Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes as the Green Bay Packers steamrollered the Kansas City Chiefs 38-28 to maintain their 100 percent start to the season at a rainswept Lambeau Field on Monday.
Packers quarterback Rodgers was at his imperious best as Green Bay romped away to a 38-14 lead early in the fourth quarter before the Chiefs added two late touchdowns to give the scoreline a flattering look.
Packers receiver Randall Cobb was the grateful recipient of three of Rodgers' touchdown passes as the Chiefs defense was pierced at will by the home side, runners up in last season's National Football Conference championship game.
The Chiefs, who fell to 1-2, were undone by a string of errors, handing the Packers no fewer than five first downs in the first half alone through penalties. Rodgers' passing masterclass was the fourth time he has thrown for five-or-more touchdowns in a single game.
Only New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, with five, has accumulated more. Rodgers finished with 24 completions from 35 attempts for 333 passing yards. "I just think we're scratching the surface a little bit," Rodgers said afterwards.
"It starts with the guys up front. They've been blocking really well. We have three games in, we've got three sacks. That's pretty impressive. If those guys keep blocking like that we're going to be tough to beat."
The display also extended Rodgers formidable record at Lambeau. The Packers quarterback has now gone 1,030 days and 580 passes since he last threw an interception at home.
The Toronto Blue Jays inched closer to a first American League East title for 22 years with a thrilling late show to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3.
Toronto, who stretched their winning streak to five games, were 3-1 down going into the eighth inning but they took full advantage of Darren O'Day relieving Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman, hitting Day for a trio of singles to tie the game.
They got the go-ahead score in the ninth as singles from Dioner Navarro and Kevin Pillar were followed by an RBI fielder's choice from Justin Smoak.
That result gives the Blue Jays a five-game lead in AL East after the New York Yankees were hammered 5-1 by the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr both hit two-run homers for the Red Sox, before Deven Marrero also rounded the bases to complete the turnaround after the Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Blue Jays can now clinch the divisional crown on Tuesday if they beat the O's again and the Red Sox do likewise to the Yankees.
The St Louis Cardinals are closing in on the National League Central title after a 3-0 over rivals the Pittsburgh Pirates, while the Chicago Cubs boosted their wildcard hopes with a 1-0 triumph over the Kansas City Royals after 11 innings.
Tyler Collins' three-run homer propelled the Detroit Tigers to a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers, while the Minnesota Twins edged the Cleveland Indians 4-2.
Max Scherzer came within five outs of his second no-hitter of the season as the Washington Nationals cruised past the Cincinnati Reds 5-1.
Elsewhere, the Houston Astros overcame the Seattle Mariners 3-2, the Los Angeles Angels squeezed past the Oakland Athletics 5-4 and the San Francisco Giants secured a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th inning.
Peyton Manning has looked more and more like himself every week as the Denver Broncos’ offence continues to adjust to make their veteran quarterback comfortable.
The 24-12 win over the Detroit Lions this past weekend saw Denver utilise the pistol formation to both appease Manning’s preference of being in shotgun and coach
Gary Kubiak’s desire to have a quarterback under centre to force a defence to honour the run.
Manning was as good as he’s been all season, throwing for 324 yards on 31-of-42 completions with two touchdowns and an interception.
Maybe more importantly though, the 39-year-old was sacked just once after getting sacked seven times in the first two games – his highest total through the first two weeks in any season of his career.
“That was something coaches came up with during the week,” Manning said of the pistol. “Green Bay did it last year against Detroit late in the season and had pretty good success with it, so something that we’ve repped throughout training camp.
“But something they wanted to do this week and I imagine it’ll be a part of the arsenal throughout the season whether we use it next week or two weeks from now, I don’t know. It gave us some help in protection.”
The formation didn’t make it any easier for Denver to run the ball, however, as their committee of running backs totalled 41 yards on 19 carries.
At 2.6 yards per carry, the Broncos are tied for dead last in the league with the Lions after averaging the 15th-most rushing yards in the NFL last season at 111.6.
But as the threat of Manning attacking through the air returns to a more prevalent level, Denver’s run game will see fewer defenders in the box and increased space to exploit.
The Broncos’ defence has provided more room for error, with the unit ranking first in the NFL in yards allowed per game at 259.0 and tied for third in average points given up at 16.3.
Along with New England and Cincinnati, Denver is the only team in the AFC with a perfect 3-0 mark.