Manning passed for a touchdown and ran for another in the last 2:34 to lift the unbeaten Colts to a dramatic 31-28 win over the New York Jets in just one of a full slate of National Football League games on Sunday.
Manning flipped a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bryan Fletcher to cap a 12-play, 61-yard drive, giving the Colts (4-0) a 24-21 advantage.
But Justin Miller, who was penalised for pass interference on Indianapolis’ previous drive, returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, beating the club record of 97 yards set by Leon Johnson in 1997.
With the sellout crowd at the Meadowlands in a frenzy, Manning kept his composure and engineered the winning drive, completing six-of-eight passes for 60 yards before scoring on a one-yard run with 50 seconds left.
“There wasn’t any panic after that kickoff (touchdown). We didn’t even have time to get angry,” Manning said. “That kickoff can be deflating if it’s the last play of the game. We were real patient.”
Manning no longer has two-time rushing champion Edgerrin James in his backfield, but the Colts had no problems running against the Jets (2-2).
Rookie Joseph Addai and
Dominic Rhodes combined for 159 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
A two-time MVP, Manning completed 21-of-30 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown.
“That’s why Peyton is who he is,” said Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, who tried to keep pace with Manning all afternoon, even trying the no-huddle offence Manning has employed to perfection.
Pennington was 17-of-23 for 207 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown to Jerricho Cotchery.
Washington quarterback Mark Brunell threw his third touchdown pass of the game to Moss, a 68-yard connection 1:49 into overtime, to lift the Redskins to a dynamic 36-30 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in an interconference battle.
“It kind of related to something I told (Brunell) earlier in the game, ‘Just throw the ball up. I’m not saying that I’m going to come down with all of them, but just give me a chance,’” Moss said.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Brunell started 120 games for the Jaguars from 1995-2003 and led the franchise to two AFC championship games and four playoff appearances.
He holds almost every major passing record for the franchise.
Brunell was traded to Washington in March 2004 for a third-round pick. On Sunday, he faced his former team for the first time.
The 36-year-old had a huge afternoon, completing 18-of-30 passes for 329 yards and three scores, the last of which was the biggest.
Baltimore’s Steve McNair saved his best for last, firing a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Todd Heap with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Ravens to a 16-13 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
The game matched the top defences in the AFC and it appeared San Diego (2-1) had the upper hand.
Not only did the Chargers intercept McNair twice, they also limited Jamal Lewis to 34 yards on 15 carries.
LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 98 yards on 27 carries and Michael Turner added another 46 yards on just seven carries against the Ravens (4-0), who had allowed a total of 20 points in their first three games.
Jake Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers responded to some adversity in impressive fashion.
Delhomme found Drew Carter for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Panthers rallied for a 21-18 win over the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South matchup.
Drew Brees threw an 86-yard TD to Marques Colston with 30 seconds left for the Saints, who had an emotional 23-3 win over Atlanta in their return to the Superdome on Monday.
Playing without NFL rushing champ Shaun Alexander, the Seattle Seahawks were hammered 37-6 by the unbeaten Chicago Bears in a tussle of NFC rivals.
Tom Brady won the battle of the Pro Bowl quarterbacks as the New England Patriots rolled to a 38-13 win over Cincinnati.
In other games, Falcons beat Cardinals 32-10, Cowboys beat Titans 45-14, Texans beat Dolphins 17-15, Bills beat Vikings 17-12, Chiefs beat 49ers 41-0, Rams beat Lions 41-34 and Browns beat Raiders 24-21.