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Matt Ryan lifts Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos deny Indianapolis Colts

A Matt Ryan-inspired Atlanta Falcons outfit pulled off a stunning comeback to down rivals the New Orleans Saints 37-34 in the NFL.

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Ryan threw three touchdown passes and gained a franchise-record 448 yards off 31 completed passes, as the Falcons came from 20-10 down at half-time to pinch a thrilling overtime win.

Falcons punter Matt Bryant kicked two 50-yard plus field goals - the first to send the game to OT, the second to win it - as Atlanta began their season in winning fashion against their NFC South rivals.

Saints running back Mark Ingram rushed for two final-quarter touchdowns, but they could not hold onto their lead late as Bryant slotted a 51-yard field goal to tie the game.

Bryant went one better in OT, his 52-yard effort splitting the uprights to seal a stirring win for the Falcons.

Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos avoided coughing up a 17-point half-time lead to defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31-24.

Manning threw three TD passes, gaining 269 yards from 22 pass completions, while opposite number Andrew Luck gained 370 yards for two TDs.

The result was Manning's first win over old side Indianapolis, and he has now beaten every team in the NFL.

The Minnesota Vikings heaped plenty of misery on the St Louis Rams, running out 34-6 winners - with wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson's 67-yard running TD a highlight.

Fred Jackson's 38-yard run in overtime helped the Buffalo Bills set up a match-winning field goal as they downed the Chicago Bears 23-20.

The Pittsburgh Steelers held off a fast-finishing Cleveland Browns 30-27, the Steelers needing a last-minute field goal from Shaun Suisham to win after the Browns had wiped off a 24-point half-time deficit.

The Cincinnati Bengals were headed, coughing up a 15-0 lead at the main interval against the Baltimore Ravens before steadying late to win 23-16.

Two second-quarter TDs - one via a blocked punt return - saw the Houston Texans down the Washington Redskins 17-6.

Jake Locker gained 266 yards and threw two TD passes to help the Tennessee Titans to a 26-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Miami Dolphins scored 23 unanswered points in the second half to run out 33-20 winners over the New England Patriots, while similarly, the Philadelphia Eagles overcame a scoreless first half to storm past the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17.

A first-quarter blitz from the San Francisco 49ers, who crossed into the end zone three times in the opening stanza, was enough for them to down the Dallas Cowboys 28-17.

The Carolina Panthers were on the right end of the scoreboard 20-14 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after only 10 points had been scored in the opening three quarters.

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