Only once before in their entire team history had the Broncos scored 50 points in a game. Denver got its pro football franchise in 1960, so that's 53 years where the Broncos only once got past that 49-point barrier (and actually, they've scored 49 points three different times).
The only other time occurred on Oct. 6, 1963 when a Broncos team led by quarterback John McCormick's three touchdown passes and Geno Mingo's five field goals blasted the Chargers 50-34
Well, five decades after that performance against the eventual 1963 AFL title-winning San Diego team, Peyton Manning helped push Denver over the hump again, dominating Philadelphia 52-20 (psst, unlike Sid Gillman's Chargers team from 50 years ago, Chip Kelly's Eagles squad will NOT be winning the league title anytime soon).
But the half-century mark wasn't the only special moment about Sunday's game.
No, quarterback Peyton Manning put up some special numbers of his own.
- Manning's 16 touchdown passes broke the record of 14 through the first four games of the season that had been co-held by Sammy Baugh, Don Meredith and Kurt Warner. Via ESPN Stats Info.
- Manning has tied the NFL record for most touchdowns to start a season without throwing an interception. The only other quarterback to do that, via ESPN Stats Info, was Milt Plum with the 1960 Browns. Plum, it should be noted, needed 10 games to reach that mark.
- Manning, as you know, has 16 passing touchdowns. No other team has more than 15 total touchdowns this season.
And one other Broncos highlight"
- Denver has scored 179 points so far this season. That's the second-most in NFL history, behind the Cowboys' 183-point total in 1966.
So, what does all of this tell us? Well, it was a damn good move for the Broncos to pay a ton of money to Manning even when nobody could be sure before the 2012 season whether Manning and his fused neck ever would be the same as before. Somehow, he's even better now.
On to the rest of the league:
BY THE NUMBERS
1: The number of rookies in NFL history who have started a game and beat the defending Super Bowl champions in the month of September. Buffalo's EJ Manuel from Sunday against the Ravens is the only one. Via NFL History.
3: The number of consecutive games Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown. That might have led to this good old fashioned jersey burning. Via Lance Zierlein.
7: The number of points the Giants have scored in their last eight quarters.
10: The number of years it's been since the Cardinals fought back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and managed to win in regulation. The last time, via NFL Communications, was Dec. 28, 2003 vs. the Vikings. As my colleague John Breech noted, that loss was probably Josh Freeman's fault also.
12: the number of rushing touchdowns scored by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson that have been 60 yards or more. That is the most since 1940. To give you some perspective, Jim Brown is second on the list with nine. Via ESPN Stats Info.
30: The number of points the Bears allowed in the first half to the Lions on Sunday. It's the 13th time since 1958 that Chicago has allowed at least that many points in the first 30 minutes of play. Via the Chicago Tribune.
33: The number of years it's been since a team that lost at least 14 games in the previous season has won its first four games of the next season. This time, it's the Chiefs, who went 2-14 in 2012 and now are 4-0 after beating the Giants on Sunday. In 1979, the Lions stumbled to a 2-14 finish and then won their first four games in 1980 (they finished that season 9-7 and missed the postseason). The Lions and the Chiefs are the only teams in NFL history to accomplish this bitter-to-sweet turnaround.
83.3: The completion percentage for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers vs. the Cowboys, the most ever for a quarterback who throws for at least 400 yards in a game. Rivers finished 35 of 42 for 401 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
85: The negative point differential for the Giants (their opponents have scored 146 pionts, while the Giants have managed just 61). It's their worst point differential through the first four games of the season in team history. Not surprisingly, the team is 0-4 -- for the first time since 1987. Via ESPN Stats Info.
100: The number of consecutive games played by Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, including Sunday's win against the Bengals. Entering Sunday's game, he had played in all of the team's 6,054 offensive snaps since he joined in 2007.
120.5: The number of career sacks for Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. With his 2.5-sack day Sunday, Allen passed Derrick Thomas for the most career sacks accumulated in an NFL players' first 10 years of his carrer. Currently, Allen is 16th on the all-time sacks list, and he's 79.5 behind Bruce Smith, the all-time leader.
181: The number of consecutive passes thrown by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler against the Lions before he finally was intercepted late in the first quarter Sunday. Overall, he threw three picks on the day.
205: The number of minutes into the 2013 season it took before the Chiefs finally turned the ball over (a botched snap by center Rodney Hudson).
240: The number of minutes the Titans have played this season without a turnover. Tennessee joins the 1995 Rams as the only two teams in league history to go through the first four games of a season without committing a turnover.
9,147,059: The amount of money, in American dollars, that Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn has earned since he left the Packers. In that time, Flynn hadn't started a game until Sunday vs. the Redskins. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson, the man who beat out Flynn for the Seahawks starting job last season, has earned just $1.102 million. Via Darren Rovell.
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