Peyton Manning’s spectacular season was every bit the record-breaking sensation it appeared. The NFL said Tuesday that Manning’s single-season mark of 5,477 yards passing will stand.
Elias Sports Bureau, the league’s official statistician, reviewed a 7-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Eric Decker and determined it will remain a forward pass and not a lateral, which would have made it a 7-yard run.
That would have subtracted 7 yards from Manning’s total, leaving him six shy of Drew Brees’ 2011 record.
“The stats crew at the game scored this play as a forward pass. During the course of a season, there are many similar plays which could be reviewed by the Elias,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. “In this case, the determination of Elias is that the fairest resolution is for the ruling of the on-site stats crew to stand.”
The play occurred with just more than a minute remaining in the first quarter of Denver’s 34-14 win at Oakland on Sunday.
Remember that camera angles can be deceiving, depending on where the camera is located. But there were two angles that would back up whichever argument one wants to make.
Manning’s pass clearly looks like a lateral in one camera angle. Another angle, from above, however, appears to show Decker gathering in the ball at the Denver 48-yard line with Manning about a foot deeper than that.
Manning finished with 266 yards passing before sitting out the second half, and his final throw was a 6-yard TD toss to Demaryius Thomas which gave him 5,477 yards for the season and also 55 TD passes, five more than Tom Brady’s record set in 2007, considered a much more significant achievement than the single-season yardage mark.
Jaguars’ Jones-Drew will test free agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars plan to let veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew test free agency.
General manager Dave Caldwell said Jones-Drew has “earned the right” to test the market in March. Caldwell said the Jaguars would decide whether to match another team’s offer.
Jones-Drew, a second-round draft pick in 2006, has 8,071 yards rushing and 68 touchdowns in eight seasons. He missed the final 10 games in 2012 with a left foot injury and played much of this season while recovering from surgery and dealing with a strained right hamstring.
Belcher’s mom sues
The mother of former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the team after exhuming his body so that his brain could be examined.
The lawsuit, filed by Cheryl Shepherd in Jackson County circuit court, alleges that Belcher was subjected to “repetitive head trauma” and that the Chiefs failed to provide adequate medical care before he killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide last December.
Shepherd is seeking a jury trial and $15,000 in damages.
Bengals can punter
The Cincinnati Bengals changed punters for the playoffs, waiving Shawn Powell after only two games and signing Zoltan Mesko.
Powell was signed after Kevin Huber suffered a season-ending broken jaw during a 30-20 loss in Pittsburgh on Dec. 15. Powell shanked a 10-yard punt during a 34-17 win over Baltimore on Sunday.
Mesko was New England’s fifth-round pick in 2010.