Where Does Peyton Manning's MVP Campaign Stand After Week 9?

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 4, 2012

Nov 4, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls out a signal at the line during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning was firmly in the MVP discussion before Week 9 began, now he must be considered a front runner.

Manning has been among the top performing QBs in the league seemingly every week, and he has succeeded during the most grueling part of the Denver Broncos' schedule. 

This has not been a year where one or two players have taken the league by storm and run away with the MVP award. Outside of Manning, Matt Ryan has played at an elite level. He has 2,018 yards passing, 17 touchdowns and only six interceptions. However, his play may be somewhat overlooked because of the tenacity of Atlanta's defense.

Let's not get off track though, this is not a discussion about Ryan's (or any other QBs) validity as an MVP candidate, what we want to know is where Manning's MVP campaign stands after Week 9. The answer is that he has only enhanced his standing.


Peyton Manning now has 48 career game-winning drives in 4th qtr/OT, the most of any QB that debuted since 1970

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 4, 2012


Earlier in the season ESPN Stats and Info posted a similarly intriguing tweet:

That statistic now increases to five games. Manning has taken the Broncos offense and transformed it from the rushing juggernaut it was a season ago, and made it a balanced attack that can hurt defenses both on the ground and through the air.

In Week 9, Manning did make mistakes. He threw multiple interceptions for the first time since Week 2, including two in the end zone, Yet, it was the way in which Manning was able to orchestrate drives at critical moments that solidified his MVP status.

In the fourth quarter, Manning threw two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He relied on players like Eric Decker and Joel Dreesen to make big catches at crucial junctures.

And as for those questions about Manning's arm strength?

The other top guys in the MVP race (Ryan, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers) still have half of the season to make their claim to award, but Manning's Week 9 performance only furthered the notion that he is in the top spot right now.

Did he play perfect football?

No, but he continues to win games and make the Broncos look like a formidable AFC contender.

Sounds like an MVP candidate to me.