After recently reaching his personal milestone of 500 career touchdown passes, it was only a matter of time before Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning surpassed current record holder Brett Favre and claimed the overall NFL record with touchdown pass number 509.
With three minutes and nine seconds left in the first half, Manning topped the list with an 8-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas. Peyton’s historic TD pass gave the Broncos a 21-3 lead against the San Francisco 49ers. Since signing with the Broncos in 2012, Manning has thrown 110 touchdown passes for the team, and his 500th TD pass was achieved during a game that saw the 38 year-old throwing his career best at 479 yards.
Peyton has overcome some challenges in the recent past that make Sunday’s record-breaking pass even more significant. Manning underwent four neck surgeries in a short few years, one being a spinal fusion surgery that left him with no choice but to miss an entire NFL season. Many had speculated for some time whether Peyton’s medical issues would impact his playing, but surpassing Favre has proven otherwise.
The moment was acknowledged with a pre-taped video tribute to Manning that featured appearances from Favre and a number of Peyton’s fellow Broncos.
— Brett Favre (@Favre4Official) October 20, 2014
Manning has spoken of the approaching milestone in recent weeks, but maintained that he hasn’t become distracted or lost focus on what he feels is most important come game time. “I think we’ve concentrated on the important things,” Peyton said. “I think you’re curious how you’re going to respond, especially if you have a little bit of rhythm going and you’re playing decent football and then you have an early bye week. Do you come out sluggish? Do you lose anything that you had?”
“I think we’ve responded well coming off that bye week and have had two good wins playing excellent teams,” Manning stated. “So that’s what I’ve concentrated on, trying to do whatever it takes to win and I don’t feel like it’s been a distraction because we’ve handled it and focused on what’s important.”
Currently, Peyton Manning is 135 passes ahead of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and Brees is only two ahead of Tom Brady. “Throwing touchdowns is a part of playing football”, Manning stated recently. “But I guess for me throwing touchdowns has helped teams I’ve been a part of win a lot of football games. I don’t think I’ve thrown a lot of touchdowns that didn’t mean something.”
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