Oct 7, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) following the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Can Peyton Manning Beat Tom Brady’s TD Record?


 

All eyes have been on Peyton Manning this season after his incredible season-opener game against the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, in which he threw seven TD’s in a rout. The comparisons to Tom Brady’s 2007 campaign to an undefeated regular season were drawn almost immediately, but can Peyton match Brady’s record year? Peyton has thrown for over 500 yards more than Brady through the first 10 games of the season, but Brady usually isn’t on the top when it comes to passing yards. This year, the Broncos 3.6 yards-per-rush average ranks 28th in the league while the 2007 Patriots ranked 10th in the league with 4.6 yards-per-rush. This has forced Peyton to account for over 78% of his teams total yards while Brady only accounted for 70%.

Yardage aside, the main statistic that people are curious about is Brady’s 2007 record of 50 TD passes. To reach this, Peyton has to throw an average of over 3 TD passes each game. He has 34 TDs as of week 11, and is 16 shy of Brady’s record. In the remaining six games he needs to throw an average of 2.6 TD’s, which seems reasonable for him. On the other hand, the remaining teams that he will face have only surrendered an average of 1.4 passing TD’s per game. He only threw one passing TD against the Chiefs this past week and will play them again in two weeks, but this time in Kansas City. This rematch setting and the potential loss of Wes Welker could impact Peyton’s TD production.

Another key fact to recognize is that Tom Brady played in all 16 games, and completed the full final game against the New York Giants to seal the perfect season. Peyton does not have a perfect season to play for in the final week and he has already shown in the past that he is not motivated by statistics. If the Broncos have already locked up the #1 seed, then he may be inclined to sit for some, if not all, of the final game against Oakland and heal up for the playoffs. If this is the case, it would make the task of reaching 50 TD’s even harder with a shorter season. Then again, if the Broncos and Chiefs are still in a tight competition for the #1 seed where the loser would fall to the #5 seed (assuming another division leader doesn’t overtake them), you can guarantee Peyton will play the full 60 minutes to give his team every change to win and lock up the bye week. This would obviously give him added incentive to keep throwing and potentially beat Brady’s record.

In conclusion, he has a good chance to beat Brady’s record, but based on the remaining defenses he will face and the past history of Peyton resting in the final game, it seems unlikely he will break it. He may come very close and even tie the record, but unless he has another monster game, it looks like Brady’s record will stay intact for at least another year.

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  • DXW

    The question isn’t if, it’s when.

    He’ll put up 5 more TD’s against the Pats and another 4 against the Chiefs the following week. After that it’s just an easy cruise past 50. I bet he passes 50 in week 14.

    • Tim Dillon

      5 against the Pats? They have only given up more than 2 passing TDs in a game twice this year, against the Steelers (4) and the Panthers (3). He was also only able to throw 1 passing TD against the Chiefs when he was at home this weekend. I doubt he’ll be able to toss 4 against them in KC.

      • DXW

        They wanted to mix in the run and throw off KC’s pass rush. It’s possible they stick to that plan at Arrowhead, but you never know. You might be right. Even if they do run more, I still think he throws for at least three against them.

        I also can see him padding his stats with NE. He’s thrown for more TD’s against better defenses this year, and the Pats corners are are a mess. I don’t think they have the ability to cover all of Denver’s receivers, especially if Welker plays.

        I’d be surprised if it took to the 16th game to pass 50, but maybe that’s when it’ll happen.

        I guess we’ll see.