NFL: Manning falls short, Panthers stay unbeaten

The weekend’s NFL action saw the Denver Broncos beaten by a resurgent Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers keeping their unbeaten streak. The Green Bay Packers, however, continued on their disappointing run of results.

The Colts, coming off the back of a 3-game losing streak, won with a late Adam Vinatieri 55-yard field goal with just over 6 minutes to play. Andrew Luck, meanwhile, out-played Peyton Manning, going 21 of 36 for 252 yards, with Manning only 21-36 over 281 yards. Luck achieved a vital touchdown when the teams were locked at 17-17, while he was the one to set up Vinatieri. The win keeps Indianapolis at the top of AFC South, despite the fact they’ve lost 5 and won 4, a percentage of .444. The Broncos, meanwhile, are 7-1, with their .875 topping AFC West.

The Panthers were playing the Packers, who lost 29-37 to an almost perfect Panthers team. Green Bay have been seen as the best team in the NFC for the past few years, being the conference Super Bowl champions twice in two years. While the Packers Aaron Rodgers scored 4 touchdowns and passed for 379 yards, the Packers fell to a low of 23 points, with the game standing at 27-7 going into halftime.

They did manage to claw back to within touching distance of tying the game with two minutes remaining, but Thomas Davis made sure that didn’t happen, intercepting a Rodgers at the Carolina 3-yard line.
Does this make Carolina the best team in the NFC? They certainly have a claim to it now.

In other news, Minnesota Vikings managed to get 6-2 and tie for first in NFC North, as they overcame the St Louis Rams 21-18. Incidentally, they are now joint-first with the Packers, with both teams on .750. The Vikings win was, however, marred by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater getting elbowed by Lamarcus Joyner with 13-and-a-half minutes to play. Bridgewater was taken off to be evaluated for concussion.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 33-27, making the Cowboys losing streak six games long and counting. The San Francisco 49ers won out against a struggling Atlanta Falcons 17-16, while the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the New York Jets 23-28, compounding the Jaguars’ poor season, with a winning percentage of just .250, leaving them drawing with the Tennessee Titans for third in AFC South, who incidentally beat the new New Orleans Saints 34-28.

The Cincinnati Bengals were another team to stay unbeaten, taking the Cleveland Browns 31-10 in what was a reasonably easy game. The other team keeping up their winning run was the New England Patriots, defeating the Washington Redskins 27-10. The Buffalo Bills, meanwhile, saw a 33-17 win against the Miami Dolphins, taking them to third in AFC East.

The final two games saw the New York Giants win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18 in a close game despite the scoreline, while the Pittsburgh Steelers took out the Oakland Raiders 38-35 in a game where Ben Roethlisberger succumbed to a foot injury.