Texans' Phillips wants to put an asterisk next to Manning's name
WADE PHILLIPS would like to put an asterisk on Peyton Manning's touchdown record.
The Houston Texans' interim coach said yesterday the league agreed with him that Manning's record-tying 50th TD toss Sunday shouldn't have counted because Eric Decker bobbled the ball.
The touchdown still counts, however, as does Manning's 51st TD throw. That one to Julius Thomas minutes later capped Denver's 37-13 win and broke Tom Brady's record of 50 TD passes set in 2007.
That football, along with Manning's grass-stained No. 18 jersey and his cleats, were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Decker said Phillips should just let it go, telling the Associated Press yesterday: "I caught it. This doesn't change anything. It's still a big catch for me and one I'll remember for a while."
Same with Manning, who told Decker after the reception with 6:57 left, "Great catch, man!"
Decker's 20-yard reception with 6:57 left in the fourth quarter gave Denver a 30-13 lead, and the TD was upheld on replay, much to the chagrin of Phillips, who thought Decker didn't have control of the ball until after his momentum carried him out of the back of the end zone.
Phillips sent the play to the league this week, contending the wrong call was made.
"We did get some good news. Actually, it's bad news for Peyton Manning because the league did come back and say that the ball was juggled by Decker and shouldn't have been a touchdown," Phillips said at the beginning of his news conference yesterday.
He jokingly added, "I guess they're going to have to take that Hall of Fame ball that they sent to the Hall of Fame back. I feel bad for Peyton celebrating breaking the record and it really didn't happen."
Broncos coach John Fox shrugged off Phillips' comments, noting there's been plenty more TD passes that Manning has had this season that were overturned on replay.
"I'm on the other side of a lot of those too but it really doesn't change anything. So I'll just leave it at that," Fox said at his Friday news conference.
Later, Fox told the AP there was one play in particular, against Tennessee on Dec. 8, in which Decker caught a pass and rolled into the end zone for the apparent score but he was ruled down shy of the goal line upon further review. TV replays, however, don't clearly show a defender touching him before he rolls across the goal line.
* Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had surgery after aggravating a right thumb injury in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that he didn't know when Matthews would return. The pass-rushing specialist has already been ruled out for tomorrow's game against the Bears in Chicago for the NFC North title.
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson was fined $60,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey last Sunday. The fine is the fourth this season for Goldson.
Also, St. Louis linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar was fined $21,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was docked $15,750 for roughing the passer after the league said he "unnecessarily" drove Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell to the ground. Buffalo rookie wide receiver Roberts Woods was fined $15,750 for punching Miami safety Reshad Jones in the third quarter of the Bills' 19-0 win.
* The Oakland Raiders might be without both of their starting cornerbacks for the season finale against the Denver Broncos. Mike Jenkins has a hamstring injury that has limited him in workouts, and Tracy Porter sustained a hip flexor during practice. Both are listed as questionable.
* Colts offensive lineman Mike McGlynn, who has started at guard and center this season, is doubtful for tomorrow's game against visting Jacksonville because of an elbow injury. Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois is out with a foot injury. Safety Sergio Brown is doubtful because of a groin injury and defensive end Cory Redding is doubtful with a shoulder injury.
* Running back Adrian Peterson (groin, foot) is doubtful for the Vikings' season finale against visiting Detroit in the final game at the 31-year-old Metrodome.
* Miami Dolphins backup running back Daniel Thomas is questionable against the Jets with a left ankle injury.
* Receiver and kick returner Tavon Austin (ankle) returned to the Rams' practice and is questionable for the game at Seattle.