Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. He is certainly on most every football fan’s “Mount Rushmore” of quarterbacks, and Manning is a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The Denver Broncos added Manning in the spring of 2012, and he’s been nothing short of spectacular during his time in Denver. Many didn’t know what to expect after Manning missed the entire 2011 season because of a neck injury that required multiple procedures to fix. The Broncos took a chance on Manning, and he has paid off for them in a big way.
Last year, Manning set single-season NFL records with 55 touchdown passes and 5,477 yards passing. It’s insane to consider, but at age 37, Manning had the best statistical season of his career.
He’s showing no signs of slowing down and looks like he could play at a high level for another three years at his current trajectory. His contract runs for another three seasons, and Manning is not yet considering retirement.
Brett Favre played from 1991-2010 for four different teams (Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings). He was the "iron man" of the NFL, and he rarely missed a game in his career. Favre played until he was 41 years old, and he put up some astronomical numbers as a quarterback.
Manning is trailing Favre in some major passing categories. When he first came to the Broncos, some of Favre’s records seemed out of reach. However, after 92 touchdown passes over the last two seasons—coupled with 10,136 yards passing—Manning is within striking distance of some historical marks and could soon own every significant passing record in NFL history.
If he plays for two or three more seasons, Manning could put up statistics that last for decades. Let’s take a look to see how soon Manning could be number one in these categories.
Career Passing Yardage
Entering the 2014 season, Manning is only 6,874 yards short of this incredible mark. Manning may throw for over 5,000 yards again this season, but there’s no way he’s going to break this record this season.
He’s averaged 316.75 yards passing per game during his time with the Broncos. At that rate, Manning would be able to surpass Favre’s career passing yardage total in about 22 regular season games. That means the number could be within striking distance in the first month of the 2015 season.
Career Passing Touchdowns
It may not take long for Manning to pass Favre in this category. He’s only 17 away from Favre’s career mark of 508 touchdown passes.
Over the last two years with the Broncos, Manning has average 2.875 passing touchdowns per game. At that rate, Manning would pass Favre’s mark around Week 6 of the 2014 season.
If Manning plays three more seasons and maintains his current average, then he’ll shatter the Favre’s mark and put himself well over 600 passing touchdowns for his career.
Games Won By A Starting Quarterback
When this record could fall is easy to predict. Manning sits 19 games behind Favre at this time. The Broncos should win around 12 games this year, and that would put this record within striking distance at the halfway point of the 2015 season.
Career Passes Completed
Manning is currently 768 completed passes behind Favre. Over his two-year Broncos career, Manning has completed an average of 475 passes per season.
It’s going to take most of two seasons to pass Favre in this category.
Career Passes Attempted
In this category, Manning is 1,717 passing attempts behind Favre. He’s been averaging 621 passing attempts per season with the Broncos.
To surpass Favre, Manning would need to stay at his current average for nearly three full seasons.
Career Game-Winning Drives
Broncos fans are used to a quarterback who can pull off a fourth-quarter comeback. John Elway did that for years in Denver (46 career total), and Manning is continuing that tradition.
In this category, Manning is actually tied with former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino.
The Broncos get out to big leads with Manning under center, but there could be a few game-winning drives for Denver in 2014. His next game-winning drive will give him the record.
Who is the Greatest Quarterback of All Time?
As you can see, Manning is close to several milestone numbers in the near future. Broncos fans should feel truly blessed that they were able to witness such greatness for their team each and every Sunday. Not many fans can say their team had two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time line up under center.
Manning has already joined Elway on the Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks, but with a few more records, he could be in class all by himself.
All statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Cecil Lammey can be followed on Twitter @CecilLammey.