Who Has The Best Shot At Breaking Peyton Manning's New Career TD Mark?
If you don't count Peyton's lost 2011 season, he's averaged 31 touchdowns per year for his career. In his first three seasons, however, Peyton threw for 26, 26, and 33 scores, for an average of 28 per year over that period. Andrew Luck already averages 25 touchdowns per year (if you count rushing TDs) and he's not even halfway done with his third season in the NFL (but on pace to score over 40). What are the chances he breaks Peyton's record of 510-and-counting?
To give you an idea of just how steep the task will be of amassing TDs at Peyton's historic rate, here's a bunch of weird lines courtesy of The New York Times.
— The Upshot (@UpshotNYT) October 20, 2014
What Luck has going for him, is the NFL's trend of becoming more conducive to passer safety and passing touchdowns. Over the last nine seasons, the number of 40-50 TD seasons has exploded, with the average season total for the league's leader being 42. Prior to 2004, when Peyton threw for 42 on the dot, a quarterback had only accumulated more than 42 scores in a season once, in 1986 (Dan Marino). If Luck rides this wave into the next 15 years, he could very well average in close to 40 TDs a season, which would put him near 700 for his career.
Obviously, all this success precludes Luck does not get hurt -- but the position is undoubtedly getting safer with each year. Who knows, 15 years from now, rule changes might skew stats to the point that 50 TD seasons are commonplace, rendering Peyton's record meaningless. That is, of course, only if Peyton isn't still around throwing 'em.
Photo via Getty
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