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November 10, 2009

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Home » Sports » American Football

Colts, Saints extend unbeaten streak

THE Indianapolis Colts kept their unbeaten record with a 20-17 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday when Kris Brown was wide to the left on a potentially game-tying 42-yard field goal attempt.

The victory was the 17th consecutive regular season triumph for the Colts, who have started the current season 8-0.

"It was a huge win," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning told reporters after completing 34 of 50 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown, a seven-yard toss to Joseph Addai in the first quarter.

"We had a great effort hanging in there," Manning said. "Everything wasn't perfect, but we did a great job fighting, and we came away with a big win."

New Orleans, the NFL's only other unbeaten team, also improved to 8-0 on Sunday when the Saints overcame a 14-0 deficit to defeat the Carolina Panthers 30-20.

Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark sparked the Colts' win, catching a career-high 14 passes for 114 yards.

"No matter who is guarding him, we think he's tough to cover," said Manning.

Houston (5-4) held a 17-13 lead over its AFC South rival early in the fourth quarter but Indianapolis rallied to go ahead 20-17 on Addai's two-yard run with 7:11 to play.

The Texans had one final chance and quarterback Matt Schaub led it from its 15 to the Colts 24 with a second to play. But Brown, who had earlier made a 56-yard field goal, could not send the game into overtime.

Indianapolis held a 13-0 second quarter lead before quarterback Matt Schaub sparked Houston to 17 consecutive points.

Along with Brown's long field goal, the Texans scored on Schaub's one-yard pass to Ryan Moats in the third and Steve Slaton's one-yard run in the fourth. Schaub connected on 32 of 43 pass attempts for 311 yards but was intercepted twice.

In New Orleans, the Saints won their first eight matches for the first time in club history when Drew Brees overcame two early turnovers to pass for 330 yards and a touchdown.

DeAngelo Williams rushed for 149 yards and two TDs, and Carolina gained 182 on the ground. However, it was Williams' fumble at his 1 with just more than 2 minutes left that led to New Orleans' clinching TD after coming back from 17-3 down.

In Tampa, Florida, rookie Josh Freeman passed for 205 yards and three touchdowns to lead the previously winless Bucs to a 38-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

In his first pro start, Freeman completed 14 of 31 passes with just one interception.

A critical second pick was wiped out by a Green Bay penalty during the go-ahead drive.

The Bucs were the last team in the NFL to win this season. It was also the first victory for the league's youngest head coach, 33-year-old Raheem Morris, who replaced Jon Gruden after Tampa Bay went 0-4 in December and missed the playoffs last year.

In other NFL action on Sunday, it was: Cowboys 20, Eagles 16; Chargers 21, Giants 20; Titans 34, 49ers 27; Patriots 27, Dolphins 17; Bengals 17, Ravens 7; Cardinals 41, Bears 21; Falcons 31, Redskins 17; Jaguars 24, Chiefs 21; and Seahawks 32, Lions 20.


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