Quarterback Andrew Luck stole the show on a night when the Indianapolis Colts paid homage to their former hero Peyton Manning.
Luck tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another in the Colts’ 39-33 win on Sunday over the Denver Broncos in Manning’s return to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Colts released Manning, 37, in March and the quarterback joined the Denver Broncos.
“Our team prevailed,” Lucks said. “What a great atmosphere here.”
The game marked Manning’s return to Indianapolis for the first time since his departure.
The Colts faithful cheered Manning as a tribute video was played when Denver came out of the tunnel prior to the game. Manning waved and thanked the crowd following the conclusion of the video.
“I just look at it as a chance to play football for a great team. I never looked at it as being the guy who replaced Peyton,” Lucks said.
Lucks and Indianapolis’ rock solid defense spoiled Manning’s night and snapped the Broncos’ 17-game regular-season winning streak.
Manning was 29-of-49 for 386 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
“I enjoyed coming back here,” Manning said. “I appreciate the tribute, but the game was disappointing for us. I was glad I got to see my old teammates.”
Manning has not slowed down since joining his new team. Heading into Sunday’s game he led the NFL with 2,179 passing yards and 22 touchdowns — the most ever through the first six games of a season.
Alex Smith threw for 240 yards while rushing for a touchdown, as the stingy Kansas City defense helped keep the Chiefs unbeaten with a 17-16 victory over the Houston Texans.
The Chiefs held an injury-plagued Houston offense to a pair of Randy Bullock field goals, while sacking backup quarterback Case Keenum five times over the final two quarters to make a 14-10 halftime lead stand up.
The surprising Chiefs improved to 7-0 for the season.
Smith finished an efficient 23-of-34 with an interception, while Jamaal Charles rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
“It feels real good,” Charles said of being 7-0. “I’m just blessed that we win games and that we continue to win, and that we have a defense that fights and saves the offense.”
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Nick Folk made the most of a second chance at a game-winning field goal, drilling a 42-yarder with just over five minutes left in overtime to give the New York Jets a 30-27 victory over the New England Patriots.
Folk at first pulled a 56-yard try wide to the left, but was given a reprieve when the Patriots were called for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing one of their players into a Jets’ blocker. The penalty moved the ball inside the New England 25 and Folk made good on the second attempt to complete New York’s comeback from an 11-point halftime deficit.
Cam Newton passed for 204 yards and a touchdown to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 30-15 victory over the St Louis Rams at Bank of America Stadium.
Before leaving the game with a bad leg injury, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford completed 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown pass to Zac Stacy.
In other Sunday’s other games it was Atlanta 31, Tampa Bay 23; Washington 45, Chicago 41; Dallas 17, Philadelphia 3; Buffalo 23, Miami 21; Cincinnati 27, Detroit 24; San Diego 24, Jacksonville 6; San Francisco 31, Tennessee 17; Green Bay 31, Cleveland 13; and Pittsburgh 19, Baltimore 16.