It’s been a few years removed now, so it’s time to look back at Peyton Manning’s incredible 2004 season.
Peyton Manning, and the entire Indianapolis Colts team, has always been a stat machine. But, 2004 would be a season that would go off the charts as far as statistical accomplishments are concerned.
The eye-opener and easily most impressive stat is his touchdown passes. Up to that time in his career, and even since then, the most touchdown passes Peyton Manning had thrown in a year was 33. Thirty-three touchdowns is a lot of touchdown passes for any quarterback in the league, in any era. That is an average of more than two touchdown passes for every game played. In 2004, Peyton Manning threw 49 touchdown passes – beating his personal best by an incredible 16 touchdowns. In a league that most teams don’t average scoring three touchdowns in a game, Manning averaged three touchdown passes in a game for that season.
Another factor in the 2004 season for Manning was that he threw for over 4500 yards. The NFL has for a long time been a league where the very good to great quarterbacks are the passers who can consistently amass over 3,000 yards passing in a season. Manning proved he was at the top of the quarterback chart when he threw for one-and-a-half times what a quarterback who is merely “very good” or “great” would throw for.
With all those extra yards came another stat topper, for the season Manning averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt. In a game where you need ten yards to get a first down, Manning was coming close to averaging that – not on every pass completion… but on every pass attempt.
Manning threw ten interceptions during the 2004 season. No quarterback likes to throw interceptions, but they are part of the game. If you look at the season immediately prior to this magical year, Manning threw for 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. One year later he had increased his touchdowns by 20 and left his interceptions at the exact same number.
2004 also brought Manning his highest completion percentage to date. Manning’s 67.4 pct completion percentage meant that less than one of every three passes he attempted fell to the ground incomplete.
It is hard to imagine seeing another statistical year from a quarterback rivaling the 2004 season that Peyton Manning put together, but then again… as long as number 18 is still suiting up – anything is possible.