The Sheriff will be remembered as one of the greatest ever
After 18 years of NFL service, future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning has decided to call it a career. The New Orleans native who went on to star at the University of Tennessee before becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft smashed numerous NFL records during his career in Indianapolis and later Denver, many of which will not fall in the foreseeable future.
As the sports world bids adieu to one of the game’s finest signal-callers, here are 18 stats that help sum up No. 18’s impressive career
71,940: Career passing yards
For non-math majors, that's 3,996 yards per season, not including the playoffs. Excluding Manning, only two other active quarterbacks populate the list of players in the top 10 of this category: Drew Brees (60,903) and Tom Brady (58,028). Add in Manning’s 7,339 yards passing in the playoffs and he’s thrown for nearly 80,000 yards in 293 total games or 270.6 yards per contest.
579: TD passes
His 539 TD tosses in the regular season are the most in NFL history, 31 more than Brett Favre. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are currently tied for third on the all-time list with 428, which leaves them 111 shy of Manning’s mark. He also connected 40 more times in the playoffs.
17: 400-yard passing games
Manning has thrown for 400 or more yards in a game 17 times in his career (including playoffs), which leads all current and retired NFL QBs. He recorded his first 400-yard game in 1999 after throwing for 404 yards against the Chargers, and last threw for 400 yards when he had 438 against the Patriots in 2014.
10,407: Total passes thrown
Manning’s 9,380 career pass attempts in the regular season trail only Brett Favre (10,169) for the most in NFL history. Manning also attempted another 1,027 passes in the playoffs. For his career, he connected on 6,774 of those 10,407 attempts or 65.1 percent.
200: Career wins
With Denver's Super Bowl 50 win over the Panthers, Manning surpassed Brett Favre to become to first QB in NFL history to reach the 200-victory milestone. Manning went 186-79 in the regular season and finished with a 14-13 mark in the playoffs.
5: NFL MVP awards
No other player in NFL history has been named MVP as many times as Manning. Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown and Brett Favre’s three MVPs rank second all-time to Manning’s five.
4: Super Bowl appearances
Manning has appeared in four Super Bowls – two with the Colts and two with the Broncos. With Denver’s win in Super Bowl 50 Manning became not only the oldest starting quarterback to win, but he also is the first to win a Lombardi Trophy with two different teams.
5: Quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 1,000 yards in the Super Bowl
While Manning may not have posted staggering numbers in Super Bowl 50, his 141 yards passing helped him eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for his career in the big game. He is one of five quarterbacks who have done so on the NFL’s biggest stage, joining Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Joe Montana and John Elway.
14: Pro Bowl appearances
Over the years, the luster of the NFL’s version of the all-star game has worn off for fans. But there was a time not too long when the Pro Bowl was highly regarded among fans and players alike. Manning has appeared in 14 Pro Bowls throughout his career. That number ties former Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Merlin Olsen, former Houston Oilers offensive lineman Bruce Matthews and former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez for the most in NFL history. Olsen and Matthews are already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, where Gonzalez and Manning are likely to join them.
32: Number of NFL teams he's defeated
Manning has defeated every team in the NFL. The only other quarterback who can boast the same feat? Brett Favre.
56: Game-winning drives
If you play for 18 seasons, you’re probably going to have no shortage of opportunities to lead your team to a come-from-behind victory. Even so, 56 in the regular season alone, which is tops in NFL history, is remarkable.
27: Interceptions returned for a touchdown
It’s no surprise that a player with as many career pass attempts as Manning (9,380 in regular season) also ranks near the top of the record book for the number of scores he’s thrown to other teams. Manning is No. 3 all-time in interceptions returned for a touchdown. He also was victimized four times in playoff games. Kevin Burnett, Ty Law and Eric Weddle also pulled off this feat twice, while Tracy Porter’s return for a score helped seal New Orleans’ win over Manning’s Indianapolis team in Super Bowl XLIV.
18: Rushing touchdowns
It’s fitting that a player as renowned for his skilled passing finished with 18 rushing touchdowns – his jersey number in Indianapolis and Denver. In addition to the 18 ground scores, he rushed for 667 yards on a career 431 carries in the regular season. In the playoffs, he found the end zone three more times on 32 carries, averaging 1.1 yards per attempt in the process.
1: Career reception
On Dec. 7, 2003 Manning logged his first and only career reception, which resulted in a two-yard loss. The Colts would go on to defeat Steve McNair’s Tennessee Titans 29-27.
373: Total number of times he was sacked
While Manning will never be mentioned in the same sentence as counterparts Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton when reminiscing about his running abilities, he has been surprisingly elusive under pressure. His 303 career sacks in the regular season (266 games) rank 44th all-time. He went down an additional 40 times in 27 career playoff games.
3-0: Record against younger brother Eli
Many who follow the NFL consider New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to be New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s kryptonite. The former is 2-0 in Super Bowls against the latter. By that standard, it’s fair to say that Peyton is Eli’s kryptonite, as big brother went 3-0 against his younger sibling.
3: Wins during his rookie season in 1998
Manning snagged the first win of his professional career on Oct. 4, 1998 with a 17-12 victory over the San Diego Chargers. He would go to win just two more games (vs. New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals) that year.
42: NCAA, SEC and school records Manning set at Tennessee
Although Manning lost the controversial 1997 Heisman Memorial Trophy to former Michigan defensive back/punt returner Charles Woodson, he left Knoxville as one of the nation’s most prolific passers. After being named the SEC’s freshman player of the year in 1994, Manning scorched numerous conference and school records during an illustrious collegiate career that culminated his senior year in 1997 with him winning the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and earning Chevrolet Player of the Year honors.
And as a bonus, here is a list of all 50 players who caught at least one touchdown pass from Manning in his career, including the playoffs. It should be no surprise that favorite targets like Class of 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Marvin Harrison (114 total), as well as Reggie Wayne (76), Dallas Clark (48) and Demaryius Thomas (41) lead the way. However, some other names on this list may surprise you.
For example, Dan Klecko, a defensive tackle who played for the Colts in 2006-07, caught as many touchdown passes from Manning as current Denver running back C.J. Anderson (two). That’s the same number that running back Ricky Williams caught. No, not the Ricky Williams that went No. 5 overall to New Orleans in the 1999 NFL Draft, but the Ricky Williams who went undrafted out of Texas Tech and saw limited action in two seasons for the Colts (2002-03).
Players Peyton Manning Threw a TD Pass to During His Career
— Written by Elton Hayes, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. A Washington, D.C.-based sports writer, Hayes is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and he also has been an invited guest on “The Paul Finebaum Show.” Follow him on Twitter @EHDC12.