And then were two. Out of 14 teams with winning records, the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons stand at the top of the pack with unblemished 5-0 records.
Watt Energizes Houston in Win
Despite playing without top offensive talent Santonio Holmes and star cornerback Darrelle Revis, the New York Jets held the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to upset the Houston Texans.
A Mark Sanchez pass deflected into the hands of Kareem Jackson sealed a 23-17 victory. The Texans instilled their dominance in the running game, outrushing the Jets by 100 yards with a 152-yard performance by Arian Foster.
J.J. Watt, an early frontrunner to win Defensive Player of the Year, fueled Houston’s stellar defense with a sack and three tipped passes. The Texans can put their name on the map by defeating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.
Thanks for the Falcons
Atlanta also received a scare in their quest to stay out of the loss column, but they scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to hold off the Washington Redskins.
Matt Ryan added to his MVP resume by throwing for 345 yards and two touchdowns. Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez each caught 10 passes with a touchdown for the Falcons.
Yet, it was veteran running back Michael Turner who earned the game-winning touchdown run with 2:46 left.
Giants Cruz to Win
New York Giants’ fans feared the worst when the winless Cleveland Browns jumped to an early 14-0 lead.
Ei Manning, however, erased the home crowd’s concerns, tossing three touchdowns to Victor Cruz, who now has five salsa dance celebrations in five games. After fumbling on the first snap, Ahmad Bradshaw tallied 200 rushing yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 41-27 victory.
The Giants will face much tougher competitor this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, who produced 621 net yards and steamrolled the Buffalo Bills in a 48-3 win.
Vick Drops Ball, Again
The Philadelphia Eagles took a 14-13 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Ben Roethlisberger executed a methodical drive that set up Shaun Suisham for the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Philadelphia squandered a scoring opportunity in the first half when Michael Vick fumbled while diving into the end zone. Through five games, Vick has accumulated 11 costly turnovers. The Eagles dropped to 3-2 while the Steelers improved to 2-2.
Beginner’s Luck in Indianapolis
Andrew Luck is gunning for Aaron Rodgers’ title belt.
The rookie quarterback led the Indianapolis Colts back from an 18-point defecit to upset the Green Bay Packers. Luck threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne-who amassed 212 of Luck’s 362 passing yards-with 0:35 seconds left to secure a 30-27 victory.
After earning a league-best 15-1 record last season, the Packers are now 2-3. Rodgers, who threw six interceptions in 2011, has already surrendered four picks.
Brady Bests Manning
In a showdown between two future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, Tom Brady’s New England Patriots topped Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos, 31-21.
Manning (345 yards and three touchdowns) produced better numbers than Brady (223 yards, one touchdown), but New England’s rushing attack stole the show. Led by Stevan Ridley, the Patriots piled up 251 rushing yards.