Week 7 of the NFL featured Peyton Manning’s emotional return to Indianapolis, a town where he ruled as quarterback of the Colts from 1998 to 2011.
In addition to Manning’s return and games that came down to the wire, the other big story line was the amount of injuries to big-name players, some which were season ending.
Peyton Manning loses in return to Indianapolis
Indianapolis Colts fans at Lucas Oil Stadium greeted the return of Manning with a sustained ovation and a video tribute that had Manning visibly emotional.
It was a memorable moment for the now Denver Broncos quarterback, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 1998 by the Colts and led them a Super Bowl title in the 2006 season.
“It’s something I’ll always remember,” Manning, said afterward, “and I’m very grateful for that.”
The game, however, is probably one Manning would like to forget.
Manning had a good statistical game, finishing 29-of-49 for 386 yards with three touchdowns and one intereception, but many of his passes were uncharacteristically underthrown or wobbly.
His successor, Andrew Luck, led the Colts (5-2) to a 39-33 victory, handing Denver (6-1) its first loss of the season.
Luck finished 21-of-28 for 228 yards, four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) and no interceptions.
Sam Bradford out for the season with torn ACL
St. Louis Rams quarterback Bradford, the No. 1 pick in 2010, is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered in Sunday’s 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The injury occured in the fourth quarter when he landed on his knee while being pushed out of bounds.
Career backup Kellen Clemens, the only other quarterback on the roster, replaced Bradford and went 2-of-4 for 19 yards.
“It’s never easy when you see a teammate go down,” he said after the game (via Associated Press.) “When you see a person that you spend as much time with as I do with Sam and genuinely care about as a person. … I have great respect for what he does on the field, but just as genuine concern for him as a person.”
Bradford was just one of the many big-name players to go down Sunday. Cindy Boren has compiled a list of injuries around the league, including Houston Texans Brian Cushing (out for the season with torn LCL and broken fibula), Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (expected to have MRI today) and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (out for the season with torn ACL.)
Jets beat Patriots in overtime
A penalty that had never before been called in the NFL gave the New York Jets (4-3) new life in their 30-27 overtime win over the New England Patriots (5-2) at MetLife Stadium.
Jets kicker Nick Folk missed wide left on a 56-yard field goal, but was given another opportunity and hit a 42-yarder when the Patriots were called for unsportsmanlike conduct and given a 15-yard penalty.
Referee Jerome Boger explained in a pool report that [New England’s DT] Chris Jones was called for pushing his teammate “into the opponents’ formation.” Umpire Tony Michalek threw his flag “almost instantaneously as he observed the action,” Boger said. “We just enforced it as he called it.”
The Patriots, who welcomed back tight end Rob Gronkowski after a lengthy injury, had defeated the Jets in six consecutive regular-season games.
New England quarterback Tom Brady went 22-of-46 for 228 yards and one interception and was outplayed by his Jets counterpart, Geno Smith, who went 17-of-33 for 233 yards, two touchdowns (one rushing) and one interception.
Steelers sneak past Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham provided the game-winning 42-yard field goal in the team’s 19-16 victory over AFC North rivals and the defending Superbowl-champion Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco struggled to finish off drives but eventually got his team into the end zone with a one-yard touchdown strike to tight end Dallas Clark with 1 minute 58 seconds left to play to tie the game at 16.
But it left enough time for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to march down into field-goal range for Suisham to hit the game winner.
“That was exciting,” said Roethlisberger, who finished 17 for 23 for 160 yards and a touchdown on a three-yard shovel pass to tight end Heath Miller that started the scoring. “To get the ball tied with two timeouts, you just have confidence. I told the line and I told the guys, ‘Let’s go win it,’ and we did.”
With the loss, the Ravens (3-4) head into their bye week with three losses in four games and will look to rebound against division rivals Cleveland Browns (3-4) on Nov. 3.
The Steelers (2-4) remain in last place in the NFC North.