The Indianapolis Colts survived a scare from the Houston Texans on Sunday and hung on for a 20–17 win in Indianapolis. The Colts moved to 8–0 while the Texans fell to 5–4.
Houston kicker Kris Brown missed a 42-yard field goal to tie the game with one second remaining in regulation time. He had nailed a 56-yarder just before the half but the kick that could have sent the game to OT went wide right.
Joseph Addai caught a TD pass and ran one in as well. His two-yard TD run in the fourth quarter put the Colts up for good after Steve Slaton had given the Texans a 17–13 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Indy–Houston match-up featured two of the top three passing attacks in the league. And the two field generals—Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub—lived up to the billing.
Manning attempted 50 passes while Schaub attempted 43. Both QBs threw for over 300 yards although neither one was spectacular. Tight end Dallas Clark caught 14 passes from Manning as the Colts tried to exploit the favorable match-up of Clark being covered by an inexperienced linebacker.
Manning said after the game, “Obviously, everything wasn’t perfect, but we did a good job of just kind of fighting, and we came away with a big win.”
Indy certainly has a stranglehold on the AFC South now with a 3.5 game lead over Houston.
The New Orleans Saints trailed 17–6 at the half to the Carolina Panthers but exploded for 24 points in the second half to win 30–20 on Sunday. The Saints boast the best record in the NFC at 8–0 while Carolina falls to 3–5.
Carolina doesn’t have the explosive offense that the Saints do but they tried to control the game with their ground attack. But they could not hold the league’s best offense in check for more than a half.
Drew Brees threw for 330 yards including a 54-yard catch and run TD to Robert Meachem which squared the game at 20–20.
DeAngelo Williams had an outstanding game as he ran for two TDs in the opening quarter and finished with 149 yards for the Panthers. He did, however, fumble on his own two-yard line and the Saints recovered it for a TD, which iced the game for the Saints.
Bengals Sweep Ravens
Cincinnati held Baltimore QB Joe Flacco to less than 200 yards passing and Cedric Benson dominated the Ravens’ run defense to the tune of 117 yards in a 17–7 home victory.
This victory was never in doubt unlike the first meeting of the year between the two teams in Baltimore, which Cincinnati won 17–14.
With the win, Cincinnati keeps top spot in the AFC North and will travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday for a crucial battle.
The Bengals lost wideout Chris Henry (broken arm) and the team is not sure if he’ll play again this year.
Chad Ochocinco also appeared to want to bribe the officials with a dollar bill in hand while they were reviewing one of his plays.
Atlanta 31, Washington 17
Arizona 41, Chicago 21
Jacksonville 24, Kansas City 21
New England 27, Miami 17
Tampa Bay 38, Green Bay 28
Seattle 32, Detroit 20
San Diego 21, N.Y. Giants 20
Tennessee 34, San Francisco 27
Dallas 20, Philadelphia 16
Pittsburgh at Denver (Monday night)