HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with Montee Ball #28 after Manning set the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season with 51, in a 37-13 defeat of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
KUSA - It shouldn't have counted.
Although there is no reversible matter to discuss, Texans interim head coach Wade Phillips and the NFL have said that Peyton Manning breaking the record for touchdown passes in a single season isn't completely accurate.
"I guess they're going to have to take that ball that they sent to the Hall of Fame back," Phillips said in jest Friday. The league told Houston that they looked at the tape and - in retrospect - should not have ruled that Eric Decker's touchdown completion in the fourth quarter was actually incomplete.
"I feel bad for Peyton celebrating breaking the record and it really didn't happen," he continued.
Manning's pass to Decker tied the record (50) with Tom Brady and then he went on to complete the record-breaking completion to Julius Thomas later in the quarter.
The play was reviewed - as is the protocol with every scoring play to check the validity of the initial ruling - and it was not overturned. Although the league admitted the mistake some days after the game, this controversy won't dampen the mood or even affect anyone at Broncos headquarters.
"I'm on the other side of a lot of those too but it really doesn't change anything," Broncos head coach John Fox said in response. "So I'll just leave it at that."
Even if the play would have been overturned in the moment or days later - which it most certainly won't - Manning still has another game to silence any sour critics.
Those are fighting words.