Monday, December 16, 2019

Drew Brees Breaks the All-Time NFL Passing Touchdown Record—Or Not?

By John Turney

Tonight Drew Brees passed Peyton Manning in career touchdown passes. It's a worthy accomplishment. He certainly earned it.
But we have to ask, why shouldn't we also consider the interceptions returned for touchdowns by opponents—the pick 6s? If so, we'd have net touchdowns.

If so, the leaderboard chart (plus rushing touchdowns added in for good measure) would look more like this—
Net touchdowns (as of mid-3rd Quarter on the 12/16/2019 NFL game)
Passing touchdowns rushing touchdowns minus pick 6s
Tom Brady = 538 + 22 - 13 pick 6s = 547
Drew Brees = 541 + 23 - 27 pick 6s = 537

Peyton Manning =5 39 + 18 - 27 pick 6s = 530

So, Brees is certainly #1 in passing touchdowns, but he has some work yet left to do to catch Tom Brady in net touchdowns.


  1. I wonder which QB threw the most pick six interceptions All time ?

  2. Thanks John...figured it had to be a player who played a long time.

  3. question:
    when Johnny U. died in 2002 it was pointed out in at least one column that (because of changes to the game) he still held the record for the most td passes over 30 yards...over 40 yards...and over 50 interested in what those lists look like in 2019....?

  4. 50+ yd TD pass: Unitas leads with 51. Peyton Manning and John Handl are tied for second with 46. Closest current player is Tom Brady with
    40+ yd TD pass: Unitas& Peyton Manning share the record with 70. Closest current player is Drew Brees with 69.
    30+ yd TD pass: Unitas is third all time with 108. Peyton Manning leads with 121 and Drew Brees is second with 113.

  5. Johnny always went deep to loosen the defence, something today's strong arm QBs need to do more often, but they all worry too much about interceptions or stats. Though Montana was the best to me, Unitas was the best to ever call his own plays.

  6. Does the statistic for lost fumbles returned for TDs exist? Should that be a part of the net formula as well or not?

    1. It does not exisit and yes, if he had it, it would be useful to incorporate----

    2. Moon, Krieg, Favre or Bledsoe ?

      Does Montana have the fewest lost fumbles relative to games played ?
      I also wonder which QB has the best winning pct, playing on the road ? I thought Montana, but Brady, Staubach, Graham and Lamonica have cases as well...