand of Ravens safety James Ihedigbo, who earlier had the first two interceptions of his career.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Terrell Thomas returned an interception 65 yards to set up a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run by fellow comebacker Andre Brown, and the New York Giants won their third straight game, 24-20 Sunday over Oakland. The error-prone Giants (3-6) handed the Raiders (3-6) their first 17 points on first-half turnovers. But they got 115 yards rushing by Brown in his first game this season, and another big defensive game to keep their season alive.
Despite throwing another pick-6, Eli Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, and Cooper Taylor scored on a 21-yard return with a blocked punt. Josh Brown added a field goal.
Terrelle Pryor scored on 1-yard run and Tracy Porter on a 43-yard interception return for Oakland. Sebastian Janikowski kicked two field goals.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Nick Foles threw three long touchdown passes and the Philadelphia Eagles pulled away for a 27-13 victory over the injury-ravaged Green Bay Packers, who lost backup quarterback Seneca Wallace to a groin injury on Sunday.
A week after throwing for seven TDs, Foles was at it again. He found DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard score, and connected with Riley Cooper for second-half touchdowns from 45 and 32 yards.
Philadelphia (5-5) won a battle of attrition at Lambeau Field.
Wallace started for Green Bay (5-4) after Aaron Rodgers hurt his left collarbone in last week's loss to the Chicago Bears. Wallace was replaced after the first series by Scott Tolzien, who threw for 280 yards and a score but was intercepted twice.
The teams combined for three missed field goals before the Eagles regained traction in the second half.
NASHVILLE — Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman each ran for a touchdown, and the Jacksonville Jaguars got their first win this season by beating the Tennessee Titans 29-27 Sunday.
The Jaguars (1-8) scored the most points in a game this season for first-year coach Gus Bradley. They never trailed and forced four turnovers they turned into 17 points.
The Titans scored twice in the final 4:15, the last on a 14-yard TD pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick to Delanie Walker with 40 seconds left. But Johnathan Cyprien recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.
On a day the Titans (4-5) held a moment of silence for late owner Bud Adams, they got caught looking ahead to Thursday night's AFC South game with division leader Indianapolis. The Titans also lost Jake Locker to an injured right foot that had him on crutches and in a walking boot in the second half.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes and the Arizona Cardinals held on to send the Houston Texans to their franchise-record seventh consecutive loss, 27-24 on Sunday.
The Texans (2-7) were without coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines against Indianapolis last Sunday night with what was diagnosed as a mini-stroke. Defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips is filling in as interim coach.
Arizona (5-4) scored on the game's first play when John Abraham knocked the ball out of Case Keenum's arm and Matt Shaugnessy returned it 6 yards for a touchdown.
Keenum threw three touchdown passes, two on remarkable catches by Andre Johnson.
J.J. Watt forced two fumbles, recovering both of them for Houston. The second one set up Johnson's 5-yard TD catch that cut the lead to three with 4:34 to play.