Peyton Manning throws 500th career TD pass

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdown passes on Sunday in a Denver Broncos’ 41-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Manning hit tight end Julius Thomas with 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter for his 500th touchdown pass.

“I guess you can’t help but just take a couple moments and you go down memory lane a little bit,” Manning said, via DenverBroncos.com. “I don’t think there’s any players still playing (who were playing) when I threw my first touchdown, but it’s interesting, two coaches on Arizona’s sideline were both there my first game when I threw my first touchdown: Tom Moore and Bruce Arians. And I give both of those men a lot of credit for helping me improve as a quarterback.”

Manning, 38, hit the milestone in 243 games, 49 fewer than Brett Favre.  Manning is five shy of Favre’s record of 508 career touchdown passes.

“Obviously it was a festive locker room right there because we won a big ball game against a good football team,” Manning said. “Anything that comes along the way, I really accept it on behalf of a number of players.”

Manning finished the game 31 of 47 for a career-best 479 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

“I don’t think I’ve thrown a lot of touchdowns that didn’t mean something,” Manning said. “Any ones that I’ve thrown usually resulted in helping our team try to win the game or win the game. So I think about it that way, that it helped the team.”

Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on eight passes for a team-record 226 yards and two touchdowns.  Thomas passed Shannon Sharpe’s mark of 214 yards set against Kansas City in 2002.

Wes Welker became the all-time leader in receptions (854) by an undrafted free agent, passing Rod Smith’s mark of 849.

Emmanuel Sanders caught seven passes for 101 yards.

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