NFL ROUNDUP: Surprising Chiefs improve to 5-0
Only three of the NFL’s five unbeaten teams could make it to five wins.
Kansas City, New Orleans and Denver moved to 5-0 Sunday, while New England and Seattle finally lost.
The Chiefs’ latest victory in their sensational turnaround came at Tennessee, a 26-17 win in which they blew a 13-0 halftime lead, then rallied.
“I am speechless right now,” Jamaal Charles said after rushing for 108 yards, 50 in the fourth quarter, including a 1-yard run for the winning touchdown. “This team is very blessed to be 5-0 right now. Nobody expected us to be 5-0.”
Not so surprising are the perfect starts by the Saints and Broncos. New Orleans hasn’t lost since coach Sean Payton returned from his one-year bounty ban, with win No. 5 a 26-18 verdict at Chicago.
Tight end Jimmy Graham continued his torrid start with 10 catches for 135 yards in his fourth straight 100-yard game.
“I’m just blessed to be with such a great quarterback and a guy who has so much trust in me,” Graham said of Drew Brees, who had another superb day for his first win at Soldier Field after three defeats.
Denver won its 16th consecutive regular-season game, but it was the closest in that streak, and maybe the wildest: 51-48 at Dallas.
Peyton Manning maintained his record pace of touchdown passes to start the season and has 20. He threw for 414 yards and four scores to outlast Tony Romo’s 506 yards.
“Thank God our offense kept us in the game all day long,” Denver coach John Fox said.
CHIEFS 26, TITANS 17: Charles put the Chiefs ahead to stay, and they intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick twice in the final 6:14. Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, including a 48-yarder.
“We are 5-0, and we’re not ashamed of that,” said Kansas City coach Andy Reid, whose hiring in January began the franchise’s revival. “We also know that we’ve got a ton of room to improve and it’s important that we continue to do that.”
SAINTS 26, BEARS 18: Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas and was 29 of 35 for 288 yards in his first victory in four career games at Soldier Field. Garrett Hartley matched a career high with four field goals.
Jay Cutler threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago (3-2), which has lost two in a row. Alshon Jeffery had 10 receptions for a franchise-record 218 yards.
BRONCOS 51, COWBOYS 48: The teams combined for 1,039 yards in the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to STATS. Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points in the Browns’ 58-48 win in 2004.
Yet it took a big defensive play to decide it. Despite Romo’s huge game, he was intercepted by a diving Danny Trevanthan inside the Dallas 30 to set up Matt Prater’s winning 28-yard field goal.
Denver got nine receptions for 122 yards and two TDs from tight end Julius Thomas and even a 1-yard bootleg score by Manning that completely fooled host Dallas (2-3).
Denver has scored 103 points in two weeks and 230 this season.
BENGALS 13, PATRIOTS 6: The elements and a staunch defense brought Tom Brady’s streak of touchdown passes to a halt at 52 games.
Former Patriot BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 1 yard in the fourth quarter for the game’s only touchdown. The Bengals (3-2) sacked Brady four times and kept New England out of the end zone on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots didn’t find the end zone for the first time since a 16-9 loss to the Jets on Sept. 20, 2009.
COLTS 34, SEAHAWKS 28: Seattle’s stingy defense was burned by Andrew Luck’s two touchdown passes, and Delano Howell scored on a 61-yard return of a blocked field goal for Indianapolis (4-1). That snapped the Seahawks’ regular-season string of wins dating back to Nov. 25.
Luck led his ninth career fourth-quarter comeback to beat Russell Wilson in a matchup of stars from last year’s quarterback class. Luck threw for 229 yards, Wilson for 210 and two scores.
RAVENS 26, DOLPHINS 23: The Ravens (3-2) got Justin Tucker’s 44-yard field goal, then survived when Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yarder wide left with 33 seconds to go.
The Ravens ran for a season-high 133 yards, with Ray Rice getting 74 and two TDs. Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and Tucker made four field goals.
Miami (3-2) lost its second in a row, allowing six sacks, three by Terrell Suggs.
49ERS 34, TEXANS 3: Tramaine Brock intercepted Matt Schaub’s first pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown. The Texans (2-3) lost their third straight as Schaub threw three interceptions in all, two to Brock.
Colin Kaepernick threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards for the 49ers (3-2).
RAIDERS 27, CHARGERS 17: Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and Charles Woodson tied an NFL record with his 13th defensive touchdown to lead the Raiders in the latest West Coast game in NFL history.
Pryor got the Raiders (2-3) off to a fast start with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Rod Streater on Oakland’s first play from scrimmage. The Raiders then used five turnovers to beat the Chargers (2-3).
Philip Rivers had his third 400-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 411 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.
PACKERS 22, LIONS 9: The Packers (2-2) returned from their bye to stymie Detroit (3-2), which was without star receiver Calvin Johnson (knee). The Lions, third in points heading into the game, rushed for only 64 yards and allowed five sacks.
Mason Crosby kicked five field goals for Green Bay, which had an 83-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to James Jones.
The Packers extended their winning streak in Wisconsin over the Lions to 23.
EAGLES 36, GIANTS 21: Even without Michael Vick, the visiting Eagles (2-3) dropped New York to 0-5 for the first time since the strike-interrupted 1987 season. Nick Foles threw for two touchdowns and led four scoring drives in Vick’s place. Alex Henery kicked a career-high five field goals for the Eagles, who gained 439 yards in total offense.
Eli Manning’s interception total soared to 12 with three in the fourth quarter. He also threw two touchdown passes to Rueben Randle.
The Giants have given up at least 31 points in each of their first five games.
CARDINALS 22, PANTHERS 6: Arizona sacked Cam Newton seven times, once for a safety, and intercepted him on three occasions to overcome a sluggish offensive performance.
Daryl Washington, back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, had two sacks and an interception for the host Cardinals (3-2).
Carolina (1-3), playing for the first time in two weeks, managed only Graham Gano’s field goals of 22 and 51 yards.
RAMS 34, JAGUARS 20: Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes and Matt Giordano’s 82-yard interception return turned the game in the Rams’ favor.
St. Louis (2-3), which had trailed by double digits in every game, established control with a 17-point second quarter after Jacksonville (0-5) had a pair of early leads.