INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning broke one of football's most
hallowed records, and his reward was praise from one of his boyhood
Manning broke Dan Marino's single-season touchdown pass record
when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season on Sunday against San
Diego. And he did it in dramatic fashion, rallying the Colts from a
31-16 fourth-quarter deficit to win 34-31 in overtime.
Right after the game he got to speak with Marino, the player he
grew up idolizing as a young quarterback in Louisiana. Marino was
in the CBS studio for the NFL Today, where he serves as a
"I was getting all emotional talking to him, I can't believe
it," a choked-up Manning said. "Dan, besides my father, was
always my favorite player growing up after my dad retired. I would
have been content if I would have stayed tied. I would have shared
Manning hit Brandon Stokley on a 21-yard post pattern with 56
seconds to play to break the record, sending the home crowd into a
frenzy. Edgerrin James' run for a 2-point conversion tied the score
Per Manning's request, the game was not stopped, and Manning
strode calmly off the field before being mobbed by teammates on the
sideline. A few minutes later, Manning led the Colts on a drive in
overtime that led to Mike Vanderjagt's winning field goal,
clinching the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs.
"I don't care how long you played and how many touchdowns you
throw, you'll always remember your comeback wins," said his
father, Archie, who played quarterback for the Saints and Vikings.
"You remember them. You remember this day and breaking the record
of a great player. It was a very special day."
Manning entered the game with 47 touchdown passes and tied the
mark with a 3-yard shovel pass to James Mungro in the third
Marino threw 48 while guiding the Miami Dolphins to the Super
Bowl in 1984, and now Manning is hoping to follow a similar path.
The record stood for two decades, and was at one time thought of as
untouchable, football's answer to the home run record.
"I held that record for 20 years, and I know in years to come
you're going to be really proud of it," Marino told Manning in the
post-game televised chat.
Just as Roger Maris' mark of 61 homers was shattered by Mark
McGwire and then Barry Bonds, it was only a matter of time before
Marino's mark fell once Manning got going this season.
Many thought it would take a near flawless season to pass
Marino, and Manning has delivered just such a performance. He
entered the game with a 123.9 quarterback rating, far superior to
Steve Young's season record of 112.8.
He has thrown five touchdown passes in a game three times this
season and six against Detroit on Thanksgiving. But his bull-rush
on the record slowed to a crawl in recent weeks, with two TD passes
against Houston, then just one in a 20-10 win over Baltimore last
Marino threw 44 touchdowns in 1986, and the closest any player
got to his record after that was 41 by Kurt Warner with the St.
Louis Rams in 1999.
Everything about the day was dramatic.
Manning's parents were supposed to fly to Indianapolis on
Saturday night. But a snow storm in New Orleans canceled their
flight. The Mannings then missed their connecting flight in Memphis
on Sunday morning and thought they would have to watch the game on
television at the airport until Colts owner Jim Irsay sent his
private plane to pick them up.
Manning's parents arrived with about 9 minutes to play in the
game, just in time to see their son make history, surpassing Marino
-- one of the game's legends.
"What's so special about it is he's passed a great player;
maybe one of the greatest players ever to line up under center,"
Archie Manning said. "He's just been a great friend to Peyton. I
know it made Peyton emotional and it kind of makes me emotional
too. He's just a great friend of our family and we think a lot of