Broncos blast Giants
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Unless they meet again in the postseason, this was the last Manning Bowl.
No less an authority than Peyton Manning says so, and why not: Peyton is 3-0 against younger brother Eli in regular-season games after Denver’s 41-23 rout Sunday of the New York Giants.
“I think both of us are glad that it’s over with,” Peyton said after throwing for two touchdowns. “Postseason is one thing, but I don’t think I’ll make it to the next regular season (meeting, in four years). I think this’ll be the end of it. So I’ll be happy about that. And the family will.”
Big brother didn’t need another record-tying seven touchdown passes. 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, Denver dominated much of the matchup between Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks; Eli has won two titles, Peyton one. The older Manning’s first two victories against his sibling came when Peyton was with the Colts.
“For me, it’s a strange feeling,” Peyton said. “It’s not quite as enjoyable as if you beat somebody else.”
Peyton finished 30 of 43 for 307 yards with no interceptions. Eli was 28 of 39 for 362 yards, but was picked off four times; he had 15 interceptions all of last season and has seven already this year.
After the rout, the brothers shared a very short handshake while surrounded by a mob of photographers and TV cameras. They had exchanged their greetings before the kickoff.
“We chatted for 10 minutes, nothing specific, just brotherly talk,” Eli said. “After that, there wasn’t a whole lot of brotherly interaction.”
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 of 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, New Jersey native Moreno was virtually the entire running game for the Broncos on Sunday — and he made the difference.
“I feel the same every game, always amped up and real emotional,” he said. “You just got to go out and play.”
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.
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.
“It’s very disappointing, frustrating … the whole point is we have to hang in there,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We have 14 games to go. We have been 0-2 before. We dug ourselves into a hole before and been able to fight our way out of it. When we did it was with team, but the performance level has to come up.”
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.
PACKERS 38, REDSKINS 20
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns and Green Bay used a big first half to win its home opener.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III threw for 320 yards and three second-half touchdowns. Pierre Garcon had 143 yards receiving and a touchdown.
But it was too little, too late after Washington (0-2) fell short again after being outplayed early for a second straight week.
James Jones had a career-high 11 catches for 178 yards. James Starks ran for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay (1-1) built a 24-0 lead by halftime and never looked back.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tannehill finished 23 of 34.
Luck was 25 of 43 for 321 yards with one TD and one interception.
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 over Tampa Bay.
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.
FALCONS 31, RAMS 24
ATLANTA (AP) — 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.
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.
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.
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.
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