Manning is unanimous selection for All-Pro

Friday, January 7, 2005

NEW YORK -- Peyton Manning was unstoppable on the field this season, and in the All-Pro voting, too.

The record-setting Indianapolis Colts quarterback was a unanimous choice Thursday for The Associated Press 2004 NFL All-Pro Team. Manning received all 48 first-place votes from a nationwide panel of writers and broadcasts who cover pro football, the only player to sweep the voting this year.

After sharing the MVP award with Steve McNair last year, Manning reached a new level in '04.

"Last year was fun," Manning said. "This year was more fun because the things we wanted to do, we came out, worked on them and got them done."

Manning broke Dan Marino's 20-year-old record for touchdown passes in a season with 49, and shattered Steve Young's passer rating mark with a 121.1. Indeed, he would have had to go 0-for-20 with five interceptions in the final game to not break the record.

Manning also was the All-Pro quarterback in 2003, when he was the co-MVP with McNair of Tennessee. The AP Most Valuable Player will be announced on Monday.

Surprisingly, despite the Colts' prolific offense, Manning was their only All-Pro on that side of the ball. Defensive end Dwight Freeney, the NFL sacks leader with 16, made it on defense.

The AFC's dominance this season was evident on the All-Pro team, with 19 players from that conference and just 10 from the NFC. Pittsburgh, with a 15-1 regular-season mark, had the most AFC players: guard Alan Faneca, center Jeff Hartings and inside linebacker James Farrior. Faneca made it for the third time, Hartings and Farrior were among 17 first-time All-Pros.

Philadelphia also had three members: wide receiver Terrell Owens, making it for the fourth time; safety Brian Dawkins (third time) and cornerback Lito Sheppard (first).

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