Manning leads Broncos to New Orleans rout as Giants beat rival Cowboys
AMERICAN FOOTBALL:PEYTON MANNING threw for three touchdowns and 305 yards as the ever-improving Denver Broncos smashed the visiting New Orleans Saints 34-14 on Sunday.
A red-hot Manning outclassed Drew Brees in a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV, where New Orleans beat Manning’s former team Indianapolis.
It was no contest between the quarterbacks this time as Brees was limited to a season-low 213 yards and two scores while the Broncos amassed 530 yards of offence.
Under Manning’s leadership in his first season with Denver, the Broncos (4-3) are surging having won three of their last four to take a one-game lead in the AFC West Division.
“Our team has come far, we’re really maturing and hopefully we can keep it going,” Manning told reporters, after shaking off a minor first-half injury when he banged his right thumb on a defender’s helmet.
“It’s always kind of a quarterback’s biggest fear, is a hand on the helmet. It wasn’t too bad.”
With the defence swarming and the offence clicking, the home team seized a 17-7 half-time lead on the Saints (2-5) before punctuating the victory in the second half.
Manning finished a long second-half opening drive with a one-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas to make it 24-7 in the third quarter, with Eric Decker catching his second score of the game in the fourth.
Thomas had 137 yards receiving and Willis McGahee ran for 122 yards and a score to make it a complete offensive performance for Denver.
“Tonight they were trying to stop the run the whole game and we had some wide open lanes for receivers,” said Thomas.
“(We) get better and better every week.”
For the Saints, it was the lowest point of what has already been a tumultuous season.
Joe Vitt returned from his six-game suspension for his role in the Saints bounty programme last season and assumed his new post as interim head coach, but it did little to spark the team.
New Orleans had won two consecutive games to rebound from a 0-4 start but they scored a season-low total and suffered their first blowout defeat of the season.
Brees tossed a score in the second quarter and another in the closing minutes while the Saints defence continued their struggles.
Opposing teams are averaging more than 30 points against New Orleans who are near the bottom of the NFC South.
“I’ve got to do a better job of preparing our football team,” said Vitt. “Quite frankly, there’s things I need to do better.”
Meanwhile, the New York Giants pulled out a 29- 24 road win against division-rival Dallas Cowboys after blowing a 23-0 second-quarter lead, while the New York Jets were routed by the Miami Dolphins 30-9 at home after falling behind 20-0 in the first half.
The Giants got a pair of fourth-quarter field goals from Lawrence Tynes after Dallas had scored 24 straight points to grab a 24-23 third-quarter lead yesterday.
The Giants then held on for their fourth straight National Football League victory at Cowboys Stadium as Dallas failed to score a go-ahead touchdown on its final two drives.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who passed for 437 yards, threw his fourth interception of the game at the Giants’ 17-yard line with one minute and three seconds remaining.
The Cowboys got the ball back again and Dez Bryant outjumped two Giants defenders to catch a 37-yard pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left.
The initial ruling of a touchdown was overturned after video review showed the fingers on Bryant’s right hand touched the back line of the end zone before his body hit the ground inbounds.
“Every time we come here it’s a nail-biter in some way, shape or form,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whose previous three wins in Dallas came by a combined 111-100 score, told reporters.
“We’re happy to win and be on our way home,” he added.
The Giants improved to 6-2 and avenged their 24-17 home loss to the Cowboys in the opening game of the season.
The Cowboys fell to 3-4 and are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second place in the National Football League.
In conference’s Eastern Division the Eagles lost 30-17 to the Atlanta Falcons, who at 7-0 are the NFL’s only undefeated team.
The Atlanta Falcons extended their unbeaten start to the National Football League season to seven games with victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Showing no signs of complacency or match rustiness after having a week off, the stylish Falcons coasted to a comfortable 30-17 win with quarterback Matt Ryan passing for 262 yards and three touchdowns.