After the game against the Oakland Raiders in Week 17, Manning owned the record for most passing yards (5,477) in a single season. He deflected any talk about the accomplishment after the game.
“It was nice to get the lead in this game. We got off to a hot start. The defense did a good job getting us the ball back. We did good on first and second down. We didn’t have too many third downs. I thought that was important. I thought our red-zone scoring was good.” Manning said.
“So it was good to get that lead, and like I said, defense did their part. And it was coach’s decision at halftime to make the change.”
He’s going to go down as one of the best—if not the best—quarterbacks to ever play this game. It’s incredible to think Manning has been able to have his career-best season after missing the 2011 season.
Manning had four neck procedures in 2011 and some felt he may never play again. Many doubted if he could ever be the same quarterback he was before the injury.
He wondered what would happen, but Manning worked hard to put himself in this position. He was asked about this after the regular-season finale.
“Yeah, it was really hard to think much or think too far past that day.” Manning continued, “When you’re injured, you sort of focus one day at a time. You don’t get too far ahead. So like I said, today was a good finish to the regular season, and we’re pleased with that.”
Manning simply has too many individual records to list in this article. For a complete list, check out this enormous list on Wikipedia.
These numbers are simply mind-boggling.
Let’s take a look at the most important records Manning has broken to this point in his career. There are also a few elusive records that Manning has yet to beat.
All quotes and injury/practice observations were obtained firsthand. Records and statistical information are provided via email from the Denver Broncos.
With four more touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 17, Manning expanded his record for touchdown passes in a season to 55.
The previous week, Manning was able to surpass the former record of 50 touchdown passes held by Tom Brady (Patriots, 2007).
In 2013, Manning had 11 games with at least three touchdown passes. In nine of those games, Manning had four or more touchdowns. Over the course of his career, Manning has more regular-season games with at least four touchdown passes (26) than any other quarterback in NFL history.
Manning now owns the record for most passing yards in a single season as well. In 2013, Manning had 12 games with at least 300 passing yards. He also had four games with over 400 passing yards. He was able to break this record by averaging 342.3 yards passing per game.
With 266 passing yards against the Raiders in Week 17, Manning surpassed the old mark held by Drew Brees by only one yard. His 5,477 passing yards is an amazing number, but this is a record that may not stand for that long.
If the NFL moves to an 18-game schedule, then surpassing 5,000 yards may become the norm for most quality starting quarterbacks.
This is a record that Manning may not be able to touch. Currently, the best single-season completion rate belongs to Drew Brees (Saints).
His 71.2 percent completion rate in 2011 is the best in the NFL history. In fact, Brees has completed 70 percent or more of his passes twice during his career. He's the only active quarterback to ever have a completion rate higher than 70 percent.
Manning's highest completion rate came in 2009 when he was with the Indianapolis Colts. That season, he completed 68.8 percent of his passes.
In 2013, Manning was able to complete 68.3 percent of his passes. This was down slightly from his 2012 rate of 68.6 percent.
He did have an outstanding game in Week 17. Manning recorded the second-highest completion percentage (89.3) in a single game in NFL history among players who attempted as many passes (28) as he did against the Raiders.
Manning also owns the NFL record for highest completion percentage (81.8) in one month (minimum 75 attempts). He accomplished this feat in December of 2008.
The AP NFL MVP award is voted upon by sportswriters at the end of the regular season. The results are released before the Super Bowl. The award has been shared twice, in 1997 and 2003. It was Manning who shared the award with the late Steve McNair in 2003.
Manning is likely to win his fifth NFL Most Valuable Player award in 2013. He already owns the record for the most NFL MVP awards at four.
Brett Favre, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown all have three MVP awards each. Tom Brady (Patriots) only has two MVPs, but he’s the only player to be awarded the honor unanimously (2010).
With a fifth MVP award, Manning could put this record out of reach.
Manning still trails Brett Favre in this category. However, Manning is only 17 touchdown passes behind Favre for the most in NFL history.
Favre threw 508 touchdowns from 1991-2010 with four different teams. After 55 passing touchdowns in 2013, Manning has now tossed 491 touchdowns during his career (1998-2013).
Had Manning not missed the entire 2011 season due to his four neck procedures, then he would likely already hold this record as well.
Manning may not throw for 50 touchdowns in 2014, but tossing 17 touchdowns could certainly be done in less than half the season. He surpassed 17 touchdown passes in 2013 by Week 5.
We should see Manning own this record at some point during the 2014 season. By the time his career is over, Manning could have around 550 passing touchdowns for his career.
It’s not about personal stats with Manning. He’s more obsessed with getting wins and championships.
Like with career touchdown passes, Manning trails Brett Favre in this category as well.
Favre had 186 wins over the course of his career. Manning has compiled 167 career wins. This 19-game difference could easily be made up over the next year.
This would require the Broncos to win three more games in the postseason and 16 games in 2014. They wouldn’t have to go undefeated in the regular season next year, but the Broncos would have to make another deep postseason run.
This record is not out of reach by any means. If Manning plays during the 2015 season, then he most certainly would be able to reach this number.
This is the big one. Quarterbacks are remembered mostly for the number of championships they win.
Manning has one Super Bowl victory already on his resume. The Broncos are once again set up to make a Super Bowl run in 2013.
With the way that Manning has played this year, most believe the Broncos could be in the playoffs again in 2014.
Manning may not be able to get to four Super Bowl wins, but two or three are quite possible.
Getting at least another Super Bowl victory to his name would strengthen the debate about Manning being the best quarterback in the history of the league.