Anyone in America living within half a mile of a television set is probably aware that Peyton Manning broke the NFL’s career touchdown passes record last night. This is one of the biggest records in sports, so it’s only fitting that a great deal of attention is being shown to the accomplishment.
510 touchdown passes is a ridiculous achievement any way you look at it. Not only does it mean Manning has enjoyed a very long career, but it also means he’s been posting elite numbers for practically the entire time. Manning has averaged over 30 touchdown passes a year for 17 years now. A 30-touchdown season is a career year for most passers, but Manning has been making it look easy since 1998.
One neat way to break down Manning’s record is to look at how those touchdowns have been distributed. NFL.com created a graphic yesterday showing just that. Check this out:
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First things first: Marvin Harrison. I know Harrison was Manning’s go-to target for years in Indy, but still. 112 touchdowns is insane. Harrison went eight straight seasons at one point (1999-2006) with at least ten touchdown catches. That’s quite the achievement – the type that usually means a player will have a bust in Canton one day.
Another thing to notice is just how good Manning has been since he joined the Broncos. 21% of Manning’s career touchdowns have come as a Bronco despite him playing just 15% of his career games with the team. Put another way: Manning is playing the best football of his life with Denver. No one would have guessed that a few years ago when it looked like Manning’s neck injury might keep him out of the game for good.
The man whose record Manning broke -- Brett Favre -- summed up the accomplishment best last night:
“Well deserved Peyton,” Favre wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations on breaking my record. #Onto600.”