After a review, the NFL announced it would not rewind Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s passing yardage total from Sunday’s game at Oakland, a statistical change that would have restored New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees as the single-season leader in passing yards.
Manning finished with 266 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders and wrapped up his day at halftime. He now officially holds the single-season record for touchdown passes with 55 and yards with 5,477. Brees set the record in 2011 with 5,476.
Of particular concern by the league’s statistical review analysis — a common practice every week for accuracy sake — was a seven-yard completion to wide receiver Eric Decker. Multiple camera angles imply the pass could have been a lateral, in which case the NFL would properly score it as a running play, giving the rushing yardage to Decker.
“The stats crew at the game scored this play as a forward pass,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. “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.”
If changed, it would have reduced Manning’s total for 2013 to 5,470 and give Brees his record back.
Manning said Sunday he wasn’t concerned with the yardage record but greatly appreciated his total of 55 touchdowns as a team accomplishment.
“I know how hard this group has worked,” he said. “We have put the time in, certainly, with the football requirements from the Broncos and we have done things outside of the requirements — guys have done things on our own: weightlifting, throwing sessions, conditioning work, you name it. Guys have paid the price and sacrificed in order to get in this position. It is fun to play with guys like that who have that kind of work ethic and passion.”