Peyton Manning, Broncos shatter single-season records in regular-season finale
Remember when there were all those questions about whether Peyton Manning would ever play again? Remember when there were all those questions about whether Peyton Manning had sufficient arm strength to excel in the NFL as he had before?
Yeah, we're pretty much over that. As Manning's Denver Broncos commenced beating the living heck out of the Oakland Raiders to wrap up the AFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Manning and his offense put up a couple of impressive NFL single-season records.
The 2007 New England Patriots' record of 589 points in a season has been thrashed -- Denver came into the Raiders game with 572, and they were up 31-0 at the half, putting them at 603. In addition, Manning came into the Raiders game with 5,211 passing yards this season, third all-time behind Drew Brees' 5,476 in 2011 and Tom Brady's 5,235 that same year. Manning missed the entire 2011 season as he underwent and recovered from multiple shoulder and neck surgeries, and he appeared to be making a point with 266 passing yards in the first half. That left him with a record 5,477, as backup Brock Osweiler took over for Manning in the second half.
Now, if you believe that Manning broke Brady's record of 50 touchdown passes in a season against the Houston Texans last week, he's already got that one sewn up. However, as the NFL reportedly told Houston interim head coach Wade Phillips that one of Manning's touchdowns in that game should not have counted, Manning may have been looking to eradicate all doubt with a dynamic follow-up performance. Safe to say that with four first-half touchdowns, he did that -- putting him at 55 officially for the season. And by any measure you'd care to throw out there, the 2013 Denver Broncos have one of the most prolific offenses we've ever seen.