NFL Watch: Colts 1-13, Packers 13-1

Who says Santa Claus isn’t real?

words // Brandon Richard

It’s been a whirlwind NFL season for the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, who entered Sunday’s games on opposite sides of history. Behind the brilliance of Aaron Rodgers, the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers held a 19-game winning streak and had their eyes set on a perfect season – the first since the Miami Dolphins accomplished the feat in 1972. Meanwhile, the news hasn’t been as good in Indianapolis. With franchise quarterback Peyton Manning sidelined the entire season with a neck injury, the Colts were winless and in serious danger of joining the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 2008 Detroit Lions with the ill-fated “Imperfect Season.” In a surprising turn of events, both streaks were snapped this weekend.

Matched up against the AFC West doormat Kansas City Chiefs, a perfect 14-0 record for the Packers seemed like a mere formality. However, the Chiefs proved that any team can win on any given Sunday, surprising Green Bay with a hard-fought 19-14 win at the always-loud Arrowhead Stadium. New starter Kyle Orton completed 23 of his 31 passes for 299 yards, while linebacker Tamba Hali led the defense with three sacks and a forced fumble. A late one-yard touchdown run by running back Jackie Battle put the Chiefs up by two scores with less than five minutes to play and they never looked back.

Indianapolis squared off against the division rival Tennessee Titans, who won the first match-up 27-10 back in October. The Colts got off to a slow start, scoring just three points in the first half off an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Kicker Rob Bironas netted two for the Titans, giving Tennessee a 6-3 halftime lead. Storming out in the second half, the Colts took the lead with a little less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter after quarterback Dan Orlovsky connected with Reggie Wayne on an 18-yard touchdown pass. Then Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey returned an interception for a touchdown on the next possession to give Indy a 17-6 advantage. The Colts added another 10 points in the fourth quarter to pull away with their first win of the season in front of their fans at home.

In other early schedule action, the Atlanta Falcons blasted the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-14 on Thursday; Tony Romo put the Dallas Cowboys back in the NFC East driver’s seat with a 31-15 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Reggie Bush trotted for more than 200 yards in Miami’s 30-23 win over the rival Buffalo Bills; the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Chicago Bears 38-14; Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers put a halt to the Houston Texans’ win streak with a 28-13 win; Drew Brees continued his pursuit of Dan Marino’s season passing yardage record in New Orleans’ lopsided 42-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings; the Washington Redskins dealt a blow to the New York Giants’ playoff hopes after pulling off a 23-10 upset; and Andy Dalton led the Cincinnati Bengals to a 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Check out some of football cleats worn during these games in today’s NFL Watch.

NFL Watch: Colts 1-13, Packers 13-1

Dan Orlovsky wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3 vs. Tennessee TitansDan Orlovsky tries to locate a receiver in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

Jacob Lacey wearing Nike Alpha Vapor One vs. Tennessee TitansJacob Lacey returns an interception for a touchdown in the Nike Alpha Vapor One.

Dwight Freeney wearing Jordan BCT Mid Cleats vs. Tennessee Titans

Dwight Freeney all smiles in BCT Mid Jordan football cleats.

Brandon Carr wearing Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly vs. Green Bay PackersBrandon Carr leaps over Aaron Rodgers in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.

Kyle Orton wearing Nike Alpha Speed TD 3/4 vs. Green Bay PackersKyle Orton hands the ball off in the Nike Alpha Speed TD 3/4.

Roddy White wearing Reebok NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid SD4 vs. Jacksonville JaguarsRoddy White catches a 29-yard touchdown pass in NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid SD4 Reebok football cleats.

Felix Jones wearing Nike Super Speed D 3/4 vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersFelix Jones finds a seam in the Nike Super Speed D 3/4.

Reggie Bush wearing adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid vs. Buffalo BillsReggie Bush ran for more than 200 yards in the adidas Scorch X Superfly Mid.

Brandon Browner wearing Nike Super Speed D vs. Chicago BearsBrandon Browner returns an interception for a touchdown in the Nike Super Speed D.

D'Angelo Williams wearing Nike Air Zoom Merciless vs. Houston TexansD’Angelo Williams finds running room in PE Air Zoom Merciless Nike football cleats.

Jimmy Graham wearing adidas Malice D vs. Minnesota VikingsJimmy Graham catches a touchdown pass in the adidas Malice D.

Darrel Young wearing Nike Zoom Alpha Talon vs. New York GiantsDarrel Young celebrates a touchdown in Nike Zoom Alpha Talon cleats.

Andy Dalton wearing Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3 vs. St. Louis RamsAndy Dalton throws a pass in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.

images via Yahoo