Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to their sixth straight victory on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 35-19. Manning finished the contest completing 28 of his 42 passing attempts for 295 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 92.9.
Despite those impressive numbers, this marks the first time this season that Manning has failed to surpass the 300-yard passing mark as well as gain a passer rating of at least 100.
The Jaguars were supposed to be a joke of an opponent for the dominant Broncos. The game's spread was the highest in NFL history. However, looking beyond the Jaguars' winless record, the team has been able to put together a very solid secondary. Jacksonville has only allowed an average of 219.2 yards per game through the air, which is good enough for 11th in the NFL.
Despite a fair amount of talent in the Jaguars' defensive secondary, Manning was still able to prevail. The future Hall of Fame quarterback led three second-half touchdown drives to secure the team's undefeated record.
After yet another game filled with highlight-reel moments from Manning, another look into his record-setting pace is in order.
Currently, Manning has completed 178 of 240 attempts for 2,179 yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions through six games in 2013.
He is on an astonishing pace:
As a reminder, Drew Brees holds the record for most passing yards in a season. In 2011, he passed for 5,476 yards with the New Orleans Saints. Tom Brady holds the single-season record for most passing touchdowns—he threw 50 in 2007 with the New England Patriots.
Manning's current pace would shatter both of those records over a full season.
He is on pace to throw for 334 more yards and nine more touchdowns than the two aforementioned record-holding quarterbacks.
The Broncos have an interesting remaining schedule as far as Manning is concerned. They face opponents with lackluster secondaries such as the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins, but they must also contend with the top-tier talent of the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.
Still, Manning is showing no signs of slowing down. The question now may not be if Manning will break these passing records, but when he will.
The Broncos will face off against the Chargers in a Thursday night contest in Week 15 this season. Currently, San Diego is ranked 27th against the pass, giving up an average of 288.8 yards per game. By the time this contest rolls around, Manning's pace indicates that he would have already passed for 5,083 yards. This would leave him 393 yards short of the record.
If Manning cannot hit Brees' mark in Week 15, he will certainly come close, leaving the door wide open for the following week against the Texans.
Also, Manning's current pace would put him at 49 passing touchdowns through 13 weeks of the season. That would leave him just two touchdown passes short of surpassing Brady's record before his Week 14 contest against the Tennessee Titans.
At this rate, the Broncos may get the best of both worlds out of Manning. It appears that he will be able to break both of these passing marks by Week 16 this season. With the Broncos currently boasting a 6-0 record, they are certainly favorites to gain home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
They may be fortunate enough to clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed at the same time Manning secures these two benchmarks, allowing them to rest the 37-year-old quarterback before the postseason.
Why bring up a possible first-seed position in the playoffs for Denver after just six weeks? Because the Broncos are that good.
Not only is Manning putting up record numbers, but the entire offense is firing on all cylinders. Currently, the Broncos are ranked first in points per game with 44.2, first in yards per game with 476.0, first in pass yards per game with 360.7 and 14th in rush yards per game with 115.3. They have been absolutely dominant.
If the entire offense keeps up the same pace for the remainder of the season, it will be in line to break records as well:
During the Patriots' undefeated season in 2007, they racked up 589 points and averaged 36.8 points per game. Brees led the Saints to a total of 7,474 yards in 2011, averaging 467.1 yards per game.
The Broncos are poised to smash both records this season.
Manning has already done enough to solidify himself as a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee; however, the competitiveness he continues to show is very telling—he is still unsatisfied.
Despite having a great amount of success while he was with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning may currently be on the most well-rounded, talented team he has been a part of over the course of his career. That is a scary thought.
Manning is having a breakout season in what is supposed to be the twilight of his career. He has been known to raise the bar for the NFL's quarterbacks throughout his 15 seasons. What he has been able to accomplish in 2013 so far is incredible.
However, for Manning, it's expected.
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