The Denver Broncos probably weren’t too fearsome about stepping up against the Houston Texans in week 16 of the 2013 NFL season, a team that has lost 13 consecutive games in a collapse for the ages. There wasn’t really a question of if the Broncos would win, but only how badly the Texans would get throttled.
The other question coming into this game, though, regarded the likely MVP of the league in Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning came into this game having 47 touchdown passes on the season, which left him three shy of Tom Brady’s single-season record for touchdown passes in a season. The question remained against Houston if Manning would be able to make history.
Make history he did. With the game much closer than Denver probably ever expected it to be heading into the final quarter, Manning delivered a masterful performance, throwing for three touchdowns in the quarter, with a 25-yarder to Julius Thomas with 4:34 left on the clock being his fourth of the game and his record-breaking 51st of the season.
It was pretty clear from jump-street that Manning was going to be at the top of most people’s list for MVP this season and it’s been apparent for quite some time now that he’s bound for Canton and the Hall of Fame. However, this may be one of his most remarkable accomplishments yet. Sure, he’s surrounded by elite receiving weapons and an offense that is an absolute juggernaut, but for a 37-year-old quarterback with 16 years in the NFL and a bevy of neck surgeries under his belt to not only lead this prolific of an offense, but to also set NFL single-season records, that certainly is going to go near the top of his Hall of Fame credentials. Even more impressive, though: there’s still one week left to play.