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Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos

DENVER — With seemingly every pass he throws these days, Denver Broncos quarterbackPeyton Manning carves out a bigger spot in the NFL’s history.

Manning reached another remember-when threshold when he threw his 500th career touchdown pass Sunday, hooking up with Julius Thomas with 4 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter of Denver’s 41-20 victory over theArizona Cardinals.

The play, on a third-and-goal from the Cardinals’ 7-yard line, came out of a three-wide receiver set, with Thomas catching the ball as he ran toward the right sideline.

The score made Manning just the second quarterback in league history to reach 500 for a career, and put him on the doorstep of Brett Favre’s record of 508. Manning also reached the 500 mark in just 244 games.

Manning added to his total in the second quarter, hooking up with Demaryius Thomas on a pair of touchdown passes. The second scoring strike to Thomas went for 86 yards, tied for the longest touchdown pass of Manning’s career, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Manning also threw a 12-yard touchdown to Julius Thomas in the fourth quarter, giving him 503 for his career, and finished with a career-high 479 passing yards.

Earlier this week, Broncos coach John Fox was asked what 500 touchdown passes means in the league’s big picture.

“When somebody reaches that kind of statistic in their career, it’s pretty remarkable,” Fox said.

It was Manning’s 101st touchdown pass since he signed with the Broncos before the 2012 season after he had thrown 399 touchdown passes in the regular season during his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts. Through the week, and as Favre’s mark gets closer, Manning has tried to keep the discussion focused on football.

This past Wednesday, Manning even called the discussion about reaching 500 touchdowns “the other thing” at one point.

Manning has averaged 2.053 scoring passes per game over the course of his career, including 3.5 scoring passes per game in his two-plus seasons with the Broncos.