HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
KUSA - Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning tied then set the NFL single-season record for passing touchdowns Sunday with four scores against the Houston Texans, three in the fourth quarter.
Manning set the record with No. 51 coming with 4½ minutes left in the game on a 25-yarder to tight end Julius Thomas.
"I think it's a neat thing to be a part of NFL history even if it is temporary," Manning said. "I personally think all season records are going down, especially if they go to 18 games, and there won't be an asterisk next to them."
Said Thomas: "I've said all year, in this room, we're not surprised at what Peyton does. We see the work he puts in every day. We see how he demands the best from himself and his teammates. Fortune for us we are the beneficiaries of a guy slinging the ball around at a very high level."
Manning threw No. 50 (20-yarder to Eric Decker) to match the record held by Tom Brady during New England's 2007 season. Manning also had the previous record of 49 during his 2004 season with the Indianapolis Colts. Dan Marino is third on the list with 48 TD passes during Miami's 1984 season.
"I still think Dan Marino's record in '84 is extremely special. Certainly the game has changed since then," Manning said. "For him to have thrown 48 touchdowns in '84 it still is one of the most remarkable ones. It lasted for so long, and he was one of my favorite quarterbacks growing up, so to break his record in 2004 was special."
Coming into Sunday's game at Reliant Stadium, Manning needed just three touchdown passes to tie Brady.
Manning threw No. 48 on a 36-yard hook up with Demaryius Thomas on the first play of the second quarter.
No. 49 came at the start of the fourth quarter with a 10-yard toss to Decker to take a 23-13 lead against the Texans.
Manning set the league's record for TD passes in a game with seven in the season-opener against Baltimore. He set a number of weekly records on his way to the season-single record.
During the second quarter Sunday, Manning notched his first 5,000-yard passing season. It's the seventh 5,000-yard season in NFL history.
On No. 50, Manning has 5,211 yards passing as he closes in on the single-season record of 5,476 by Drew Brees in 2011.
The Broncos end the regular season next Sunday at Oakland.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)