Peyton Manning's 3-TD Performance Gives Credence To MVP Case

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Peyton Manning's 3-TD Performance Gives Credence To MVP Case
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Peyton Manning fired three more darts at the MVP bull's-eye against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Manning led the Denver Broncos to a 31-23 victory with three touchdown passes.

I guess his neck is OK.

The 36-year old future Hall of Famer did throw two interceptions, but they were only his fifth and sixth of the season. If you compare that to the 20 touchdown passes he's thrown, I'd say he's having a fine season.

As it is with any MVP candidate, you have to ask the question: Where would the Broncos be without Manning? This isn't an offense that has more weapons than the ball-control team that Tim Tebow led last season.

With almost the same supporting cast, Manning has the team scoring 29 points per game. The Broncos scored only 19 points per game in the 2011 season. You can give Manning much of the credit for the 10-point scoring difference.

It has changed the team's effectiveness on both sides of the ball.

Opponents' offenses have more pressure to score points against Manning's Broncos than they did against Tebow and Kyle Orton's offense. 

When you compare Manning to the other obvious player having an MVP-caliber seasons, he stacks up favorably. Matt Ryan has been great for the Atlanta Falcons. It's hard to argue with the MVP case for a quarterback with 2,000 yards passing and 17 touchdowns for a 7-0 team.

As good as Ryan and the Falcons have been, you also can't ignore the fact that Ryan has far better weapons than Manning. Julio Jones and Roddy White make up one of the NFL's best WR tandems, and the ancient Tony Gonzalez is still a force at TE.

Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are good players, but not on the same level.

Manning has done this before with a nondescript set of weapons in the passing game. Perhaps we're all just surprised that he can still make it happen with less.

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