DENVER – Peyton Manning’s receivers played keep-away with his milestone memento and the NFL’s new leader in career touchdown passes toyed with the San Francisco 49ers in the Denver Broncos’ emphatic 42-17 victory Sunday night.
Manning went into the showdown two TDs shy of Brett Favre’s record of 508 and threw four touchdown passes, giving him 510.
“It is quite an honor,” Manning said. “I do have great appreciation for quarterbacks who played this game throughout the years. It’s very humbling, has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of people helped me get to this point.”
Manning surpassed Favre’s mark with an 8-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas late in the second quarter. As he went to retrieve the football, his teammates decided to have some fun.
Thomas tossed the historic ball over Manning to Emmanuel Sanders, who then lobbed it to Wes Welker. From there, Welker dished it back to Sanders, who then flipped it to Julius Thomas – all of Manning’s favorite targets getting into the act.
“I heard whispers about something,” Manning said. “Those guys are all great athletes and my vertical leap isn’t what it used to be. I haven’t played keep-away since I was 8 years old. That is something I will always remember.”
Finally, Manning got the ball along with congratulations from his teammates and coaches. The souvenir won’t end up on Manning’s mantle, however – the Pro Football Hall of Fame has a nice spot all ready for it.
During the celebration on the sideline, Manning watched the giant scoreboard high above him in the south end zone as his boss, GM John Elway, and then Favre, offered their kudos.
“I want to say congratulations for breaking the touchdown record,” Favre said. “I’m not surprised. You’ve been a wonderful player and I’ve enjoyed watching you play. I’ve enjoyed competing against you. I wish you great success for the rest of the season and the rest of your career.”
Manning added a 40-yard TD throw to Thomas after Aqib Talib’s interception in the third quarter that made it 28-10.
Manning completed 22 of 26 passes for 318 yards with no interceptions to go with his four TD throws.
Demaryius Thomas caught eight of those throws for 171 yards.
This night belonged to Manning.
He threw a 3-yard TD pass to Sanders on Denver’s first drive and tied the record when Welker took a pass over the middle for 39 yards. Sanders’ score was his first in Denver, and he became the 47th player to catch a TD pass from Manning.
Manning reached the milestone in his 246th regular-season game. Favre played 302.
“I think Brett has always known he is one of my favorite players. He played the position with so much passion, so much toughness and great production as a quarterback,” Manning said. “I am honored to join this club with him.”
Broncos 42, 49ers 17
San Francisco 0 10 0 7 — 17
Denver 14 7 21 0 — 42
Den—Sanders 3 pass from Manning (McManus kick)
Den—Welker 39 pass from Manning (McManus kick)
SF—FG Dawson 22
Den—D.Thomas 8 pass from Manning (McManus kick)
SF—S.Johnson 4 pass from Kaepernick (Dawson kick)
Den—D.Thomas 40 pass from Manning (McManus kick)
Den—Hillman 37 run (McManus kick)
Den—Hillman 1 run (McManus kick)
SF—Ellington 20 pass from Gabbert (Dawson kick)
First downs 22 23
Total Net Yards 310 419
Rushes-yards 18-62 27-115
Passing 248 304
Punt Returns 1-4 3-22
Kickoff Returns 1-33 1-7
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-3
Comp-Att-Int 27-46-1 22-27-0
Sacked-Yards Lst 6-53 2-14
Punts 5-54.4 4-42.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-62 8-75
Time of Poss. 32:01 27:59
RUSHING—San Francisco, Gore 9-20, Kaepernick 3-18, Hyde 3-15, Gabbert 1-5, Carrier 1-2, Miller 1-2. Denver, Hillman 14-74, Thompson 6-30, Anderson 2-9, Green 1-3, Osweiler 3-0, Manning 1-(minus 1).
PASSING—San Francisco, Kaepernick 24-39-1-263, Gabbert 3-7-0-38. Denver, Manning 22-26-0-318, Osweiler 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—San Francisco, Boldin 7-50, S.Johnson 5-79, Crabtree 4-27, Lloyd 3-63, Ellington 3-44, V.Davis 2-21, Hyde 2-8, Carrier 1-9. Denver, D.Thomas 8-171, Hillman 4-29, J.Thomas 4-27, Welker 3-50, Sanders 3-41.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—San Francisco, Dawson 51 (WL).
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