NFL: Winless and undefeated - the Manning's are worlds apart

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The Independent Online

Four weeks into the season and New England still boast a 100 per cent record, Peyton Manning is in the form of his life and the Giants look like they may be the worst team in football.

Scoring more points than they previously managed in their 54 year history, the Denver Broncos 52-20 demolition of Chip Kelly’s Eagles capped another superb day for Manning.

Completing 28 of his 34 attempts, racking up 327 yards in the process, Manning also threw four touchdown passes and didn’t even step foot on the field in the fourth quarter.

Despite his slow start to the game, Manning finished with two touchdowns apiece for Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, bettering the previous record of 14 touchdowns thrown during the seasons’ first four weeks – a record held jointly by Don Meredith and Kurt Warner.

Not satisfied with one record Manning also joined Mitt Plum, who set the record in 1960, as the only quarterbacks to throw for 16 touchdowns without any interceptions.

It wasn’t just the offense that did the heavy lifting however. Dangerous return man Trindon Holliday added a 105 yard kickoff return and Steven Johnson added another score as he blocked an Eagles punt before scooping up the loose ball and running it in from 17 yards to compound the Eagles misery.

The win was Denver’s fifteenth straight regular season win, passing the franchises previous record of fourteen set in the 1997-98 season and only the 1966 Dallas Cowboys (183) have scored more point than the Broncos (179) during the first four games.


The Wembley Way

For my report on the Minnesota Vikings' victory over Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium - CLICK HERE


Flailing Falcons

Picked by many as one of a fistful of teams who should have serious post-season aspirations, the Atlanta Falcons are struggling.

Mired in mediocrity, despite their wealth of offensive weapons, the Falcons fell to 1-3 on Sunday losing 30-23 to the improving Patriots.

Behind an offense that is still carving out an identity, Tom Brady threw for 316 yards in easily his best performance of the season so far.

Still missing the irreplaceable Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker’s replacement, Danny Amendola, the Patriots leaned heavily on Julian Edelman and the undrafted Kenbrell Thompkins in a win that leaves them at 4-0 for the first time since 2007.

Thompkins, who’s quickly becoming a trusted Brady target, finished with six catches for 127 yards while Edelman continued his breakout season with 118 yards of his own.  Coupled with their improved offensive chemistry however was a defence that pressured Matt Ryan all game long.

Completing 34 of his 54 attempts for 421 yards, Ryan was a little erratic and having now lost two games in succession for the first time since 2009, the Falcons will no doubt look towards the match against the New York Jets next week to get to their season back on track.


Giant problems

New York Giants haven’t been this bad for quite some time. Sitting at 0-4 after a 31-7 defeat at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, this is the Giants worst start since 1987.

Playing behind a patchwork offensive line Eli Manning was harassed all night by a lively defence led by Tamba Hali, completing only 18 of his 37 attempts. Trailing 17-7 after three quarters the injury ravaged Giants got progressively worse as the game went on.  

The Chiefs on the other hand, look a completely different team. Former Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid has transformed the franchise and Alex Smith, who was memorably benched by the 49ers last year, has enjoyed a stellar start to the season.

Completing 24 of his passes for 288 yards, the Kansas City quarterback threw three touchdowns before being intercepted twice. The interceptions, and a lost fumble, were the Chiefs’ first turnovers of the season but they didn’t detract from the fact that they’re sitting pretty at 4-0.