It took Drew Brees just over a half of Monday Night Football in Week 14 to break one of the NFL’s most impressive records. Coming into the matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, Brees was primed to move ahead of both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for most touchdown passes in a career.
Brees threw two scores before halftime to tie Manning’s 539 career passing touchdowns. In turn, he passed Brady, who of course still plays for the New England Patriots and sits with 538 following Week 15 of the 2019 NFL season. Just prior to the end of the second quarter, it appeared Brees had passed Manning, but his touchdown pass was called back for offensive pass interference.
Once the third quarter began, Brees wasted little time jumping Manning and throwing touchdown No. 540 which can be seen below, courtesy of the NFL.
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Drew Brees’ New NFL Record Will Be Tough to Break
With Brees moving ahead of Manning and Brady, the current top-10 features just four players with more than 500 touchdown passes and five total with north of 400, per Pro Football Reference.
*Still playing in NFL
- 1. Drew Brees: 540*
- 2. Peyton Manning: 539
- 3. Tom Brady: 538*
- 4. Brett Favre: 508
- 5. Dan Marino: 420
- 6. Philip Rivers: 395*
- 7. Eli Manning: 366*
- 8. Ben Roethlisberger: 363*
- 9. Aaron Rodgers: 362*
- 10. Fran Tarkenton: 342
Brees also holds the NFL record for passing yards, completions and completion percentage to go along with touchdown passes.
Barring Brady moving back ahead of Brees and then holding off the 40-year-old signal-caller, there may be no realistic option who can jump him, at least in the near future. Brady has made it known that he’s not planning to retire anytime soon, so the battle for the top spot could push on for a few more seasons.
One noteworthy aspect of the Brees vs. Brady battle for this record is that the latter is currently on pace to finish the season with one of the lowest touchdown marks of his career. Through 14 games, Brady has thrown 21 touchdowns, meaning he may finish around his other career lows which came in 2005 (26 touchdowns), 2013 (25), 2006 (25), 2003 (23) and 2001 (18).
Regardless of Brady’s numbers this season, it’s tough to bet against one of the best signal-callers in NFL history. The fact he’s also played with a mediocre wide receiver corps which features little experience outside of Julian Edelman is also worth mentioning.
Drew Brees Continues Torrid Touchdown Pace With Saints
The consistency and dominance Brees has shown throughout his career, specifically with the Saints, has been more than a bit impressive. Dating back to the 2008 season, Brees has thrown 32 or more touchdowns in every season but one. He’ll almost certainly finish the 2019 season below that mark, but that stems from the fact that he missed five games due to injury.
During that same 11-year stretch (not including this season), Brees threw 34 or more touchdowns six times and tallied 46 in 2011 and 43 in 2012. There’s an argument to be made that Brees is also getting better with age, as he’s completed 70 percent of his passes or more in each of the past four seasons, including a mark of 74.4 percent in 2018.