Published September 24, 2013
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – Last season, the questions were about his right arm. A year later, the questions are about how many records his right arm will set. Peyton Manning tossed three more touchdown passes in the Denver Broncos' 37-21 win over the Oakland Raiders. The 37-year-old Manning has the most NFL touchdown passes through the first three games of an NFL season with 12. He's yet to throw an interception. After becoming the first signal caller in 51 years and sixth overall to throw seven TD passes in a game in Denver's opener against the Baltimore Ravens, Manning fired two more touchdowns against the New York Giants in Week 2. Manning, who was 21-of-24 for 264 yards and three scores in the first half, finished 32-of-37 for 374 yards for Denver (3-0), which has outscored its opponents 127-71 this season. Eric Decker caught eight passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, while Wes Welker hauled in seven receptions for 84 yards and a score in the triumph. Terrelle Pryor completed 19-of-28 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown for Oakland (1-2), which was coming off a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.
(Sunday, September 22nd)
Final Score: Baltimore 30, Houston 9
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Buoyed by momentum-swinging touchdown returns from Daryl Smith and Tandon Doss in the second quarter, the Baltimore Ravens ran away with a 30-9 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. After falling behind early, the Ravens scored 17 unanswered points, with Smith's 37-yard interception return and Doss' 82-yard punt return capping the stretch and helping Baltimore (2-1) to a lead it would not relinquish. On a day the Ravens inducted former All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis into the club's Ring of Honor, the team's defense didn't allow an offensive touchdown for the second consecutive week and held the Texans to 102 second-half yards. Bernard Pierce scored a touchdown for Baltimore while starting at running back for the injured Ray Rice, Justin Tucker connected on a trio of field goals, and Joe Flacco completed 16-of-24 throws for 171 yards in the victory. Safety Ed Reed had a quiet return to Baltimore in his season debut with the Texans (2-1), who had just four offensive drives in the second half and lost wide receiver Andre Johnson to a leg injury. Matt Schaub ended 25-for-35 passing for 194 yards and an interception in the setback. Houston, which was flagged for 14 penalties for 113 yards, trailed at halftime for the third straight game.
Final Score: Carolina 38, NY Giants 0
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, while his team's defense put forth a dominant effort of its own as the Carolina Panthers rolled to a 38-0 victory over the reeling New York Giants at Bank of America Stadium. Newton finished with 223 yards and one interception while completing 15-of-27 passes and adding 45 yards on the ground. Brandon LaFell hauled in two of the quarterback's scoring strikes, with DeAngelo Williams contributing 120 rushing yards on 23 carries to Carolina's (1-2) first triumph of the season. The Panthers, who were routed by New York at home by a 37-6 score during Week 3 of last season, outgained the still-winless Giants by a whopping 402-150 margin in total yards. Carolina tied a team record by sacking Eli Manning seven times, including three from end Greg Hardy, forced three turnovers and yielded just 10 first downs in an overwhelming performance. Manning finished 12-of-23 for 119 yards and was intercepted once for the Giants (0-3), who last dropped their opening three games of a season back in 1996.
Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Green Bay 30
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:47 remaining and the Cincinnati defense came up with one more stop of Aaron Rodgers, as the Bengals rallied for a 34-30 win over the Green Bay Packers in a wild affair at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals stormed out to a 14-0 lead before four consecutive turnovers allowed the Packers to battle back. Green Bay eventually scored 30 straight points before Cincinnati came back with the last 20, including 13 in the fourth quarter to win it. Green Bay was clinging to a 30-27 lead with less than five minutes to play and appeared to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-12 at the Cincinnati 29. A successful Bengals challenge pushed the ball back just shy of the marker and the Packers elected to go for the first down. Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin, however, was stripped of the ball just as he reached the line of scrimmage. Reggie Nelson initially picked it up, but had it knocked away by Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb. Newman, though, was right there to scoop it up and he raced untouched to the end zone. Rodgers marched the Packers right into Cincinnati territory with a first down at the 25, but a 3rd-and-5 pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage and his fourth-down attempt was also tipped at the line and fell incomplete with 1:21 remaining to seal the contest. Rodgers completed 26-of-43 passes for 244 yards with a pair of interceptions and a touchdown for the Packers (1-2), who will head to an early bye next week with losses in each of their two road games to start the season. Franklin was pushed into service when James Starks left with a knee injury and he responded with 103 yards on 13 carries. The one fumble, however, proved costly. Andy Dalton threw for 235 yards on 20-of-28 passing with two touchdowns and an interception for Cincinnati (2-1), which has won two straight at home after a season-opening loss at Chicago.
Final Score: Dallas 31, St. Louis 7
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - DeMarco Murray exploded for 175 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, while Tony Romo threw for three scores, as Dallas pounded St. Louis, 31-7, in Week 3 action. Romo finished at 17-of-24 efficiency for 210 yards for the Cowboys (2-1), who bounced back from a one- point loss in Kansas City last week. Dez Bryant, Gavin Escobar and Dwayne Harris all posted a receiving TD, with Jason Witten leading the pack with 67 yards on five catches. Sam Bradford ended up with 240 yards passing and a score to Austin Pettis on 29-of-48 completions for the Rams (1-2), who have dropped two in a row.
Final Score: Cleveland 31, Minnesota 27
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Many people thought the Cleveland Browns were waving the white flag when they traded running back Trent Richardson earlier this week. Instead, the Browns pulled out all the tricks in Sunday's 31-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Brian Hoyer, filling in for an injured Brandon Weeden, threw a 7-yard TD pass to Jordan Cameron with 51 seconds left to give Rob Chudzinski his first win as the head coach of the Browns. Hoyer, making his second career start, completed 30-of-54 passes for 321 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Weeden was ruled out earlier in the week due to a thumb injury. Cameron caught six passes for 66 yards and three scores for Cleveland (1-2), which shipped Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in a surprise blockbuster trade. Josh Gordon, who was suspended for the first two games, had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. Christian Ponder completed 25-of-42 passes for 228 yards and an interception for the Vikings (0-3), who sit last in the NFC North. Ponder also carried the ball five times for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Adrian Peterson rushed for 88 yards and a score on 25 carries.
Final Score: New England 23, Tampa Bay 3
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Strides were clearly made over the past 10 days in the rapport between Tom Brady and his inexperienced targets. Brady threw two touchdown passes to rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins, helping the New England Patriots beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 23-3, at Gillette Stadium. Much was made about the manner in which Brady exhibited his frustration from the countless drops and missed connections with his receiving corps in an ugly 13-10 home win against the New York Jets two Thursdays ago. Brady completed 25-of-36 throws for 225 yards with one interception for the Patriots, who have opened a campaign at 3-0 for the first time since their undefeated regular season six years ago. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was inactive once again as his 2013 debut remains on hold, while slot receiver Danny Amendola missed a second straight game with a groin injury. Rookie wideout Aaron Dobson had 52 yards on seven receptions. Josh Freeman had 236 yards and one interception on 19-of-41 passing for Tampa Bay (0-3), which is off to its worst start since beginning 0-7 in 2009.
Final Score: New Orleans 31, Arizona 7
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Drew Brees tossed three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the New Orleans Saints scored 31 unanswered points and cruised past the Arizona Cardinals, 31-7. Brees went 29-of-46 passing for 342 yards and an interception. The Saints' signal caller has now surpassed 300 yards passing for the eighth straight regular season game, one shy of his own NFL record of nine consecutive games. Jimmy Graham caught nine passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Robert Meachem hauled in his first touchdown of the season. On the other side, Carson Palmer struggled to move the ball consistently for Arizona. Palmer completed just 18-of-35 throws for 187 yards and two interceptions. Alfonso Smith scored the lone Cardinals' touchdown, a three-yard rush in the first quarter.
Final Score: Tennessee 20, San Diego 17
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Jake Locker found Justin Hunter for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left to lift the Tennessee Titans to a 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers. Trailing 17-13, the Titans took over at their own 6-yard line with 2:05 remaining, with Locker completing a series of short passes to get into San Diego territory. On 3rd-and-6 from the Chargers' 45, Locker connected with Nate Washington for an 11-yard gain and quickly spiked the ball with 27 seconds left. After he overthrew Damian Williams in the end zone, the Tennessee quarterback found Hunter in the front right corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score. San Diego had one last chance, but couldn't get into field goal range before the clock expired. Locker finished the game 23-for-37 passing for 299 yards and also ran for 68 yards and a score for the Titans (2-1), who fell to the Houston Texans in overtime last week. San Diego's Philip Rivers was 20-for-24 passing for 184 yards and a touchdown, Antonio Gates caught five passes for 55 yards and a score and Ronnie Brown added a rushing TD for the Chargers (1-2), who have lost their two games by a combined six points.
Final Score: Detroit 27, Washington 20
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdowns and the Detroit Lions won for the first time ever in Washington with a 27-20 victory over the Redskins on Sunday. It took 22 games and 76 years, but the Lions were finally able to win in the nation's capital as Stafford threw for 385 yards on 25-of-42 attempts with an interception. Joique Bell, starting in place of an injured Reggie Bush, totaled 132 yards of offense with a touchdown, while Calvin Johnson caught seven passes for 115 yards and a score for the Lions (2-1), who bounced back from a loss in Arizona last week. Robert Griffin III passed for 326 yards on 32-of-50 attempts, but had an interception and fumbled the ball once for the Redskins (0-3), who have dropped their first three games to start a season for the first time since losing five in a row to begin 2001.
Final Score: Miami 27, Atlanta 23
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Ryan Tannehill threw his second touchdown pass with 38 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, sending Miami to a 27-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Dolphins' home opener. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant, perfect on his first three field goal attempts, missed a 35-yarder wide right that would have given the Falcons a six-point lead with 4:46 to play. Tannehill then led the Dolphins on a 13-play drive that ended with Dion Sims' one-handed, over-the-shoulder grab from a yard out off play-action. Miami safety Jimmy Wilson picked off Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to seal the win. Tannehill completed 24-of-35 passes for 236 yards with one interception for the Dolphins, who have opened a season 3-0 for the first time since 2002 after twice battling back from 10-point deficits. Ryan had 231 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-38 passing for Atlanta (1-2), which dominated time of possession in the opening half, holding the ball for nearly 23 minutes.
Final Score: NY Jets 27, Buffalo 20
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - A spirited defensive effort was nearly outdone by a team-record 20 penalties, but the New York Jets won a battle between rookie quarterbacks after Geno Smith's third touchdown of the day was enough to down EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills, 27-20. Smith, who was passed on by the Bills in this past April's NFL Draft in favor of Manuel, put forth his best performance as a pro, and needed to in order to overcome 163 team penalty yards. He threw for two touchdowns and added another on the ground, while completing 16-of-29 throws for 331 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Jets' (2-1) receiving corps stepped up against a depleted secondary that Smith was routinely picking apart. Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill each caught long touchdown passes, with Holmes' 69-yard score with 9:23 left proving to be the difference. He ended with five catches for 154 yards, while Hill accumulated 108 yards on three receptions. Manuel's life was made miserable most of the day, as the Jets' defense sacked the rookie signal- caller eight times. He completed just 19-of-42 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, and the Bills (1-2) were forced to settle for four Dan Carpenter field goals on the day.
Final Score: Indianapolis 27, San Francisco 7
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Andrew Luck's return to the Bay Area was a smashing success, much to the chagrin of his college coach. The ex-Stanford star ran for a touchdown while putting together an efficient effort under center, and the Indianapolis Colts clamped down on the defensive end on their way to an impressive 27-7 victory over the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Luck completed 18-of-27 passes for 164 yards and did not turn the ball over in outplaying young counterpart Colin Kaepernick, while getting a big assist from a Colts defense that held the struggling 49ers to 254 total yards and held Kaepernick firmly under wraps. Indianapolis (2-1) also churned out 179 rushing yards, with Ahmad Bradshaw gaining 95 and a touchdown on 19 carries and the newly acquired Trent Richardson scoring on his first touch as a Colt. One week after committing four turnovers in a 29-3 loss at Seattle, Kaepernick managed just 150 yards on 13-of-27 passing while being intercepted once and losing a fumble. Frank Gore finished with 82 rushing yards on 11 attempts for San Francisco (1-2), which fell under .500 for the first time in the three-year tenure of Jim Harbaugh, Luck's former mentor at Stanford.
Final Score: Seattle 45, Jacksonville 17
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Russell Wilson matched a career high with four touchdown passes and the Seattle Seahawks stifled the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 45-17 rout on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. Wilson completed 14-of-21 passes for 202 yards and an interception, with Zach Miller and Sidney Rice each hauling in two of Wilson's touchdown tosses. Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who entered for Wilson late in the third with the game well in hand, threw for a score and ran for another. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 69 yards on 17 carries for the Seahawks (3-0), who were coming off a 29-3 demolition of the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Chad Henne, making his second straight start in place of an injured Blaine Gabbert, struggled under center against Seattle's stout defense, connecting on just 18-of-38 passes for 235 yards and a pair of interceptions. Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball 19 times for 43 yards and a score for the Jaguars (0-3), who are off to their third 0-3 start in franchise history and first since dropping their initial four games during the 2003 campaign. The loss spoiled the homecoming of Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley, who had spent the last three seasons as Seattle's defensive coordinator before being hired by the Jags back in January.
Final Score: Chicago 40, Pittsburgh 23
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Marc Trestman is making offense in Chicago fun again. It also helps having a defense that can score too. Julius Peppers returned a fumble 42 yards for a game-clinching touchdown and Major Wright brought back an interception 38 yards for a score in the Bears' 40-23 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of the eight new NFL coaches hired during the offseason, only Trestman's Bears and Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs remain unbeaten. The Bears began the 2012 campaign 7-1, but averaged just 17.4 points per game over their last eight tilts while never cracking the 30-point barrier. Chicago, which eclipsed the 30-point mark for a second time, is averaging 31.7 points per tilt through its first three games. Matt Forte ran for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Jay Cutler completed 20-of-30 passes for 159 yards and a score for Chicago (3-0), which last started 3-0 in 2010 when it lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. The Bears were outgained by the Steelers 459-258, but forced five Pittsburgh turnovers. Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 196 yards and two scores, but his efforts came in a losing cause. Ben Roethlisberger was 26- of-41 for 406 yards with a pair of touchdowns, interceptions and fumbles lost for the Steelers (0-3), who last began 0-3 in 2000.
(Thursday, September 19th)
Final Score: Kansas City 26, Philadelphia 16
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - On Thursday, the time was his. The Philadelphia Eagles introduced Andy Reid onto the field prior to the game and the fans, who've had a love-hate relationship with him during his 14-year stay, showed some Brotherly Love and gave him a standing ovation. Then Reid's Kansas City Chiefs went out and surpassed their 2012 win total as they forced five turnovers in their 26-16 triumph over the Eagles. Kansas City (3-0) is the fifth team in NFL history to win its first three games after dropping 14 the prior season. The Eagles hired a relatively unknown Reid, who was never an offensive coordinator in the NFL, on Jan. 11, 1999 after he spent seven seasons under Mike Holmgren's watch with the Green Bay Packers. At the time Reid, who was 41 years old, was the second youngest coach in the NFL. Only Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders was younger. Big Red proceeded to become the team's winningest coach. He led the Birds to a 130-93-1 regular-season mark, six NFC East titles, five NFC Championship Game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance. Reid, though, went just 12-20 over his final two seasons in Philly and the Eagles decided to part ways with their longtime coach on Dec. 31. Justin Houston tallied 4 1/2 of the Chiefs' six sacks and Eric Berry had a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown for Kansas City, which has not turned the ball over this season after leading the NFL with a minus-24 turnover ratio in 2012. Jamaal Charles carried the ball 20 times for 92 yards and a touchdown and added seven receptions for 80 yards. Donnie Avery hauled in seven receptions for 141 yards and Alex Smith completed 22-of-35 passes for 273 yards in the victory. LeSean McCoy ran for 158 yards and a score on 20 carries for Philadelphia (1-2), which dropped its second straight after winning its opener in Washington against the Redskins. Michael Vick was 13-of-30 passing for 201 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while tallying 95 yards rushing in defeat. The Eagles have dropped eight consecutive tilts at Lincoln Financial Field.