FavreWatch: Peyton Manning and history

Brett Favre.

Ha! Got you to look.

Actually, this post presumes that Favre remains retired and never plays another game. (Tricky, I know. But it seems a reasonable bet at this point.) Would his NFL records be safe? Or will Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning surpass him?

That question has new merit now that Manning has undergone his second neck surgery in the past 15 months. Manning told the Indianapolis Star that the most recent procedure was unrelated to the first, and all indications are that he will be ready to resume full activity when the season is scheduled to begin in September. But the bottom line is that Manning is a 35-year-old quarterback who now has a history of neck problems.

If Favre remains retired, Manning will lead active NFL quarterbacks in completions, attempts, yards and touchdown passes. As the chart below shows, he would need to play at least four more seasons and produce at his current levels in order to best Favre's current records in those categories.

In confirming Manning's second surgery, Colts owner Jim Irsay said: "He has a great chance to play five years. He's such a tough guy, takes care of himself and really, really works hard."

At the very least, Manning will need to be a 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown quarterback at age 38 for him to get within striking distance. If the NFL moves to an 18-game season before then, obviously, the conversation would change.