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Tom Brady Passes Peyton Manning for 2nd-Most Passing TDs in NFL History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 29: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after Sony Michel #26 scored a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Peyton Manning opened the 2019 season as the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns. Manning will end the year in third place.

Tom Brady threw the 540th touchdown of his career when he hit Elandon Roberts for a 38-yard score in the third quarter Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. In doing so, Brady moved ahead of Manning on the career list.

NFL @NFL

5️⃣4️⃣0️⃣ @TomBrady moves into second place all-time in passing TDs with a pass to linebacker Elandon Roberts! #GoPats 📺: #MIAvsNE on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/HYJhHN7b2Y https://t.co/j0Wnrz85eA

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

With Tom Brady passing Peyton Manning in career TD passes, here's how the two legends stack up 🐐🐐 https://t.co/yPUHkObRSa

Drew Brees overtook Manning for first place when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 34-7 in Week 15. Brees had previously claimed the all-time passing mark as well in October 2018. Upon losing his passing record, Manning congratulated Brees and acknowledged his touchdown mark was in danger.

New Orleans Saints @Saints

PSA: message from Peyton Manning https://t.co/DcZ8eTfXw8

Now, it's a battle between Brady and Brees in the record book, and the winner will likely depend on how long Brees continues to play.

He entered Week 17 with 77,163 passing yards and 544 touchdowns, compared to Brady's 74,350 yards and 539 scores.

Both players can become free agents in the offseason.

Ben Volin @BenVolin

Tom Brady and Drew Brees now have almost the exact same contract. Both will make $23m in 2019. Both will see the last two years of their deals automatically void on the last day of the 2019 league year (March 17). And both have No Franchise Tag clauses.

Retirement is a possibility for Brees (40) and Brady (42) too.

As he recovered from a thumb injury, Brees spoke about how he gained a new perspective on his playing career.

"I definitely had some butterflies," he told reporters in October. "As game time approached that turned into gratitude. ... I'm a football player. That's what I was talking about when I said that gratitude kind of came over me. I'm blessed to play this game. I love this game. I love my teammates."

While those comments would seemingly give the impression Brees has no intentions of walking away, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal predicted the Saints quarterback "will retire and walk right into an on-air role with Fox."

Manning, at the very least, doesn't have to worry about falling further in the passing charts. Philip Rivers (58,990 yards, 395 touchdowns) is the next closest active QB in both lists.

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