It was a day of accomplishments for the Denver Broncos, and more specifically Peyton Manning. Denver defeated the Houston Texans behind Manning’s 400 yards passing. The loss is the Texans’ 13th straight and Houston is getting ever closer to being on the clock with the first overall pick in the draft.
If Denver was able to sneak a peak at the scoreboard, they would have discovered that the Kansas City Chiefs were defeated as well. With that outcome, Denver became AFC West Champions and also secured a first-round bye in the AFC Playoffs. The Broncos have not quite clinched home-field advantage, but they are one step closer to that honor for the second consecutive year. However, they hope that this season provides a different outcome come playoff time.
On Sunday, Manning was in a familiar setting which saw him shredding apart a Texans defense that he has dominated for years while with the Indianapolis Colts. For Houston fans, it was more salt in the wounds of a forgettable 2013 campaign. Absolutely nothing has gone right for Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt and company.
Aside from Denver clinching, the other major news came in the fourth quarter, and Manning was of course at the center of attention. With three straight touchdown passes in the final quarter, Manning set a new benchmark for touchdown passes in a single season. His current 51 touchdowns surpassed Tom Brady‘s previous best of 50.
With Manning, a few questions are in play for the final week of the season. How long will he play? How much will he increase his total? And will he also set the record for most passing yards for a season? With his output against Houston, it puts him well within reach of Drew Brees‘ yardage mark set just a few season ago. The only thing that may stop Manning is head coach John Fox.
Having one record in hand and possibly more to come, Manning has all but locked up yet another MVP award. At age 37 after missing a full year with a neck injury, Manning continues to set the bar for quarterbacks. But in true Manning form, the accolades are nice, but he is only focused on one thing: no, not another Papa John’s franchise, but another Super Bowl championship.
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.