ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Peyton Manning's performance in Denver's 37-13 win over Houston on Sunday etched the quarterback's place in the record books and into Broncos lore.
Now, it also has been recognized with AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Manning was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season after completing 32-of-51 passes for 400 yards and four touchdowns – including a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Julius Thomas with 4:28 to play in the game that marked the quarterback's 51st touchdown pass of the season, an NFL record – to lead the Broncos to their 12th victory of the season and help Denver clinch its third-consecutive AFC West title.
The quarterback also earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in Denver's 49-27 win over Baltimore in Week 1 and the Broncos' 37-21 win over the Raiders in Week 3.
It's the 26th time of Manning's career that the quarterback has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
"It was great, to see a guy that's worked as hard as he has throughout his career and I know for a fact – the two seasons we've had him, almost two complete seasons – pretty remarkable and pretty exciting to be around," Head Coach John Fox said regarding Manning breaking the single-season touchdown record.
Manning's regular season began with an NFL record-tying seven-touchdown performance against the Ravens in Week 1.
On Sunday, sixteen weeks later, Manning once again rewrote NFL history – and was again honored as AFC Offensive Player of the Week after posting his fourth game of passing for 400 or more yards and his eighth game of throwing for four or more touchdowns this season.
After the game, Manning acknowledged the many contributions throughout the season from his teammates who helped him set the record.
"I really feel like it's a team accomplishment – certainly an offensive accomplishment," Manning said. "A lot of people played roles in this."
"A lot of receivers caught a lot of touchdowns, made a lot of special plays," he added. "(Wide receiver) Eric (Decker's) touchdown today was typical of a lot of great catches that these guys have made all season long. Protection, blocking by the tight ends, running backs – playcalling and scheming – (Offensive Coordinator) Adam Gase has been awesome all year and the coaches that have helped him call those plays."
For the season, Manning has thrown for a league-best 5,211 yards and 425 completions. His 113.0 quarterback rating is second only to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and Manning has posted nine games with a passer rating of 100.0 or more, including his 113.2 mark on Sunday.
He needs 266 yards in the Broncos' regular-season finale to surpass Saints quarterback Drew Brees' NFL record of 5,476 passing yards in a single season.
"I'm glad Peyton got his 51," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "He definitely deserves it. He put the work in and I can't believe he did it in his 16th year. That's crazy. Unbelievable. The guy is great."
"He's just a student of the game and he works hard and he's a great competitor," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway added. "He just wants to continue getting better game-in and game-out. He's that type of guy. A very special, special guy."