It was fitting that Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s career record for touchdown passes Sunday on a night when Manning picked apart the 49ers defense early and often.
Manning, who has made a living out of shredding opposing defenses and putting up eye-popping numbers, came in needing two touchdown passes to tie Brett Favre’s career record and three to break it. In characteristic fashion, Manning tied the record in the first quarter and broke it before halftime.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Manning Was 3 Shy of the Record Heading Into Sunday
Manning entered the game with 506 career TD passes. He hadn’t thrown fewer than 2 touchdowns in any game this season, making it a virtual certainty that he’d at least tie the record.
“I know it’s not like the home run record,” Manning said. “It’s a different deal, but if you like quarterbacks like I do, you have an appreciation. It hit me, my dad played with Fran Tarkenton. It hit the different generations of our family’s favorite players. I remember my grandfather talking about Sammy Baugh. Johnny Unitas was my dad’s favorite player. Dan Marino was my favorite player.”
2.The Niners Defense Had Been Good for Most of the Year
According to ESPN, only two quarterbacks have thrown three touchdown passes against the 49ers since the start of the 2013 season and no team has allowed fewer such games than the Niners in that time.
Also, the 49ers had gone 14 consecutive road games, including the playoffs, without allowing more than two TD passes, which is tied for the longest such active streak.
3. Manning Has Struggled Against San Francisco Throughout Career
Manning has dominated almost every team in the NFL throughout his NFL career, but San Francisco always seems to present challenges. Manning only five career TD passes against San Francisco in four career games, tied for his fewest scoring passes against any opponent, along with Carolina (in four games), Cleveland (six games) and St. Louis (three games).
The 49ers are also one of just two teams, Cleveland being the other, against which Manning has thrown more interceptions than TDs, 6-5. He has a 5-7 INT to TD ratio against the Browns.
4. Favre Doesn’t Care About the Record
Favre said he didn’t care about the record when asked about it earlier this week.
“Oh, well,” Favre said live on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning. “I don’t really care to be honest with you and I mean that with no disrespect. I think the world of Peyton. I’m not surprised that he’s going to break it.”
Manning however, said he still has the utmost respect for Favre.
“The one thing about Favre was, I’m not sure every player wishes they could say they played with as much passion as he did,” Manning said. “It’s something I try to do more. It’s a reminder that you miss watching him play.”
5. NBC Posted Compilation Videos Before the Game
But NBC has already compiled a video where one can watch crammed footage of all 506 of Manning’s touchdowns in 30 seconds.
There is also a six-second Vine to honor Manning’s achievement (above).