LOS ANGELES: Peyton Manning outgunned Aaron Rodgers to win the marquee battle between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as the unbeaten Denver Broncos handed Green Bay their first loss of the season.
Manning threw for 340 yards as the Broncos picked their spots passing and used a powerful rushing attack to move to 7-0 by knocking the Packers off their unbeaten perch with a 29-10 victory.
Ronnie Hillman ran for two touchdowns and C.J. Anderson had another for the Broncos, whose offense finally broke out of its funk after the defense became the story of their undefeated start through the first six games.
Manning recorded his 186th career regular-season win, tying Brett Favre for most victories by a starting quarterback in NFL history.
Demaryius Thomas was his favorite target, with eight receptions for 168 yards, his team-record-tying 31st game with at least 100 yards receiving.
“We were very determined,” Manning said. “We eliminated some things, we added some things and it really paid off for us tonight.”
The Broncos improved to 7-0 to start a season for just the second time in their history. They got off to a 13-0 start in 1998.
Green Bay fell to 6-1, snapping an eight-game regular-season winning streak dating to last year.
Denver’s defense frustrated the Packers’ high-powered offense, limiting Rodgers to 77 yards on 14-of-22 passing.
He was sacked by DeMarcus Ware and fumbled early in the fourth quarter and in the scramble for the ball it rolled into the end zone, where it was recovered by tight end Richard Rodgers for a safety.
The Cincinnati Bengals also improved to 7-0 with a 16-10 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton overcame two fourth-quarter interceptions to throw for 235 yards that included the go-ahead touchdown — a nine-yarder to wide receiver A.J. Green with 2:37 to play.
That put the Bengals ahead for the first time in the game, 13-10, and kicker Mike Nugent added a 44-yard field goal to seal it.
“Being 7-0 is great and being in first place is great but it’s always a great feeling whenever we beat the Steelers,” Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict said. “They are our archrival. It’s always extra special to come in here and beat them on their home field.”
The Bengals and Broncos joined the New England Patriots on 7-0, with the Carolina Panthers hoping to join them there when they host Indianapolis on Monday.
But the league’s dominant teams weren’t the only story on a day of thrills and spills.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and New York Giants signal-caller Eli Manning combined for a league-record 13 touchdown passes at the Superdome, where Brees’ record-equaling seven TD tosses lifted the Saints to a 52-49 victory.
Brees became the eighth quarterback to throw for seven touchdowns in a single game in the scoring extravaganza — which ironically was decided by the 50-yard field goal as time expired by Saints kicker Kai Forbath.
In Dallas, the Seattle Seahawks took another step toward salvaging their season with a 13-12 victory over the Cowboys.
Steven Hauschka delivered a game-deciding 24-yard field goal with 1:06 to play as the Seahawks won their second straight to improve to 4-4 going into their bye week remaining.
The injury ravaged Cowboys got receiver Dez Bryant back after five games on the sidelines with a broken foot, but he had just two catches for 12 yards.
The enduring image of the contest was of Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette lying motionless on the turf after taking a hard hit on a punt play from Cowboys safety Jeff Heath.
Lockette was stretchered off with a concussion — just one of a welter of significant injuries on the day.
“He cleared for concussion stuff, but they have some other tests to do,” said coach Pete Carroll. “We are grateful he’s been able to bounce back from that.”