|Undermanned Colts stay even with Patriots in undefeated derby|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 07 October 2007 22:49|
Operating without standout receiver Marvin Harrison and running back Joseph Addai - not to mention defensive starters safety Bob Sanders and linebackers Rob Morris and Freddy Keiaho - Manning guided a clock-eating Indianapolis offense to a 33-14 romp over Tampa Bay.
Kenton Keith ran for two touchdowns and 121 yards in his first NFL start and Manning threw for two more scores as the Colts (5-0) headed into their bye week unbeaten for the third straight season.
``Some guys knew they were going to play all week, some found out about 1 1/2 hours before the game,'' Manning said. ``You certainly don't like to be missing some of your main players, but when it happens that old cliche is true. Other guys have to step up and a lot of guys did that today.''
That allowed the Colts to keep pace with New England, which beat Kansas City 34-17, atop the AFC. Green Bay fell from the unbeaten ranks when it lost at home to Chicago 27-20.
Dallas, which plays Monday night at Buffalo, is the other unbeaten club.
Elsewhere Sunday, it was: San Diego 41, Denver 3; Carolina 16, New Orleans 13; Houston 22, Miami 19; Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 0; Arizona 34, St. Louis 31; Washington 34, Detroit 3; Tennessee 20, Atlanta 13; Baltimore 9, San Francisco 7; Jacksonville 17, Kansas City 7; and the New York Giants 35, the New York Jets 24.
Off this week were Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oakland and Philadelphia.
Colts 33, Buccaneers 14
At Indianapolis, the Colts kept the ball for 38:15 and limited the Bucs (3-2) to 8 yards rushing and 74 yards in offense in the first three quarters, 56 on Tampa's only meaningful scoring drive.
``I have been proud of our team on many, many occasions, but this is one of the best,'' coach Tony Dungy said. ``We talked about focusing on who was going to play, and not who might not play and who couldn't.''
With starting RB Carnell ``Cadillac'' Williams out for the season, the Bucs lost backup Michael Pittman with an ankle injury.
Patriots 34, Browns 17
Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns, tying an NFL record with at least three in each of his first five games. Junior Seau grabbed two interceptions, and New England became the first team to start a season with five wins by at least 17 points.
The host Patriots never trailed as they moved to 5-0 for the third time in club history. So far, they've been behind for just 12 minutes, 36 seconds this season.
The Browns (2-3) lost running back Jamal Lewis with an injured right foot after he rushed for 11 yards on their first play.
Bears 27, Packers 20
At Green Bay, the Bears (2-3) took advantage of five turnovers by the Packers, who lost for the first time in five games.
Brian Griese threw the go-ahead touchdown to tight end Desmond Clark with 2:05 left. Brett Favre drove the Packers (4-1) to the Bears 31, but threw an incomplete pass and an interception to safety Brandon McGowan in the end zone to end the game.
The inconsistent Favre popped up in the third quarter, throwing a head-scratching interception to Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher that let Chicago back into the game. Griese then threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Greg Olsen.
Chargers 41, Broncos 3
At Denver, the Chargers (2-3) handed the Broncos their worst home loss since 1966. Reigning MVP LaDainian Tomlinson gained 140 total yards and backup Michael Turner added 147 yards on 10 carries - highlighted by a 74-yard touchdown trot along the Broncos' bewildered sideline in the fourth quarter.
One week after committing four turnovers, the Chargers had none in winning consecutive games in Denver for the first time since 1967-68.
They handed the Broncos (2-3), losers of three straight, their worst home loss since the Kansas City Chiefs' 56-10 thumping on Oct. 23, 1966.
Panthers 16, Saints 13
John Kasay made a 52-yard field goal as time expired as he dropped New Orleans to 0-4. Kasay made six field goals in the Superdome against the Saints in 2004.
Carolina (3-2) redeemed itself after a week of dissension following a lopsided home loss to Tampa Bay. But quarterback David Carr, replacing injured starter Jake Delhomme, hurt his back, although he returned to the field.
Texans 22, Dolphins 19
At Houston, Kris Brown kicked five field goals, including the winner on a career-long 57-yarder with 1 second remaining. Brown tied an NFL single-game record with three makes over 50 yards. He hit two 54-yarders earlier in the game for the Texans (3-2).
``I knew it was going to be a fairly long kick,'' he said of the winner. ``I told myself to ... make it a good kick, and let's go home.''
The Dolphins (0-5) are off to their worst start since losing the first six to open the 2004 season. Things could get worse after quarterback Trent Green suffered a concussion trying to block.
Steelers 21, Seahawks 0
At Pittsburgh, the Steelers (4-1) didn't have their two best defensive players or their two starting wide receivers. Ben Roethlisberger, scrambling and improvising, led three successive lengthy touchdown drives highlighted by Najeh Davenport's runs.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's undermanned defense, missing safety Troy Polamalu and tackle Casey Hampton, dominated Seattle (3-2).
Cardinals 34, Rams 31
At St. Louis, the Cardinals (3-2) lost starting QB Matt Leinart to a broken collarbone. So Kurt Warner produced three touchdowns in his former home.
Rod Hood returned an off-target pass by Gus Frerotte 68 yards for an easy go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Frerotte made his first start since the end of 2005 in place of Marc Bulger, who has two broken ribs, and threw three touchdown passes for the winless Rams (0-5).
Redskins 34, Lions 3
The Redskins (3-1) held the ball and wore down the Lions on a hot day to keep alive a 70-year hex for Detroit in the nation's capital: the Redskins are 21-0 at home against the Lions since they moving to Washington.
Fullback Mike Sellers caught a pass for one touchdown and ran for another.
Detroit (3-2) had been averaging 28.5 points and 387.3 yards per game, but could only generate a field goal and 149 total yards against a Washington defense that had five sacks.
Titans 20, Falcons 13
Vincent Fuller picked off a pass and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown, and Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Byron Leftwich with 1:01 left, as the host Titans (3-1) overcame five turnovers.
Tennessee's Vince Young matched his career high with three interceptions.
Atlanta (1-4) scored only 13 points off the turnovers and missed three field goals.
Ravens 9, 49ers 7
At San Francisco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the defense suffocated San Francisco (2-3) on all but a few plays. Matt Stover made up for Baltimore's near-equal offensive ineptitude with three field goals.
The Ravens (3-2) didn't get in the end zone despite outgaining San Francisco 315-163, yet they hung on with the franchise's lowest point total in a victory since the former Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996.
Jaguars 17, Chiefs 7
The visiting Jaguars (3-1) held the Chiefs to 10 yards rushing. The Jaguars, who gave up 282 yards rushing to Tennessee in losing their opener, have not allowed more than 48 yards on the ground in any of the three games since, all wins.
Maurice Jones-Drew raced 52 yards for Jacksonville's first touchdown.
Pro Bowler Larry Johnson was held to 12 yards on nine carries for the Chiefs (2-3).
Giants 35, Jets 24
Rookie Aaron Ross returned the second of his first two NFL interceptions 43 yards for a touchdown with just over 3 minutes remaining to seal the victory over the Jets (1-4) in the latest Battle of New York.
A week after getting 12 sacks against Philadelphia, the Giants had only one. But they intercepted Chad Pennington three times.
After trailing by 10 at halftime, the Giants (3-2) took over in the second half and beat the Jets (1-4) for the seventh time in 11 meetings.