Only twice in NFL history has a quarterback thrown for 50 or more touchdowns in a season. Only 10 times has a quarterback thrown more than 40.
Only once has a quarterback repeated a 40-touchdown season the next year (Drew Brees, 2011-2012).
That's why we're asking whether you think Peyton Manning can achieve that rare feat: two 40-plus-TD seasons, two years in a row.
Consider that, in 2004, when Peyton Manning first broke the passing record, he threw for 49 TDs. The next year, 2005, he threw for a mere 28. Similarly, in 2007, Tom Brady broke that record by throwing for 50 TDs. The next season, he threw 0, due to his season-ending knee injury in the opening game. The following year, he threw for 28.
There's a natural drop-off expected the year after shattering passing records, but the good news is that the Denver Broncos are still maintaining the pieces to an elite offense. They have kept Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Wes Welker; they welcome back healthy All Pro left tackle Ryan Clady; they even return their offensive coordinator Adam Gase. For the most part, this is the same offense that broke league and franchise scoring and yardage records in 2013.
Plus, Manning looks as good as ever.
"The guy never ceases to amazes you," coach John Fox said on the first day of camp. "I went out and looked at him today. He looks as good physically as I've ever seen him, and that dates back a while with me. He is tremendous and continues to get better and better."
I'm taking the over. With a tip of my cap to Floyd Little, I'm betting on Manning throwing 44 touchdowns in 2014, and I'll be happy with that. What do you think?
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.