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Peyton Manning: Denver Broncos QB Is Having MVP-Caliber Season

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Peyton Manning: Denver Broncos QB Is Having MVP-Caliber Season
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With each throw, Peyton Manning is bolstering his resume for the 2012 MVP.

It was almost seven months ago to the day that this writer argued that Manning was a major risk for whatever team signed him and wouldn't be worth the money.

Consider this a mea culpa.

Manning has taken a Denver Broncos team that finished 8-8 last year and turned them into bona fide contenders.

They made the playoffs last year in spite of Tim Tebow, relying on a very good defense and the annual underachievement of the San Diego Chargers. It was really a fluke considering the -81 point differential.

Give credit to John Elway as he wasn't afraid to jettison the popular Tebow and give Manning the kind of contract he wanted.

It's a move that's paid off in spades.

Manning hasn't been perfect this year, but considering he's a 36-year-old coming off neck surgery, he's about as close to perfect as he can get.

Manning is second in the league in passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rating.

The 3-3 record is a bit deceiving for Denver.

They started off the year with games against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Houston, New England and San Diego.

Even with a .500 record, the Broncos are first in the AFC West. And only the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans have a record better than Denver in the AFC.

And it's in more than in the stat sheet that Manning's influence can be felt.

Prior to the season, Demaryius Thomas had made the statement that this year he was going to actually have to run routes now that Manning was in town.

Having Thomas just run across the field made him a dangerous receiver, but having him adhere to the play call may turn him into one of the best receivers in the league.

Eric Decker is another receiver who has greatly benefited from both the talent and experience of Manning. It's going to take about half the season for him equal his receiving totals for all of 2011.

If there were any doubt as to the quarterback's MVP credentials up to this point, the comeback against the Chargers Monday night sealed it.

Manning's first-half performance left a lot to be desired. However, in the second half, he more than made up for it, throwing only one incomplete pass and three touchdowns.

It's just representative of his season so far. The bulk of Manning's yards and touchdowns have come in the second half of games, and more specifically, in the fourth quarter.

Despite all the questions surrounding him in the offseason, Manning has regained his status as the NFL MVP.

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