Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw his 500th career touchdown pass in a 41-20 Week 5 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.
Peyton Manning recorded his 500th career touchdown pass in a 41-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 5.
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According to David DeChant of the Broncos' official website, Manning also threw for 479 passing yards in the rout -- his 13th game of at least 400 passing yards. This is a feat which ties him with former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino:
"As it turns out, blitzing the 17-year veteran isn't such a good idea.
"In the first half alone, Manning threw three touchdowns and racked up 282 passing yards, tied his career-long with an 86-yard TD pass and even made his eighth career tackle. The second half brought 21 more pass attempts and 197 more yards, along with another touchdown, as the Broncos pulled away for a 41-20 win.
"Of course, we can't forget a few milestones that fell along the way: Manning long-expected 500th career touchdown pass arrived in the first quarter, but No. 18's performance the rest of the game helped set a career-high with 479 passing yards, moving him into a tie with Dan Marino for the most 400-yard passing games in NFL history with 13.
"And, ho-hum, the Broncos set a franchise record for most total yardage in a game (568) despite getting just 92 yards of that gaudy total on the ground.
"'Obviously it was a festive locker room right there because we won a big ball game against a good football team,' Manning said. 'Anything that comes along the way, I really accept it on behalf of a number of players.'
"The offensive production was certainly a team effort, but it's hard to to turn the focus away from the future Hall of Famer who seems to be setting new benchmarks on a weekly basis.
"The moment everyone was waiting for didn't take long. Manning found Julius Thomas in the right corner of the end zone late in the first quarter, putting the Broncos up 7-3 and Manning up to 500 career touchdowns.
"'I guess you can't help but just take a couple moments and you go down memory lane a little bit,' Manning said of reaching the benchmark. 'I don't think there's any players still playing (who were playing) when I threw my first touchdown, but it's interesting -- two coaches on Arizona's sideline were both there my first game when I threw my first touchdown: Tom Moore and Bruce Arians. And I give both of those men a lot of credit for helping me improve as a quarterback.'
"After picking up the inevitable 500th TD, Manning kept right on throwing, heading to halftime with 29 pass attempts while the Broncos' run game struggled to gain much traction against stacked defensive boxes.
"'We knew it was going to be a passing game,' Manning said. 'We knew there was going to be some incompletions, we knew there were going to be some kind of ugly series. But we thought if we just stayed aggressive, we would get our big plays, and that's what we did.'
"The biggest of these would be the 86-yarder to Demaryius Thomas down the left sideline, which matched the longest pass play in Manning's career. The one-play, 11-second TD drive put the Broncos up the defense for more underneath throws, where Welker, Sanders and both Thomases continued to pick up solid gains.
"With a strong finish that produced 17 fourth-quarter points, the five-time MVP finished with more yards than in any of the other 243 games in his career.
"'That's something we talked about in the first three games: We haven't finished late in the game,' Manning said. 'We were fortunate to win two of them but didn't win the last one, so we probably definitely won the fourth quarter today and finished the game we wanted to.'"
The Denver Post's Woody Paige marvels at the ageless wonder that is 38-year-old Manning:
"If the nerve in his arm continues to improve and the nerve in his approach to the game continues to be the same, the man could play until he's 50. He certainly will finish his five-year contract.
"His mind wins over matter.
"Ask the Cardinals. Manning threw for a mile high and personal all-time high 479 yards with 31 completions. The Broncos dumped their mediocre running game and did what they do best in the league -- pass.
"Yes, Peyton threw a couple of interceptions. Richard Petty brushed a few fences. Willie Mays hit into some double plays. Mozart penned a few lousy compositions.
"After the game, Manning was his normal humble self. When asked if he keeps the footballs that set records, Peyton said: 'You know what. I've never kept a football.'
"There's a reason. Another record is waiting. Before he's finished in 2016, '17 or '22, Manning probably will possess every record except the one he wants.
"Yet, he still has time to win more Super Bowls.
"And he still has time to have fun. And he still has time to give the NFL the most exciting and enthralling games. People like Peyton."
Manning now has thrown for 503 touchdowns, 222 interceptions and 66,257 yards on a 97.4 passer rating in 244 career regular-season games through Oct. 6, per ESPN stats.
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