Manning having 'best year ever' for QB

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The days leading up to any game are usually filled with plenty of kind words and rose petals at the football feet of an upcoming opponent.

Broncos head coach John Fox, for one, is fond of saying “we don’t look at records, we look at the tape’’ if anyone even hints the Broncos might be even a slight favorite in the next outing.

But when Houston Texans interim head coach Wade Phillips was asked Wednesday morning to assess what Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has done in 14 games this season, Phillips went right to history’s bottom line.

“Just the best year ever of any quarterback,’’ Phillips said.

Manning is poised to break the single-season record of touchdown passes of 50 -- he currently has 47 -- and with 4,811 yards passing he has a chance, with two big outings to close out the regular season, to break Drew Brees’ single-season record of 5,476 yards set in 2011.

Manning also has seven games this season with at least four touchdown passes, nine games with at least three touchdown passes.

Asked what he’s seen from Manning that would be a priority for the Texans defense to stop Sunday, Phillips said:

“What haven’t you seen? Guy is going to set every record that’s ever been in the books as far as touchdown passes, yards, four touchdown games, it goes on and on.’’

The Texans, despite a 2-12 record, are, at least statistically, No. 4 overall in defense and No. 2 in pass defense, having allowed 183.3 passing yards per game. As a point of reference this season, Manning has had six games this season when he’s had at least 182 yards passing by halftime.