Peyton Manning broke the National Football League's single-season touchdown passes record on Sunday with his 51st of the year, throwing four touchdowns to spark Denver's 37-13 triumph at Houston.
Manning broke the record of 50 touchdown tosses by New England's Tom Brady in 2007, reclaiming the mark he had owned previously with 49 touchdown throws in 2004 while playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
"It's probably a temporary record. Brady will probably break it next year," Manning said. "But it is very special. It is a team accomplishment."
Manning threw three of his touchdown passes Sunday in the fourth quarter, including two to Eric Decker and the record-breaker, a 25-yard toss to tight end Julius Thomas, with 4:28 remaining in the game.
The son of retired NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had a brief moment with his coaches and teammates to acknowledge the feat before leaving the field after the game concluded.
"I have celebrated with the team. I had a very special moment with my teammates and coaches congratulating me," Manning said. "It was a team achievement."
Manning completed 32 of 51 passes for 400 yards against the hapless Texans, who lost their 13th game in a row while Denver improved to 12-3 and clinched a first-round playoff bye.
He has 5,211 passing yards this season, the most of any season in his career at age 37 and after four surgeries on his neck.
Manning is within reach of the NFL single-season records for completions and passing yardage, marks he could challenge next week when the Broncos visit Oakland in their final game of the regular season.
In addition, the Broncos are 17 points shy of the NFL's one-season scoring record, a mark set by Brady's New England Patriots in 2007.
Manning, making a strong case for his fifth NFL Most Valuable Player award, won his only Super Bowl crown with Indianapolis in February, 2007.