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Peyton Manning Throws 500th Career Touchdown Pass

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Former Colts and current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning today became just the second player in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdown passes.

Doug Pensinger

On September 6, 1998, a rookie quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts out of the University of Tennessee hit Marvin Harrison for a six-yard touchdown in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

Sixteen years and twenty-nine days later, Peyton Manning hit Julius Thomas for seven-yard touchdown for his 500th career touchdown pass.  Manning was all smiles as his teammates gave him the ball and congratulations.

Manning becomes just the second quarterback in National Football League history to throw for 500 touchdowns in a career and now draws within eight scoring tosses of tying Brett Favre for the most all-time with 508.  Manning's 500th touchdown came in 49 games less than Favre's did.  It has been an incredible run for Manning, and the 500 touchdown pass mark is a great milestone to help mark an even greater career.

399 of those touchdown passes came with the Indianapolis Colts, who Manning played for from 1998-2011.  He has been with the Denver Broncos for the past three seasons.  Peyton today extended his streak to 43 consecutive games with a touchdown pass today against the Cardinals as he threw his 500th touchdown pass.

During that streak, Manning has hit 44 different players for a touchdown pass.  The most, of course, is former Colt Marvin Harrison, who Peyton hooked up with a record 112 times.  Second (and hat tip to Mike Chappell on this stat), is current Colt Reggie Wayne with 67, third is former Colts tight end Dallas Clark with 44, and fourth is another former Colts tight end, Marcus Pollard, with 34.

"I'm excited for him," Reggie Wayne said this week of Peyton's looming milestone, according to Chappell.  "And 500, that's a lot of touchdowns. I'm just glad to be part of it. Hopefully he's excited to have me be a part of it."

Manning might be wearing a Broncos logo on his uniform today as he notched the incredible 500-touchdown mark, but 399 of those scores came as a Colt and that's how he'll always be remembered as well.  As Manning threw the scoring toss today, he had two of his first coaches watching him - although they probably would have rather touchdown pass number 500 have come against a different team.  Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was Manning's quarterback coach when he entered the league and coached there from 1998-2000 (and again in 2012, as offensive coordinator and interim head coach with Andrew Luck at quarterback).  The Cardinals' assistant head coach and assistant to Arians is a man that knows Peyton Manning better than anyone in the NFL, 75-year old Tom Moore.  Moore was Peyton's offensive coordinator for every season that number 18 played in Indianapolis (1998-2010) and he and the future Hall of Fame quarterback worked perfectly together.

It's only a matter of time before Peyton Manning breaks the NFL's all-time touchdown pass record, and today he notched a huge milestone in touchdown pass number 500.  Congrats, Peyton!