EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Big brother Manning got the better of his kid sibling, with lots of help from Denver's one-man ground game.
Peyton Manning didn't need another record-tying seven touchdown passes Sunday, settling for two in the Broncos' 41-23 romp over Eli and the Giants.
The older Manning is 3-0 in the NFL against Eli, with the other two victories coming when Peyton was with the Colts. He got this win with a huge boost from Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for two touchdowns and 93 yards on just 13 carries. Denver (2-0), which has won 13 straight regular-season games, ran for 109 yards altogether.
With Manning finding Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for touchdowns, and Moreno scoring on sprints down the right side of 20 and 25 yards, Denver dominated much of the matchup between Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks; Eli has won two titles, Peyton one.
After the rout, the brothers shared a very short handshake while surrounded by a mob of photographers and TV cameras.
Eli Manning was picked off four times — he was intercepted 15 all of last season — and the Giants also allowed Trindon Holliday's spectacular 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, the first such score in the league this season.
Peyton, who became the third player over 60,000 career yards passing on Denver's opening drive, connected with a wide-open Welker for a 2-yard score that gave the Broncos a 17-9 lead. But little brother took New York 81 yards in response, although the drive was built more on Broncos blunders — four penalties, including two for pass interference — than Manning magic.
Chiefs 17, Cowboys 16
Alex Smith threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and the Kansas City defense held when it needed to in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs haven't committed a turnover through the first two weeks, and that may be the biggest reason they've already matched their win total from all of last year. They're off to a 2-0 start for just the second time since 2005.
Jamaal Charles had a touchdown run for the Chiefs, who also got impassioned play from their defense for the second straight week. They've allowed only one touchdown through two games after forcing the Cowboys to settle for three field goals by Dan Bailey on Sunday.
The most important stop came with 3:55 left. Tony Romo threw three straight incompletions to force Bailey to hit a 53-yarder to pull within 17-16, but the Cowboys defense couldn't get the ball back quickly enough to have a shot at a winning drive.
Romo finished 30 of 42 for 298 yards for the Cowboys (1-1). His favorite target was Dez Bryant, who had nine catches for 141 yards and their only touchdown.
Packers 38, Redskins 30
Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers used a big first half against Washington to win their home opener.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III threw for 320 yards and three second-half touchdowns. Pierre Garcon had 143 yards receiving and a touchdown.
But it was too little, too late after Washington (0-2) fell short again after being outplayed early for a second straight week.
James Jones had a career-high 11 catches for 178 yards. James Starks ran for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay (1-1) built a 24-0 lead by halftime and never looked back.
Texans 30, Titans 24 (OT)
Rookie DeAndre Hopkins grabbed a 3-yard touchdown pass in overtime as Houston rallied for a win.
With Andre Johnson out after being shaken up in the fourth quarter, Hopkins reached above Jason McCourty and pulled in the pass from Matt Schaub to give Houston the victory.
The Texans (2-0) needed a franchise-record 21-point comeback to win their opener at San Diego 31-28.
On Sunday, they charged back from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Titans (1-1).
Arian Foster's 1-yard touchdown and 2-point conversion tied it at 24-24 with less than two minutes left.
Houston forced a punt and got within field goal range after that. But Randy Bullock's 46-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright to force overtime. It was his third miss of the day.
Bears 31, Vikings 30
Jay Cutler threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left to lead Chicago past Minnesota.
Minnesota's Blair Walsh had just kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3:15 remaining when Chicago took over at its 34. Cutler, who led the Bears back from an 11-point deficit in a season-opening win over Cincinnati, struck again.
A 23-yard pass to Bennett along the sideline put the ball on the 16. Cutler then spiked the ball before connecting with Bennett in the front corner of the end zone. Chicago remained unbeaten under new coach Marc Trestman despite committing four turnovers.
Cutler completed 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. But he was also intercepted twice and got stripped by Jared Allen on a sack, leading to a 61-yard touchdown return for Brian Robison in the second quarter.
Chargers 33, Eagles 30
Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Eddie Royal, and Nick Novak kicked a 46-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to lead San Diego past Philadelphia on Sunday, spoiling Eagles Coach Chip Kelly's home debut.
Michael Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. But a porous Eagles defense couldn't stop Rivers all day.
He finished 36 of 47 for 419 yards, and the Chargers punted only once. They fumbled twice inside Philadelphia's 10 in the first half.
The teams combined for 1,150 total yards, including 539 for San Diego.
Raiders 19, Jaguars 9
Darren McFadden ran for 129 yards and Oakland's defense held Jacksonville out of the end zone until the closing minutes, as the Raiders won their home opener 19-9 over the Jaguars on Sunday.
Terrelle Pryor ran for 50 yards and threw for 126 in his first home start for the Raiders (1-1), and Marcel Reece scored on an 11-yard run to help Oakland bounce back from last week's late loss in Indianapolis. Sebastian Janikowski added four field goals.
Playing the depleted Jaguars offense sure helped the cause. Jacksonville (0-2) came within 2:53 of becoming the first team since the 2006 Raiders and Buccaneers to fail to score a touchdown in the first two games.
Ravens 14, Browns 6
The Baltimore Ravens sacked Brandon Weeden five times before finally knocking him out of the game in the fourth quarter of a 14-6 victory on Sunday.
After yielding 49 points in a season-opening loss at Denver, Baltimore's defense came up with a redemptive performance against the Browns (0-2). Cleveland failed to score in the second half and managed only 85 yards over the final 30 minutes.
Weeden left with a thumb injury with just over three minutes left and was replaced by Jason Campbell, who could not move the team.
Down 6-0 at halftime, the Ravens (1-1) took the lead on a 5-yard run by Bernard Pierce with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Baltimore added a touchdown with 8:77 remaining on a 5-yard pass from Flacco to rookie Marlon Brown.
Dolphins 24, Colts 20
Ryan Tannehill threw for 319 yards and one touchdown Sunday, and the Dolphins defense held off yet another Indianapolis comeback bid.
Charles Clay gave Miami the lead for good with a 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter. The Dolphins are 2-0 for only the second time since 2004.
Indianapolis (1-1) lost at home for the first time in 12 months and only the second time in Andrew Luck's brief NFL career.
Luck had the Colts positioned to rally yet again after reaching the Miami 23-yard line with 1:45 left in the game.
But this time, Luck threw three straight incompletions and then could not evade the Dolphins pass rush on fourth down, allowing Miami to run out the clock.
Tannehill finished 23 of 34.
Luck was 25 of 43 for 321 yards with one TD and one interception.
Bills 24, Panthers 23
Rookie EJ Manuel hit Stevie Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds left to lead Buffalo to victory.
The touchdown capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive in which the first-round draft pick completed 6 of 8 attempts for 51 yards. Manuel also got help on third-and-6 from Carolina's 29, when Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was penalized for pass interference with 14 seconds left.
Two plays later, Manuel found Johnson alone in the left corner as Buffalo (1-1) bounced back from a 23-21 season-opening loss to New England.
The Panthers (0-2) lost yet another close game. They were coming off a 12-7 loss to Seattle last week and have now dropped to 2-14 in games decided by 7 points or less in two-plus seasons under coach Ron Rivera.
Falcons 31, Rams 24
Julio Jones hauled in 11 passes for 182 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, and Atlanta held on for its first win of the season.
Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and two scores despite taking quite a beating behind the Falcons' shaky offense line. Jason Snelling clinched it for the Falcons (1-1) with an 11-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining — Atlanta's longest play of the day on the ground.
The Rams (1-1) fell behind 21-0 when Osi Umenyiora returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime before St Louis fought back on a pair of short touchdown passes by Sam Bradford. Bradford finished with 352 yards and three TDs.
Cardinals 25, Lions 21
A pass interference penalty against Bill Bentley set up Rashard Mendenhall's 1-yard touchdown run with 1:59 to play Sunday and Arizona beat the Detroit Lions 25-21 in Bruce Arians' home debut as Cardinals coach.
Jay Feely kicked four field goals and Carson Palmer threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to rookie Andre Ellington for Arizona (1-1). Ellington also had a 16-yard catch to start the deciding drive.
Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on touchdown plays of 72 and 3 yards, and DeAndre Levy returned an interception 66 yards for a score for Detroit (1-1), which led 21-13 midway through the third quarter.
Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald played despite a sore hamstring but was unable to finish the contest. Detroit's Reggie Bush injured his left knee in the first half and played only briefly in the second.
Saints 16, Buccaneers 14
Garrett Hartley kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give New Orleans a weather-delayed victory.
Drew Brees shrugged off throwing an interception that was returned to touchdown to give Tampa Bay the lead to complete three straight passes for 54 yards to lead the Saints (2-0) into position to win.
He finished 26 of 46 for 322 yards, but was sacked four times and intercepted twice.
The game was delayed 69 minutes by lightning in the first quarter.
The Bucs (0-2) lost on a field goal in the closing seconds for the second straight week.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times