Colts 30, Packers 27
INDIANAPOLIS — All Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne wanted to do was honour coach Chuck Pagano the best way they knew how — by winning.
The two biggest playmakers on Indy's offence teamed up in the second half, wiping out an 18-point halftime deficit and hooking up on a 4-yard TD pass with 35 seconds left that gave the Colts a stunning 30-27 victory over Green Bay.
It was a wild finish to an emotionally challenging week, and a win interim coach Bruce Arians called the greatest he's ever been around.
When the Colts returned to work Monday, following their bye, they learned Pagano had been diagnosed with leukemia and was being treated in a hospital. On Friday, they received an email from their coach urging them to focus on getting to .500 — rather than trying too hard to win one for the coach who celebrated his 52nd birthday Tuesday.
"My condition will not determine my position. I understand the condition but choose to focus on my position. That is to stay positive and serve. We will, we can, we must. We have no choice. By any means necessary. We will overcome."
Wayne and Luck took the message personally and delivered in a way Pagano wanted with clutch plays.
Luck finished 31 of 55 for a career-high 362 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Wayne caught 13 passes for a career-high 212 yards and the game-winning score.
Things sure weren't easy for Indy (2-2), which had to dig itself out from a 21-3 halftime deficit. In the final 30 minutes, the Colts got chances and took advantage.
Luck threw an 8-yard TD pass to Dwayne Allen, then set up Adam Vinatieri for a 50-yard field goal to make it 21-13 midway through the third quarter.
The Colts were just getting started.
Luck scored on a 3-yard run with 18 seconds left to get the Colts within 21-19. A few minutes later, the Colts took their first lead on Vinatieri's 28-yard field goal.
That's when Aaron Rodgers jump-stared the Green Bay offence. Alex Green ran 41 yards on the Packers' first play, and Rodgers threw an 8-yard TD pass to James Jones on the next one, giving Green Bay (2-3) a 27-22 lead with 4:30 left.
But Luck had one more chance and he wasn't going to disappoint his biggest fan.
The rookie quarterback marched Indianapolis 80 yards in 13 plays, converting three third-down chances before hooking up with Wayne for the decisive score.
Green Bay had a chance to force overtime, but Mason Crosby missed a 51-yard field goal to the left — a miss that set off a wild celebration on the Colts' sideline.
Rodgers was 21 of 33 for 243 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Falcons 24, Redskins 17
LANDOVER, Md. — Michael Turner ran 13 yards for the go-ahead score with 2:46 to play, and the Atlanta Falcons knocked Robert Griffin III out of the game Sunday in a 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins.
The Falcons are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Matt Ryan completed 34 of 52 passes for 345 yards as Atlanta handed Washington its eighth consecutive home loss.
Griffin left the game in the third quarter after being hit in the head on a sack by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
Kirk Cousins took over and threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Redskins a fourth-quarter lead, but the fourth-round pick also threw two interceptions in the final two minutes.
The Redskins fell to 2-3.
Steelers 16, Eagles 14
PITTSBURGH — Shaun Suisham hit a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 16-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Eagles (3-2) took the lead on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Michael Vick to Brent Celek with 6:33 remaining, but the Steelers responded by driving 64 yards, including a pair of key third-down conversions by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, to set up the winning kick.
Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall ran for 81 yards and a touchdown in his first game of the season as the Steelers (2-2) avoided their first two-game losing streak in three years. Vick completed 20 of 30 passes for 175 yards and two scores but fumbled twice for the Eagles, who couldn't keep their string of narrow early-season victories going.
Ravens 9, Chiefs 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ray Rice ran for 101 yards, Justin Tucker made all three of his field goal attempts and the Baltimore Ravens defence kept the Kansas City Chiefs out of the end zone in the fourth quarter to preserve a 9-6 victory Sunday.
Joe Flacco threw for 187 yards and was picked off once, but the Ravens (4-1) were still able to come up with enough points to beat the Chiefs (1-4), who turned it over four times.
Matt Cassel threw for 92 yards, was intercepted twice and credited with two lost fumbles before leaving in the fourth quarter with what the Chiefs described as a head injury.
Brady Quinn entered and led Kansas City to another field goal by Ryan Succop, but the Chiefs defence couldn't get the ball back and Baltimore ran out the clock.
Patriots 31, Broncos 21
FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady won his latest showdown with Peyton Manning with the help of a career-high 151 yards rushing from Stevan Ridley.
In the 13th meeting between the star quarterbacks, and first since Manning left the Indianapolis Colts, Brady directed four scoring marches of at least 80 yards and the Patriots rushed for 252 yards.
Brady improved to 9-4 against Manning, He completed 23 of 31 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown and ran for another. Manning was 31 of 44 for 345 yards and three touchdowns but lost a fumble on a third-quarter sack. The fumble led to Ridley's 8-yard run that put the Patriots (3-2) ahead 31-7 with about five minutes left in the third quarter.
Manning then threw touchdown passes of 2 yards to Eric Decker and 5 yards to Brandon Stokley but Denver (2-3) lost a fumble with 3:42 remaining.
Niners 45, Bills 3
SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Smith threw for a season-high 303 yards and three touchdowns, Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and a score, and the San Francisco 49ers amassed a franchise-record 621 yards in blowing by the Bills.
Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis each eclipsed 100 yards receiving to back Smith, who threw TD passes of 43, 28 and 10 yards and surpassed 300 yards passing for only the third time in his career.
Rian Lindell kicked a 31-yard field goal in the first quarter before San Francisco scored the final 42 points to hand Buffalo (2-3) its second straight embarrassing loss.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 126 yards and an interception, and the Bills rushed for only 89 yards, most with the game well out of hand once again.
Giants 41, Browns 27
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Victor Cruz and Ahmad Bradshaw set career bests Sunday in leading the New York Giants to a 41-27 victory over the winless Cleveland Browns.
Cruz caught three touchdown passes from Eli Manning covering 3, 7 and 28 yards, while Bradshaw surpassed his yardage on the ground for the season with a career-high 200. He had 132 entering the game.
The Giants are 9-0 in games he has rushed for 100 yards or more.
New York (3-2) also forced three turnovers, including Chase Blackburn's interception in the end zone midway in the fourth quarter to clinch it. That led to rookie David Wilson's first NFL touchdown, a 40-yard scamper.
The Browns are 0-5 for the first time since their return season to the NFL in 1999. They blew a 14-0 lead against the Super Bowl champions and committed 10 penalties in losing for the 11th straight time dating to last season.
Seahawks 16, Panthers 12
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Russell Wilson threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate with 35 seconds left in the third quarter to help the Seattle Seahawks beat the Carolina Panthers 16-12 on Sunday.
Wilson shook off two third quarter interceptions — including one that was returned for a touchdown — and outperformed Cam Newton on a struggle-filled day for the Carolina offence.
Wilson threw for 221 yards, while Marshawn Lynch ran for 85 yards for the Seahawks (3-2).
Newton threw for 141 yards on 12-for-29 passing, while the Panthers managed just 190 total yards. Their only touchdown came on Captain Munnerlyn's 33-yard interception return early in the third quarter.
Carolina started the season with plenty of optimism with the return of Newton to lead a high-scoring offence, but the Panthers (1-4) struggled against the tough Seahawks defence all afternoon.
Vikings 30, Titans 7
MINNEAPOLIS — Percy Harvin pounded his way through Tennessee's defence for one touchdown rushing and another receiving in helping the Minnesota Vikings to a 30-7 victory over the Titans on Sunday.
Harvin caught eight passes for 108 yards for the Vikings (4-1), who have given up a combined 33 points in winning three straight games. Christian Ponder threw his first two interceptions after 143 attempts without one, but he still finished 25 for 35 for 258 yards and two scores against the reeling Titans (1-4).
Matt Hasselbeck, starting in place of the injured Jake Locker, went 26 for 43 for 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Most of those gains came near the end with the outcome no longer in doubt
Bears 41, Jaguars 3
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs returned interceptions for touchdowns — their second in six days — and the Chicago Bears used stifling defence to overwhelm the Jaguars.
The Bears (4-1) scored 38 unanswered points, including 35 in the second half, to win their third consecutive game. The streak has everything to do with defence.
Chicago has returned five interceptions for touchdowns in the last three weeks.
Tillman and Briggs returned two of the team's five interceptions for touchdowns in Monday night's 34-18 victory at Dallas. Safety Major Wright returned one the previous week against St. Louis.
Tillman's second interception return for a TD this season — a 36-yarder in the third quarter — was a history maker. It was the first time since 1950 that Chicago returned interceptions for touchdowns in three consecutive games.
The Jaguars (1-4) never recovered and played the final quarter amid a chorus of boos.
Dolphins 17, Bengals 13
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Reshad Jones intercepted Andy Dalton's overthrown pass at midfield with 1:22 left on Sunday, preserving a 17-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that ended two weeks of miserable, last-minute finishes for the Dolphins.
Miami (2-3) had dropped its past two games in overtime. The Dolphins held on against the Bengals (3-2), who never got anything going consistently on offence and wasted a chance for a tighter finish.
Mike Nugent was wide right on a 42-yard field goal try with 3 minutes left — his first miss of the season — giving the Dolphins a chance to run down the clock behind rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was smooth in the toughest moments.
The Bengals got the ball back at their 20 following a punt with 1:45 to go, but Dalton's second interception sealed it. Dalton was 26 of 43 for 234 yards with three sacks and two interceptions.