If this weekend’s games go as expected, the AFC’s Super Bowl team will be quarterbacked by either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady for the eighth time in the last 12 years. So it’s no surprise that in addition to trying to get back to the Super Bowl with their teams, Manning and Brady are both closing in on some all-time NFL playoff records.
It’s also no surprise that the coach who has been to five Super Bowls with Brady, Bill Belichick, is closing in on some playoff records of his own. Here’s a look at the records that Manning, Brady and Belichick have a chance at tying or breaking in the coming weeks:
Most career postseason wins by a coach: Belichick is 17-7 in the postseason in his career, tying him with Joe Gibbs for the third-most playoff wins ever. Only Tom Landry (20) and Don Shula (19) have more, and Belichick will tie Landry for first all time if the Patriots win the Super Bowl. If the Patriots reach the Super Bowl Belichick will also tie Shula’s record for most Super Bowl appearances as a head coach (six) and if the Patriots win the Super Bowl Belichick will tie Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach (four). Saturday will be Belichick’s 25th postseason game as a head coach; only Landry and Shula (36 each) have more.
Most career postseason wins by a starting quarterback: The Patriots are 16-6 with Brady as their starter in the playoffs, tying Brady with Joe Montana for the most wins ever by a starting quarterback in the postseason. If the Patriots beat the Texans on Saturday, Brady will be all alone in first place with his 17th playoff win.
Most career postseason touchdown passes: Brady has 38 touchdown passes in the playoffs, third all-time behind Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44). Brady needs eight touchdown passes in the playoffs (which won’t be easy, but is possible if the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl) to pass Montana.
Most career postseason attempts and completions: Brady already owns both of these records (499 completions in 793 attempts), but it’s noteworthy that he’ll pad those records on Saturday while becoming the first player in NFL history to throw 800 playoff passes and complete 500 playoff passes.
Most career postseason passing yards: Manning is third all-time, with 5,389 career postseason passing yards. With a big game on Sunday he could pass Joe Montana (5,772) for second place, and with two or three postseason games he could move past Brett Favre (5,855) for first place all time.
And here are some noteworthy postseason records involving other players in this year’s postseason:
Highest career postseason passer rating: Aaron Rodgers owned this record heading into these playoffs, and he still does after the Packers’ win over the Vikings. Rodgers’ career postseason passer rating is 105.4, which tops the longstanding record that was previously held by another Packers quarterback, Bart Starr, who had a passer rating of 104.8 in his 10 career postseason games.
Most career postseason field goals and field goal attempts: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri owned both of these records even before he went 3-for-4 on Sunday. Vinatieri now has made 48 playoff field goals in 58 attempts. David Akers is second place in both categories with 35 field goals in 42 attempts. Akers might (or might not) get a chance to narrow the gap with Vinatieri against the Packers.
Most career postseason catches: Jerry Rice owns this record, with 151 career playoff catches, and that record won’t be broken any time soon, if ever. But Reggie Wayne moved into second place all time on Sunday, when he caught nine passes to get to 92 in his career.
Most career postseason touchdown catches: Jerry Rice owns this record, with 22 career playoff touchdowns, and that record won’t be broken any time soon, if ever. But Randy Moss is currently tied for third place, with 10 playoff touchdowns, and he could move into second place if he scores three touchdowns in this postseason. Steelers Hall of Famer John Stallworth is currently No. 2, with 12 career playoff touchdowns.
Most career postseason interceptions: Ravens safety Ed Reed has eight playoff picks, one shy of the NFL record shared by Charlie Waters, Bill Simpson and Ronnie Lott. With one more interception Reed will tie the record, and with two he’ll have the record all to himself. Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel has seven career playoff interceptions, so with one pick he’ll tie Reed, with two picks he’ll tie the all-time record, and with three picks he’ll break it.
Most career postseason interception return yards: I bet you didn’t know that Asante Samuel already owns this record, with 227 yards gained on his seven interceptions. Amaze your friends while watching the Falcons on Sunday with this moderately interesting fact.
Most career postseason interception return touchdowns: Seriously, do people realize how good Asante Samuel has been in the playoffs? He owns this record, too, with four. The only other player with more than two pick-sixes in NFL postseason history is former Raider Willie Brown, who had three interception return touchdowns, one of which was immortalized in one of the greatest NFL Films clips ever.