Which Records Are Next for Peyton Manning?

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IDecember 23, 2013

Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) smiles against the Houston Texans during the first half at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning's not done. 

The Sheriff reclaimed the single-season passing-touchdown record in Week 16's win over the Houston Texans when he dropped a dime to Julius Thomas in the front-right corner of the end zone late in the fourth quarter for his 51st touchdown of the season.

It's been a extraordinary campaign for Manning, even by the outrageous standards he's set for himself during his first-ballot Hall of Fame career in the NFL.

The touchdown record is already his—again—but the single-season passing-yard record is certainly within reach.

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 20:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers throws the ball in the first quarter against the New York Giants during the NFC championship game on January 20, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jon
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Heading into the season finale against the Oakland Raiders, Manning needs 266 yards to exceed the 5,476 yards Drew Brees threw for in 2011. 

Through 15 games, he's averaged 347.4 passing yards per game. Conversely, the Raiders have allowed 251 passing yards per game and an average quarterback rating of 102.3 this year, the second-highest figure in the league.

While Manning will deservedly receive vast individual praise this season—he's the MVP front-runner by a wide margin—the Broncos can set a few team records as well. 

The New England Patriots scored 589 points in the memorable 16-0 regular season of 2007, the most in league history.

With 18 points against Oakland, that record will belong to the 2013 Broncos. 

Denver's already set the mark for most first downs in a season with 407.

Football Outsiders history buff Scott Kacsmar tweeted another record Manning's offense could hold before the playoffs begin: 

The Brees number is 5,476 yards, but I believe 2000 Rams (Warner/Green) still have gross passing yards record at 5,492.

— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) December 23, 2013

It's not the most well-known record, but all Manning needs to achieve it is a 282-yard passing day in Week 17. 

In 2014, Manning will have a colossal career mark squarely in his sights. 

Brett Favre is currently the all-time touchdown-pass leader with 508. At 487 and counting, Manning will need to throw 22 touchdowns to hold that record, one of the most revered records in sports. 

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 12:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos emerges from the tunnel during player introductions before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on December 12, 2013 in Denver, C
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Also, assuming the Broncos won't need a game-winning drive from Manning against the Raiders, he'll have to wait until September to surpass Dan Marino—with whom he's tied—for the most career game-winning drives (each has 51).

Manning trails Favre by 7,140 yards in the career passing-yard department and needs 794 more completions to finish with the most in NFL history—both records will be within reach in 2015, the penultimate season he's under contract with the Broncos.

Essentially, if Peyton Manning plays two more seasons without a significant drop-off in production, he, almost assuredly, will be the record-holder in many major statistical categories for quarterbacks.  

At that point, the "greatest of all time" debate might not be so hazy.