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Manning Up: The countdown for all-time TD record reaches ten

After three regular season games, and heading into a bye week, Peyton Manning now needs just ten touchdown passes to set the all-time record. Below, we break down Manning's two touchdown strikes from Week Three vs. the Seahawks.

Peyton Manning delivers a pass to Wes Welker in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Seahawks.
Peyton Manning delivers a pass to Wes Welker in Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Seahawks.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Recap of Last Week:

In Week Two, Manning threw three more touchdown passes in yet another flurry of a first half, followed by another goose-egg in the second half. Manning's three touchdowns, one to Julius, one to Tamme, and one to Demaryius, moved him to within 12 of the stand-alone record, with a total of 497 touchdown passes. If you'd like to read more about last week, read the breakdown here.

Touchdown #1:

11 remaining for Favre's all-time record, 49 remaining to break 2013's single-season record

Receiver: Julius Thomas

Quarter/Time: 4th Quarter/9:20

Down/Distance: 2nd and 3, SEA 3 yard line (3-yard score)

After two straight weeks of throwing for three touchdown passes in the first half, Manning did not have a single touchdown pass until the fourth quarter of Week Three's game against the Seahawks. This touchdown pass was set up by an Aqib Talib and Chris Harris tag-team interception, and showcased a play that was unseen until this point in the season.


On the first touchdown, Manning lined up in shotgun, with an empty backfield. Demaryius Thomas (wide receiver) and Wes Welker (left slot) lined up on the left side of the offense, while Montee Ball (wide receiver) and Emmanuel Sanders (right slot) lined up on the right side of the offense; Julius Thomas was the lone tight end, lined up in a three-point stance on the right end of the offensive line. Seattle's defense lined up in a 4-2-5 nickel defense, showing man coverage on the receivers.


Off the snap, the Seattle defense did not send any additional pressure on top of the four base rushers, dropping into zone (as opposed to man) coverage. On the left side of the field, Demaryius runs a pick play, freeing up Welker on a quick flat route. On the right side of the field, Emmanuel Sanders runs a short slant route into the middle of the field, and Ball fakes a route and remains in place. Meanwhile, Julius Thomas runs a drag route behind the line of scrimmage, uncovered in the Seahawks' zone scheme, allowing Manning to complete an underhanded pass up the middle for the three yard score. Every one of the Broncos offensive linemen were able to seal their blocks, creating an easy lane for Thomas to scamper through to the end-zone.


After that reception, Julius Thomas continues the pursuit of his own record. He now has five touchdown receptions on the season in just three games; the record for touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season is 17, held by Rob Gronkowski, a record he set in 2011. Thomas is set to catch 26 touchdown receptions if he continues at the same pace for the full 16-game season.

Touchdown #2:

10 remaining for Favre's all-time record, 48 remaining to break 2013's single-season record

Receiver: Jacob Tamme

Quarter/Time: 4th Quarter/0:24

Down/Distance: 1st and 10, SEA 26 yd line (26-yard score)

Manning's second touchdown pass of the game, for the second straight week, was to Jacob Tamme. This one came in a much more critical moment, with the Broncos trailing by eight points, without any timeouts and needing a score.


The Broncos lined up in a five-wide set on the play, with Tamme and Anderson both playing the role of receivers. Demaryius (left) and Anderson (right) were lined up out wide, Tamme lined up as the left slot receiver, while Sanders (outside) and Welker (inside) lined up in the right slot. The Seahawks came out in 4-2-5 nickel defense to counter the five-wide set run by the Broncos.


The Seahawks drop into quarters zone defense, with (from the right) Maxwell, Thomas, Chancellor, and Sherman in deep zones, and (from the right) Wright, Williams, Wagner, and Johnson dropping into short hook zones. Byron Maxwell appears to mix up his assignment, playing man coverage on DT, who runs a post route; Earl Thomas commits to Demaryius as well, leaving his zone assignment and leaving nobody to cover Tamme, who is wide open on an out-and-up route.



Another well drawn up play, and another great read and throw from Manning lead to another touchdown pass to a tight end; Peyton now has thrown seven of his eight 2014 touchdowns to tight ends (Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme).


After adding two touchdown passes in Week Three, Peyton resides just 10 short of the all-time record. Manning has thrown for 10 touchdown passes over the span of two consecutive games just once in his career- in 2004 he followed up a 4 TD performance in Chicago with 6 touchdown passes on the road in Detroit- so it is possible that we could see him complete the record against the Jets in Week Six, but it is extremely unlikely. If Peyton continues his current pace of 2.67 TD passes per game, and 0.67 TD passes per quarter, the most likely scenario is that he'll surpass Favre's all-time record in the third quarter of the Week Eight match-up against the San Diego Chargers. It should be noted that in 2013, Manning followed up all three of his two-touchdown games with seven, seven, and eight touchdowns over the following two games. If that is the case, the record is more likely to be broken in the San Francisco 49ers game in Week Seven. In order to break his own single-season record from last season, Peyton must now throw for 3.69 touchdown passes per game for the remainder of the season.


Current TD Count

This Time Last Year (2013)

On Pace For

% of Last Year's Total