Brett Favre Injury: Will Peyton Manning Break The NFL Consecutive Start Record?

Matt RudnitskyCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2010

Brett Favre Injury: Will Peyton Manning Break The NFL Consecutive Start Record?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Brett Favre, who has started an NFL-record 291 consecutive games, has a fractured ankle, if you haven't heard.

    And according to ESPN, Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress is leaning towards ending the quarterback's incredible streak.

    Favre has a comfortable 93-game lead on his closest (active) competitor, Peyton Manning, on the list of most games started consecutively by a non-special teams player.

    And if Favre doesn't sit out this Sunday and plays the year out (or the next 10 years for all we know), the Indianapolis Colts quarterback won't be able to make up any ground. 

    That would be nothing new for Peyton, who has trailed Brett by those same 93 games for his entire 12-year career.

    But if Brett can't go, Peyton will inch closer with each passing week.

    No one seems to think the record will ever be broken, but Peyton has more than a fighting chance.

    So will he do it?

The List

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    GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings has his jersey grabbed by Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)
    Jim Prisching/Getty Images

    So you can see how commanding Favre's lead is, here is a list of the most consecutive (regular season) games started by active quarterbacks.

    (QBs are the only ones with a prayer of catching Favre, due to the nature of the position).

    Name Period Teams

    Consecutive Starts

    Brett Favre 1992-Sunday? Green Bay, NY Jets, Minnesota              291
    Peyton Manning 1998-present Indianapolis              198
    Eli Manning 2004-present NY Giants                94
    Philip Rivers 2006-present San Diego                71

Will Peyton Do It?

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 17: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 17, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    What It Would Take

    In football, 93 games is an eternity.

    There's a reason why brother Eli is the only other active quarterback than Favre or Peyton to have started 93 games in a row.

    But Peyton does have the advantage of never missing a start due to performance, because he's that good.

    And you can't predict injury, but with his quick decision-making, it seems like Manning is almost never hit, and it would be a surprise to see him get hurt.

    The main issue is that Peyton would have to play out this season and then five more.

    And he's already 34, so he'd have to play until he's 40, just one year younger than Favre.

    If anyone can do it, it's Peyton, but I don't see Manning being able to sustain this level of play until he's 40, and I think he'll want to go out on top in un-Favre-like fashion.

    Likelihood: 30%

    I just don't see Peyton dragging out his career like Brett, but I think he could end his career with his current streak still standing.  It just won't be as long as Favre's.

But What About The New 18 Game Schedule?

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    Apparently an 18-game season is an inevitability, meaning that Peyton's chances could increase dramatically.

    Because of how the numbers fall, If the two extra games are implemented next season, Manning would only have to play until he's 39.

    Now we're talking.

    With players like Kurt Warner playing until 39, it certainly wouldn't be a stretch to see Peyton doing the same.

    Sure, it's only a difference of one year, but when you are a 40-year-old athlete, a year can make a hell of a difference.  Too bad 38-year-old Brett didn't realize that before deciding to come back.

    If this actually happens, I'd put my money on Peyton.

    Updated likelihood if this happens next year: 60%

And What About a Lockout?

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    But don't forget, an NFL lockout for next year is also very likely.

    If there isn't an NFL season next year, Peyton's chances of breaking Favre's record will take a huge hit.

    Sure, a year of refraining from the everyday grind and weekly pounding could help in the long-term, but who knows if NFLers wouldn't go and play in the UFL or something of that nature.

    Either way, Peyton would have to play an extra year to break the record, and like I said, a year is a long time.

    If the NFL has a lockout, I can't see Peyton playing long enough to catch Favre.

    Updated likelihood if there's a lockout: 10%

Are We Getting Ahead Of Ourselves?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings gestures in the huddle in the first half against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Don't forget that this all hinges on Favre not playing this Sunday.

    If he starts the rest of the year, it adds yet another year to Peyton's career if he wants to break the record.

    We'd really be stretching things in that case.

    And if Favre plays this week and finishes the season hot, would it shock anyone if he came back for another year? Or two, or five?

    If any of this happens, I don't give Peyton a shot.

    All the more reason to watch this Sunday.

Can Anyone Else Do It?

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants passes against the Detroit Lions at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 17, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Can anyone else catch Brett?

    Well, among veterans, the only ones with a chance are Peyton's little brother, Eli, and Philip Rivers.

    Eli is 197 behind Favre, and Rivers is a staggering 220 behind, but they are 29 and 28, respectively, meaning they'd also have to play until they are 40, give or take a year or two depending on the lockout/extended season issues.

    Basically I'd be shocked if either one of them did it.

    Old-man Eli could get benched in a nano-second if he's not performing in ultra-competitive New York, and Rivers is tough, but he gets hit way more often than a player like Peyton.

    I just can't see either one of them doing it, but then again, who could have seen Brett Favre setting the record in the first place?

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

What Do You Think?

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    DENVER - SEPTEMBER 26:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos meet at midfield after the game at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Colts defeate
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    What do you think?

    Will Brett play this Sunday?

    Will Peyton catch him?

    What about the 18-game season?

    And the lockout?

    Let me know what you think about all of this in the comments.

    Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a writing intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at