|Cowboys kicker David Buehler silenced the Indy crowd and left the field happy after his 38-yard field goal in overtime. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)|
Colts continue in wrong direction
More Manning INTs costly in 3d straight loss
Peyton Manning keeps making mistakes and the Colts keep losing.
Yesterday, Manning had two of his four interceptions returned for touchdowns and the last one set up David Buehler’s 38-yard field goal in overtime that gave Dallas a 38-35 victory in Indianapolis.
It’s the third straight loss for the Colts (6-6), and it dropped Indy out of the AFC South lead.
Manning has thrown 11 interceptions in those games — a career high for any three-week period in his 13-year career — and had four of those returned for scores. But it was Manning’s last interception that proved the most costly.
When the four-time league MVP tried to hook up with Jacob Tamme on a third-and-1 play, Mike Jenkins got his left hand on the ball and tipped it to linebacker Sean Lee, who grabbed his second pick of the day and ran it back 13 yards to the Indy 36.
Six plays later, Buehler made the field goal to win the first overtime game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I don’t make any excuses. I’m continuing to throw, I’ll keep throwing. I hope I throw it to our guys,’’ said Manning, who was 36 of 48 for 365 yards with two touchdowns. Reggie Wayne finished with 14 catches for 200 yards and a score.
Dallas (4-8) won for the third time in four games since Jason Garrett took over as interim head coach, and it won this one on the ground. The Cowboys rushed for a season-high 217 yards, with Tashard Choice gaining 100.
Indy didn’t take the lead until Taj Smith blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone to make it 28-27 with 12:56 remaining.
Dallas answered with a season-long 18-play drive that lasted 10:18 and ended with a 2-yard TD pass from Jon Kitna to Jason Witten. Kitna’s conversion pass to Roy Williams made it 35-28 with 2:38 left. Javarris James’s 2-yard TD run tied the game with 21 seconds to go.
Vikings 38, Bills 14 Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw two TD passes to Sidney Rice after Brett Favre sprained his throwing shoulder on the first series, and Adrian Peterson rushed for three scores on a sprained ankle as Minnesota (5-7) blasted visiting Buffalo.
The Vikings are 2-0 under interim coach Leslie Frazier, who didn’t hesitate to declare that Favre is still the starting quarterback if he’s healthy enough to play. The 41-year-old was hit from behind by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats on his first pass attempt and driven to the turf. He was replaced by Jackson on the next series.
Jackson threw three interceptions, but after Drayton Florence returned the first one for a score, Jackson led the Vikings to touchdowns on their next four possessions to put the game away before halftime.
The Bills (2-10) turned the ball over five times, leading to 14 points for the Vikings.
Saints 34, Bengals 30 Drew Brees became the Saints’ all-time leading passer, then rallied New Orleans (9-3) in snowy Cincinnati. Brees’s 3-yard TD toss to Marques Colston was the difference in the Saints’ fifth straight win and sixth victory in seven games.
In just five seasons with New Orleans, Brees has thrown for 21,932 yards, passing Archie Manning’s mark by 198. He finished 24 of 29 for 313 yards with two TDs, the first being a 52-yarder to Robert Meachem. Chris Ivory carried 15 times for 117 yards and a pair of scores.
The Bengals (2-10) had their usual assortment of bungled plays, including a running-into-the-kicker penalty that set up a Saints field goal. The costliest came with 34 seconds left, and New Orleans facing fourth and 2 at the Cincinnati 7-yard line. The Saints decided to run a gambit aptly called “No-Brainer Freeze,’’ for which they line up as if they’re going to snap it and try to draw the Bengals offside. When Brees started calling signals as the play clock wound down, Cincinnati lineman Pat Sims jumped across the line of scrimmage to give the Saints a first down. Brees threw the winning TD to Colston on the next play.
Giants 31, Redskins 7 Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined to rush for 200 yards and four TDs, more than enough offense for New York at a blustery New Meadowlands Stadium. The Giants (8-4) were never threatened by Washington while keeping pace with Philadelphia in the NFC East.
Bradshaw’s second TD, on a 10-yard run before halftime, was set up by Terrell Thomas’s fumble return to the Washington 35. Jacobs’s 28-yard jaunt into the end zone in the third quarter made it 28-0, three plays after Donovan McNabb’s fumble near midfield.
Other than his 33-yard TD strike to Anthony Armstrong, McNabb did little. He was sacked four times, twice by rookie Jason Pierre-Paul, and threw an end zone interception to Thomas. The Redskins (5-7) lost four fumbles.
Raiders 28, Chargers 13 Jason Campbell ran for one TD and threw for another, Darren McFadden rushed for 97 yards and a score, and Oakland (6-6) dealt host San Diego its first December loss since 2005.
The defeat puts a serious crimp in the playoff hopes for the four-time defending AFC West champion Chargers (6-6). San Diego gained just 21 yards rushing, while Oakland piled up 251 yards on the ground — more than it had in its last three games combined.
San Diego had two early turnovers, leading to a 14-0 Oakland lead. Darren Sproles fumbled a punt, and Campbell scored on a 9-yard naked bootleg on fourth and 1. On the Chargers’ next possession, Philip Rivers was intercepted by Michael Huff, and Campbell followed with a 4-yard TD pass to Jacoby
Browns 13, Dolphins 10 Mike Adams intercepted a deflected Chad Henne pass with a minute left and returned it to the 2-yard line, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Phil Dawson on the final play that gave Cleveland (5-7) its first win in Miami since 1970.
Henne was picked off three times as the Dolphins (6-6) damaged their already slim playoff hopes. Dan Carpenter’s 60-yard field goal before halftime and Henne’s 11-yard TD pass to Anthony Fasano in the fourth quarter produced Miami’s only points.
Jaguars 17, Titans 6 Maurice Jones-Drew turned in the NFL’s second-best rushing effort of the season with 186 yards on 31 carries, and Rashad Jennings and quarterback David Garrard each ran for a TD for visiting Jacksonville (7-5). The Jaguars’ fourth win in five games gave them sole possession of first place in the AFC South.
Jacksonville outgained the Titans, 258-57, on the ground, and intercepted Kerry Collins twice. Tennessee (5-7) held the ball a season-low 20 minutes, 6 seconds.
Packers 34, 49ers 16 Donald Driver’s 61-yard catch-and-run for a score broke the game open in the third quarter, and Aaron Rodgers also threw two TD passes to Greg Jennings in Green Bay’s home win over San Francisco (4-8).
The Packers (8-4) were leading by 1 when Driver left San Francisco’s defense in his dust, catching a sharp pass from Rodgers and bouncing off a series of potential tacklers on his way to the end zone.
Bears 24, Lions 20 Jay Cutler threw a go-ahead 7-yard TD pass to Brandon Manumaleuna one play after a questionable penalty midway through the fourth quarter, lifting NFC North-leading Chicago (9-3) to a win over host Detroit (2-10).
Cutler was 21 of 26 for 234 yards, and took advantage of referee Ed Hochuli’s flag on Ndamukong Suh for unnecessary roughness. Suh hit Cutler’s shoulder pads hard from behind when the quarterback was running downfield.
Rams 19, Cardinals 6 Steven Jackson rushed for 102 yards, including 27 on the game’s lone TD, and St. Louis sent Arizona to its seventh loss in a row. The Rams (6-6) won consecutive road games for the first time since 2007 and remained in a first-place tie with Seattle in the NFC West.
The Cardinals (3-9) didn’t score a TD for the second straight game. Rookie quarterback John Skelton made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter after Derek Anderson was benched and Max Hall (shoulder) was hurt.
Seahawks 31, Panthers 14 Seattle (6-6) broke a two-game losing streak to stay tied atop the NFC West. Marshawn Lynch had his first career three-TD game and the host Seahawks’ 162 yards rushing were a season best.
Carolina (1-11) held a 14-3 halftime lead, then gave up 21 points in the third quarter. Lynch scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, sandwiched around Lofa Tatupu’s 26-yard interception return for a score.