Aaron Rodgers extended his sharp start to the preseason, throwing for 195 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of the Green Bay Packers' 59-24 rout of the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday night.
It was a costly night for the Colts. Running back Joseph Addai left the game in the third quarter with a concussion and linebacker Gary Brackett hurt his right hand.
Peyton Manning made plenty of big plays against a porous Packers pass defense early, but Rodgers was up for an offensive exhibition against one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks.
Adding to the injury problems for Indianapolis (0-3), cornerback Jacob Lacey left the game with a concussion, offensive tackle Tony Ugoh hurt his toe and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson sustained a groin injury.
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The Packers (2-1) lost cornerback Brandon Underwood to a shoulder injury, defensive lineman Jarius Wynn to a concussion and linebacker Desmond Bishop to a hamstring injury.
Manning threw for 214 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He stayed in the game for one series after halftime, only to have things turn ugly.
Manning was hit and stripped of the ball by outside linebacker Frank Zombo, an undrafted free agent making a bid for a roster spot, and it was scooped up by linebacker Robert Francois — who delivered a hard hit to Addai when the running back tried to tackle him, leaving him woozy on the sideline.
Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to John Kuhn, putting the Packers up 38-17.
Rams 36, at Patriots 35: Sam Bradford passed his first test as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
And the player who ended the game at that position for the Rams, Keith Null, directed a drive that set up Josh Brown’s 37-yard field goal on the final play that gave St. Louis (2-1) an exhibition win over New England.
Bradford, the top pick in this year’s draft, was poised and precise in playing the first half. He went 15 for 22 for 189 yards after struggling as a backup in his first two games. But Tom Brady, who finished with 18 completions in 22 attempts for 273 yards, threw touchdown passes on three consecutive drives and the Patriots (2-1) turned a 27-14 deficit into a 35-27 lead.
Matt Leinart has been benched after just two exhibition games, this after the Arizona Cardinals gave him the starting job following Kurt Warner’s retirement. Derek Anderson, signed to be Leinart’s backup, will start Saturday night in Chicago against the Bears. … Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher will miss the Cardinals game. … A person familiar with the deal says New England Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski has agreed to a contract extension. Boston media outlets are reporting the extension is worth nearly $14 million and is through the 2014 season.