Texans: 50th TD pass really wasn't

Updated: December 27, 2013, 5:44 PM ET
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Upon further review, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning shouldn't have set the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season last weekend, Houston Texans interim coach Wade Phillips said Friday.

Phillips said the NFL informed the Texans that Broncos receiver Eric Decker's second touchdown catch from Manning on Sunday shouldn't have counted because Decker was juggling the ball.

Phillips acknowledged that the league's mea culpa wouldn't reverse Manning's record, but he couldn't help but get a dig in before he left.

"Poor Manning," Phillips said. "He thought he broke the record."

The fourth-quarter play tied the NFL mark of 50 touchdown passes in a season, set by the Patriots' Tom Brady in 2007. Manning later threw No. 51 against the Texans to break the mark.

Decker's catch was reviewed during the game and upheld, giving the Broncos a 30-13 lead with 6:57 left in the game. Phillips asked the NFL for clarification this week as he maintained Decker was juggling the ball.

"We did get some good news. Actually, it's bad news for Peyton Manning. ... I guess they're going to have to take that ball that they sent to the Hall of Fame back," Phillips said jokingly. "I feel bad for Peyton celebrating breaking the record and it really didn't happen.

"I guess they still count it, don't they?"

Decker said Phillips should just let it go, telling The Associated Press on Friday, "I caught it. This doesn't change anything. It's still a big catch for me and one I'll remember for a while."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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