The Seattle Seahawks were stunned by a late revival from the Indianapolis Colts in week five as Russell Wilson fell just short of leading the Seahawks to their first ever 5:0 start in franchise history.
Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and led his ninth career fourth-quarter comeback by going 16-of-29 passing for 229 yards, as he condemned Seattle to their first regular season loss since the 25th November last year.
However, it was the Seahawks that dominated the opening exchanges with twelve unanswered points: Steven Hauschka’s field goal, Golden Tate’s touchdown reception and a safety forced by Jevon Kearse on a blocked punt, creating the early running. But T.Y. Hilton responded with a 73 yard touchdown to ensure that the Colts ended the first quarter just five points down.
Delano Howell then completed Indianapolis’ first comeback of the day, with a 61 yard return of a blocked field goal moving his team ahead by two.
Kearse caught a 28 yard pass from Wilson to shift the momentum back in favour of the Seahawks, but a 41 yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri meant that the Colts went into the break trailing by just 19 points to 17.
Three further field goals from Seattle early in the third quarter extended the lead, but Hilton’s second touchdown catch of the day kept the Colts within five, despite the failed two point PAT attempt.
Donald Brown’s score at the start of the fourth (which this time included a successful two point PAT) edged the Colts in front by three, and a further field goal left Seattle needing a touchdown in the final two minutes. Darius Butler ended those hopes as he picked off Wilson and made sure the Colts joined the Seahawks at 4:1.
Elsewhere, the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints all successfully extended their unbeaten starts to the season to five matches.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos edged the Dallas Cowboys by 51-48 in a crazy game, despite Tony Romo throwing for the first 500-yard passing game in Cowboys history. He totalled 506 yards and five touchdowns, but threw a crucial interception to Danny Trevanthan to set up Matt Prater’s winning field goal.
The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense in the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to STATS. Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points in the Browns' 58-48 win in 2004.
Kansas took advantage of the absence of injured Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker to defeat a Ryan Fitzpatrick led Titans by a score of 26-17 – running back Jamaal Charles with the crucial late touchdown.
While the Saints beat the Bears by 26-18 to ensure they remained the only unbeaten team in the NFC conference.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks were not the only team to fall to 4:1 – the Patriots were also beaten, losing out 13-6 to the Cincinnati Bengals, who now share a three-way lead at the top of the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns are, like the Bengals, at 3:2 after week five, thanks to respective victories over New England’s divisional rivals the Miami Dolphins (26-23) and the Buffalo Bills (34-27).
The New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguars both fell to 0:5. After a 36-21 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles – who lost quarterback Michael Vick to a second quarter injury – the Giants have now made their worst start since the 1987 strike season, when the NFL used replacement players for three games, while their once mighty defence has now conceded over 30 points in all five matches. The Jaguars miserable season continued as they were beaten 34-20 by the Rams. They now face the ominous prospect of a trip to Denver next weekend.
There were surprise wins for the Oakland Raiders – who overcame the San Diego Chargers 27-17 – and the New York Jets, whose rookie quarterback Geno Smith led a late field goal drive to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 30-28. The Falcons (1:4) have now lost more regular season games this year than they did in the entirety of 2012.
The San Francisco 49ers thrashed the Houston Texans 34-3, with Texans quarterback Matt Schaub claiming an unwanted NFL record – four consecutive games in which an interception has been returned for a touchdown from his throw.
The Green Bay Packers close the gap on the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at the top of the NFC North with a 22-9 victory over the Lions, who were without star receiver Calvin Johnson through injury, while the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Carolina Panthers by a comfortable score of 22-6.
Full List of Week Five Results:
Bills 24 (at the) 37 Browns, Patriots 6 (at the) 13 Bengals, Lions 9 (at the) 22 Packers, Seahawks 28 (at the) 34 Colts, Ravens 26 (at the) 23 Dolphins, Saints 26 (at the) 18 Bears, Eagles 36 (at the) 21 Giants, Chiefs 26 (at the) 17 Titans, Jaguars 20 (at the) 34 Rams, Panthers 6 (at the) 22 Cardinals, Broncos 51 (at the) 48 Cowboys, Texans 3 (at the) 34 49ers, Chargers 17 (at the) 27 Raiders, Jets 30 (at the) 28 Falcons, Bye Week – Vikings, Steelers, Buccaneers & Redskins.
Week Six Fixtures:
Giants (0:5) at the Bears (3:2), Packers (2:2) at the Ravens (3:2), Bengals (3:2) at the Bills (2:3), Lions (3:2) at the Browns (3:2), Rams (2:3) at the Texans (2:3), Panthers (1:3) at the Vikings (1:3), Raiders (2:3) at the Chiefs (5:0), Steelers (0:4) at the Jets (3:2), Eagles (2:3) at the Buccaneers (0:4), Jaguars (0:5) at the Broncos (5:0), Titans (3:2) at the Seahawks (4:1), Saints (5:0) at the Patriots (4:1), Cardinals (3:2) at the 49ers (3:2), Redskins (1:3) at the Cowboys (2:3), Colts (4:1) at the Chargers (2:3), Bye Week – Falcons & Dolphins.
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