Sunday night Peyton Manning surpassed Brett Favre to become the NFL’s all-time touchdown passing leader. He now sits at 510 touchdowns thrown through the air, an astronomical number that will only continue to grow as this season, and the final years of his career continue. Assuming he plays for four more years and averages around 30 TDs a year, (a stat that could be low or high considering that the man is 38 years old) he could finish with around 620 touchdowns. At the very least I think he is guaranteed 600. So when does Manning become the best QB of all time? This is a very real and controversial question considering that one’s legacy is measured first and foremost by rings, followed by stats. He is without a doubt one of top five best regular-season* quarterbacks of all time, but having that asterisk by your name seems to imply some sort of inadequacy in your legacy.
As hard as it is to believe, we live in a world where Eli Manning has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning. No one in their right mind would argue that Eli has been a better quarterback than his brother; rather this is more of an indicator as to how much of a crapshoot the post-season can be. Eli’s Giants beat Brady’s undefeated Patriots the first time around, a win that probably shouldn’t have happened. This is the effect of having a one-and-done style post-season. Now, while football is much harder on the body than the other three major sports, a lack of a five or seven game series leaves a lot more to chance than to consistent skill.
So, this considered, what would allow us to comfortably consider Peyton the best quarterback of all time? I think reaching 600 career touchdowns is a must, and a very reachable goal. Most importantly, however, is post-season success. If he can win another Super Bowl, and especially two, before the end of his career, I think that it would be safe to put Manning at number one. Now this is a lot of speculation about what’s left in the tank for an older quarterback, but as Manning proved Sunday, he is anything but over-rated.Add a comment