Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos remained undefeated by pulling out a 51-48 road win against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth-highest scoring game in National Football League history.
The Broncos scored 10 points in the final three minutes yesterday in Arlington, Texas, including Matt Prater’s winning 28-yard field goal as time expired, to join the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs as the NFL’s only 5-0 teams.
Manning threw four touchdown passes and ran for his first score in five years for the Broncos, who withstood a 506-yard, five-touchdown performance by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to collect their 16th straight regular season win. Romo had his final pass attempt intercepted at Dallas’s 24-yard line with one minute, 57 seconds left to set up Denver’s winning score.
“Their offense is hot, but we kept scoring and then had the huge defensive play at the end,” said Manning, who had 414 passing yards. “We did not want to give them the ball back.”
Manning helped the Broncos record the second-highest point total in franchise history -- behind their 52 points a week earlier -- and has a record 20 touchdown passes in the Broncos’ 5-0 start, breaking the previous mark of 18 set by Daunte Culpepper through the first five games of the 2004 season.
New Orleans and Kansas City also won on the road to improve to 5-0, with the Saints beating the Chicago Bears 26-18 and the Chiefs topping the Tennessee Titans 26-17.
The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks had 4-0 records entering Week 5, yet both suffered their first losses. The Patriots were beaten 13-6 at the Cincinnati Bengals as Tom Brady had his streak of 52 straight games with a touchdown pass halted, while the Seahawks fell 34-28 in Indianapolis as Colts quarterback Andrew Luck directed his ninth fourth-quarter comeback in 21 career NFL games.
The New York Giants are 0-5 for the first time since 1987 after losing 36-21 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Nick Foles threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes after replacing an injured Michael Vick for the Eagles (2-3), who ended a three-game losing skid. Eli Manning was intercepted three times in the final quarter for the Giants, who blew a 21-19 lead.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s only other 0-5 team after a 34-20 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
The Baltimore Ravens topped the Miami Dolphins 26-23 for their first win in three road games this season. Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal with one minute, 42 seconds left for the Ravens (3-2), who held on for the win as Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yard attempt for the Dolphins (3-2).
The Green Bay Packers (2-2) beat the Detroit Lions (3-2) for the 23rd straight time in Wisconsin, winning 22-9 as James Jones hauled in an 83-yard touchdown catch. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Houston Texans 34-3 last night after intercepting Matt Schaub three times and the Arizona Cardinals topped the Carolina Panthers 22-6.
The Oakland Raiders (2-3) held on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 27-17 as Charles Woodson scored his record 13th-defensive touchdown. Philip Rivers had his third 400-yeard passing game of the season for the Chargers (2-3).
Week 5 play, which began with the Cleveland Browns (3-2) beating the Buffalo Bills (2-3) 37-24 four days ago, concludes tonight with the New York Jets (2-2) visiting the Atlanta Falcons (1-3). The Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins had byes.
In Dallas, the Cowboys scored on their first two possessions to open a 14-0 lead before the Broncos scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions to take a 35-20 lead during the third quarter. Among them was a 1-yard bootleg run by Manning, his first rushing score since 2008.
Romo threw four second-half touchdown passes to put Dallas ahead 48-41 before Manning, who threw his first interception of the season in the third quarter, directed a 73-yard drive completed by a one-yard touchdown run by Knowshon Moreno with 2:44 left.
Romo, the 12th quarterback in NFL history to top 500 passing yards in a game, was sacked on the first play of the ensuing drive and then was intercepted by Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan. Denver got two first downs to set up Prater’s winning kick, including a run of just over a yard by Moreno on a 3rd-and-1 from Dallas’s 2-yard line.
“I’ve never been in a situation quite like that in the end where we needed to get the first down but we didn’t need to score,” Manning said. “Knowshon and I were arguing at the end. He basically was asking, ‘How can I get half a yard but not get a yard and a half?’ I just said, ‘You can’t score. You can’t do it. We have to get the first down, kick a field goal and get out of this place.’”
Brees recorded his first victory in four career games at Chicago’s Soldier Field, where he threw two second-quarter touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas for the Saints. Jimmy Graham had his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving game -- tying the NFL record for a tight end -- with 10 catches for 135 yards for the Saints, who last won in Chicago on Oct. 8, 2000.
The Chiefs are 5-0 for the first time in 10 years after scored 13 points in the final six minutes, 23 seconds in Nashville. Jamal Charles scored on a one-yard run and Ryan Succop kicked his third and fourth field goals of the game for Kansas City, which had fallen behind 17-13 after opening a 13-0 halftime lead against the Titans (3-2).
Former Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had the lone touchdown in Cincinnati, scoring on a one-yard run for the Bengals (3-2). New England was kept out of the end zone for the first time since Sept. 20, 2009, while Brady fell two games shy of Brees’s NFL record of 54 straight games with a scoring pass.
The Seahawks were denied the first 5-0 start in franchise history after blowing leads of 12-0 and 25-17 in Indianapolis. Luck threw a pair of touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton, while Donald Brown scored on a three-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to give the Colts (4-1) the lead for good.
The Eagles lost Vick to a hamstring injury during the second quarter and blew a 19-7 halftime lead before rallying for their second win in their past three trips to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
After Alex Henery’s fifth field goal of the game gave the Eagles a 22-21 lead with 1:04 left in the third quarter, Foles threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson just over two minutes apart.
New York last started the season 0-5 in 1987, when NFL teams used replacement, non-union players for part of the season during a strike.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com