Don’t call it a comeback, but Peyton Manning is certainly back and at the top of his game after missing all of the 2011 NFL season following neck surgery. In fact, he’s having such a great and impactful season he should be the top consideration for the league’s most valuable player award.
He has new digs and a new crew, but the future Hall-of-Famer has shown much of the same in his first year as a Denver Bronco: Winning.
He’s currently leading the NFL in passer efficiency with a 108 QB rating. He’s second in completion percentage to Alex Smith, but has thrown for 1,000 more yards than the San Francisco QB.
Manning’s doing it in style, too. He’s racked up 21 touchdowns to only six interceptions while passing for 2,705 yards on 330 attempts (8.2 yards per attempt). He’s behind only Josh Freeman by one-tenth of a yard in the yards per completion rankings.
His Denver Broncos team is 6-3 but appears to be much, much better than that record as a result of having Manning in the mix. Last year's Broncos team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs, but there was never a sense that they were going anywhere with their one-dimensional offense.
Peyton Manning has added a brand new dimension.
Slowly but surely he gelled with his new offensive weapons and has put on a show for the NFL to this point. Wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas have realized their potential and are both having career seasons.
He’s also thrown for over 300 yards in six of the team’s nine games and in six of the last seven.
Peyton just seems to make those around him that much better. He did it in Indianapolis and he’s doing it again in Denver.
With Manning behind center the Broncos are never realistically out of any game, no matter how bad the deficit. He’s already shown he still has a pension for drama with several late-game comebacks this season.
On Monday Night Football in Week 6, Manning led his team back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to beat the San Diego Chargers by a 35-24 margin. Sure, the defense scored some too, but without Manning at quarterback, what team comes back from that kind of deficit?
There’s stiff competition for the league’s MVP every season, but who better this year than the comeback player of the year and one of the greatest to ever play the quarterback position? He’s already won the award a record four times; why not boost that telling record and give it to the guy again?
After all, he’s currently on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career.
It’s nearly impossible to vote against him while he’s on a roll like this.
Mike Hoag Jr. is a Breaking News Team writer and NFL featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: