On a record-setting run, Manning keeps his cool

The Broncos' Peyton Manning kept the Eagles on their heels all day, amassing 327 yards and four TDs passing. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
The Broncos' Peyton Manning kept the Eagles on their heels all day, amassing 327 yards and four TDs passing. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Posted: October 01, 2013

DENVER - Up close and personal with Peyton Manning for one of the few times in their history, the Eagles found out on Sunday why Sports Authority Field is getting to be known as Peyton's Place.

Manning carved up the Eagles defense in a 52-20 rout, a game that seemed to be out of reach even before the Broncos' 21-point third quarter.

The mere presence of Manning (16 touchdown passes, four on Sunday, and no interceptions in 201 attempts) kept the Eagles on their heels. The Eagles trailed for all but the first five minutes and helped the Broncos with penalties at a couple of crucial instances. Even though they picked up a sack, they never seriously pressured Manning, who respected the Eagles' ability to play fast and light up a scoreboard.

"That's a good team that we played," Manning said. "We felt motivated to score points against these guys."

And they did. In fact, the Broncos recorded a 54-year franchise high in points. They also scored the most points on the Eagles since the New York Giants thumped them, 62-10, in 1972.

It's getting to be a week-by-week thing for Manning in terms of attaining team and NFL records:

On Sunday, he set an NFL mark with his 24th four-TD-pass game.

Manning joined Cleveland's Milt Plum as the only quarterbacks with 16 touchdown tosses without an interception.

His 16 scoring throws are the most in the first month of a season, besting 14 each by Don Meredith in 1966 and Kurt Warner in 1999.

The Broncos have scored 179 points in their first four games. Only the 1966 Dallas Cowboys (183) scored more.

Manning remains unfazed, saying only that "the recap stuff doesn't mean a whole lot . . . and we have a tough road game [at Dallas] next week."

He has passed for more than 60,000 yards. What's another 327 on 28 completions in 34 attempts? Eight Broncos snagged receptions, including seven by Wes Welker, a player many believe can push the Broncos to the Super Bowl.

"Wes is extremely difficult to cover," Manning said.

But Manning's the man, and the Eagles did not contain him.

"I know he gets hot and gets going," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said.

Hot? Manning is adding to global warming. It seemed as if he played pitch and catch - again - and on what must have been a particularly galling cover situation for the Eagles, running back Knowshon Moreno was running side-by-side with Welker. Both moved freely through the defense as if going through dummy drills.

Manning led three consecutive 80-yard scoring drives in the third quarter - each, by the way, without having to face a third down.

It was, Manning said, simply "good execution on first and second down."

In addition to Manning's heroics, Trindon Holliday scored on a 105-yard kickoff return, and the Broncos blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. The Eagles were suffocated right along with running back LeSean McCoy, who said he "physically couldn't breathe" for much of the game.

He and his Eagles teammates weren't the only ones. The Broncos' horse that sprints across the field after scores had his lungs tested, too.

Manning said that handlers probably had to "give ol' Thunder an IV after this one."


Records Galore

Peyton Manning set or tied three NFL records against the Eagles Sunday:

He broke Brett Favre's record with his 24th career game with at least four touchdown throws.

His 16 TD passes are the most in the first month of a season, topping the 14 thrown by Don Meredith in 1966 and Kurt Warner in 1999.

With 16 TDs and no interceptions, he tied the 1960 record of Cleveland's Milt Plum for the most TD passes without a pick.

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