Peyton Manning does impressive things every week these days. He throws touchdowns, he breaks records and the Broncos win games.
Every Peyton Manning story has been told. Books, documentaries, interviews, hell, the media drags the guy's family out in front of the cameras every once in awhile to recount their anecdotes, too. The man sells everything from crappy pizza to Outlaw Country, and comes off the screen somehow not having cheapened himself. Columnists gush recycled platitudes every week. What else is there to say? You can affix the "elite" label to the Broncos quarterback and not have to feel ashamed at trotting out the columnists' favorite football chestnut.
The columns don't change, but the numbers do. This is Manning's 16th season in the NFL. The combination of longevity and talent mean weekly alterations to the record book. So let's break from the hagiographies and head straight for the stacks and stacks of records that Manning has and doesn't have.
20 touchdown passes
Manning threw four touchdowns this week. He connected with Eric Decker, Wes Welker and his new favorite target, tight end Julius Thomas for a pair. His 20 touchdown throws establishes a new record for the most touchdown passes through the first five games of the season.
He also threw those four touchdown passes before tossing his first interception of the season. That's a record, too, for the most touchdowns without a pick.
For good measure, we should mention that Manning also added a rushing touchdown of his own, too.
Manning does not have the NFL record for the most career passing yards. Not yet. His 414 yards on Sunday moved him past Dan Marino and into second place on the all-time list. He needs 10,468 more yards to eclipse the Gunslinger himself, Brett Favre, for that record.
The Broncos are prolific, historically prolific. Sunday's 51-48 win over the Cowboys gave Denver the a new record for the most points scored through the first five games of the season. OK, that's not all Peyton Manning's doing ... most of it, but not all.
That's the NFL record for single-season touchdown passes. Tom Brady owns it, the lone souvenir from New England's 16-0 season in 2007. That record is likely to fall this season if Manning keeps up his current pace. He's on pace for 64 touchdown passes, by the way.
Brady's 2007 Patriots team also has a claim on the most points scored in a single season with 589. That record also looks primed to fall this season thanks to the Broncos' torrid pace. Denver is scoring an average of 46 points per game through the first five weeks of the season. That puts the runaway favorites in the AFC on track to score [calculator noises] 736 points.
Manning's 400-yard day gives him 10 career games with 400 passing yards or more. It's the second-most of anyone in the NFL. He's tied with Drew Brees and trails Dan Marino, who had 13 games with 400+ yards.
Another second place trophy for the Broncos quarterback, because no one man can monopolize all the records. Kurt Warner has the most passing yards through five games with 1,947 yards in 2000.
Romo's record day
Manning wasn't the only quarterback writing history on Sunday, not even the only quarterback in that game. Tony Romo set a new Dallas franchise record for passing yards in a single game with 506. He was just under 50 yards away from Norman Van Brocklin's 1951 record of 554 passing yards in one game.
But that's not what you remember about Romo's outing this week. The Cowboys quarterback completed 25-of-36 passes for 506 yards and five touchdowns. As gaudy as those stats are, it's nothing compared to what he did in the second half. Trailing 35-20 after Manning and Welker connected for a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, Romo led the Cowboys offense on a dramatic comeback.
To better understand what happened, let's take a look at Dallas' drive chart for the second half.
That red circle indicates exactly where it all went wrong. It's not high-level analysis, but 30 seconds with MS Paint is a damn site more than you're going to get from the papers today. CHOKER! Brace yourself because you're going to hear that word a lot in regards to Tony Romo. It's simply not true.
As for what exactly happened, you can psychoanalyze a list of reasons. My favorite piece of armchair analysis is just Romo forcing it, trying to do too much. That's a tidy way of saying I have no idea what was going on in his head, what the play call was, etc.
Here's another, viable explanation for what happened, from Blogging the Boys. Tyron Smith got pushed back into the pocket, and his foot got planted right where Romo would have planted his foot. It takes away Romo's ability to generate power from his lower body. He throws with nothing more than the kinetic energy in his arm, which produces a lot less velocity than his legs, just enough umph on it to make a perfect pass to Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Week 5 in records
Let's continue explaining Week 5 with records.
Matt Schaub has thrown a pick-six for the fourth straight game. That's an NFL record. We have .GIF documentation: http://t.co/dgoaowqoHo— SB Nation (@sbnation) October 7, 2013
A day without a Tom Brady touchdown pass is like a day without sunshine. And there was no sunshine in Cincinnati on Sunday, only rain, but you can't fault the weather for an all-around sloppy effort by the Patriots.
Jimmy Graham: 4 straight games w/ 100+ receiving yards, matches NFL single-season record for TE (his 2nd streak, other: Tony Gonzalez)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 6, 2013
One more game and the Saints tight end tops Gonzo for that record. Speaking of Gonzo, the Patriots held him in check last week, in a win over the Falcons, by doing everything but hogtying him in the locker room. The Saints play the Patriots next week.
Congrats to @Colts WR Reggie Wayne on his 69th consecutive game with 3+ catches, an NFL RECORD.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 6, 2013
Here again, we see the twin forces of longevity and talent at work to rewrite the record book.
With that sack, Terrell Suggs has one in five straight games, tying the franchise record for consecutive games with at least one sack.— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) October 6, 2013
Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 6, 2013
There you go, nice to see the Bears in the record book for something. Amazing that it wasn't Brandon Marshall. But Jay Cutler's diversifying the offensive attack, with a little help from Marc Trestman.