Peyton Manning has been breaking NFL records like a bad DJ this season. Facing an understaffed, 29th-ranked passing defense this week in the Philadelphia Eagles (and safety Patrick Chung is doubtful), there is no reason not to expect Manning won’t at least scratch the surface of a few more in week four.
The two records that make the most sense for Manning to break this Sunday is the most consecutive passes completed in a single game, held by David Carr and Mark Brunell with 22, and the most passes completed in a single game, which was set by Drew Brees at 45.
Last week, Manning completed 32 of his 37 passes against the second-ranked passing defense in the Oakland Raiders – and he didn’t even play most of the fourth quarter. The way he manipulated the defense at the line of scrimmage, it appeared every throw was a wide-open completion for five or six yards.
The Eagles’ defense has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 67.2 of their passes so far this season, and with a mediocre running attack it would not be a surprise to see Manning and the Denver Broncos’ offense supplant the running game with short crossing routes and screen plays to spread the field. Not only is this an extremely efficient way for Manning to open the game, but also a easy way for him to rack up completions.
The way the Manning has the Broncos’ offense operating lately, there really isn’t an “unbreakable” record. Kurt Warner threw for the most passing yards in one half with 374 yards in 2008. Even more historic, Norm Van Brock threw for 554 yards in one game in 1951. Any one of Peyton’s all-pro receivers could break a 50-plus yard run after the catch at any time, and if the Eagles’ defense can’t stop the passing attack, there is no reason for Broncos’ offensive coordinator Adam Gase to stop putting the ball in the air.
Moreover, with the return of Champ Bailey, the Broncos’ defense should be playing at a much higher level and could force a number of turnovers versus the fickle Eagles team, allowing Peyton and the offense additional opportunities.
Record or no record, this season could likely cement Manning as the best quarterback ever. Especially for Broncos’ fans, every game is historic.
Written by John Spina, follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @jsspina24.