Pick 6: Some records Manning could set shortly
— Dec. 12, 2013 4:22 AM EST
Denver (AP) — When it comes to records, Peyton Manning only cares about
one: The wins and losses.
But while the numbers in the win column keep piling up, so do the
points, yards and touchdowns. December is truly becoming record-setting
season for the Denver Broncos and their quarterback.
Since throwing for 462 yards and seven touchdowns in the season opener,
Manning and the Broncos have been on pace to break a number of the
NFL's most treasured passing and scoring records. Nothing has slowed
the Denver offense since.
Manning, of course, doesn't like talking about the big picture. He said
a late-season game at Cleveland in his second year taught him how
fickle the business of focusing on big numbers can be. He had an
impressive 27-game streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass
heading into that game.
"We hadn't thrown one and had a pass play called and they were dropping
eight guys and we checked to a run, got the touchdown and the streak
ended," Manning said.
The touchdown helped the Colts to a 29-28 win.
"And you don't think twice about" the records, Manning said. "You've
got to do your job to get your team into the end zone, whatever that
is. That's how I've always approached it."
So, with the caveat that Manning himself doesn't really care, here are
six records he and the Broncos can break over the final three games of
the season, beginning Thursday night against San Diego:
TOUCHDOWN PASSES: This used to be considered the
gold-standard for passers and one of the hardest to break. Dan Marino
set it with 48 in 1984 and that held up for 20 seasons until — who
else? — Manning broke it by one in 2004 en route to his second of four
MVP awards (That's already a record). Tom Brady then threw for 50 TDs
in 2007. Manning stands at 45 with three games left. He has an NFL
record seven games with four touchdown passes or more.
PASSING YARDAGE: Another of the biggies. Manning
has 4,522 yards and is on pace for 5,565. Drew Brees holds the record
with 5,476, set in 2011. Manning is throwing for 347 a game this season
and could break the record by throwing for 29 below his average each
game. This one is a bit tricky, though, mainly because the Broncos'
three remaining opponents — San Diego, Houston and Oakland — are a
combined 12-27. The Broncos will probably try to rest the 16-year
veteran if they get way ahead. Working in favor of setting the record,
however, is that the Broncos have only a one-game lead over Kansas City
in the AFC West and New England for the No. 1 playoff seed, so, at this
point, they need to win all the games.
COMPLETIONS, ATTEMPTS, PASSER RATING: All these are
stretches, especially if Manning doesn't play out the entire season.
Then again, he went 39 for 59 with a 107.8 passer rating last week, and
a few more outings like that will definitely put him in the mix.
Through 13 games, Manning has 366 completions, leaving him 102 short of
Brees' record in 2011; Manning's 539 attempts are 188 shy of Matthew
Stafford's mark from last year. Meanwhile, Manning's 114.5 passer
rating currently ranks fourth all-time. The record is 122.5, set by
Aaron Rodgers in 2011.
TOTAL POINTS: The 2007 Patriots hold the mark with 589. The
Broncos are the first team to score 50 or more three times in a season
since the NFL merger in 1970. The result: They've scored 515 with three
games left. It means they have to average only 24.6 the rest of the
year to break the mark. They've been held under 30 only twice this
season — by San Diego in Week 10 and Kansas City in Week 11.
DOUBLE-DIGIT TOUCHDOWNS: Actually, the Broncos have already
broken this record, becoming the first team with four players scoring
10 touchdowns or more. But they could make it five. Eric Decker, who
scored four TDs in a win over Kansas City two weeks ago, needs two more
to join Knowshon Moreno, Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker
in double digits.
FIRST DOWNS: Maybe not the sexiest statistic, but
it speaks to one thing Denver focused on between Manning's first and
second year with the Broncos: Running more plays. The Broncos have
rarely huddled all season. In the win over Tennessee on Sunday, they
ran 91 plays on offense. All those plays, of course, lead to more first
downs. So far, Denver has 363 and is on pace for 447. The record is
444, set by the Patriots last year. Ironically, it was New England's 90
plays on offense and 35 first downs in a 31-21 win over Denver last
season in Foxboro that opened Manning's eyes and led him to push for a
faster tempo this year.
Pick 6: Manning Closing In On Records
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