On the eve of the biggest game of his hall-of-fame career – and to nobody’s surprise – Peyton Manning was named the 2013 NFL MVP.
What are the only guarantees that most of us know to be true? The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we are all forced by our federal overlords to pay taxes, and there will come a day when we all draw our last breath on God’s green earth. In 2013, you can also include that the NFL will present its yearly Most Valuable Player award to Denver Broncos‘ quarterback, Peyton Manning.
For me to sit here and write that there was any kind of serious challenge to Manning’s eventual coronation would be an exercise in intellectual dishonesty. It’s not that there haven’t been several great performances this season, it’s just that none of them draw any comparison to the year that PFM had. And yet, the vote was not unanimous. He only received 49 of 50 votes. So my question is, who was the one dolt who thought any other player in the league was more valuable to his team (not to mention the league) than Peyton “Freakin”Manning?
If not for a record-breaking year by Manning and the Broncos, there could have been a really intriguing race for the league’s MVP award.
I believe that it would have been difficult for those who cast votes for such matters. However, it was made very easy for them by the now, record, 5-time winner of the award.
I’ll quickly run through those who might have been in the running for an Honorable Mention award if one such award existed (but remember, this is the National Football League, not the everybody-gets-a-participation-award league). If Peyton did not have the kind of year that he did, I believe that LaSean McCoy (PHI), Drew Brees (NO), Jamal Charles (KC), Phillip Rivers (SD), Marshawn Lynch (SEA), and maybe Calvin Johnson (DET) or Andrew Luck (IND) would all have had a legitimate argument for MVP.
Manning solidified the honor by putting up numbers that this league has never before seen. Peyton completed 450 of 659 passes for an NFL record 5477 yards, 55 touchdowns (also an NFL record), only 10 interceptions, 68.3 completion percentage, and a QB rating of 115.1. Peyton also led the 13-3 Broncos to a NFL single-season record of 606 points.
Only Rivers (69.5% on 522 attempts) and Brees (68.6% on 650 attempts) had a higher completion percentage and only thePhiladelphia Eagles‘ Nick Foles (119.2) had a higher QB rating. Though Foles only played in seven games, starting six, for Philly. Oh, but no quarterback in the league had more of his passes dropped than PFM. So the difference in completion percentage is negligible at best.
In addition to the Broncos’ record-setting 606 points, Manning set individual records in passing yards and touchdown passes en route to leading Denver to a #1 seed in the AFC for a second straight year. The MVP award was not the only hardware Manning took home from the annual NFL Awards Banquet; he grabbed the NFL Offensive Player of the Year silverware as well (see above stat line for qualification).
So on behalf of Predominantly Orange, CONGRATULATIONS!
One would have to assume that Peyton would trade those in for the trophy that matters most; the Vince Lombardi Trophy. However, in the unlikely event that he wouldn’t, I speak for all of Broncos’ Country as I say, “we will!”
GO BRONCOS! TIME TO RIDE!