The game of keep-away that several Denver Broncos receivers played with quarterback Peyton Manning after his record-breaking touchdown pass Sunday night was staged.
Manning set the all-time record with his 509th career touchdown pass in the second quarter of Denver's 42-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers, surpassing the previous mark set by Brett Favre. Afterwards, several Broncos receivers, including Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, added some levity when they kept tossing the record-setting ball back and forth to each other while a hapless Manning tried to grab it.
While it appeared impromptu, it turned out the keep-away wasn't a spur of the moment exercise. Thomas, who caught the record-breaking touchdown, later revealed to reporters that Manning planned it and even had the receivers practice it during the week.
Manning later clarified the keep-away plan with the MMQB's Peter King.
“We were playing around on Saturday, and they were doing it to me then, and of course I am the stiff and I can’t keep up, but I didn’t think in the game they would actually do it.”
Manning went on to throw one more touchdown pass before he was pulled from the game with 13:32 remaining and the Broncos leading 42-10.
Denver went to 5-1 with the win, while San Francisco fell to 4-3.
- Ben Estes