History was made all across the NFL this week. Sunday was the kind of day that makes NFL fans happy, though upsetting to many fans if the history was made against their favorite team. It was a historic day indeed all across the board.
The biggest and most talked about historic moment came in Denver where Peyton Manning threw his 500th touchdown pass. That moment was a historic milestone for the NFL, as the stadium put a graphic up on the board and the game was delayed a few moments for this occasion to be taken in by Manning and the fans. The historic day in Denver was not over yet, though. Julius Thomas caught two touchdown passes giving him seven on the season, which not only leads the league, but is the first time in NFL history that a tight end has seven touchdowns in their first four games.
Historic day in Denver part three; Demaryius Thomas also hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from Manning to the tune of 226 yards, setting the single game franchise record for the Denver Broncos, on what was also a career high single game record for Manning, who threw for 479 total yards.
Down in Dallas the Cowboys took on the Houston Texans where the leagues’ leading rusher DeMarco Murray continued his dominant ways. He racked up 136 yards on the ground which makes him only the third player in league history to start the season with five straight 100+ yard games. The only two other players to accomplish this feat were O. J. Simpson who did it in 1973, and is one game behind Jim Brown who had six straight games to start the 1958 season.
The Philadelphia Eagles needed only 23 seconds to score on defense and add to their historic run. They were wenty-three seconds into their game against the St. Louis Rams and they blocked a punt for a touchdown. Later in the game they forced a fumble for a touchdown giving the defense seven return touchdowns on the young season. No team has more than seven in a whole season since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
In Tennessee things started out great for the Titans as they went up early with a 14-0 lead over the visiting Cleveland Browns. After that, the day started to slip away. First Titans quarterback Jake Locker had to leave the game after he injured his throwing hand on a defensive player’s helmet. Titan’s back up quarterback Charlie Whitehurst entered the game, and threw two touchdowns on his first two throws to go into the half up 28-10.
When the teams emerged from the locker room for the second half of the game, Whitehurst was almost nonexistent and the Browns staged the most historic comeback the league has ever seen. The Browns defense was able to shut out the Titans in the second half, and came back to win the game 29-28.
In San Diego veteran tight end Antonio Gates caught a pair of touchdown passes from Philip Rivers as the Chargers shut out the Jets 31-0. With those two catches Gates moved up to number 10 on the all time touchdown receiving list.
The historic day for tight ends continued in Dallas where Jason Witten, the Cowboy’s tight end, surpassed the 10,000 yard mark. Witten is just the third Tight End in NFL history to reach the mark behind Tony Gonzalez (15,127 yards) and Shannon Sharpe (10,060).
Drew Brees became the fastest player to ever throw for 40,000 yards for one team, as the New Orleans Saints beat the Tampa Bay Bucs at home. Brees is the seventh player in NFL history to pass this milestone mark but did it in just 132 games, which is 21 games faster than Hall of Famer, Dan Marino, who did it 153.
In New England on Sunday Night Football, Tom Brady became just the sixth player in NFL history to surpass 50,000 yards. Brady threw for 292 yards in a 43-17 victory over the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals.
Finally in the nation’s Capital Washington D.C. one last record was beaten in the Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins game. The Seahawks won that game 27-17 and their young quarterback Russell Wilson rushed for 122 yards and one touchdown. Monday Night Football is celebrating its 45 years of existence and in that time no quarterback has ever rushed for that many yards on Monday night.
Week five in the NFL has set the bar pretty high for the remaining 16 weeks. With one historic moment in almost every game, it will be hard to top.
Commentary by Andy Lapic