Based on his prolific consistency, upon first thought, it's unfathomable that the now elder Manning could possibly trump the production of his prime years.
But after watching Manning through three games in the 2013 season, it's easy to realize that we very well may be witnessing the most legendary year from, well, a legend.
Let's crunch the numbers on his pace along with the offense he's leading.
Manning, more affectionately known by some as "The Sheriff," is 89-for-122 for 1,143 yards with—you may have heard—12 touchdowns and no interceptions heading into Week 4.
Against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football, he completed 32 of his 37 pass attempts and four of his incompletions were drops.
Here's a look at Manning's current pace:
We're not even a quarter of the way done with the season, so "pace" figures must be taken with a grain of salt, even for Manning.
Eventually, he'll throw an interception. He won't complete 86 percent of his passes every game. Chances are, he probably won't eclipse 6,000 yards through the air. After all, 6,000 yards would break Drew Brees' record by more than 500 yards.
Even Manning is susceptible to the "regression to the mean." It's life.
Factoring in that inevitable dip in efficiency and overall output, here's what his season total will be if he's 10 percent less effective across the board for the remaining 13 games:
(Manning's interception projection was found by adding a 10 percent increase to his career interception percentage of 2.6.)
Basically, even if Manning can no longer be as tremendous as he's been to start the season, he'll still break the single-season passing-yard and passing-touchdown records.
Thanks mainly to Manning, the Broncos offense is clicking. Really clicking.
It's averaging 42.3 points and 486.6 yards per game. For real.
For perspective, the New England Patriots scored 589 points in their famous 16-0 season of 2007—an average of 36.8 points per game, the highest average of all-time.
The 2011 New Orleans Saints own the record for most total yards in a season with 7,474—an average of 467.1 per game.
Let's run the Broncos' current offensive under a 10% regression the rest of the way:
|Points Per Game||Total Points||Total Yards||Yards Per Game|
Who knows how Peyton Manning will perform the rest of the way, but through three contests, he and his offense are on an unprecedentedly torrid pace.
The Denver Broncos look like the top team in the NFL right now, and even if they aren't quite as effective the rest of the way, they may set some offensive records this season.