After starting his 2013 season with seven touchdown passes in a single game, the first quarterback to complete such a feat since 1969 and only one of two to do it without throwing an interception as well, Peyton Manning stepped up today in a game against the Houston Texans, breaking the record for number of touchdown passes thrown in a single season.
In Sunday’s game, Manning threw four touchdown passes for the Broncos, the final of which broke the record of 50 previously set by Tom Brady of the Patriots in 2007. In actuality, Manning was taking back the record, which he had set with 49 passes to the Colts in 2004. He now holds the official record with 51 passes.
Manning started the game with 47 touchdown passes thrown this season. He added number 48 in the second quarter with a pass of 36 yards to Demaryius Thomas and number 49 was passed to Eric Decker for a distance of 10 yards early in the fourth. The other two touchdown passes came soon after. The record was broken on a pass of 25 yards with 4:28 left in the game. The ball was caught by Julius Thomas and came only two and a half minutes after Manning tied the record on a second pass of 20 yards to Decker.
After making the record-breaking pass, Manning walked down to the end zone and received pats on the helmet from his teammates. Walking to the sideline, he removed his helmet and gave a single, solitary fist pump before other teammates ran up to him for high fives as he moved to the bench. Decker took possession of the record-breaking ball and walked off the field with it tucked under his jersey.
Manning was named as the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year for 2012 after being forced to sit out the 2011 season due to neck surgery that left him unable to throw the ball. When the Colts took former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in the draft, they cut Manning loose, leaving him to arrive on the Bronco’s doorstep as a free agent, ready to prove himself once again.
At age 37, Peyton Manning is having his best season yet. Aside from breaking the single season touchdown pass record, this Sunday’s game also earned him the distinction of more than 5,000 yards passed in a single season. He also moved into fourth place for the all-time single season passing yards with 5,211, passing up Dan Marino. With another 266 passing yards, he could break Drew Brees’ third place record. Earlier in the month he also broke another NFL record for greatest number of playoff appearances which he had previously tied with Brett Favre.
The Bronco’s quarterback isn’t finished with the season yet; he can still up his numbers and make catching him to break his records in future seasons difficult. Manning’s main concern though is gaining a home-field advantage and the AFC top seed for his team in the playoffs, meaning that the Bronco’s win-loss record must best all other teams. But with Peyton Manning as the holder of the single season touchdown pass record, the Broncos have a great chance of breaking through into the playoffs with that home-field advantage.
By Marisa Corley