Posted December 31, 2013

NFL will not overturn Peyton Manning’s passing-yardage record

AFC West, Denver Broncos
Sorry, Peyton... you may have fallen one yard short.

Peyton Manning fell one yard short … except that he apparently didn’t. (Jose Sanchez/AP)

Update: The league has announced that it will not take Manning’s yardage record away.

“The stats crew at the game scored this play as a forward pass,” league spokesman Michael Signora told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “During the course of a season, there are many similar plays which could be reviewed by the Elias Sports Bureau, the league’s official statistician. In this case, the determination of Elias is that the fairest resolution is for the ruling of the on-site stats crew to stand.”

The Elias Sports Bureau reviews game tape and stat sheets for the NFL after every week of games and will occasionally alter all kinds of things, from yardage numbers to sack totals. And it’s possible that when the league reviews the Denver Broncos’ 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Peyton Manning’s single-season yardage record could be in a bit of danger.

With 1:28 left in the first quarter of the game, Manning threw what was called a seven-yard pass to receiver Eric Decker on 1st-and-5 from the Oakland 49-yard line. However, in the video below (H/T to SportsGrid via Reddit NFL), it’s clear that Manning threw the ball backward, which makes it a lateral. With that in mind, Decker should technically be credited with a seven-yard run.

(GIF via The Big Lead)

And under those circumstances, Manning didn’t break Drew Brees’ single-season passing yardage record by one yard. He would have 5,470 yards, not 5,477, and Brees would still have the mark with the 5,476 yards he threw for in 2011.

As the stats stand now, Manning threw for 266 yards on 25 completions before he was pulled at the half to preserve him for the playoffs. The game wasn’t competitive and the Broncos were going to wrap up the AFC’s top seed whether Manning finished the game or not. Nobody could criticize head coach John Fox after the fact, but would Manning have come out for the second half with that record still on the line? Given Manning’s keen awareness of NFL history, it’s certainly feasible.

Fox was actually asked that very question on Monday.

“That’s hard to say. What was very positive was I thought we played one of our better halves of football that put us in a position where we could do different things. Number one, all those things are great—those individual accomplishments, team accomplishments—but not at the risk of putting a player at risk. So I don’t know if I’ve answered your question, I’m just kind of telling you what would go through our minds in that situation.”

Even if the yardage record is taken away, Manning still finished the 2013 regular season with a league-record 55 touchdown passes (though, technically, he should have 54), and the Broncos set the NFL’s new pace by scoring 606 points on the season.

But the yardage record? Technically, not so much.

470 comments
Moss1776
Moss1776

This debate is hilarious to me. Had Manning played the entire game the record would have been smashed. 

A_Hick
A_Hick

Peyton can set all the regular season records he wants, but he won't get the Super Bowl ring this year.  He can't win when it's on the line.  Couldn't in college (which is why he didn't get the Heisman), and he can't in the pros.


That said, he seems to be a nice guy, and it's a shame he is not as complete a player as, say, Brady, who seems less of a nice guy.

flakester187
flakester187

no matter what the pass was forward, backward, ect. it was gonna be broken by payton anyway, so stop crying and give the man some props he worked hard for it, stop living in the past and leave the legends alone, payton manning is the man!!!!!!!!!!!! stop hating !!!!!!!!

JeremyHeatherAtwood
JeremyHeatherAtwood

Just remember, a lot of these people are just talking crap to get a rise out of some people. Everyone is going to have an opinion and what was done is done! Verdict has already been decided!

JeremyHeatherAtwood
JeremyHeatherAtwood

Just remember , the Nfl doesn't go back and change the outcome of a game cause of a bad call, which they should, so they shouldn't change this call which is really irrelevant cause manning would have broken the record anyway. If you go back and reverse this call they should let manning throw one note series, lol!

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

So many people with too much time on their hands. All records will be broken in time. I'll be surprised if this one last very long.

ShawnCicero
ShawnCicero

wait so we make a big deal over this yet not the packers vs bears when rodgers ran 9 plays with the play clock on zero

ChrisMcCoy
ChrisMcCoy

People forget Brees actually broke the old yardage record a year earlier than he actually did,  but had a pass brought back. He then broke it the next year. Not fair to just "give" it to the NFL's favorite son then. I guess the rules for what is a pass differ if your last name is Manning.

RickEger
RickEger

I'm sure Peyton would have picked up another 7 yards...

tgoncalves600
tgoncalves600

he would just come in the second half and break it anyway no big deal

Frotoon
Frotoon

I've always loved Manning, but I'm disappointed in the Elias/NFL process on this. It was clearly a lateral. The play should have been recorded as a rush. But they bent the rules because Manning is so popular. They wouldn't have done this if it was an average QB on a non-record-breaking play. Where's the respect for Drew Brees, who attained his record legitimately? It's a good thing Brees is classy and not going to complain. Still it's unfair to him, his legacy, and to Saints fans (no, I'm not one).


Disappointed in Elias/NFL. Surprised they acted in this manner.

cyranogo
cyranogo

These brain dead Manning haters are too funny.  Here is on more Manning record for you....5 time MVP!

pirate
pirate

The NFL just announced that next season, to simplify things, Peyton will just report to the league how many touchdowns and yards he threw for. The regular rules will, of course, still apply to everyone else.


It's not Manning bashing to think the same rules should apply to everyone equally. It's called sportsmanship. Didn't he just win some kind of award for that, too?

J57
J57

Yeah, I'm starting to agree with all the Manning-bashers in here. Anyone can throw 55 touchdowns in a season. It's been done by a whole lot of 2 quarterbacks. And Brady had an extra half to throw 5 less TDs. Manning is soooo untalented.

niggeronwelfare
niggeronwelfare

Das racist !! I bet if he was BLAK dey wooda gave it to him!!!

George
George

Out of all these comments, only one would be worth reading:


Ask Drew Brees how he feels about.


Bet he couldn't care less.


Winning and Super Bowls are all that matters.  Yardage and TD records mean nothing, 

and the way the game has changed they will mean even less in the future, as "hot" qb's rack up new records like replays on an old pinball machine.


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


KeysSteven
KeysSteven

"It's (not) clear Manning threw...backward."  Notice how the play, the pass, is not centered in the frame.  Hence, Elias validated the "on-site" determination and will not wade into this manufactured morass any further.

me1
me1

Wow...reading these comments are better than what we find in any politico thread. Great comedy...but really sad for the sport.

DEJ1948
DEJ1948

I suppose in the long run this won't amount to a hill of beans, but it's pretty obvious to anyone who saw this play that the fix was in.  Payton Manning is probably the most valuable property in the NFL today and it wouldn't be a stretch to say he's the face of the league, so bending the rules for him was probably a no brainer.  Goodell and his toadies are smart enough to know that with the playoffs in full swing, this will be yesterday's news by tomorrow.

ajnaguy
ajnaguy

*Sound of crickets chirping*

DumbDadNU87
DumbDadNU87

in the end these types of records don't matter. all that matters is wins and losses - and winning the last game. everything else is background noise -

LarryTheil
LarryTheil

Peyton would of easily broke the record if it was that important to him. As a team player he sat out the 2nd. half. This guy Mike Allen is an embarrassment not only to himself but also to the city he is representing. Gotta feel for this guy. 

jordanN
jordanN

Wow. My interest in the NFL was already waning this season, but this kind of crap really makes me re-think how i will be spending my time on Sundays . From their BS non-profit status to this, is there anything about the NFL that isn't corrupt?

Matthew W
Matthew W

We can't offend the 2nd best QB of his generation now....can we?

justwanderin
justwanderin

The ball was snapped from the  Oakland 49 and it was caught by Decker at the Bronco's 48. A complete disgrace to the NFL, Elias and the great P Manning, and a terrible  shame for Brees. For those who say the call should't be overturned then why in hell do the NFL employ itself and Elias to review the plays for accuracy? Shame on both the NFL and Elias' and an asterisk for Manning who is too great to EVER warrant an asterisk.

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

@FrotoonGiven that it was the final game of the year, and that the fact that they believed at the time that he had the record probably played a part in the decision to pull Manning when they did, I think this is the right call.  He clearly could have put up another 100 yards if he wanted to, minimum.   So to say that Manning's record isn't legitimate is silly.   He left the game at half time, with no injury and no real reason other than he had accomplished what he needed to at that point.


If anyone should be embarrassed it should be the onsite stats guys.  That one should have been obvious enough to call at the time.  If they had got it right, Manning would probably have come back for a series in the third quarter, got the record and then left the game.

Scott85
Scott85

@KeysSteven It may not be centered, but the yardage markers are still pretty visible.  Manning lets the ball go at the 49 and it's caught at the 48.


Personally I don't care and say let the record stand.  I'm sure if you review every pass from every game you'll find a couple like this that might have changed Brees's stats as well.

MikeAllen
MikeAllen

@KeysSteven Come on, the video clearly shows that it was NOT a forward pass.  I played it over and over again and it was, at the best, lateral to the line of scrimmage if not slightly behind it.  IT WAS NOT A FORWARD PASS... And because it creates a situation that will change a standing record, it must be reversed and not scored as a forward pass.  If it remains a forward pass, then the record books should include an asterisk describing the final yardage total, which includes those yards gained on this play, to indicate that the yardage total my not, in fact, be accurate. 

LarryTheil
LarryTheil

@Matthew W Brady at least has some class. He might regain the record, But football is about winning not stats IDIOT.

JamesMartens
JamesMartens

@justwanderinNot a Manning fan or hater...not a Broncos fan or hater.  But it does not matter where the ball was snapped from.  It matters where it was thrown from and where it was caught.  If it mattered where it was snapped from then the passing yardage numbers would be WAY lower for every QB since there are so many screens thrown now days.

Chuckster
Chuckster

@justwanderinOh the whining.  If they had (at the game) told them he was 7 yds short, what do you think they would have done?  He'd have played in the 3rd until it was broken.  In the same way the officials made a mistake in the KC-SD game by not calling the penalty that affects the outcome of that game, so too did the stats official at the game make a mistake that if known at the time, would have had Peyton playing in the 3rd until it was broken.   No disservice to Brees at all and he knows it.

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

@MikeAllen@KeysStevenExcept what should have happened is that the stats guys on site should have got it right.  Had they got it right, Manning probably would have come back for a series in the 3rd Quarter and he would still have the record.  I think this is at least part of the reason that they decided not to reverse.  Other decisions, like when to pull Manning, were probably driven by the on-site call of a forward pass.  Clearly, Manning was aware of the yards he needed and he probably lobbied Fox to stay in until he got it.  


So if they were to reverse the call, you'd take away the record from a guy who had another half of football to play, and clearly could have gotten another 7 yards in that time.  I think this is part of trying to do the right thing.  Yes, this call was wrong, but taking this play away doesn't fix the situation.  It just makes it wrong in the other direction. 

titan1115
titan1115

@RickEger i think he means 2nd best behind brady, because he is the 2nd best behind brady

ChrisMcCoy
ChrisMcCoy

@LarryTheil @Matthew W The yardage record is Brees', not Brady's. Brady had the TD record. That was not in question.

Also, in his defense, Brees has thrown for more consecutive 5000 yard seasons than Manning or Brady. 

JamesMartens
JamesMartens

@LarryTheil@Matthew WBrady has some class? We are talking about the same clown that starts waving his hands for a flag any time a defensive player breathes on him to heavy?

jordanN
jordanN

@Chuckster@justwanderinWoulda coulda shoulda. I actually agree with Peter King on this one. If Manning and the Broncos were so keen on passing the yardage record, they would have put him out another series or two just to ensure this didn't happen. They didn't do that, and he shouldn't get it. It's not like they couldn't have gotten it legitimately, but those chose to not to.

justwanderin
justwanderin

@Chuckster @justwanderin Not whining Chuck just pointing out the obvious; and I completely agree that Manning would have played til the record was broken but he DIDN'T play and as the video clearly shows it not to be a forward pass. calls on the field are overturned regularly after review and to my greater point  Why does the NFL employ itself and Elias to review these plays for accuracy if they're not going to correct an obviously bad call?

narkalotta
narkalotta

@HoppinBill@MikeAllen@KeysStevenWhen the ball left Manning's hand it was in the middle of the "5" on the right side of the field, when Decker caught it, it was behind the "0" on the left side of the field, which would not be a forward pass.  I'm not a Manning hater, but he shouldn't have been given the record.  And the fact that the Broncos didn't let him play the second half is irrelevant.  Yeah, he could have destroyed the record by probably another 100+ yards, but they took him out.  Sure it would have been disappointing for many if the record was taken away from Manning because of this play, but rules are rules.  "I had to play the ball off of Frankenstein's fat foot!"