Manning faces unbeaten Panthers, Dante Hall heads to Lambeau

Updated: October 11, 2003, 7:26 AM ET

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey - Fresh off his "Monday Night Miracle," Peyton Manning faces the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, while the "Dante Hall Show" heads to Lambeau Field on Sunday in Week Six of the NFL.

Manning's Indianapolis Colts (5-0) and Carolina (4-0) are two of the NFL's four unbeaten teams, along with Hall's Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) and the idle Minnesota Vikings (5-0).

Indianapolis did Carolina a favor last Monday with a stunning come-from-behind 38-35 overtime victory over the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While the Colts moved two games ahead of the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South, the Panthers also increased their advantage to two games over the Buccaneers in the NFC South.

Carolina's young defense will have to deal with Manning, the Pro Bowl quarterback who rallied the Colts from a 21-point deficit with less than four minutes remaining in Monday's road win.

Manning, who threw for just 66 yards in the first half, finished with 386 yards on 34-of-47 passing with one interception and two touchdowns - both to Marvin Harrison, who had 11 catches for 176 yards.

The Panthers yielded 344 total yards in last week's 19-13 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The Colts hope to be bolstered by the possible return of Edgerrin James, a two-time rushing champion who has missed the last two games with back problems. Without James, the Colts have used Ricky Williams, James Mungro and Dominic Rhodes in the backfield. Carolina yielded 124 rushing yards to Deuce McAllister last week.

The Panthers have a workhorse in their backfield in Stephen Davis. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Davis has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of Carolina's first four games, totaling for 565. He had a season-high 159 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries in last week's win over New Orleans.

The last NFL player to rush for 100 or yards in each of the first five games was O.J. Simpson for Buffalo in 1975.

The Chiefs are 5-0 for the first time in their 43-year history entering Sunday's interconference matchup with the Green Bay Packers (3-2).

Kansas City has a balanced offense and a much improved defense, but the biggest reason for the unblemished record is Hall, who has already tied an NFL record with four touchdowns on kick returns this season.

With first place in the AFC West on the line, Hall scored on an electrifying 93-yard punt return with 8:20 to play, lifting the Chiefs to a 24-23 win over the Denver Broncos.

Two weeks ago, Hall returned a kickoff 97 yards for the winning touchdown in a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

"He's like Michael Jordan, a human highlight reel," Chiefs defensive end Eric Hicks said.

The Chiefs have plenty of weapons on offense with Priest Holmes, Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez, but Hall has inflicted the most damage on opponents. Three weeks ago, he returned a punt 73 yards for a score in a win at Houston. On September 14, Hall took a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Pittsburgh.

Kansas City has allowed just 16.2 points in five games this season, a drastic improvement from its average of 25.0 per game in 2002.

The defense will face quite a challenge from quarterback Brett Favre and running back Ahman Green, who helped the Packers score touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in last week's 35-13 rout of the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks. Favre passed for 185 yards and two touchdowns and Green rushed for 118 yards and two scores.

The Broncos (4-1), who fell out of a first-place tie with Kansas City in the AFC West, host the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3).

Quarterback Patrick Ramsey will be facing what likely will be an angry defense when the Washington Redskins (3-2) host the Buccaneers (2-2).

Trying to establish themselves as one of the NFL's all-time great defenses, the Bucs surrendered just two touchdowns in their first 15 quarters this season.

But in the fourth quarter Monday, Tampa Bay watched its vaunted defense collapse as it surrendered 28 points in the fourth quarter.

"I haven't had an experience like that since I was in the dentist chair and had my teeth pulled out," Bucs coach Jon Gruden said.

At the season's quarter pole, coach Bill Parcells has the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) in first place in the NFC East ahead of Washington, the Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) and New York Giants (2-2).

After going 5-11 in each of the last three seasons, the Cowboys have been one of the early surprises under Parcells, who was brought in to resurrect the once-proud franchise. They host the Eagles, who have captured the last six meetings by an average of 23.3 points.

The Giants visit the New England Patriots (3-2) in an interconference matchup before they host the Eagles on October 19.

The Miami Dolphins (3-1) have won three straight games and lead the Patriots and Buffalo Bills (3-2) in the AFC East. They visit the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4), while the Bills face the winless New York Jets (0-4).

Rookie Ken Hamlin may have his sights set on Terrell Owens on Sunday night when the Seahawks (3-1) host the San Francisco 49ers (2-3) in an NFC West matchup.

A second-round pick out of Arkansas, Hamlin won the starting free safety job for the Seahawks and already has established himself as a physical presence. One of the NFL's top receivers and biggest showboats, Owens may want to be on the lookout for Hamlin.

The Seahawks have some added incentive regarding Owens, who caught a pair of touchdown passes in a 28-20 win at Seattle in a Monday night contest last October. He turned his second TD reception, into a souvenir that infuriated the Seahawks.

After his catch, Owens pranced into the end zone, grabbed a marker from his sock, autographed the football and handed it to his financial advisor. Owens said he did not mean to disrespect the Seahawks.

"Everyone's always saying I'm being disrespectful or I'm a bad guy," said Owens, one of the best receivers in the game. "But I'm just trying to be creative and having fun."

But Seahawks coach Paul Holmgren was incensed by Owens' action, calling it an "embarrassment to the NFL."

In other games, the Titans (3-2) host the Houston Texans (2-2); the struggling Oakland Raiders (2-3) visit the Cleveland Browns (2-3); the Ravens (2-2) face the Arizona Cardinals (1-4); and the Chicago Bears (1-3) meet the New Orleans Saints (1-4).

Michael Vick was supposed to make his debut on Monday Night Football. Instead, he will again watch from the sidelines when the Atlanta Falcons (1-4) visit the St. Louis Rams (2-2).

With one of the NFL's most electrifying players in Vick, the Falcons were scheduled for their first Monday night game since the 1999 regular-season finale.

But Vick suffered a fractured right fibula during the preseason and remains sidelined. The Falcons are hoping to get their star quaterback back within a few weeks.

Without Vick, the Falcons have struggled under Doug Johnson. After a season-opening win at Dallas, Atlanta has dropped four straight games.

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