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The Odds Against Peyton Manning's 7 TD Performance

September 7, 2013

Ryan Michael

On opening night of the 2013 NFL season, Peyton Manning tied a league record by throwing seven touchdown passes in the Denver Broncos' 49-27 demolition of theBaltimore Ravens on Thursday.

It's a feat so close to impossible that it's only happened five other times in the past 94 years: Sid Luckman in 1943, Adrian Burk in 1954, George Blanda in 1961 (AFL), Y.A. Tittle in 1962 and Joe Kapp in 1969.

From 1969 to 2012, no quarterback was ever able to reach that feat—not Roger Staubach, not Dan Fouts, not Joe Montana, not Dan Marino, not John Elway, not Drew Brees, not Tom Brady—no one.

How difficult is it to throw seven touchdown passes in a game? Consider that 43 years and 342 days have passed since Kapp's record performance.

Since Sept. 28, 1969:

  • There have been 9,316 NFL regular-season games played.
  • There have been 426 NFL postseason games played.

Counting Thursday night's season opener, that's a total of 9,743 games played since a quarterback last threw seven touchdown passes in a game.

Multiply that total number of games played by the two quarterbacks representing each team respectively, and you have a total of 19,486 opportunities.

Out of the last 19,486 opportunities to throw seven touchdown passes, Manning is the only quarterback to have accomplished this nearly impossible feat.

Congratulations, Peyton.