DENVER –With plenty of speculation throughout the week of how well Demaryius Thomas could throw the ball in the cold, Manning let his arm do the talking.
The quarterback set a franchise single-game record with 39 completions in Denver's win against Tennessee on Sunday, breaking the old mark of 37.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Manning became the only player in at least 15 years to have 4-or-more touchdown passes with zero interceptions in a game with a temperature below 20.
"Threw the ball pretty well. On offense, I felt like we had a pretty good plan early," Manning said. "We had a good plan and I thought we threw the ball well and guys caught the ball well."
Manning finished 39-of-59 for 397 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 107.8 rating.
That marked the seventh time this season he's thrown for at least four touchdowns in a game, setting a new NFL record.
His four touchdown passes up his season total to 45, which ties him with Aaron Rodgers for fifth-most in league history for a single season.
The 59 attempts against the Titans tie Manning with John Elway for the team single-game record in that category. But, the offense wasn't one-dimensional by any means, as the team racked up 154 rushing yards on 32 carries.
In total, the offense posted 551 net yards from scrimmage, marking the sixth-highest total in team history in that category.
"You never plan for 95 plays," Manning said. "We had a lot of first downs. I don't know how many, but we were first-down, second-down, first-down. When you're in that kind of rhythm it puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It doesn't give them a chance to even get to their third-down packages. It helped us to move the ball down the field. We ran the ball well and I thought the line protected well against a good Titans pass rush. That was really critical."
Manning topped the 300-yard mark for the 11th time this season, tying him with Tom Brady for the second-most 300-yard games in a season in league history. His four touchdown passes made him the first player in nine years to throw for four touchdowns in a game with a temperature below 20 degrees.
The offense became the first team since the NFL merger to top the 50-point mark three times in the same season.
Still, there were two trips to the red zone that resulted in field goals, leaving possible points on the field.
"Well, you score 51 points, so you're doing something right," Manning said. "We'll study the film, even in this short week, and we'll look at a couple of the red zones where, 'Hey, what could we have done better
to get into the end zone?" You're down there that close inside the two or three-yard line, I want to say maybe twice, and had to settle for field goals. Those are points left on the board. There are still a lot of things we're doing well. But you study each game individually, and it's about doing it each week."
Next up for Manning and the Broncos, who clinched the franchise's 20th all-time postseason berth with the win, is a short week of preparation for Thursday night's game against the San Diego Chargers.
"We've got a short turnaround – 95 plays is probably not the best scenario for a Thursday night game and we took some injuries and we're not sure how that's going to affect us," Manning said. "I'm not a fan of Thursday games for this reason alone. But we've got to deal with it and we're playing a division opponent who we had a close game against the last time and now we've got them here at home."