American Football: Colts raise gallop to stretch winning run

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The Independent Online

The Indianapolis Colts remain unbeaten and still on course to emulate the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only team in history to go through a season undefeated following their 45-37 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Colts, who have won all 10 of their matches so far and have six more regular-season contests before the play-offs, were expected to be tested by the Bengals. Instead, Indianapolis were always in front, scoring virtually at will. The quarterback Peyton Manning had another impressive outing, with 365 passing yards and three touchdowns.

While Peyton was keeping his side on course for the play-offs, little brother Eli was performing with similar efficiency for the New York Giants as they edged the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17. The younger Manning also threw three touchdowns, with two of them coming in the fourth quarter to snuff out a brief rally by the Eagles.

The surprising Chicago Bears won their sixth game in a row by upsetting the Carolina Panthers 13-3, a result which also ended Carolina's own streak of six successive victories.

The Bears do not score many points, but they do not need to as they boast the meanest defence in the game. Kyle Orton's three yard pass to Muhsin Muhammad was the only touchdown of the game.

The Arizona Cardinals will not be among the participants in next month's post-season, but there was redemption for their quarterback Kurt Warner when he returned to his former team, the St Louis Rams. Warner led the Rams to a Super Bowl title six season ago but left under a cloud in 2003. Sunday was his first visit since, and he celebrated with three touchdown passes in a surprise 38-28 Arizona win.

There was no gloating from the former Ram, however. "As special as it was, I'm two years removed now and I don't feel like I'm as much a part of this organisation as when I left," he said. "I still love those guys and enjoy competing against them."