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Broncos take advantage of Tony Romo miscue to win, 51-48

Cowboys quarterback has five scoring passes but gives up pivotal interception with the score tied. Peyton Manning has four touchdown passes to push his season total to 20.

October 06, 2013|Sam Farmer
  • Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tries to fend off a sack by Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips late in the fourth quarter Sunday.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tries to fend off a sack by Broncos defensive… (Tony Gutierrez / Associated…)

The Denver Broncos can actually make a defensive play every so often.

And Tony Romo is still Tony Romo.

Those two truths kept the Broncos undefeated Sunday, as Denver held on to win at Dallas, 51-48, thanks in large part to a crucial error down the stretch by Cowboys quarterback Romo, who is famous for them.

Just before the two-minute warning, with the score tied and the Cowboys backed up to their 14-yard line, Romo dropped back and threw a pass into a Bermuda Triangle of Denver defenders. Linebacker Danny Trevathan made a diving interception at the 24, and all the air hissed out of AT&T Stadium.

The Cowboys' bid for a monumental upset was over, as Peyton Manning used the rest of the clock to march the Broncos to the one, setting up the winning field goal on the final play.

"We had seen some opportunities to get seam routes on film," Romo said. "We felt like we could get one. The kid made a great play."

It was a rare defensive highlight in a shootout that wound up being the fourth-highest-scoring game in NFL history.

Manning threw four touchdown passes, bringing his head-spinning season total to 20, a league record through the first five games of the season. He also scored his first rushing touchdown in five years, fooling everyone — including the TV camera operator — with a bootleg at the goal line.

The Broncos have scored 230 points through five games, which is also an NFL record.

Romo threw for a career-best 506 yards and five touchdowns but couldn't avoid the crucial error at the end.

So the 5-0 Broncos march on, with a gimme game at home against Jacksonville next Sunday before a Week 7 matchup that figures to captivate the league: Manning's first return to Indianapolis.

Those Colts were involved in another huge game Sunday, knocking off undefeated Seattle, 34-28, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Andrew Luck threw a pair of touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton, and the Colts blocked a field-goal attempt and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown, handing the Seahawks their first regular-season defeat since Nov. 25.

A painful sliver of Seattle synchronicity: In the same weekend, the 4-0 Washington Huskies lost on the road to Stanford, and the 4-0 Seahawks lost on the road to Luck, a Stanford legend.

The Colts outscored the Seahawks, 11-0, in the final period of what would be Luck's ninth fourth-quarter comeback victory.

Asked what makes his team so well-suited to bounce back, Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said: "Character. Resiliency. Toughness. Grit. Never quit. Belief. Faith. I don't know what else I can say, other than these guys, we got something special."

You want resilient? Consider the league's other undefeated teams, Kansas City and New Orleans. The Chiefs won two games last season. In 2012, the Saints' defense gave up more yards than any in NFL history.

Kansas City is 5-0 for the first time since 2003, when it won its first nine games. On Sunday, the Chiefs won at Tennessee, 26-17, despite frittering away a 13-0 halftime lead.

"I'm speechless right now," said running back Jamaal Charles, who nonetheless found the words. "This team is very blessed to be 5-0 right now. Nobody expected us to be 5-0."

The same can be said of the Saints, who remained unbeaten with a 26-18 victory at Chicago, their first road win over the Bears since the 2000 season. New Orleans lost its first four games last season.

The Saints played keep-away from the Bears in that they didn't commit a turnover. Chicago came into the game with an NFL-high 14 takeaways.

With Sean Payton as coach — he was suspended for the 2012 season, remember — the Saints have won 13 consecutive regular-season games.

New Orleans plays at New England next weekend in what might have been a battle of undefeated teams, except that the Patriots lost Sunday at Cincinnati, 13-6.

In a torrential downpour, the Bengals did something a long line of teams couldn't: They kept Tom Brady out of the end zone.

The Patriots quarterback's streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass came to an end, as New England even failed to score a touchdown on four tries that started with a first-and-goal at the one.

Brady didn't mourn the end of his streak. It's the bigger picture that bothers him.

"I'm bummed that we lost," he said. "I think that's all that really matters."


No team has ever played in a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

The New York Giants aren't threatening to become the first. They are 0-5, their worst start since the 1987 strike season, and their worst in a non-strike year since 1979.

In Sunday's 36-21 road victory over the Giants, Philadelphia's Nick Foles took over for an injured Michael Vick and led four scoring drives, including two fourth-quarter touchdown passes.

Eagles Coach Chip Kelly answered with a flat "No" when asked whether Foles' performance means there will again be competition for the quarterback job. Vick is due to have an MRI exam on his tweaked hamstring Monday.

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