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NFL roundup: Peyton prevails again in battle of Manning brothers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Big brother Manning got the better of his kid sibling, with lots of help from Denver’s one-man ground game.
The older Manning is 3-0 in the NFL against Eli, with the other two victories coming when Peyton was with the Colts. He got this win with a huge boost from Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for two touchdowns and 93 yards on just 13 carries. Denver (2-0), which has won 13 straight regular-season games, ran for 109 yards altogether.
With Manning finding Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for touchdowns, and Moreno scoring on sprints down the right side of 20 and 25 yards, Denver dominated much of the matchup between Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks; Eli has won two titles, Peyton one.
After the rout, the brothers shared a very short handshake while surrounded by a mob of photographers and TV cameras.
Eli Manning was picked off four times — he was intercepted 15 all of last season — and the Giants also allowed Trindon Holliday’s spectacular 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, the first such score in the league this season.
Peyton, who became the third player over 60,000 career yards passing on Denver’s opening drive, connected with a wide-open Welker for a 2-yard score that gave the Broncos a 17-9 lead. But little brother took New York 81 yards in response, although the drive was built more on Broncos blunders — four penalties, including two for pass interference — than Manning magic.
There was plenty more Moreno magic on Denver’s next series, when he again surged around right end to almost duplicate his earlier 20-yard scoring run with a 25-yarder. Considered a backup heading toward the season, Moreno was virtually the entire running game for the Broncos on Sunday — and he made the difference.
Peyton Manning also hit Thomas for an 11-yard score as Denver pulled away in the second half after leading 10-9 at halftime. Da’Rel Scott took a short pass 23 yards for a TD for New York to conclude the Giants’ scoring.
The sloppy first half was marred by eight dropped passes on both sides, including three by Welker. The biggest drop, though, came on a running play when rookie Montee Ball fumbled at the New York 3 to ruin Denver’s drive from its 7 on the opening series. Ryan Mundy recovered in the end zone, with Peyton watching in frustration, his hands on his hips.
Eli Manning then led his team 62 yards, 51 on a pass to Victor Cruz, and Josh Brown made a 36-yard field goal. Brown added kicks of 24 and 41 yards in the first half.
CHARGERS 33, EAGLES 30
PHILADELPHIA — Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Eddie Royal, and Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field goal with 7 seconds left, spoiling Chip Kelly’s home debut.
Michael Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. But a porous Eagles defense couldn’t stop Rivers all day.
He finished 36 of 47 for 419 yards, and the Chargers punted only once. They fumbled twice inside Philadelphia’s 10 in the first half.
The teams combined for 1,150 total yards, including 539 for San Diego.
BEARS 31, VIKINGS 30
CHICAGO — Jay Cutler threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left.
Minnesota’s Blair Walsh had just kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3:15 remaining when Chicago took over at its 34. Cutler, who led the Bears back from an 11-point deficit in a season-opening win over Cincinnati, struck again.
A 23-yard pass to Bennett along the sideline put the ball on the 16. Cutler then spiked the ball before connecting with Bennett in the front corner of the end zone. Chicago remained unbeaten under new coach Marc Trestman despite committing four turnovers.
Cutler completed 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. But he was also intercepted twice and got stripped by Jared Allen on a sack, leading to a 61-yard touchdown return for Brian Robison in the second quarter.
SAINTS 16, BUCS 14
TAMPA, Fla. — Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give New Orleans a weather-delayed victory.
Drew Brees shrugged off throwing an interception that was returned to touchdown to give Tampa Bay the lead to complete three straight passes for 54 yards to lead the Saints (2-0) into position to win.
He finished 26 of 46 for 322 yards, but was sacked four times and intercepted twice.
The game was delayed 69 minutes by lightning in the first quarter.
The Bucs (0-2) lost on a field goal in the closing seconds for the second straight week. Linebacker Mason Foster scored on an 85-yard interception return for a 14-13 lead, however Rian Lindell missed a 46-yard field goal attempt with just over a minute later, giving Brees one more chance to bring the Saints back.
CHIEFS 17, COWBOYS 16
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and the Kansas City defense held when it needed to in the fourth quarter.
Jamaal Charles ran for 55 yards and caught a touchdown pass for the Chiefs, who made new coach Andy Reid a winner in his home debut. The Chiefs also matched their victory total from all of last season by starting 2-0 for just the second time since 2005.
Dwayne Bowe’s touchdown catch in the third quarter and Ryan Succop’s 40-yard field goal early in the fourth gave the Chiefs a 17-13 lead. The Cowboys (1-1) answered with a deep march into Kansas City territory but had to settle for Dan Bailey’s 53-yard field goal with 3:55 left.
The Chiefs offense never gave the Cowboys a chance to mount a winning drive.
TEXANS 30, TITANS 24, OT
HOUSTON — Rookie DeAndre Hopkins caught a 3-yard touchdown pass in overtime to cap Houston’s comeback win.
With Andre Johnson out after being shaken up in the fourth quarter, Hopkins reached above Jason McCourty and pulled in the pass from Matt Schaub to give Houston the victory.
The Texans (2-0) needed a franchise-record 21-point comeback to win their opener at San Diego 31-28.
On Sunday, they charged back from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans (1-1).
Arian Foster’s 1-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion tied it at 24-24 with less than two minutes left.
Houston forced a punt and got within field goal range after that. But Randy Bullock’s 46-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright to force overtime. It was his third miss of the day.
BILLS 24, PANTHERS 23
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Rookie EJ Manuel hit Stevie Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds left.
The touchdown capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive in which the first-round draft pick completed 6 of 8 attempts for 51 yards. Manuel also got help on third-and-6 from Carolina’s 29, when Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was penalized for pass interference with 14 seconds left.
Two plays later, Manuel found Johnson alone in the left corner as Buffalo (1-1) bounced back from a 23-21 season-opening loss to New England.
The Panthers (0-2) lost yet another close game. They were coming off a 12-7 loss to Seattle last week and have now dropped to 2-14 in games decided by 7 points or less in two-plus seasons under coach Ron Rivera.
DOLPHINS 24, COLTS 20
INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Tannehill threw for 319 yards and one touchdown, and the Dolphins defense held off yet another Colts comeback bid.
Charles Clay gave Miami the lead for good with a 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter. The Dolphins are 2-0 for only the second time since 2004.
Indianapolis (1-1) lost at home for the first time in 12 months and only the second time in Andrew Luck’s brief NFL career.
Luck had the Colts positioned to rally yet again after reaching the Miami 23-yard line with 1:45 left in the game.
But this time, Luck threw three straight incompletions and then could not evade the Dolphins pass rush on fourth down, allowing Miami to run out the clock.
Tannehill finished 23 of 34.
Luck was 25 of 43 for 321 yards with one TD and one interception.
FALCONS 31, RAMS 24
ATLANTA — Julio Jones hauled in 11 passes for 182 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, and Atlanta held on for its first win of the season.
Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and two scores despite taking quite a beating behind the Falcons’ shaky offense line. Jason Snelling clinched it for the Falcons (1-1) with an 11-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining — Atlanta’s longest play of the day on the ground.
The Rams (1-1) fell behind 21-0 when Osi Umenyiora returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime before St Louis fought back on a pair of short touchdown passes by Sam Bradford.
Bradford finished with 352 yards and three TDs.
CARDINALS 25, LIONS 21
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A pass interference penalty against Bill Bentley set up Rashard Mendenhall’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:59 to play in Bruce Arians’ home debut as Cardinals coach.
Jay Feely kicked four field goals and Carson Palmer threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to rookie Andre Ellington for Arizona (1-1). Ellington also had a 16-yard catch to start the deciding drive.
Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on touchdown plays of 72 and 3 yards, and DeAndre Levy returned an interception 66 yards for a score for Detroit (1-1), which led 21-13 midway through the third quarter.
Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald played despite a sore hamstring but was unable to finish the contest. Detroit’s Reggie Bush injured his left knee in the first half and played only briefly in the second.
RAVENS 14, BROWNS 6
BALTIMORE — Baltimore sacked Brandon Weeden five times before finally knocking him out of the game in the fourth quarter.
After yielding 49 points in a season-opening loss at Denver, Baltimore’s defense came up with a redemptive performance against the Browns (0-2). Cleveland failed to score in the second half and managed only 85 yards over the final 30 minutes.
Weeden left with a thumb injury with just over three minutes left and was replaced by Jason Campbell, who could not move the team.
Down 6-0 at halftime, the Ravens (1-1) took the lead on a 5-yard run by Bernard Pierce with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Baltimore added a touchdown with 8:77 remaining on a 5-yard pass from Joe Flacco to rookie Marlon Brown.
Ravens running back Ray Rice left early in the fourth quarter with an apparent hip injury.
RAIDERS 19, JAGUARS 9
OAKLAND, Calif. — Darren McFadden ran for 129 yards and Oakland’s defense held Jacksonville out of the end zone until the closing minutes, as the Raiders won their home opener.
Terrelle Pryor ran for 50 yards and threw for 126 in his first home start for the Raiders (1-1), and Marcel Reece scored on an 11-yard run to help Oakland bounce back from last week’s late loss in Indianapolis. Sebastian Janikowski added four field goals.
Playing the depleted Jaguars offense sure helped the cause. Jacksonville (0-2) came within 2:53 of becoming the first team since the 2006 Raiders and Buccaneers to fail to score a touchdown in the first two games.
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