With the 2014 NFL season just 42 days from kicking off, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos enters with his sights set on yet another historic career achievement. Once he tosses his 18th touchdown of the year, Manning will surpass Brett Favre for the highest all-time career mark, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Manning will open the upcoming campaign with 491 career passing touchdowns, just 17 shy of Favre's 508. Considering that Manning has never once thrown less than 26 touchdowns in a single season over his 16-year career, it seems all but certain he'll break the record.
The Broncos quarterback set the stage for the milestone with his historic 2013 season, as he broke the single-season record with 55 touchdown passes. The remarkable output shattered the benchmark set by the New England Patriots' Tom Brady in 2007, when he accumulated 50.
Like Favre, Manning racked up the majority of his touchdowns with one team before finishing his career elsewhere. The stats show that 399 of Manning's TD passes came while wearing an Indianapolis Colts uniform before adding an additional 92 over two seasons with the Broncos.
Favre endured a similar career path, logging 442 of his record-setting scoring strikes with the Green Bay Packers. Following his indecision and eventual exit from Titletown, he added 66 more touchdown passes over three seasons, two with the Minnesota Vikings and one with the New York Jets.
Manning lost a few of his targets from 2013 to free agency, as Eric Decker (11 TD catches) jetted to the Jets, and Knowshon Moreno (three TD receptions) left for the Miami Dolphins. However, general manager John Elway certainly wasn't going to leave his star quarterback without a fair share of offensive weapons.
In order to bolster the receiving corps, Elway signed Emmanuel Sanders via free agency from the Pittsburgh Steelers and drafted Indiana wideout Cody Latimer in the second round of the 2014 draft.
Manning also retains his top wideout, Demaryius Thomas, who was responsible for 92 catches, 1,430 yards and 14 scores in 2014. Moreover, the Broncos expect second-year running back Montee Ball to make a leap in his sophomore season, filling Moreno's shoes in the backfield.
With the relentless optimism that is typically cast over a team at the arrival of training camp, Manning and the Broncos will look to cash in another successful season while etching their names into the NFL record books along the way.
All stats courtesy of NFL.com unless otherwise specified.
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