In an interview with IAOFM Patron Saint Tom Jackson on ESPN's SB pregame show, John Elway said he expects Peyton Manning will "break all of the [NFL's career passing] records."
What might Elway have meant?
Was it just a casual statement or throwaway line? Perhaps.
But there could also be some truth to Elway's comment, and would it surprise anyone to learn that Peyton aspires to retire with the all-time records for yards, touchdowns, completions, attempts, and wins?
Let's just take a quick peek at where Manning stands in each of those categories, and how long it might take him to break each of Brett Favre's records. It goes without saying that each time assumption depends upon Peyton staying healthy:
- Manning is 6,874 yards shy of Favre's mark; it should take parts of two seasons for Peyton to get there
- He needs only 17 touchdowns to tie Favre, so the record should fall quite early in 2014
- Peyton is 768 completions behind Favre; at his Denver pace, that mark is most of two seasons away
- Favre attempted 1,717 more passes than Manning has; not sure how important this record is (completions should matter a lot more), but this would require Peyton to play three more seasons
- Appropriately, QB wins are an unofficial stat. But if Peyton cares about that one, he's 19 behind Favre. Obviously, he can't break that record in 2014.
If Elway's statement reflects Manning's goals, that would suggest Peyton plans to play at least another two seasons.
Taking that a step further, if Peyton intends to set those records and have them last for more than a few years, then he may have to play out the three years on his Broncos contract.
Tom Brady isn't likely a threat to match any of Manning's career marks, given that he's only a year younger than Peyton, who is comfortably ahead of Brady in every category.
But at three years Peyton's junior, it's realistic that Drew Brees could catch his close friend in the record books.
Again, Elway's comment could have little or no meaning to it.
Our wild guess is that Manning intends to play another two years before hanging it up, but of course, we'd love to see him play out his deal.