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Horse Tracks: The Peyton Manning Edition

It was a night for the record books, but that was just the bonus. Broncos put together a solid game on offense and defense en route to a defining victory that also launched the Broncos to the top of the AFC West.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Good, GOOD Morning, Broncos Country!

How about Peyton FREAKING Manning?

4 TDs.

22/26 for 318 yards.

0 - as in nothing, nada, no way - interceptions.

Oh yeah, and just the ALL-TIME TOUCHDOWN RECORD!!

The man of the night - the guy who looked at Brett Favre's record and said, "I'll see your 508 and raise you TWO" - was visibly proud moments after throwing No. 509 to Demaryius Thomas and expectedly (yet still admirably) humble after the game.

"It was a great win tonight. Thought our whole team played really well," Manning said, adding how  "excited" he was about how well the offense executed its game plan. "Our guys up front did a good job. I thought we ran the ball well and that opened up a lot of things in the play action. And then defensively getting us the ball back with great field position. It was a special night, but more special because of the way our teams played and because we got the win."

It was special, and a lot of people thought so - including the guy who just moved down a spot in the record books.

All of this Manning awesomeness, by the way, occurred in just three quarters.

Colin Kaepernick and his banged up 49ers were having such a tough time that after Ronnie Hillman danced into the end zone for the team's sixth touchdown at the end of the third quarter, the Broncos took pity on their opponent and gave Brock Osweiler some playing time.

Slight shame as I was gunning for a 55-10 final - because I like poetic endings - but I cannot argue with 42-17 final.

And I will never argue about a game with stats like last night's razzle dazzle:

  • Manning's 510 touchdowns also meant 111 touchdowns since becoming a Bronco two and half years ago.
  • This game was Manning's 33rd with four or more TDs, which is eight more than any one else. Ever.
  • DeMarcus Ware chased down Kaepernick like a cheetah after a gazelle. And the result was just as satisfying as Ware logged three sacks on the night.
  • Von Miller added two more sacks on Kap, putting his total for the season so far at eight - best in the NFL right now.
  • The Broncos running game contributed 115 yards, including 74 by Ronnie Hillman.

Though it was likely a boring show for the NFL masses, it was like Christmas for Broncos fans.

"The crowd was electric from the jump," said Emmanuel Sanders, who finally caught his first touchdown as a Bronco. "Sunday Night Football, what better environment? And just to be a part of history and Peyton breaking that record, I'm excited for him. Peyton loves to play this game, he loves to break records and he loves to put up points, and he's just happy he achieved it tonight, and I'm happy for him."

The crowd was electric from the jump. Peyton loves to play this game, he loves to break records and he loves to put up points.   -Emmanuel Sanders, wide receiver

Thomas, who caught both 509 and 510, said Manning can have 509, but he's got plans for the other one.

"I gave it to him hoping I can get a signature from Peyton beside mine and put it up somewhere and just save it," said D.T. "I'll always remember it."

Manning will never forget the touchdown before it - possibly as much for the touchdown itself as the "keep away" game his receivers played with the coveted football.

Though the receivers admitted that practical joke had been Manning's idea and they had talked about it in practice, Manning claimed the execution of the joke was slightly unfair.

"I've lost my vertical leap and my side-to-side agility," Manning said about his somewhat embarrassing attempts to get the ball. "I probably deserved it for the non-graceful play when I tripped and fell on the play before. I'll definitely remember that part of [the record.]"

All kidding aside, the fact that the record TD pass went to Demaryius was fitting, given that he is the Broncos receiver with whom Manning has had the longest rapport.

"Demaryius is a great player. He works real hard in practice. He's one of the first guys I started throwing with since I got to Denver and all that hard work has really paid off," Manning said. "I have a great appreciation for how hard he works and plays the game. It's been a lot of fun to be his teammate."

Thomas would say the same.

"He's the best that ever played the game," said No. 88, who has incredible skills in his own right but has clearly benefitted from a Hall-of-Fame-bound quarterback. "[Manning] made me a better player when he first came in. I think he's made everybody a better player around him."


And after a short celebration, Manning was back to business.

"Peyton's demeanor is always the same," noted Sanders. "He's ready to get back on the field and score more touchdowns. He's addicted to football, and so is the offense. We enjoyed being out there because we know we've got a special group here and we like to score points."

For some quintessential Manning humility, check out this Game Ball speech after the game.

Peyton Freaking Manning - addicted to football.

Exactly as it should be.

And judging by the way the defense played, the running backs cut up the field, the offensive line protected and the receivers grabbed, obviously Manning's addiction is shared.

Congratulations Peyton...and GO BRONCOS!

Horse Tracks - Broncos news

Peyton Manning passes Brett Favre for TD record - The Denver Post
Is he the greatest quarterback ever? As the debate rages on, Peyton Manning can now say this: He's the NFL's all-time career leader in touchdown passes with 510, surpassing Brett Favre.

Top 5 Peyton Manning touchdown passes - ESPN
Record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning remembers all of his touchdown passes, but he won't single any out. So we came up with a list of the five best.

49ers vs. Broncos final score: 3 things we learned from Denver's dominant night -
Peyton Manning stole the show with a performance that officially eclipsed one of the NFL's most highly-regarded records.

Watch Peyton Manning's postgame interview after breaking the TD record -
Another record to add to the laundry list of accomplishments. Naturally Peyton Manning was humble.

Peyton Manning graphically wonders why the 49ers took a late timeout - Niners Nation
The San Francisco 49ers were dominated by the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football, and the game was in hand before the 4th quarter even arrived. The 49ers had some chances early in the third...

Sunday night wrap-up: Broncos can play defense too | ProFootballTalk
Peyton Manning got to have his moment in the first half. But beyond the greatest touchdown-thrower in the history of the NFL, the Broncos are also building a defense that might give him a chance to add some more hardware to his trophy case as well.

Broncos' offense, defense click in blowout over 49ers -
On a night when Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's career touchdown record, Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware were just as impressive on defense. Just how dominant are the Denver Broncos?

Around the NFL:

Report: Seahawks tried to deal Percy Harvin to Broncos for Julius Thomas - Seattle Seahawks & NFL News
In what I consider to be one of the most egotistical trade offers in NFL history, the thought of Broncos giving up Julius Thomas for Percy Harvin is so ludicrous I have a hard time believing it. As the writer here suggests, why not ask for Peyton Manning and Von Miller too?

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers - Recap - October 19, 2014 - ESPN
NFL Football Recap: Final statistics from the Kansas City vs. San Diego game played on October 19, 2014

Brandon Marshall: Chicago Bears' play 'unacceptable' -
The Chicago Bears looked shoddy on Sunday, losing to the Miami Dolphins at home. So wide receiver Brandon Marshall made sure to let his teammates know about it.

Trouble in the NFC West? What you need to know -
The Seahawks and Niners are both reeling following disappointing losses. Is it time to hit the panic bottom in Seattle or San Francisco? This and 39 other takeaways from Sunday's games.

Cowboys ride 'Big Three' to sixth consecutive victory -
The first-place Dallas Cowboys showed no letdown after their big win in Seattle, getting another big performance from their balanced offense in a 31-21 win over the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium.

Bengals, Browns, Chargers: Are they who we thought they were? - -'s Andrew Perloff and Aaron Nagler say if they're still high on Week 7 losers, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns and the San Diego Chargers.