Peyton Manning stands tall against the best passing defence in the NFL.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos handed Kansas City their first defeat of the NFL season on Sunday, beating the Chiefs 27-17 to join them atop the AFC West.
Manning’s tender ankle wasn’t a factor, thanks in part to the stellar job his offensive line did against a Chiefs defense that came in leading the league with 36 quarterback sacks.
He wasn’t touched once, completing 24-of-40 passes for 323 yards. Manning threw one touchdown pass and Montee Ball ran for two more touchdowns for the Broncos, who denied the Chiefs their first 10-0 start in club history.
“The protection was outstanding,” Manning said. “Really proud of those guys up front.”
The game was the day’s hot ticket, with the sports power-couple of golf superstar Tiger Woods and Olympic ski champion girlfriend Lindsey Vonn spotted by television cameras watching from a sideline.
Knowshon Moreno rushed for 79 yards on 27 carries for Denver, the first team this season to score more than 17 points against the Chiefs.
“We knew they were going to have some stops,” Manning said of the stingy Kansas City defense. “We knew once we got down to the red zone, touchdowns were critical. Most of the time they make teams settle for field goals.”
Quarterback Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes for the Chiefs, who will be out for revenge when they host the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium in a fortnight in what promises to be a rollicking rematch.
The Broncos, who face another key AFC contest next week at New England, could have some injury concerns. Wide receiver Wes Welker left the game in the second half with a possible concussion.
While the Chiefs-Broncos clash was the marquee matchup of the day, the Bears and Ravens found themselves in the headlines thanks to the deadly storms that battered the US Midwest.
Tens of thousands of fans at Chicago’s Soldier Field were forced from the stands to seek shelter in the covered stadium concourses as the game was delayed for almost two hours as a storm swept through.
The Bears trailed 10-0 at the time of the stoppage but returned to beat Baltimore 23-20 in overtime.
Robbie Gould’s third field goal of the day, a 38-yarder 6:18 into overtime, lifted Chicago to a victory that saw them regain a share of first place in the NFC North after Detroit’s 37-27 loss at Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two of his four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lift the Steelers.
The Lions scored all of their points in the second quarter. Matthew Stafford completed 19-for-46 for 362 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Calvin Johnson caught both TD passes as part of a six-catch, 179-yard day for the Lions, who had won their prior two games.
The Philadelphia Eagles seized the lead in the weak NFC East with a 24-16 victory over division rivals Washington.
Nick Foles threw for 298 yards and ran for a score while LeSean McCoy rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns for Philadelphia.
The Eagles improved to 6-5, moving a half-game ahead of the idle Dallas Cowboys atop the division.
The New York Giants are third in the division at 4-6. The Giants, who endured a dismal 0-6 start to the season, won their fourth straight, taking advantage Green Bay’s struggles without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers to beat the Packers 27-13.
Scott Tolzien, standing in for Rodgers, threw three interceptions, one of which was returned 24 yards by Jason Pierre-Paul for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes and the Cincinnati Bengals used a 31-point second quarter to beat the Cleveland Browns 41-20.
Tampa Bay built on their first win of the season on Monday, following up that 22-19 win over Miami with a 41-28 triumph over Atlanta.
In Seattle, Marshawn Lynch rushed for two touchdowns and caught another scoring pass in the Seahawks’ 41-20 victory over Minnesota.
Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 13-of-18 passing attempts with two touchdowns for the Seahawks, who improved to 10-1 and saw their lead atop the NFC West stretch to three games after San Francisco fell 23-20 to New Orleans.
Saints kicker Garrett Hartley booted three fourth- quarter field goals, including the game-winning 31-yarder as time expired.
In other games, Buffalo beat the New York Jets 37-14, Oakland defeated Houston 28-23, Arizona beat Jacksonville 27-14, and Miami shook off the ongoing distraction of the NFL probe of alleged locker room bullying to beat San Diego 20-16.