Peyton Manning now stands alone as the NFL’s all-time touchdown king.
The Denver Broncos’ 38-year-old quarterback threw touchdown No. 509 of his career Sunday night against the San Francisco 49ers to break Brett Favre’s career record.
The record-breaker went to receiver Demaryius Thomas, in the second quarter to give the Broncos a 21-3 lead. Thomas, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Julius Thomas – Manning’s stable of pass catchers – played keep away with the record-setting ball before Manning finally took possession of the ball that will soon land in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Manning was then mobbed on the sideline, first wrapped into a bear hug by Broncos head coach John Fox as Sports Authority Field at Mile High public address announcer Alan Roach alerted the crowd to the milestone.
“Broncos fans, you have just witnessed history,” Roach said, introducing a pre-taped video tribute that featured messages from Favre, Broncos general manager John Elway and several Broncos teammates.
But the fans at Sports Authority Field didn’t need the reminder. Flash bulbs from cell phone cameras popped around the stadium on each of the Broncos’ offensive snaps after a defensive pass interference penalty set up a first-and-goal. The history-making moment came three snaps later, after an incompletion to Julius Thomas and an eight-yard sack.
Thomas also caught Manning career touchdown No. 510 early in the third quarter on a 40-yard bomb one play after Denver cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Thomas’ second touchdown gave the Broncos a 28-10 lead.
Manning entered Sunday night’s game needing two touchdowns to tie Favre, and three to break the record. Touchdown No. 507 went to Sanders on the Broncos’ opening drive of the first quarter, and Manning tied the record with his 39-yard pass to Welker later in the first quarter. The celebration for the record-tying score was delayed as officials reviewed whether Welker had indeed touched the ball to the pylon.
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SOURCE: USA Today
Lindsay H. Jones