The NFL MVP race is starting to heat up as the season has officially passed the midway point. There are only two legitimate MVP candidates, so who gets the mid-season nod between Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning?
I could just come out and tell you, but where's the fun in that?
There is little to no significant statistical separation between Manning and Ryan. They've both been phenomenal.
Ryan has posted a 103 quarterback rating based upon his 68.9 completion percentage, 2,360 yards, 17 touchdowns and only seven turnovers.
While those numbers are impressive, Manning actually trumps Ryan with a 69.5 completion percentage, 2,404 yards, 20 touchdowns, and seven turnovers for a quarterback rating of 106.9.
Very little analysis is needed here. Both teams have had their bye weeks.
In order to determine a player's value to his team, you have to look at the players surrounding him. If someone has a ton of help, his value has to go down. It doesn't mean the player isn't great, it just means that not as much of him was needed and his presence was less valuable.
The Falcons have held opponents to 17.9 points per game, but have faced the easiest schedule in the league. Thus, that stat may be a little skewed. However, the lack of competition can still be accounted for when making our comparisons.
The Broncos defense hasn't been as stout, allowing 21.9 points per contest, but they're obviously not far behind. Considering the more difficult competition, the numbers might be a wash.
Lastly, Denver is able to to rush for approximately eight more yards a game, which is not a big enough gap to warrant mentioning.
Ryan helped Atlanta transition from the Michael Vick era into the juggernaut that has stormed through 2012 undefeated thus far. He has teamed with all-world talents Julio Jones and Roddy White to form a dominant passing trio.
However, the entire offseason was wrapped around the landing spot for the NFL's most accomplished free agent in NFL history.
Last year, Denver made it to the postseason due to luck and a weak division. Tim Tebow had devolved the offense to something a middle school team might run and the Broncos did not appear set up for future success.
Don't believe me? Then why can't Tebow get off the bench in New York?
Manning came in and instantly made the Broncos a Super Bowl contender to some. Now that Denver has won five of its eight games and is rolling, the number of believers has swollen.
That's an impact.
I don't think you need me to explain how this ends. Old man Manning has better numbers and has had a bigger impact to take home the mid-season MVP by a slight advantage.