Colts win 1 for ailing coach

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Brees also had three scoring strikes to Marques Colston, giving him a franchise-record 52 touchdown catches with the Saints.

At Brees' request, the NFL allowed head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis — all serving various suspensions in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation — to attend the game. They and Johnny Unitas son, Joe, saw Brees pass for 370 yards.

"It gave us a good mojo for sure," Brees said of Payton's presence. "I love my coach, so glad he could be here. Mickey and Joe Vitt as well. It is special for our team, special they could be a part of this record."

Philip Rivers passed for 354 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers (3-2), but had an interception and fumble in the final quarter.


At Foxborough, Mass, Tom Brady won his latest showdown with Peyton Manning, but needed help from the running game: a career-high 151 yards from Stevan Ridley, part of a 252-yard rushing performance for the Patriots (3-2).

In the 13th meeting between the star quarterbacks, and first since Manning left the Colts, Brady directed four scoring drives of at least 80 yards.

Brady improved to 9-4 against Manning, going 23 of 31 for 223 yards and one touchdown and running for another. Manning was 31 of 44 for 345 yards and three touchdowns, but lost a fumble on a third-quarter sack.

"It's Patriots-Broncos," Brady said. "It was a great team win. We got some turnovers from our defense and I thought offensively capitalized at times. There were a few lulls in there, which I wish we had executed a little bit better, but for the most part it's a good day."


At Landover, Md., the Falcons moved to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history in a passing showcase capped by Michael Turner's 13 yard TD run. Matt Ryan completed 34 of 52 passes for 345 yards as Atlanta handed Washington (2-3) its eighth consecutive home loss.

Tony Gonzalez, the career record holder in most categories for tight ends, had a huge game with 13 catches for 123 yards and a TD.

Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III left in the third quarter after being hit in the head on a sack by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Coach Mike Shanahan said RG3 has a "mild concussion."

Kirk Cousins took over and threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Redskins a fourth-quarter lead, but the fourth-round pick also threw two interceptions in the final two minutes.

London Fletcher had 20 tackles for Washington.

49ERS 45, BILLS 3

At San Francisco, the 49ers set a franchise mark with 621 yards on offense.

Alex Smith threw for a season-high 303 yards and three touchdowns, Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and a score, and Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis each eclipsed 100 yards receiving.

"Very cool," Smith said. "When you think of the 49ers, you think of great offense."

When you think of the Bills (2-3), weak defense comes to mind. Buffalo allowed 52 points to New England a week ago.

"We have to figure out what in the world is going on from the first guy to No. 11 on defense," said defensive end Mario Williams. "It's all on us."


At Jacksonville, Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs returned interceptions for touchdowns — their second in six days and a first in NFL history for teammates.

The Bears (4-1) scored 38 unanswered points, including 35 in the second half, to win their third consecutive game. The streak has everything to do with defense: Chicago has returned five interceptions for touchdowns in the last three weeks.

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