Peyton Manning has his MVP award and nothing more, outdone again in January by the San Diego Chargers.
Speedy little Darren Sproles scooted 22 yards for the winning score 6:20 into overtime and the Chargers beat the Colts 23-17 in an AFC wild-card game Saturday night, ending Indianapolis' nine-game winning streak a day after Manning won his third Associated Press NFL MVP award.
Sproles came up big on a night when the Chargers (9-8) played the final 2½ quarters without LaDainian Tomlinson, who stood on the sideline in obvious discomfort from a groin injury.
Fifty years after the Baltimore Colts won the first overtime game in league history by the same score over the New York Giants for the NFL title, Indianapolis (12-5) wasn't so fortunate. It was victimized by Sproles, who rushed 23 times for 105 yards, caught five passes for 45 yards, had 106 yards on four kickoff returns and 72 on three punt runbacks.
It was the 25th overtime game in the postseason, including one game in the AFL.
San Diego's winning drive was aided by two defensive holding calls, the second against Tim Jennings on third-and-8. On the next play, Colts linebacker Clint Session was whistled for grabbing Sproles' facemask. Sproles scored on the next play, shedding a defender at the 5-yard line.
Manning was 25-of-42 for 310 yards and a touchdown, but never got on the field in overtime.
Cardinals 30, Falcons 24
Kurt Warner opened with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald and connected with Anquan Boldin on a 71-yard scoring play as the Arizona Cardinals beat Atlanta 30-24 Saturday before a raucous, white towel-waving crowd in their first home playoff game in 61 years.
Falcons rookie Matt Ryan was intercepted twice, tackled in the end zone for a safety and fumbled the ball away on a botched handoff. The fumble was returned 26 yards by Antrel Rolle 52 seconds into the second half to put Arizona (10-7) ahead for good.
The Cardinals' Edgerrin James outgained Atlanta's Michael Turner, the NFL's No. 2 rusher.
James, who has made it known he will not be back with the Cardinals next season, carried 16 times for 73 yards. Turner, who rushed for 1,699 yards in the regular season, had 42 yards in 18 attempts.
Warner, in the playoffs for the first time since leading St. Louis to a second Super Bowl in the 2001 season, was 19-of-32, 13-for-17 in the second half, for 271 yards. He was intercepted once.
Arizona will play at either the New York Giants or Carolina Panthers next weekend.
Ryan, the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, completed 26 of 40 passes for 199 yards and two scores for the Falcons (11-6).
The Cardinals' 30 points were their most in the playoffs, breaking a record set by the then-Chicago Cardinals in the NFL championship victory over Philadelphia in 1947. That was the franchise's last home playoff game before Saturday.
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