NFL round-up: Bengals and Broncos maintain unbeaten starts

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Bengals (c) are in prime form.

The Cincinnati Bengals maintained their winning start to the NFL season as they saw off the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10 on Sunday.

Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass with 2:57 to go and the Bengals picked off Ben Roethlisberger twice in the fourth quarter to go 7-0 for the first time in their history and take a comfortable lead at the top of the AFC North.

The Minnesota Vikings came out on top in their clash with the Chicago Bears as Adrian Peterson ran for 103 yards and Blair Walsh kicked a 36-yard field goal in their 23-20 win.

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Earlier in London, the Kansas City Chiefs breathed fresh life into their season as they punished a poor Detroit Lions team 45-10 in Wembley’s third NFL game of the year.

The win moves the Chiefs to 3-5, still well short of pre-season expectations, but at least they do not have Detroit’s problems, after they slipped to 1-7.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford piled up 217 yards but was sacked six times, and picked off twice, while the Chiefs’ offence ran riot.

Quarterback Alex Smith amassed 78 yards on the ground, including a 49-yard dash in the second quarter and a touchdown run from 11 yards out. Smith also had 145 passing yards for two scores.

Brian Hoyer threw for 235 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Houston Texans tied a franchise record with seven sacks in a comfortable 20-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans to go 3-5.

Justin Tucker kicked a late 39-yard field goal as the Baltimore Ravens claimed a 29-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers, while Carson Palmer threw four touchdown passes for 374 yards as the Arizona Cardinals saw off the Cleveland Browns 34-20.

Elsewhere, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Atlanta Falcons 23-20, the St Louis Rams recorded a 27-6 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints edged a 101-point thriller against the New York Giants 52-49.

Denver Broncos kept their winning start going and at the same time inflicted a first defeat on Green Bay Packers with a 29-10 victory, Seattle Seahawks edged a tight battle with Dallas Cowboys 13-12 while Oakland Raiders beat New York Jets 34-20.

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Defences decisive in Broncos-Packers battle

Jay Asser 1/11/2015
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Peyton Manning will come up against Aaron Rodgers.

A match-up between Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning doesn’t hold the same weight this season as in years past, but the Denver Broncos’ defence has them entering an undefeated clash against the Green Bay Packers with reason for confidence.

While Green Bay has been balanced with both sides of the ball contributing to their flawless 6-0 mark, Denver has had to rely not on their future Hall of Fame quarterback to win their first six games, but instead on their dominant defence.

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Though the Packers’ 16.8 points allowed per game edges the Broncos’ mark of 17.0 for best in the league, Denver’s unit has enduring three interceptions by Manning that have been returned for touchdowns, accounting for 20 of their 102 total points allowed.

Teams have had difficulty moving the ball against the Broncos, who surrender the fewest yards per game in the league at 281.3 and are tied for most interceptions with 10.


The success of the defence has been needed with Manning throwing only two touchdowns to seven interceptions in the past two games, combined with the running game averaging just 85.0 yards to rank 31st.

To remain unbeaten, Denver will once again need their defence to come through against Rodgers.

“Our job is to stop their quarterback. Their job is going to be to stop ours,” Denver defensive end Antonio Smith said. “It will be a battle of the defences when you bring it back to the beginning.”

The meeting will be the fourth time in NFL history two undefeated teams have met this late in the year.

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Clippers’ Jordan brings added defensive strength

Jay Asser 31/10/2015
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Making his mark: DeAndre Jordan.

DeAndre Jordan has been a defensive force in the early stages of the season for the Los Angeles Clippers as they’ve begun the new campaign perfect with two wins.

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Jordan’s scoring has been sparse, but his impact in the paint by swatting shots and grabbing rebounds has fuelled the Clippers. The centre was particularly energised in the match-up with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, with six points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and two assists in 26 minutes as the Clippers won 104-88.

Jordan, of course, was almost a Maverick when he agreed to terms with the franchise to end his free agency in the summer, only to later change his mind and rejoin Los Angeles as his courting turned into a spectacle.

“It’s definitely an emotional game,” Jordan said of playing against Dallas. “The emotions were high obviously because it was our home opener. We wanted to give the fans what they missed.”

The only area Jordan didn’t hurt the Mavericks in was at the free throw line, where he went just 2-of-8 as Dallas intentionally fouled him at times.

Jordan’s off-season decision has poured petrol on the rivalry flames between the two teams, with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban taking shots before the team’s first meeting of the season.

Cuban claimed he “didn’t give a s*** about the Clippers,” while adding: “Look, the Clippers are the Clippers. You can change the players, you can change the owner, but the Clippers are who they’ve been for the last 30 years.”

Although, Dallas have the 2011 championship on Los Angeles, the Clippers have finished higher in the standings the past four years.

Jordan and his team-mates will expectedly get a hostile welcome when the teams meet again in Dallas on November 11.

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