Colts only unbeaten left

Monday, November 6th 2006, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

The Indianapolis Colts are the NFL's last unbeaten team, improving to 8-0 with a 27-20 victory at New England on Sunday night. Indianapolis went 13-0 last year before losing and is the second team ever to start consecutive seasons with eight wins. Green Bay did it for three seasons, 1929-31.

A steady Peyton Manning threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns, while the Colts intercepted Tom Brady four times and allowed no touchdown passes, only two scoring runs by Corey Dillon and two field goals by rookie Stephen Gostkowski.

``We went through it last year and we know what it is like. We're used to it,'' coach Tony Dungy said of standing alone with a zero in the loss column. ``Lovie let me down; I was hoping they would remain undefeated, too.''

That would be Chicago coach Lovie Smith. The Bears also began the day 7-0, but lost 31-13 to Miami.

The Dolphins' Ronnie Brown rushed for a career-high 157 yards and Jason Taylor forced a fumble and returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.

``If it doesn't hurt, how important is winning?'' Bears quarterback Rex Grossman said. ``So it hurts bad. We're 7-1, it hurts, we're going to think about it for a couple of days, watch the tape and get better and then put everything in perspective of what's out there for us to go get.''

In other games, it was: Denver 31, Pittsburgh 20; Washington 22, Dallas 19; Baltimore 26, Cincinnati 20; the New York Giants 14, Houston 10; New Orleans 31, Tampa Bay 14; San Diego 32, Cleveland 25; Kansas City 31, St. Louis 17; Detroit 30, Atlanta 14; Jacksonville 37, Tennessee 7; San Francisco 9, Minnesota 3; and Buffalo 24, Green Bay 10.

On Monday night, Oakland is at Seattle.

Idle for the final week of byes were Carolina, Philadelphia, Arizona and the New York Jets.

Colts 27, Patriots 20

For the first time in his brilliant career, Manning has thrown for 300 yards in three consecutive games. Marvin Harrison finished with eight catches for 145 yards, just 56 yards fewer than Tom Brady's total of 201 yards passing.

The host Patriots (6-2) ended a four-game winning streak and dropped a second straight to Indianapolis after winning six in a row.

Dolphins 31, Bears 13

It wasn't quite the drama of Dan Marino tossing easy touchdowns on ``Monday Night Football,'' but once again, Miami spoiled the Bears' bid for an undefeated season. The 7-0 start was the Bears' best since the 1985 championship team won its first 12. The only loss that year, coincidentally, was to Miami _ when Marino threw three touchdowns and the Dolphins scored 38 points against one of the best defenses in NFL history.

Brown carried 29 times and eclipsed his previous career high by 35 yards. The defense constantly applied pressure as the Dolphins (2-6) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Miami's win removes another potential challenger to the 1972 Dolphins, the only team with a perfect record in NFL history.

The host Bears lost wide receiver Bernard Berrian, their main deep threat, to a rib injury on their first possession and were buried beneath a pile of turnovers. Chicago committed four fumbles _ losing three _ to go with Rex Grossman's three interceptions.

Broncos 31, Steelers 20

The Steelers' chances of defending their championship might have taken the ultimate hit. Pittsburgh fell to 2-6, matching their worst in coach Bill Cowher's 15 seasons and by any returning NFL champion in the last 20 seasons. No team has bounced back from a 2-6 record and a loss in its eighth game to make the playoffs.

Javon Walker scored three touchdowns on two receptions and a 72-yard run on a wide receiver reverse and the visiting Broncos (6-2) took advantage of repeated Pittsburgh mistakes.

Redskins 22, Cowboys 19

Washington's Nick Novak got two chances for a game-winning field goal. He missed the first, and barely made the second _ with no time left on the clock and after an incredible sequence.

Novak's 47-yard kick snapped the Redskins' three-game losing streak. But first, he was wide right on a 49-yarder with 31 seconds left. Then Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt's chip shot with 6 seconds to go was blocked by Troy Vincent.

Sean Taylor picked up the bouncing ball and made a tackle-busting return into visiting Dallas' territory as time expired. Dallas' Kyle Kosier was flagged for a facemask penalty on the return, tacking on 15 yards. Novak then barely sneaked his kick inside the right upright.

Dallas (4-4) was penalized 11 times for 153 yards. Washington is 3-5.

Ravens 26, Bengals 20

At Baltimore, Steve McNair passed for 245 yards, Jamal Lewis scored a touchdown and Matt Stover kicked four field goals for the Ravens (6-2), who took a two-game lead over Cincinnati (4-4) in the AFC North.

Since coach Brian Billick fired offensive coordinator Jim Fassel and assumed play-calling duties, the Ravens have scored 61 points and McNair has played brilliantly.

After trailing 17-0, Cincinnati twice got within six points in the fourth quarter. Carson Palmer threw one touchdown pass, but was intercepted twice as the Bengals lost for the fourth time in five games.

Giants 14, Texans 10

Tiki Barber scored a touchdown and accounted for nearly half the yards in a go-ahead 67-yard fourth-quarter drive that Jeremy Shockey capped with a short touchdown catch as host New York (6-2) won its fifth straight.

The defense, without three starters, then lost Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan in the second quarter with a foot injury. But it sealed the win when rookie linebacker Gerris Wilkinson forced fullback Jameel Cook to fumble at the Giants 35 after a short catch.

Saints 31, Buccaneers 14

Marques Colston caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, and Drew Brees threw for 314 yards and three TDs. The visiting Saints (6-2) reached the midpoint of the season with twice as many wins as they had all last year despite playing without receiver Joe Horn, and with Reggie Bush at less than full strength because of a sore ankle.

Colston had a leaping 15-yard TD grab that gave the Saints an early lead. Deuce McAllister waltzed through the middle untouched on a 3-yard TD run in the third quarter, then Brees threw his second scoring pass to Devery Henderson, who had three receptions for 111 yards.

Chiefs 31, Rams 17

Larry Johnson had 172 yards on 27 carries, including a 1-yard score for his fifth touchdown in two weeks, for visiting Kansas City. He had his fifth 100-yard game of the year and the 18th of his career.

The Chiefs (5-3) got just as many big plays from their defense, forcing three early turnovers to build a 17-point cushion. Jared Allen stripped Marc Bulger on a sack and recovered Steven Jackson's fumble for the Chiefs, who have won three in a row under new coach Herman Edwards.

Two touchdown catches by Tony Gonzalez, who broke Otis Taylor's franchise career mark, helped Kansas City raise its record to an NFL-best 21-5 in interconference play since 1995.

Jackson had 219 yards in all for the Rams (4-4), who have lost three in a row. Jackson had 86 yards on 19 carries, with a 1-yard touchdown, and caught a career-best 13 passes for 133 yards.

Lions 30, Falcons 14

At Detroit, the Lions (2-6) turned Michael Vick's two first-half turnovers into touchdowns and Roy Williams had a 60-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta's electric quarterback threw for seven TDs and averaged 262 yards passing in the previous two games, both victories. However, he fumbled on the Falcons' first drive and threw an interception from deep in his end in the second quarter. Both led to Kevin Jones' TD runs.

Detroit did not allow Atlanta (5-3) to score after Warrick Dunn pulled the Falcons within three late in the first half.

Jaguars 37, Texans 7

David Garrard, making his second straight start in place of Byron Leftwich, threw three touchdown passes in the rain.

Vince Young, meanwhile, had his worst day as a pro. He was intercepted three times, sacked once and basically roughed up the entire game as the Jaguars (5-3) improved to 4-0 at home.

The Titans (2-6) avoided a shutout when Young completed a 32-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to Drew Bennett with 2:40 to play.

49ers 9, Vikings 3

Joe Nedney kicked his third field goal with 7:15 to play after convincing the officials to give him another chance, and San Francisco's maligned defense improbably shut out the Vikings in the final three quarters.

The 49ers (3-5) eked out their third home victory with outstanding defense from the same unit that gave up 41 points by halftime last week at Chicago. San Francisco hung on for its eighth straight home victory since 1988 over the Vikings (4-4).

Chargers 32, Browns 25

At San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson scored three touchdowns late in the second half and finished with 172 yards on 18 carries. Tomlinson had consecutive 100-yard rushing games for the first time this season. Last week he ran for 183 yards, had 57 yards receiving and scored three times to vault into second place in the NFL in both yards rushing and yards from scrimmage.

He has three 100-yard rushing games this season, plus 14 touchdowns for San Diego (6-2).

With Cleveland's offense sputtering, Phil Dawson kicked a club-record six field goals _ from 37, 20, 42, 30, 36 and 35 yards. The Browns (2-6) finally scored a TD with 1:11 left when Braylon Edwards caught a 4-yard pass from Frye.

Bills 24, Packers 14

Linebacker London Fletcher scored on a 17-yard interception return of Brett Favre's pass, keying a four-takeaway performance. Rookie safety Ko Simpson sealed the win when he intercepted a Favre pass on first down from the 1 with the visiting Packers (3-5) down 17-10. Simpson returned it 76 yards to set up Anthony Thomas' 14-yard touchdown run.

J.P. Losman hit Lee Evans for a 43-yard TD pass, breaking a 10-10 tie. The Bills' quarterback finished 8-of-15 for 102 yards and did not commit a turnover after producing eight, including five interceptions, in his past three games.

The win ended Buffalo's three-game losing streak. Thomas filled in for Willis McGahee (rib injury) and finished with 95 yards rushing, helping Buffalo improve to 3-5.