ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – After earning a new place in the NFL record books last week in Houston, quarterback Peyton Manning was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week for Week 16.
Manning broke Tom Brady's record of 50 touchdown passes in a season when he found tight end Julius Thomas for a 25-yard strike in the fourth quarter. That play capped off a run of 21-unanswered points that put the game out of reach and locked up the AFC-West title for the Broncos.
He finished the game with 400 yards and four touchdowns.
"I really feel like it's a team accomplishment – certainly an offensive accomplishment," Manning said of the record after the game. "A lot of people played roles in this. I think it's a unique thing and a neat thing to be part of NFL history – even if it may be temporary. 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. So, (Tom) Brady will probably break it again next year if not the year after.
"We'll enjoy it for as long as it lasts and hopefully the Hall of Fame will just send the ball back once somebody throws for more."
This week marks the fourth time that Manning has won the FedEx Air Player of the Week Award – tied with Saints quarterback Drew Brees for the most for any player. He won twice in the first three weeks with a seven-touchdown performance in the season opener and again in Week 3 after going 32-of-37 for 374 yards and three touchdowns. He won the award a third time in Week 13 after throwing for 403 yards and five touchdowns in Kansas City.
Manning heads into the final week of the season with 5,211 yards, just 265 shy of Brees' record for passing yards in a season. The Broncos are also within reach of the single-season scoring and touchdown records.
But for Manning, the records only matter because they are reflective of a winning team.
"To see a guy that goes about his business like he does get rewarded with success – very humble," Head Coach John Fox said in Houston. "(Manning) said the best news he heard in there was that we'd won the AFC West for a third straight year and we have first round bye. We still have to play for home field but he's – number one is team success and he's gotten us to 12-3 and 13-3 a year ago. That's pretty good on his part."
For more information on the FedEx Air and Ground awards go to www.nfl.com.fedex.