ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —Peyton Manning likely won't be thinking of how close he is to a career benchmark this Sunday against Seattle, but he has thought about it briefly.
On the precipice of notching 500 career passing touchdowns, Manning is second overall in career passing touchdowns with 497 to Brett Favre's 508.
With plenty of indelible plays, games and years in his past and in his memory, Manning said he's been reflecting on some of them.
Naturally, the bigger name wide receivers like Marvin Harrison who had spent much of their careers with Manning have their names tied to a healthy percentage of those nearly 500 touchdowns. But what about the guys who only got one? Well, Manning hasn't forgotten.
"A guy named Trevor Insley, he caught one," Manning said. "Of course, Mitch Unrein would be in that category. There was a tight end named Mike Roberg in there. Tom Santi, Lamont Warren."
"I have not seen Mike Roberg in quite a long time, I'll say that. Tom Santi from Virginia. Gijon Robinson. The scary thing is I can actually remember the touchdown," he added. "Gijon Robinson caught a goal line naked against New England in New England. Fake bootleg left, roll right, wide open because nobody thought we would be throwing it to Gijon Robinson. Like I said, I can't remember a lot of things, important things. But I have a lot of useless information in my mind that I can remember. Trevor Insley caught a pass up the left sideline against Atlanta on a fake screen pass. That's actually a very disturbing memory."
Now in his 17th NFL season, Manning's as dangerous a passer as he's ever been, just a year removed from helping lead a record-setting offense with the most passing yards and passing touchdowns in a single season. He's yet to lose the skills that have made him such a prolific passing threat.
"He's an incredibly smart quarterback," Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said. "He understands his strengths, his weaknesses. He understands the strengths and weaknesses of the defense and he understands where he wants his players and where they're going to be. He has a great sense of timing and footwork."
Of course, there's no guarantee Manning will get those three touchdowns in one game, especially against a defense as good as Seattle's. But if it happens that way, those smaller contributors will have a big part to play in him making history, too.