Tom Brady is closing in on Peyton Manning's record
Once called unbreakable by Manning himself, Brady is within touching distance of an ever elusive record.
The legendary quarterback is within touching distance of a rather elusive record, but when all is said and done, that's what he does
Tom Brady is chasing Peyton Manning's record
During his glittering 22-year career, Tom Brady has broken a numerous NFL records, however, there is one record that remains just out of reach still. Should he actually manage to break it, he will surely leave no doubt as to who the greatest of all time is. The record in question belongs to Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who himself once stated that the record was unbreakable when he retired from the NFL after the 2015 season.
As for the specifics of the milestone itself? Its the record for the most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver duo in NFL history. Currently held by Manning and Marvin Harrison, who combined for 114 touchdowns during their time together in Indianapolis. The tally consisted of 112 TDs in the regular season and two in the postseason.
Manning may have to eat his words
It was back in March 2016 when Manning held a press conference to officially announce his retirement. At the time he was asked if he thought any of his records would stand the test of time and he singled out his record with Harrison. "I think many records will be broken - most of my records will be broken - I don't believe that record that me and Marvin have of throwing the most touchdowns together will ever be broken," Manning said. Brady it seems has had other ideas. Having broken many records across his career, Tampa Bay's star QB is now closing in on Manning's 'unbreakable' record and if he manages to do it, the feat will be accomplished with the man himself, Rob Gronkowski.
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Brady and the Gronk
With his two touchdown passes to Gronkowksi in Week 13, Brady and his Buccaneers teammates now have a combined total of 104 touchdowns (90 in the regular season and 14 in the postseason). While the sticklers for details will argue that it's not likely that Brady and Gronk will break the regular-season mark, they are most definitely in the running to surpass Manning and Harrison's overall total of 114. In order to break the overall record, Brady and Gronk need to combine for just 11 more touchdowns. The prospect of the achievement is made all the more probable by the fact that it seems like Gronk just can't stop scoring this year. The Buccaneers tight end has scored six touchdowns in just seven games. With that kind of rate, it surely won't be a stretch for the pair to turn in another four touch downs in their remaining five games.
Should that be the case, Brady's total TD count with Gronk would arrive at 108. They would then have the playoffs to add to their total. Between the regular season and playoffs, if Gronk and Brady combine for just five more total touchdowns this year, that would put them at 109 and they would need just six more to break the record. That of course would mean that the record would have to be broken in 2022.
Are Brady and Gronk back in 2022?
If the record is to fall it will obviously require that both players are present and playing together once again. Where Brady is concerned, it seems more or less assured. Brady's current contract runs through the 2022 season and more importantly he's been very open about the fact that he wants to complete his deal. Some have said that should the Bucs clinch the Super Bowl, Brady might look towards retirement, however, if indeed they do, Brady would be presented with the chance to achieve something no other player has ever done, which is win three straight Super Bowls.
Concerning Gronk, his brother stated in September that the tight end will probably play as long as Brady does, so if Brady is coming back next season, then you can expect that Gronk will follow suit. If that proves to be the case then it's all but assured that Brady and Gronk will break the elusive record held by Manning and Harrison. While it won't be an easy task to break the regular-season record, the pair will have 22 games in which to post the 22 remaining touch downs required - five games this year and 17 next year. Now it's simply a matter of time before what was.