Peyton Manning’s 2013 Records Chase (after 15 games)

Peyton Manning did it. He broke the single season record for TD passes (even if one wasn’t a complete pass), and he did it in game 15 (just like in 2004). He’s still on pace to break the single-season records for passing yards and he might just add 3-4 more TDs to his total. Let’s take a look at Peyton Manning’s 2013 stats compared to those of other QBs after 15 games in their own record-setting seasons. I’ll probably post a season post-mortem update to this after next week’s game. As always with this football statistics stuff, I never claim expertise, I just do it for fun. Along with whatever’s new,  there’s still some stuff here from last week’s look.

Quarterback (15 games played) cmp att cmp% Yds TD INT rate record
Peyton Manning (2013) 425 631 67.4 5211 51 10 113.0 12-3
Drew Brees (2011) 440 622 70.7 5087 41 13 108.4 12-3
Aaron Rodgers (2011)* 343 502 68.3 4643 45 6 122.5 14-1
Tom Brady (2007) 366 536 68.3 4450 48 8 117.2 15-0
Peyton Manning (2004)* 335 495 67.7 4551 49 10 121.4 12-3
Dan Marino (1984)** 339 524 64.7 4744 44 15 109.8 13-2

*Rodgers was done for the season after 15 games and Manning played just one series of the 2004 finale, going 1/2 for 6 yards, no TDs.

**Marino set the single season record for TDs and passing yards before the NFL started calling more illegal contact penalties in 2004.

So Manning broke the TD record, again. Considering his skill, and the number of attempts he’s had this season, it’s not quite so surprising. Since Marino wasn’t done extending the record until game 16, and Brady didn’t break it until game 16 (not to mention the yardage record), I’m going to hold off on in-depth comparisons on speed or efficiency until after next week.

Still, it is notable that Manning needed several more attempts to break the record than Brady or himself in 2004. He has achieved more yardage on fewer completions than Brees, however.

Barring a meltdown, his team will lock up the #1 seed, something that the 2011 Saints and the 2004 Colts failed to do. Despite being lower than 3 of the other guys on the list (and Nick Foles this season), Manning’s single-season passer rating is currently good enough for number 5 all-time. This would make him and Tom Brady the only QBs with two seasons in the all time top 10 for passer rating.

Manning is in pretty good shape to break Brees’ single season yardage record, needing just 266 to pass it. Manning’s career average (per games started) is 270, and his average this season is 347. With Denver needing a win OR a Patriots loss to lock up the number one seed in the AFC, you can bet Manning will play most of the game, unless it’s a huge blowout. The Pats play the Bills at the same time the Broncos play the Raiders, so there’s no chance of locking up a playoff spot early.

Wes Welker, who sat out the last two weeks with a concussion, remains out. Obviously, this wasn’t much of an issue against the Texans last week, but I’m sure the team misses him. With a playoff BYE assured, they’ll have him back for their first playoff game.

Manning finished last week’s game vs. the Texans going 32/51 for 400 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs. This was his 4th 400+ yard game of the season, which ties Marino’s record from 1984. Manning has never had back-to-back 400+ yard games in his career (though had 403 followed by 397 this year against Kansas and Tennessee).

The Broncos need 18 points to beat the season record of 579 set by the 2007 Patriots. They’ve averaged 38 points a game so far this year, never scoring less than 20 and scoring less than 30 only 3 times. I’d look for them to break this record too.

When Denver and Oakland played in week three, Manning went 32/37 for 374 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. It is his third-highest passer rating for the season (135.8). Manning’s 2013 pace says he’ll go 28/42 for 347 yards and 3 TDs against Oakland in game 16. It wouldn’t surprise me if he does, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t. With 51 TDs, he’s already broken the highest-profile record, even if he is the third (and first, I suppose) person to do it in 10 years. Now the team just needs to play for postseason position. Thing is, Manning’s their best weapon to win any game. I think he’ll keep up the pace.

As usual, most everything above was calculated using numbers found at Pro-Football-Reference.

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