Sorry, Brett Favre, but as much as I admire your game, this article is not about to boost your ego.
Don't get me wrong, Favre and the Vikings look very good right now. They're 6-0. He has 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions, and, quite honestly, I can't remember a time when he played better.
But this isn't a knock on Favre, anyway.
Favre just turned 40, and while we still will have to wait all the way until training camp next year to be sure, there's a good chance that this truly is his last season in the NFL.
With that thought in mind, it gets me, a fan of stats and legends, thinking about his mark on the game.
He put defenses in constant fear over the year in Green Bay, racked up enough stats to make Fran Tarkenton wince, Dan Fouts start wetting his bed again, and Johnny Unitas to roll over in his grave.
I remember even joking to a friend one time, upon Favre breaking yet another one of Dan Marino's all-time records, "Prepare the noose, Dan. Prepare the noose."
We thought it was sadistically humorous to imply that Marino, who never won a Super Bowl, would have nothing left to live for if all of his records had been surpassed.
This may or may not hold up.
Regardless, even the great Brett Favre will live to see these same records that he now owns land in the books under someone else's name.
And quite undoubtedly, that "someone else" is going to be Peyton Manning.
No other quarterback is even close in any of the major categories. Most of the passers who are even slightly involved in the topic of discussion would have to average over 35 scores and 5,000 yards a season until they were 40 to even sniff the records.
And you can even add to those averages if Manning increases the lead on those numbers before his career ends.
But there is one record, one that cannot be matched. One that very well could stand the test of time.
No, not the touchdowns. While Favre's touchdown total (currently 476) could crack 500 if he played another season (and he just might), Manning is still only 131 scores behind the future Hall of Famer. If he averages 26 touchdowns for the next six years, he'd catch Favre's current numbers, and if he played until he was 40, like Favre, he'd likely smash it.
So, no, unless Manning retires early, drops off big-time in talent, or sustains an injury, Favre's touchdown record (as glorious as it is), won't last but five or six years.
How about the remarkable consecutive start streak? Manning's got some ground to cover, buy he can get that, too.
Manning is currently the only person threatening Favre's heralded streak, as he hasn't missed a single game since his rookie season in 1998, starting 181 straight games.
Favre has started 279 straight games at the time of this article, putting Manning a solid 98 games behind. However, if Manning keeps his ridiculous string of games up like Favre did for his entire career, he could catch Favre seven years from now, at 41.
So, while Manning will need a lot of luck, he can still get there. Of course, this is assuming both players finished all 16 games this season, Favre doesn't play again next year, and Manning actually plays into his 40s.
How about the yards, the completions, the attempts? At the rate Manning goes, he should easily pass these marks if he plays until he's 40 and keeps up his current production.
But, of course, there are no guarantees. There is no certainty that this is Brett Favre's final season, that Manning will play until he's 40, keep up his insane production, or never get hurt over the next possible five to six seasons. After all, Manning isn't quietly climbing the record trail behind Favre as a nimble 27-year-old. He's 33, and he'll be 34 this coming March.
Still, the point is that obtaining these records, at least for Manning, is possible.
But there is still one record that Favre can be rest assured will be his to keep, possibly for the rest of his life, and even likely for as long as the NFL exists.
His interception total.
He's only thrown two this season (kudos, Brett), but he still has 10 games (at the minimum) to add to his growing legend of 312 picks, and if he plays another season, that numbers only grows.
Don't think it's unbreakable?
George Blanda is second in the career interception rankings with 277. And it took 32 years for it to be broken.
The next 26 quarterbacks in line who are even remotely close to approaching this infamous record are retired and/or too old to come back to add to their forgettable stat.
The next closest guy, Kerry Collins, has just 187, and at 36 years old, is likely finished as a starter after this season, anyways.
In other words, if there's someone who is ever going to have the opportunity to throw that many reckless, gunslinger passes and toss 300-plus interceptions, he either just started his career, is in college, or hasn't been born yet.
But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. George Blanda even said, after Favre broke his record, that the high amount of interceptions meant you were a risk-taker, and the fact that you team still wanted you to play despite the turnovers was a testament to just how important you were to their success.
Touché, Mr. Blanda.
That does make sense. However, it's very difficult to believe any future GM or coach will sit through a career of interceptions like Favre's unless they can produce the wins, touchdowns, and yardage Favre did.
They better have some personality, too.
With teams like the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and Cleveland Browns getting down on young quarterbacks or constantly thinking about "starting over" at the position, it just isn't realistic to think a young quarterback could start his career off with enough interception juice and actually last long enough as a starter to even sniff this record.
Just ask Mark Sanchez. Ten picks in, and the city of New York is already calling for his head.
Perhaps, while Favre's interceptions have him viewed as careless, reckless, and overrated by many, that stat is the most telling number of all of his accomplishments.
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