The NFL MVP hasn't been announced yet, but there is a lot of buzz over who should or shouldn't get it. The names being tossed around for the award are Philip Rivers, Chad Pennington, and Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning should be the one to get the award, and here is why.
While the Colts and Manning started the season off on a shaky foot, they more than turned their season around, and most of that had to do with Manning's resilience.
Over the summer, Manning had emergency knee surgery to remove an infected bursa sac, and he missed the entire preseason. He didn't look like himself over the first couple of games and was dealing with an offense that wasn't firing on all cylinders. Joseph Addai was hampered by a knee injury, and the other offensive options, whether it was on the ground or in the passing game, couldn't get open or catch the ball to get Indy the yardage necessary.
When asked if the Colts could turn their season around and make the playoffs, Manning never wavered in his response. He said that the Colts could get back to their winning ways, and they were going to have to win every game down the stretch in order to get into the playoffs. And that's exactly what they did.
After posting a 3-4 record over the first seven games, Indy went on to win eight straight games and clinched the AFC South Wild Card. The offense regained their swagger, and Manning had a lot to do with that.
Peyton did what he does best, and that's continuing to feed passes to guys until they get the job done, and leading his team no matter how bleak the situation.
Now, I think that Chad Pennington has done a fantastic job with the Dolphins this season. After going 1-15 last year, the Dolphins have reemerged, and a lot of that has to do with Pennington and the offense. He couldn't really succeed in New York, but somehow he has managed to redefine himself as a quarterback and turned the offense around.
Linebacker Joey Porter's name has also been tossed around in the MVP race for his ability to really shape up the defense and for managing to not run his mouth too much this year.
Philip Rivers has also made a serious case for himself. The young quarterback and the Chargers had a rough start to their season, going 4-6 over their first 10 games. Somehow Rivers was able to get the offense back on track, and the Chargers won their last four games, the last two being high-scoring wins.
Rivers was impressive last year in the postseason against Manning and the Colts in the playoffs, when he was basically playing on one leg, and he has shown that he can handle the pressure of the pros even at the age of 27.
These are the arguments that people will make over the next couple of weeks for Pennington and Rivers, and they are more than qualified to receive the award, but Peyton Manning is the one who should get it.
Year after year he proves just why he's so good, and it goes beyond his ability to simply make passes. An MVP is the player that the team couldn't function without, and the Colts don't function as well without Manning. Take away Addai, Harrison, or Wayne, and the Colts are definitely a weaker team, but take away Manning, and they are a completely different team—and not in a good way.
If there is anyone who thinks Peyton Manning doesn't deserve the MVP, I invite you to go beyond the numbers. People will throw out stats and think that's all that makes up an MVP, but in reality, an MVP is so much more than a pile of stats.
It's all well and good to have a gun for an arm, but if you can't get your receivers to run the right routes or get your running backs to trust that the holes will open up for them, there is no way to win games.
Peyton Manning knows how to get the best out of his guys, and that's why he should win the MVP. He makes the entire team better, and it is because of him that the Colts are playing on Saturday night in the first round of the playoffs.
Hopefully the guys doing the voting realize all of this and make the right decision.