Peyton Manning Should Be Favorite for MVP but Not Comeback Player of the Year

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after the Broncos scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

When it comes to NFL awards, well, Peyton Manning has a few. And after his epic return to football in 2012, he's going to add more hardware to his shelf.

The question, of course, is which awards those will be.

For my money, Manning should be the front-runner for MVP at this point in the season. But as for the Comeback Player of the Year award, well, I have to give that one to Adrian Peterson.

We start with MVP. As I see it, this is currently a two-man race between Manning and Tom Brady, though players like Aaron Rodgers, JJ Watt, Peterson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and even Von Miller should at least be considered. 

But we're going to focus on Manning and Brady here. Let's compare and contrast!

Player Record Pass Yards Pass TDs Interceptions Completion % Passer Rating
Peyton Manning 10-3 3,812 30 10 68.3  104.0
Tom Brady  9-3  3,537  25  64.8  102.6 

Coming into this season, we all knew Brady and the Patriots were going to be good. His numbers aren't terribly surprising, impressive as they are. But Manning has lifted the Broncos to new heights, and he's done so by putting together one of his best seasons in years.

As of now, I don't see how Manning isn't the front-runner for the MVP. His team is heading to the playoffs and is a true Super Bowl competitor, his stats are incredibly impressive and he's got the angle of missing the entire 2011 season and not missing a beat upon his return.

Oh yeah, about that missed 2011 season. After four surgeries on his neck that threatened his career and leaving the Indianapolis Colts to join the Denver Broncos, Manning has played football at the highest level and seamlessly adjusted to life on a new team.

It's remarkable.

But it's not quite Adrian Peterson remarkable.

Less than 10 months after tearing his ACL and MCL, Peterson has 1,466 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games. At least from a yardage standpoint, he's on pace to have the best season in his Hall of Fame career.

Think about that for a second: Not only does Peterson recover from an ACL tear in record time, but he's now putting up the most impressive stats in his career at a position that demands more from a player's knees than any other position.

It's incredible. I've never seen anything like it. And as amazing as Manning's play has been, it doesn't match the sheer physical anomaly that we're witnessing with Peterson. 

It's odd to think that the league's most valuable player wouldn't scoop up any of the other awards he's in consideration for. But in this case, I think Peterson's astonishing season deserves some recommendation.

Besides, it's not like Manning needs any more awards. At this point, the only thing left for him to earn is his plaque in Canton.

Hit me up on Twittermy tweets are up for the MV140CM (most valuable 140-character messages) award.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter