By and bye, Adrian Peterson, others in NFL come tantalizingly close

But he'll have stiff competition for those honors from Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the entire 2011 season because of a slow-healing neck injury.

Manning, in his first season with the Broncos after 14 seasons in Indianapolis, finished the regular season with 4,659 yards passing, 37 touchdowns and a 105.8 passer rating, all second-best in his career.

The Broncos swept the AFC West for the first time since 1998, when they went on to win the Super Bowl.

"As I have mentioned many times, what he has done, to be coming off that kind of rehab, that type of injury at his position in a new city with a new team is unprecedented," Broncos Coach John Fox said of Manning, the league's only four-time MVP. "'Historical' would be the word I would use."

Denver has won 11 in a row, all by at least a touchdown. The Broncos joined the 2005 Colts (13) and 1942 Bears (11) as the only teams to win at least 11 games in a row in a single season by a margin of seven points or more.

Manning, meanwhile, had three touchdown passes against the Chiefs, his 73rd game in which he has thrown for at least three touchdowns. That passed Brett Favre for the most in NFL history.

Youth is served

Indianapolis' Luck and Seattle's Wilson each directed their teams to an 11th victory Sunday.

They are in a group of five rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era who collected 11 wins, the others being Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (13 in 2004), Baltimore's Joe Flacco (11 in 2008), and Atlanta's Matt Ryan (11 in 2008).

Luck is the only first-year quarterback with at least 4,000 yards passing and double-digit victories.

Mega-record

Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson had five catches for 72 yards in the Lions' 26-24 loss to Chicago, finishing the season with an NFL-record 1,964 yards receiving. He's also the only player to record at least 1,600 yards receiving in consecutive seasons.

Frequent fliers

New England's Tom Brady and New Orleans' Drew Brees carved out more space in the NFL record books.

Brady threw two touchdown passes in a 28-0 rout of Miami, his 48th consecutive game with a scoring pass. That moved him past Johnny Unitas and into second place on the all-time list, behind Brees (54). Brady is the first player to throw at least one scoring pass in all 16 games for three consecutive seasons.

The Saints' season was forgettable in many ways, but Brees did put up some impressive numbers. With his 396-yard, four-touchdown performance in a 44-38 loss to Carolina, Brees closed the season with 5,177 yards passing and 43 touchdowns.

Brees is the first quarterback in NFL history with consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, and the first with three such seasons in a career.

What's more, he's the first player to throw for 15,000 yards over a three-year span.

That's 8 1/2 miles.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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