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PI Finds: Manning’s 2009 Topped Only By 2004

Posted by Neil Paine on October 26, 2009

In Peyton Manning's impressive career, his 2004 campaign stands out above all the rest -- that year, he broke Dan Marino's 20-year-old record for TD passes in a season (a record since eclipsed by Tom Brady), and led the league in yards per attempt, passer rating, and net yards (pass yards minus sacks) per dropback. According to Chase's yards above average metric, Manning's 2004 ranks as the 2nd-best season by a quarterback in NFL history.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because Manning '09 is nipping at Manning '04's heels. Following the Colts' 42-6 demolition of the Rams (a game in which he could have had his 6th straight 300-yard game to open the season had the Colts not called off the passing attack for sportsmanship reasons), Manning's current 6-game numbers trail only his 2004 stats in terms of sheer aerial greatness:

Rk Player Age Year Tm W L Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int AY/A
1 Peyton Manning 28 2004 CLT 4 2 131 196 66.8% 1689 17 3 9.66
2 Peyton Manning 33 2009 CLT 6 0 156 215 72.6% 1880 15 4 9.30
3 Peyton Manning 30 2006 CLT 6 0 131 206 63.6% 1620 12 2 8.59
4 Peyton Manning 31 2007 CLT 6 0 138 202 68.3% 1578 11 3 8.23
5 Peyton Manning 24 2000 CLT 4 2 145 227 63.9% 1882 12 7 7.96
6 Peyton Manning 27 2003 CLT 5 1 139 203 68.5% 1593 12 5 7.92
7 Peyton Manning 23 1999 CLT 4 2 123 209 58.9% 1679 13 8 7.56
8 Peyton Manning 29 2005 CLT 6 0 118 177 66.7% 1314 9 4 7.42
9 Peyton Manning 25 2001 CLT 3 3 132 200 66.0% 1625 12 9 7.30
10 Peyton Manning 26 2002 CLT 4 2 149 226 65.9% 1584 10 8 6.30
11 Peyton Manning 32 2008 CLT 3 3 136 224 60.7% 1531 8 7 6.14
12 Peyton Manning 22 1998 CLT 1 5 113 210 53.8% 1364 6 14 4.07

In terms of career 6-game starts, Manning's '09 ranks 1st in completion %, 1st in Y/A, 2nd in yards, 2nd in TD, 2nd in passer rating, and 2nd in adjusted YPA. What's even more amazing is that this a 33-year-old Manning we're seeing carve up defenses, not a 28-year-old one. It's going to be entertaining to watch Manning attack opponents -- and his 2004 numbers -- over the course of this season.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 3:00 pm and is filed under PI Finds. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.