Dec. 29, 2013
Fittingly, Peyton Manning set the NFL's single-season record for passing yards on a touchdown.
On a quick out to Demaryius Thomas, Manning passed Drew Brees for the No. 1 spot. Thomas grabbed Manning's throw a few yards short of the goal line and got into the end zone with 13 seconds left in the first half to give Denver a 31-0 lead against Oakland. Thomas' grab gave Manning 5,477 yards, one more than Brees had in 2011 when he set the record. Manning put his head down, clapped once and headed off to the sideline, showing no sign that he knew he just set one of the NFL's most important records.
Manning was 25-of-28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns in the first half against the Raiders. Manning was pulled at halftime, as backup Brock Osweiler started the third quarter with Denver holding a 31-point lead.
Brees set the record with 5,476 yards, after Dan Marino held the record for 27 years. The 5,000-yard club is still a pretty exclusive one. Manning was just the seventh in NFL history to get to 5,000 yards in a season.
Manning started fast against the Raiders. He threw his 52nd and 53rd touchdowns of the season, extending the NFL single-season record he broke last week, and Denver led 14-0 in the first quarter. The Broncos clinched the first seed of the AFC playoffs with a win.
The Broncos also broke a key NFL record as a team in the second quarter. Demaryius Thomas' 63-yard touchdown catch set a new record for points in a season. The 2007 Patriots held the mark with 589 points. Denver passed 600 points on Thomas' next touchdown that gave Manning the yardage record.
All of the records that Manning has set are impressive, and will lead to another MVP award. Now he needs to win a Super Bowl to cement his 2013 season as the greatest in NFL history.