Peyton Manning grabbed another slice of NFL history Sunday, throwing his 51st touchdown pass to claim the league’s single-season record.
The record toss was Denver Broncos quarterback Manning’s fourth touchdown of the day -- a 25-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas -- in a 37-13 victory over the Texans at Houston. The Broncos won the AFC West with the victory.
Manning broke the record set by the New England Patriots' Tom Brady, who threw for 50 touchdowns in 2007. Actually, Manning reclaimed the record. He set it with 49 in 2004.
Manning, who passed for 400 yards Sunday, threw three of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He tied the record with a 20-yard completion to Eric Decker only 2 ½ minutes before breaking the mark.
Decker led the Broncos (12-3) with 10 catches for 131 yards while Demaryius Thomas had eight receptions for 123 yards. Wes Welker missed his second game in a row after he sustained his second concussion in four weeks on Dec. 8.
“We're not surprised at what Peyton does,” Thomas said. “The work he puts in every day, you see how he demands the best from himself. Fortunate for us, we're the beneficiaries of that.”
Manning shared credit with his teammates.
“I really feel like it's a team accomplishment, certainly an offensive accomplishment,” Manning said. “There's a lot of people that played roles in this.”
Manning has passed for 5,211 yards this season and needs only 266 more to break the the NFL's single-season record set by the Saints' Drew Brees in 2011.
Andre Johnson of Houston (2-13) tied an NFL record when his four receptions gave him 103 this year, giving him at least 100 receptions in five seasons.
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