Good news and bad news in the NFL today.
The good news (unless you are Dan Marino): Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes in a come from behind overtime victory against San Diego, to break Dan Marino’s record of 48 touchdown passes in a single season.
Peyton Manning wanted the win more than the record. He got both. Manning rallied his Indianapolis Colts from a 15-point deficit in the final quarter, throwing his record-breaking 49th touchdown of the season to help tie the game in the last minute of regulation, and then led the winning drive in overtime as the Colts defeated San Diego 34-31 Sunday.
And the bad news: Reggie White, former University of Tennessee and NFL defensive lineman, died today at age 43.
A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and ordained minister who was known as the “Minister of Defense,” White played a total of 15 years with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.
“Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history,” NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. “Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people.”
A member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team, White was elected to the Pro Bowl a record 13 straight times from 1986-98. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and 1998.
“A 43-year-old is not supposed to die in his sleep,” Johnson said. “It was not only unexpected, but it was also a complete surprise. Reggie wasn’t a sick man … he was vibrant. He had lots and lots of energy, lots of passion.”