Another game has been played, and another record has fallen. On Sunday Oct. 19, quarterback Peyton Manning tossed four touchdown passes in a 42-17 blowout of the San Francisco 49ers.
For his third touchdown, Manning hit wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for an 8-yard strike. Thomas was just able to get his feet in-bounds for the score; and with that, Manning surpassed Brett Favre to become the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes with 509.
“Well it’s quite an honor,” said Manning. “I do have great appreciation for the quarterbacks that have played this game throughout the years, and so I’m honored just to play the position. It’s very humbling. It’s taken a lot of hard work. A lot of people have helped me to this point.”
The scoring play to Thomas, which came on third down, was much more graceful than the one that directly preceded it. On second down, Manning tripped over a teammate, losing yards on what was credited as a sack.
“I’m not sure what happened,” said Manning. “I don’t know if I tripped over the guard or the running back or what.”
Regardless, Manning was not to be denied. After scoring, Demaryius, along with Julius Thomas and fellow receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Wes Welker, played a game of keep away from Manning with the record-setting football.
“I can’t believe they actually did it,” said Manning of their antics. “I’m a little bit hurt by the fact that they could do that — that they’re kind of picking on me. I’ve lost my vertical leap; it’s not there anymore. My side-to-side agility is not quite as quick so it hurt me, and of course, I probably deserved it based on the non-graceful play in that I tripped and fell on the play before, so it’s probably fitting. But that was pretty funny.”
After adding a fourth touchdown pass (also to Demaryius), along with two scores on the ground from Ronnie Hillman during the third quarter; Manning sat out the final frame in favor of backup Brock Osweiler. The 38-year-old Manning finished the game 22-for-26 for 318 yards. Many legends were quick to congratulate him on his accomplishment, including the former record holder.
“”I’m not surprised,” Favre said, addressing Manning. “You’ve been a wonderful player and I’ve enjoyed watching you play. I’ve enjoyed competing against you. I wish you great success for the rest of the season and the rest of your career.”
The recipient of the historic pass, Demaryius, continued his torrid play. The 26-year-old finished the contest with a game-high 171 receiving yards to go with his two scores. Over the span of the past three games, he has 521 yards and five touchdowns.
The Broncos defense also played a solid game, holding the typically potent 49ers offense to only 310 total yards; sacking quarterback Colin Kaepernick six times and intercepting him once. Running back Frank Gore was particularly stymied, as he was held to just 20 yards rushing.
Manning will get a chance to add to his record later this week, as the Broncos are set to take on the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football.