On Thursday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts, Tom Brady threw his 500th career touchdown pass, just the 3rd player to ever do so.

On Monday Night Football, Drew Brees eclipsed Peyton Manning for the most career passing yards in NFL history and will become the 4th to throw for 500 touchdowns against the Ravens after the Saints’ bye week.

Currently Peyton Manning owns the record for touchdowns with 539 and is now second in yards with 71,940. But what separates the NFL from other sports is that the playoffs don’t count in these stats.

If the NFL included playoff games, then Tom Brady threw his 500th touchdown back on November 20, 2016 and Drew Brees eclipsed 71,940 yards during last season’s week 9 game in Buffalo.

If we include the playoffs, then the top 5 all time passing leaders list looks a little bit different.

1. Peyton Manning 79,279 (+7,339)

2. Brett Favre 77,693 (+5,855)

3. Tom Brady 77,644 (+10,226)

4. Drew Brees 76,312 (+4,209)

5. Dan Marino 65,871 (+4,510)

Though the top 5 remains the same (there’s still nearly 8,000 yards between Marino and #6 Big Ben), the order and space between them is totally different. Manning now leads by 1,600 yards over Favre, and Tom Brady moves into third on the back of his over 10,000 playoff yards. Brees is now solidly in 4th.

With touchdown passes, the difference is even more striking. Tom Brady has thrown 71 playoff touchdown passes. Drew Brees has an extra 29 touchdowns himself, despite playing in 13 playoff games compared to Brady’s 37.

Including playoffs, the touchdown leaders look like this.

1. Peyton Manning 579 (+40)

2. Tom Brady 571 (+71)

3. Brett Favre 552 (+44)

4. Drew Brees 528 (+29)

5. Dan Marino 452 (+32)

Again, the top 5 is the same, but the order is shaken up. Brady is now within 3 or 4 games of breaking Manning’s record and Favre has a much larger cushion between himself and Brees. Oh, and the gap between Marino and #6 Big Ben is a whopping 85 touchdowns.

Obviously both Tom Brady and Drew Brees are automatic first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. They are two of the best to ever throw a football. And as we celebrate these records being broken and these milestones being reached, we should also remember that these two players are even better than their stats make them seem.

As their careers come to a close, whenever that may be, they will continue to chase one another throw for throw and snap for snap. And we may even be lucky enough to see these two greats face off in one last Super Bowl before the golden generation of NFL quarterbacks finally gives way to the next generation.


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Photo Credit: Associated Press, Getty Images, NBC Sports, Sun Herald

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