Antonio Smith discusses Manning going for the record
The game was over. The Broncos were very clearly going to win.
But Peyton Manning continued to throw the ball and eventually threw his fourth touchdown pass, which broke the single season record of 50 set by Tom Brady in 2007.
Manning wanted the record and he got it. And the Texans couldn’t stop him.
“As a defensive player, you have to care about that,” defensive end Antonio Smith said. “That has to burn you a little bit. And that’s gotta raise up some fight in you but as a true football player, that’s what football is. That’s what his job is to do. He wants to be great. It’s his job to try to be great no matter how it makes anybody else feel. It’s football. We grown men. It’s our job to stop him. It’s his job to break records.”
Manning’s fourth touchdown pass came with under five minutes left in a 30-13 game. The Broncos didn’t need to throw but Manning his Julius Thomas for a 25-yarder to capture the record with one game left to go.
“It is him running it up but how else is he going to be great?” Smith said. “How else is he going to break the records that have never been broken before. You have to do it. As a football player and as a man, you’re going to have to step on toes every now and then.”
In addition to throwing his 51st touchdown pass of the season, Manning also passed 5,000 yards for the first time in his career. But the touchdown record was the big one on Sunday.
“As a football player, you know Peyton Manning, he wants to throw the ball,” safety Shiloh Keo said. “They’re not a big running team. I think we went out there on the field expecting them to throw. He wants to set records and stuff like that, but that’s their offense. They’re a throwing offense. That’s how they move the ball, so I wasn’t disappointed to see that. It could have gone a different way but that’s football.”
Thomas, who caught the record-breaking touchdown pass, said he didn’t even know until after the play happened that it was the big one. Manning joked that he was surprised Thomas didn’t give the ball away to “some babe up in the stands.”
Through 15 games, Manning has thrown for 5,211 yards and 51 touchdowns. He said he is happy about breaking the record but thinks it’ll be broken soon by another player, especially if the season is extended to 18 games at some point.
“It’s never fun to be on the opposite end of a record-breaking performance,” said J.J. Watt, who congratulated Manning after the game. “That guy’s a heckuva football player. Give credit where credit is due. There’s a reason the guy should be the MVP this year.”