If Peyton Manning’s stellar NFL career is indeed over (as some reports have suggested) he will have finished among the top of virtually every statistic compiled for quarterbacks, but not at number one.
For example, in terms of passing yardage, Manning now ranks fifth (as 54,828 yards), well behind fellow legends Dan Marino (61,361) and miles behind the number one yard-gainer, Brett Favre (71,838).
Manning has played 14 seasons – at an average annual performance of about 3916 passing yards, it would take him more than four years to even match Favre’s total. (And there is no guarantee that Manning could keep up that torrid pace as he ages).
In terms of pass completions, Manning again is in third place at 4682, just behind Marino (4967) and Favre (6300).
With respect to touchdown passes, it’s the same story: manning is in third place (with 399), behind his old friends Marino (420) and Favre (508).
However, it should be remembered that Marino played 17 seasons, while Favre amassed his huge numbers in 20 campaigns.
Presumably, if Manning is able to re-start his career, he could conceivably challenge Favre in some of the all-time passing rankings.
Manning does have some NFL records already wrapped up – the most consecutive seasons with 4,000 or more yards passing (six, between 1999 and 2004); and the most total seasons with 4,000 or more yards passing in a career (eleven).
That streak was broken by the 2005 season when he ”only” passed for 3747 yards.
Manning has the sixth highest career passer rating (94.9) in NFL history and also holds the highest ever single-season passer rating (121.1 in 2004).
He was also the fastest NFL quarterback to reach the following milestones: 50,000 passing yards; 1,000 passing completions, 2,000 completions, 3.000 completions and 4,000 completions.
Needless to say, he is also the Indianapolis Colts’ franchise all-time leader in virtually all offensive categories, including career wins, career passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions, and passing touchdowns.
However, the ultimate prize for an NFL quarterback is Super Bowl victories – Manning only has one. He defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. His principal rival, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, has won three. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana have each won four.