INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns and New England took advantage of a botched fake punt in the Patriots’ 34-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.
The Patriots improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2007. It was the first meeting between the rivals since the “Deflategate” storm erupted after the AFC title game in January.
For a half, the teams traded jabs.
But New England seized control in the second half.
Brady’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowksi gave New England a 27-21 lead. And when the Patriots stopped the Colts (3-3) on an odd-looking and ill-advised fake punt, the scrambling Brady eventually found LeGarrette Blount for an 11-yard scoring pass that made it 34-21.
Andrew Luck was 30 of 50 for 312 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back from an injured right shoulder.
BENGALS 34, BILLS 21
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes and Cincinnati beat Buffalo to improve to 6-0 and match the best start in franchise history.
With star receiver A.J. Green covered much of the game, Dalton completed touchdown passes to Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert and Jeremy Hill. Dalton finished 22 of 33 for 243 yards for Cincinnati, which was also 6-0 to start the 1975 and ‘88 seasons.
The Bengals broke the game open by scoring 17 points on their first three second-half possessions to build a 34-14 lead.
The Bills (3-3) were undone by injuries and several penalties that allowed the Bengals to enjoy an average drive start of midfield in the first half.
BROWNS 23, OT
CLEVELAND (AP) — Peyton Manning shook off three interceptions and drove Denver in range for Brandon McManus’ 34-yard field goal with 4:56 left in overtime.
Manning took the Broncos from their own 12 to Cleveland’s 16 before McManus kicked his game-winner to make Denver 6-0 for the seventh time in franchise history. The Broncos only rallied thanks to their top-ranked defense, which came up big in overtime.
After Manning’s third pick, Denver recorded two sacks to push the Browns (2-4) out of field-goal range.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay stopped San Diego on fourth-and-goal from the 3 with 15 seconds left and overcame a career day by Philip Rivers to hold off the Chargers.
Rivers set career highs with 43 completions, 65 attempts and 503 yards passing. He threw for two touchdowns for the Chargers (2-4). But he needed one more completion.
Rookie cornerback Damarious Randall lunged to poke away Rivers’ short pass to Danny Woodhead near the front right pylon in the final seconds.
The fans inside Lambeau Field erupted with a collective sigh of relief. Green Bay (6-0) survived its biggest scare of the year to stay unbeaten.
The Packers started strong and finished barely in front. Running back James Starks had touchdowns on a 65-yard run and a 5-yard pass in the first quarter.
LIONS 37, BEARS 34, OT
DETROIT (AP) — A win, finally. Matt Prater kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:29 left in overtime, and Detroit won for the first time this season.
Matthew Stafford heaved a 57-yard pass to Calvin Johnson to set up the kick for the Lions (1-5). Johnson finished with six receptions for 166 yards.
The Bears (2-4) had chances for a third straight comeback win.
Chicago’s Robbie Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. The tying score was set up by Darius Slay getting called for interference after Jay Cutler’s 25- and 24-yard passes to Alshon Jeffery.
PANTHERS 27, SEAHAWKS 23
SEATTLE (AP) — Cam Newton threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 32 seconds left and Carolina remained unbeaten, rallying for a stunning win over Seattle.
Newton led the Panthers (5-0) to touchdowns on their final two possessions after trailing 23-14, the second straight week the Seahawks collapsed in the fourth quarter. Newton found Olsen wide open down the seam as All-Pros Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman looked at each other in confusion.
Newton was 12 of 15 for 162 yards in the fourth quarter and threw for 269 yards overall. He led the Panthers on a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives in the final period as the Panthers improved to 5-0 for the second time in franchise history.
It was the second straight week the Seahawks (2-4) suffered a late defensive meltdown.
JETS 34, REDSKINS 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, and the Jets overcame a sloppy first half.
Chris Ivory ran for 146 yards and a TD on 20 carries for the Jets, who improved to 4-1 for the first time since 2010. Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 111 yards, and Eric Decker also caught a TD. The Redskins are 2-4.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Landry Jones threw two touchdown passes to Martavis Bryant in relief of Michael Vick and Pittsburgh rallied for the win.
Vick left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and Pittsburgh’s offense took off when Jones took over. Jones hit Bryant for an 8-yard score to give the Steelers (4-2) the lead. The two hooked up later for an 88-yard strike.
Jones completed 8 of 12 passes for 168 yards and the two scores. Bryant caught six passes for 137 yards in his first action of the season.
Carson Palmer threw for 421 yards with a TD and two interceptions. John Brown caught 10 balls for 196 yards for the Cardinals (4-2).
VIKINGS 16, CHIEFS 10
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Despite an erratic performance by Terry Bridgewater, Minnesota’s tough defense and rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs came through over mistake-prone Kansas City.
Alex Smith’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson midway through the fourth quarter pulled the Chiefs within three points, but the Vikings (3-2) played well enough early to survive their ragged finish.
The Chiefs (1-5) had eight penalties for 95 yards.
Diggs had 129 yards on seven catches. Bridgewater threw two interceptions. Adrian Peterson, who was on the sideline late in the game with the Vikings trying to put it away, finished with 60 yards on 26 carries.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cameron Wake got his first four sacks this season and also forced two fumbles — all in the first half — and Miami won in Dan Campbell’s debut as interim coach.
The Dolphins (2-3) came in having lost three straight, costing coach Joe Philbin his job Oct. 5.
Miami finished with six sacks and two interceptions against Marcus Mariota. The rookie quarterback needed a knee brace and was replaced by Zach Mettenberger after the 2-minute warning.
Lamar Miller ran for 113 yards and a TD for Miami. The Titans (1-4) lost their fourth straight.
TEXANS 31, JAGUARS 20
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Brian Hoyer threw three touchdown passes on third down, two to DeAndre Hopkins, for Houston.
The Jaguars (1-5) lost their fourth in a row and raised more questions about coach Gus Bradley’s job security.
The Texans (2-4) started emptying the stadium midway through the fourth after Andre Hal returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown and a 31-14 lead. It was the sixth pick-six thrown by Blake Bortles in 19 career starts.