One record that's set in stone

Brett Favre has set a number of major NFL records in his Hall of Fame career. Although many of them probably will be broken some day,'s Matt Tevsh explains why one of those records will never be broken.

While the Packers announced this week that they will officially retire Brett Favre's jersey No. 4 at some point next season, the NFL might want to consider retiring another number associated with the legendary quarterback because it will never be seen again, either.

That number is 288.

For as untouchable as Favre's consecutive games played streak seems, or for the gaudy numbers of touchdown passes (442), pass attempts (8,758), pass completions (5,377), and passing yards (61,655) he put up during his 17-year career, the contention here is that Favre's career interceptions "record" will forever stand alone.

A quarterback today would never stick as a starter long enough to even come close to throwing 288 interceptions. He would be benched long before that, and if he was lucky enough to see the field ever again, throwing interceptions in such high quantities would most certainly put him out of the league for good.

That Favre lasted through so many errors in the passing game is a testament to who he is, what he overcame, and how much patience and trust his coaching staff had in him.

It is almost flawed logic to suggest as much, but Favre's career interceptions total might be his most telling statistic.

As much as Favre's 253 consecutive games played have canonized him, it, like his other career records, at least has a chance to be broken. Of all active quarterbacks, the Colts' Peyton Manning is a decent bet to surpass Favre.

Manning, who will turn 32 on Monday, is 10 years into an NFL career that shows no signs of slowing up. With continued good health, a quick release that limits his hits, and the long-term prospects of the Colts, Manning has everything right in front of him. Should he continue on his current productive pace, he would pass Favre in touchdown passes and passing yards when he is 36 (the 2012 season), consecutive games played and completions when he is 37 (2013), and pass attempts and total wins when he is 38 (2014). All could be reasonably attained.

To pass Favre in interceptions, however, does not seem reasonable. In fact, it is the most unlikely statistic to be broken. If Manning would continue to throw his average of 15.3 interceptions per season, he would have to play until he was 40 (18 seasons in the NFL) to surpass Favre. Hardly any of the game's legends at quarterback have played until 40. Favre retired this month at 38 years old, an oddity in an increasingly younger league.

Manning is fourth on the active list for career interceptions with 153. The other two ahead of him are 35-year old Kerry Collins with 172 and 44-year old Vinny Testaverde with 267.

Testaverde came out of retirement this past season to play for the Panthers, but it is unlikely he will do the same again next season or even play enough to surpass Favre's interception total.

The Patriots' Tom Brady is the only other active quarterback who has a realistic chance to match any of Favre's career numbers, not including interceptions. The Saints' Drew Brees (28 years old), the Bengals' Carson Palmer (28), and the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (25) have slim, outside shots.

Favre, more than any of the others, always seemed to get a free pass when it came to interceptions. It was for good reason. He was just too damn tough and too damn competitive to ever sit down. That is why their will never be another player like him, or another quarterback "fortunate" enough to throw so many interceptions.

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