Is it possible? Could it be? Might the NFL take away one of those glitzy single-season passing records set by Peyton Manning this year?
It’s possible, all right. Manning, who passed for 266 yards in the Denver Broncos’ 34-14 victory over Oakland on Sunday, reached 5,477 passing yards for the season with his fourth TD pass of the day. That’s one more yard that the NFL record set by Drew Brees in 2011 and, with that and the Broncos comfortably ahead, Manning didn’t play the second half, content to merely nose out Brees. (As for the single-season record for touchdown passes, no one is coming for that one. He has 55 of those, breaking Tom Brady’s record by five.)
The problem that has cropped up with the yardage record concerns a 7-yard pass Manning threw to Eric Decker in the first quarter. The play is under review because — yikes — the pass looks like a lateral, which would mean that the seven yards would be rushing, not passing. Which means that Manning would be six yards shy of Brees’s mark with 5,470. The Elias Sports Bureau keeps the league’s stats and is looking at the play from all angles, ESPN reports. Here’s one view, via Deadspin:
Sure looks like a lateral, especially given that Decker’s about a half-yard farther back when the pass is released.
It would be just awful to lose the record, but maybe taking away a Manning record wouldn’t be the suicide mission that it looks like at first blush. After setting the record Sunday, he was far less animated than he was after breaking Brady’s mark. “I don’t really have much to say about it, to tell you the truth.”
(Screenshot via Deadspin)