They say that bad things come in threes. For Peyton Manning, it's three groups of three.
Manning learned that lesson hard last weekend when he fell 3 yards short of becoming pro football's career passing leader. His Denver Broncos lost by three to the Colts, breaking Indianapolis' three-game losing streak.
The Broncos, who are now 7-1, were the only undefeated team to lose in Week 9. Adding to Manning's trifecta headache, three teams — the Bengals, the Panthers and the Patriots — are still unbeaten.
Manning will surely (knock on wood) break Brett Favre's record of career passing yards this weekend in the Broncos' matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But in terms of football records, how impressive is that really? Sports analysts have tried like mad to create a metric to equitably measure performance between players of different positions — like baseball's Wins Above Replacement — but there's little consensus on how to do that.
Academics from Villanova and Temple universities authored a paper recently addressing that disparity as well as offering a way to measure different sports' records against each other. In a paper called "Revisiting the ranking of outstanding professional sports records," the authors use a statistical model to rank a variety of records from different sports.
The analysis considers how long the record has stood, how much of an improvement it was over the record it broke and other factors like how well-known the record is and the era in which it was set. They looked at data through August 2013, which means at least one of the records has been broken since: Manning himself surpassed Favre in career touchdowns last year.