Modest Manning stays grounded despite record-breaking feat

Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:08pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Peyton Manning broke the single season NFL record for touchdown passes on Sunday but the modest quarterback was more comfortable discussing his team's performance later.

"I really feel like it's a team accomplishment, certainly an offensive accomplishment," the Denver Broncos quarterback said after throwing his 51st touchdown pass.

"But a lot of people played roles in this. I think it's a unique thing to be a part of NFL history, even though it may be temporary... (Tom) Brady will probably break it next year and the year after, so we'll enjoy it for as long as it lasts."

Manning started Sunday's game against the Houston Texans with 47 TDs in 14 games this season, adding four more to regain the record he held for three years before Brady broke it in 2007.

The New England quarterback threw 50 passes that year, after Manning connected with 49 in 2004.

Manning described 2004 as a "unique chase" because he was chasing Dan Marino's two decades-old record.

"I still think Dan Marino's record in '84 is extremely special," Manning, 37, said. "Certainly, the game has changed since then and, for him to have thrown 48 touchdowns in '84, is still one of the most remarkable ones. It lasted for so long and he was one of my favorite quarterbacks."

But Manning's modesty should not disguise his remarkable achievement. Multiple neck surgeries had kept him out of the entire 2011 season following which he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.

"I think it's well documented that this is the second chapter of my career and I didn't know what to expect off that injury and new team, new players and new physical state after an injury," he said.   Continued...

 
Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) attempts a pass during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports - RTX16RRR