By Rich Kurtzman
Peyton Manning and his truly talented teammates have set a multitude of NFL records this season.
Without a doubt, this Denver Broncos offense is the greatest in the history of the franchise and it’s made a case for the most awe-inspiring offense in the history of the league.
Let’s stop and take a second to look at all the records Manning and his merry men compiled during the 2013 regular season.
The Broncos scored the most points (606), and their five players with 10 or more touchdowns was an NFL record, too, while Manning threw for the most first downs (289), most touchdowns (55), with most games of four or more scores (8) and most passing yards (5,477). Or did he?
While most of the team and individual records are safe, one — the passing yards mark — may be taken away by the NFL.
In the first quarter of the Broncos’ season-finale win in Oakland over the Raiders, Manning tossed a pass to Eric Decker behind the line of scrimmage and the receiver turned up field for seven yards. But, upon further review, the pass seems to be a lateral, meaning it shouldn’t have counted towards Manning’s passing yards but as a run by Decker.
The league is currently reviewing the play, just as they do with many questionable calls throughout the season, and could determine it a run. It would be nothing new, as fantasy football players can attest to having statistical corrections determine the outcome of their match ups days after the game was played.
Technically, if the pass is ruled a lateral, and therefore a run, it will be the Elias Sports Bureau who takes Manning’s single-season passing yards record and give it back to Drew Brees, with 5,476 yards compiled in 2011. Elias, who celebrated their 100th anniversary as “the world’s foremost sports statisticians and historians” according to their website, is the official stat-keeping company employed by the NFL as well as the MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA.
In the end, the passing yardage mark is not important to Manning, as he’s made clear throughout the porcess of breaking the many records this season. What is important is winning the Super Bowl, a goal Manning had in mind when he joined the men in the Mile High City last March, one that is seemingly within reach this postseason.
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Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.