Peyton Manning has put the crowning achievement on the best single season performance of his storied career, throwing his 51st touchdown pass of the year. This milestone sets the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a season, breaking Tom Brady’s record of 50 (after he had broken Manning’s record of 49). This seemed inevitable given how prolific the Denver Broncos’ red hot offense has been this season, and setting this record is just the latest outstanding achievement of Manning’s career.
Julius Thomas had the honor of hauling in the historic catch, and it was Manning’s fourth touchdown of the game. Manning also now has 5,211 passing yards on the season, leaving him well within striking difference of Drew Brees’ record 5,476. It remains to be seen if the Broncos will have anything to play for next week, however, as a Baltimore Ravens win over the New England Patriots would seal the No. 1 seed in the AFC for the Broncos.
Regardless of whether or not he adds the yardage record to this touchdown mark, Manning has all but locked up the NFL MVP award. Russell Wilson and Jamaal Charles have mounted strong challenges to Manning in recent weeks, but Manning has put up a statistical season like no other. When you consider the fact that the Broncos are 12-3 and one of the favorites for the Super Bowl, and it seems like a given that Manning will win his 5th MVP award.
Winning another MVP would extend Manning’s record for most times winning the award, and both the single season touchdown record and the probable fifth MVP award bolster the Manning’s case as the greatest quarterback of all time. That is a debate that will be held for years to come, but there is no arguing that Manning is in the conversation. Manning’s brilliance as a passer is nearly unequaled, and he has more statistical evidence to support that after today’s performance. This record is a fantastic achievement for Manning, and fans everywhere should consider themselves lucky to be able to watch him play at this level.