The National Football League may want to consider renaming quarterback records as “The Hall of Fame resume of Peyton Manning.” There are some statisticians who would point out that the 38-year-old who will be headed to the Hall of Fame at some point over the next decade or so is, by the numbers, playing the best football of his professional career during this current stretch.
Manning was already an all-time great for all that he achieved while with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning’s time with the Denver Broncos has led to assaults on records, and he has since put any concerns about his injured neck out of memories.
Manning isn’t slowing down in regular season play. He is, at worst, a top-five NFL quarterback in 2014. Manning will possess just about every QB record out there if his stellar form continues over the next several years.
Join us as we break down Peyton Manning’s 10 most remarkable NFL records.
10. Most Consecutive Games With at Least Four Touchdown Passes (5)
Manning hit the Kansas City Chiefs for five touchdown passes on October 31, 2004. He followed that up with four touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings, five touchdowns versus the Houston Texans, four touchdowns against the Chicago Bears and then six – count ’em – six TDs in a road game at the Detroit Lions.
That was 24 touchdowns over a five-game period for Manning. There are some starting NFL quarterbacks that will struggle to get to 24 passing touchdowns over an entire season. Manning would go on to lead the NFL in passing touchdowns that season, finding the end zone on 49 occasions.
9. Most Games With a Perfect Passer Rating, Career (4)
A lot has to go right for a quarterback to post a perfect passer rating once throughout his career. His offensive line has to offer plenty of protection. Wide receivers must run proper routes and hold onto passes. QBs must be fortunate enough to avoid tipped passes that lead to interceptions.
In other words, a perfect storm is needed for a perfect game.
Four quarterbacks have twice posted perfect passer ratings. Two men have had two perfect games. Manning is the only player with four to his name, and he could add to that tally before all is said and done.
8. Percentage of Time Sacked When Attempting to Pass (3.11%)
It is, of course, possible that Manning will not hold this record when he calls time on his playing days. Manning has never been the most athletic guy to play the quarterback position, and he won’t be getting any quicker over the next few years.
A traditional “non-mobile” quarterback avoids sacks due to two things: A great offensive line giving its QB time in the pocket, and that quarterback having a quick trigger. Manning’s pocket presence and “pocket clock” are as good as you’ll ever see, and they’ve helped him avoid hits season after season.
7. NFL Career Net Yards Per Pass Attempt (7.27)
The likes of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers or San Diego Chargers star Philip Rivers will have to pick their games up over the latter parts of their careers if they are to catch Manning in this category. Retired quarterback Kurt Warner and Dallas Cowboys starter Tony Romo are behind those two on this list with 7.08 NY/A.
Remember that this isn’t just yards per completion. Manning has, throughout his career, managed seven-tenths of a first down each time he has dropped back for a pass play. He will retire atop this list so long as his sack numbers don’t go up and he doesn’t turn into “Captain Checkdown.”
6. First Quarterback to Beat 31 Teams (2007)
Manning got there first, though, and history will always show that.
Favre wasn’t outdone by Manning in every imaginary race to a record. The Green Bay Packers legend became the first quarterback to beat 32 teams when he knocked off the Packers while with the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. Manning got to the 32-team mark earlier this year when the Broncos beat the Colts.
5. Most Playoff Losses (12)
Manning’s career hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. His playoff struggles over the years, most notably during his time with the Colts, have been well-documented. Some see Manning’s 11-12 postseason mark as a reason to justify somebody else, perhaps Tom Brady, being regarded as the best quarterback in NFL history.
Manning can still get to above .500 in postseason play before all is said and done. One more Super Bowl run before he calls time on his playing days would do the trick.
4. Game-Winning Drives (51)
Manning does not yet hold this record all by himself. He is tied atop the list with Miami Dolphins legend and all-time great Dan Marino. Odds are that Manning will have one more game-winning drive in him at some point; unless Denver is just that dominant en route to winning the Super Bowl before Manning retires.
Teams live and die on quarterback play. That is a fact and not just some cliché spoken during pregame and postgame shows. Manning has, more times than not, gotten the job done when under spotlights.
3. Comebacks (40)
Critics of Manning would point to his lackluster postseason record and claim that he has, during his career, lacked the so-called “clutch gene.” Player such as John Elway and Joe Montana are often praised for their abilities to lead teams back from behind. Some see Peyton’s brother Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, as being the better quarterback to start in a one-and-done game.
The older Manning has more comebacks than Elway, Montana, Eli or anybody else.
Next on the list of comebacks among active quarterbacks is Tom Brady. Brady is nine behind Manning. Both will have opportunities to accumulate more comeback victories over the next few years.
2. Most MVP Awards (5)
Eight players have earned NFL Most Valuable Player honors multiple times in their careers. Brett Favre won it thrice in the 1990s. Johnny Unitas won three MVP awards over an eight-year stretch. Jim Brown, perhaps the greatest running back and greatest overall football player of all-time, also won three MVP awards.
Manning sits on five, and he isn’t done yet.
Manning and the Broncos are rolling at the halfway point of the 2014 regular season. While he will have stiff competition from several other quarterbacks come this winter, Manning will, so long as he remains healthy, likely be an MVP candidate at the end of the campaign.
1. Most Career Passing Touchdowns (510…And Counting)
The best quarterbacks in the league are paid millions upon millions of dollars because they create offensive points. No pro quarterback in NFL history has done that better than Manning, and Manning’s grip on this record will only grow stronger the longer that he plays.
Manning passed Favre on this list on October 19, 2014 when Denver routed the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. No active quarterback is remotely close to Manning, and the only thing left to be determined is if Manning can get to 600 passing touchdowns before he retires.
Will Manning remain in the league long enough to pull it off?