Today on DenverBroncos.com, we began a new series titled “Top 10 Tuesdays,” where we will count down the top 10 plays in various categories over the next five weeks.
The first list looked at Peyton Manning’s top 10 touchdown passes of the season.
Here’s the order we came up with:
10: Manning’s 400th TD pass and first as a Bronco vs. Pittsburgh
In Denver’s season opener against Pittsburgh, Manning hit Demaryius Thomas on a screen pass and the wideout raced 71 yards to the end zone for the score that put Denver ahead 14-13 in the game it would go on to win 31-19. The pass marked Manning’s longest of the season.
9: Manning to Decker for a 51-yard TD at Baltimore
Manning hit Eric Decker in stride on a 51-yard bomb to put the Broncos ahead 31-3 against the Ravens in Week 15.
8: Manning to Stokley for a 38-yard TD vs. Houston
In the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans in Week 3, Manning went over the middle to Brandon Stokley, who made the 38-yard catch over the Texans’ safety. The score started Denver’s comeback, but the Broncos would end up losing the game 31-25.
7: Manning to Decker for an 11-yard TD vs. Kansas City
Manning found a narrow window between the cornerback and the safety to hit Decker for an 11-yard scoring strike in the regular-season finale. The play put Denver ahead 14-3 in the game that it would win by a final score of 38-3 to earn the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the playoffs.
6: Manning to Decker for an 4-yard TD at Cincinnati
Manning hit Decker on a back-shoulder fade to give Denver a 31-20 lead against the Bengals with 3:36 to play in the game. Decker made the catch despite drawing a flag for pass interference against the Bengals and the 31-20 score would wind up being the final margin of the Broncos’ victory.
5: Manning to Moreno for a 14-yard TD vs. Baltimore
Manning floated a pass over the Ravens linebacker in coverage on Knowshon Moreno, who came up with a diving catch in the back corner of the end zone. The touchdown put Denver ahead 21-14 in the second quarter of the AFC Divisional Round game that the Ravens would go on to win 38-35 in double overtime.
4: Manning to Thomas for a 10-yard TD vs. Tampa Bay
Manning found Thomas despite double coverage over the middle in the end zone for a 10-yard score. The play gave the Broncos a 21-10 lead in the Week 13 game it would win 31-23.
3: Manning to Thomas for an 8-yard TD vs. Tampa Bay
In the same game as No. 4, Manning and Thomas connected for an 8-yard touchdown. This pass was another one fit into a tight window and put the Broncos on top 14-10 in the third quarter. The play marked Manning’s 28th touchdown pass of the season, which set a franchise record.
2: Manning to Thomas for a 22-yard TD vs. Cleveland
With a pass that couldn’t have been placed any better, Manning hit Thomas in stride for a 22-yard touchdown pass that opened the scoring against the Browns in Week 16. Denver went on to win that game 34-12 to improve to 12-3 on the season.
1: Manning to Stokley for a 21-yard TD at San Diego
Manning put the Broncos ahead for good in the team’s historic comeback win at San Diego on Monday Night Football in Week 6 with a 21-yard pass to Stokley. Manning audibled as the final seconds ticked off the play clock before throwing a pass where only his receiver could come up with the ball. That’s exactly what happened as Stokley went over the defender to make the catch and drag both feet in bounds to give the Broncos a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter.
Let us know what you think of the list in the comment section below. Did we miss any plays? Were any ranked too high or too low? What would your top 10 list look like?