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The TD Record Won’t Change Manning’s Legacy

Peyton Manning will set the record for the most NFL touchdowns thrown in a career either this Sunday night or on Thursday night.

Peyton Manning will set the record for the most NFL touchdowns thrown in a career either this Sunday night or on Thursday night.

Both games are on national TV; hence, NFL America will be able to join in on the coronation.

Manning, the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback, is just three touchdowns shy of breaking Brett Favre's mark of 508 .

Manning threw three TDs against the New York Jets this past Sunday in a victory. Manning, 38, now has a career 506 touchdowns.


The crazy thing about NFL records is that nobody knew Favre's magic number and won't remember Manning's mark once he calls it quits.


Nonetheless, Manning will get the record and have a confetti shower. NFL analysts will fawn all over this and tell you have great he is. Some fans will jump for joy and tell their friends that Manning is the best-ever QB.

Even Favre has gotten into the pre-record hype, giving Manning a ringing endorsement. "I'm glad it's Peyton that's doing it," Favre told the AP recently. "I think a lot of Peyton. I know him well. I know his family well. His dad was one of my idols."

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Still, it will be hard for some to proclaim Manning as the greatest ever. That comes easily when talking about Mohammad Ali and Michael Jordan.


In Manning's case, some have given him the title as the greatest regular-season quarterback.

But that tag is a copout. You never heard that title for Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez when they had great regular seasons but terrible postseasons.


That's the tag Manning can't shake. For all the TDs and wins in the regular season, Manning has been an average joe when the lights are brightest. He's 11-12 lifetime in the playoffs, losing four of his last six postseason games, throwing 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in those games. 

Manning had an epic fail in yet another big game – a 43-8 Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey back in February.

Let's face it. Coming in, the Super Bowl was all about Manning.

After all, it appeared Manning, a quarterback machine like never seen before, was all but done a few years ago after neck surgery, a missed season and being dumped by the Indianapolis Colts.

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Manning, Messiah for Broncos' fans, had a chance to do what most never thought possible, to tie his remarkable career in a bow.



Better yet, silence all his postseason critics and cement his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.


But to have done that, Manning would have had to play well. It didn't happen. Instead, Manning was brutal, throwing two interceptions, including a back-breaking pick-six with less than four minutes to go in the first half.

"It's not embarrassing," Manning said after his latest postseason debacle. "Embarrassing is an insult word."

For all the great moments we have seen from Manning, it was still hard to shake the bad moments, the blunders and the huge disappointing moments when he blew it in the postseason.

This added to the legend of Bad post-season Peyton.


Fans, even the hometown fans that love him, had to flashback to the Super Bowl against the New Orleans Saints when Manning threw that pick-six. Instead of a game-tying drive for the Colts, Manning secured the Saints' 14-point victory.

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Some will always say it isn't just the quarterback who wins or loses the game. Yeah, we get it.

Nonetheless, this is a quarterback league. They get the most hype, the most loot and the most blame. It comes with the territory.

Hence, it was only fitting that Manning got beat up his producing just eight points. He wrote another chapter in his legacy of failing in the postseason. He's 1-2 in Super Bowls.


The bottom line is that Manning needs that second Super Bowl championship. I've always said when it comes to championships that anybody can win just one.


The second one confirms that it wasn't a fluke. That the stars simply didn’t align and you just happened to be under center.

Joe Montana won four Super Bowls, throwing 11 TDs and no interceptions. That's a legend, a legacy not up for debate.

The same can't be said about Manning – even with the NFL all-time touchdown record in hand.

At least not yet.

Rob Parker is a columnist for The Shadow League. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles. He co-hosts The Odd Couple on Fox Sports Radio and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.