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Chasing History: Who Is the NFL MVP from 200 Down to One (Part One)

Samuel Bell JrSenior Analyst IDecember 21, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 13:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his team at the line of scrimmage  during the NFL game against the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 26-18.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Peyton Manning's consistency is scary.

Has a quarterback, or any player for that matter, been so good at beating defenses for so long? There's been many exceptional players throughout the history of the league, but of Manning's caliber?

I'm not so sure.

It would be feasible to argue that Manning is one of the top-10 players of all-time at any position. His Indianapolis Colts have been the most consistent winning team of the decade.

If it weren't for those Tom Brady and Bill Belichick guys, Manning would have more than one Super Bowl ring.

Brady is an amazing player, but Manning has him beat and I will argue this until my face turns as blue as the Coors Light mountains on the bottle when it's cold.

Brady has more championships and post-season wins. That's where his edge on Peyton stops.

Manning has more MVP awards, a better winning percentage in the regular season and his statistics are off of the charts.

Not to mention, Brady had the support of a strong defense while Manning's defense didn't become potent until the championship season of 2007.

Here is a look into the decades two best QB's statistics:

Manning: 190 games, 4,204/6,492, 64.8 pct., 49,841 yards, 366 TD, 180 INT, 95.3 passer rating, 131 regular-season wins, 7 post-season

Brady: 127 games, 2,632/4,166, 63.2 pct., 30,391 yards, 221 TD, 98 INT, 93.0 passer rating, 110 regular season wins, 14 post-season

We can argue who's better or more influential out of these two for eons, but we have a 2009 NFL MVP race to get to.

In a system that I've used to rate the NBA's MVP in the past, we're going to look at the NFL MVP from 200 down to one.

In other words, from the worst of the league to the best.

Who's this year's Least Valuable Player? Let's get it started.

200. Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns—LVP of 2009

Man how fast things can hit the ceiling fan and spin out of control in the NFL. Anderson went from a nobody to a Pro Bowl caliber QB, then back to a nobody in a short time.

In relief of struggling starting QB Brady Quinn, here are the numbers Anderson posted in 2009:

6 games, 66/154, 43 pct., 681 YDS, 2 TD, 9 INT, 36.2 QB Rating

In a league where GM's pull the trigger on extensions far too quickly (see: Childress, Brad) Anderson cashed in on his good fortune, and has promptly crapped it back in his now fired GM's face.

Good luck Mike Holmgren. Mr. Anderson, you are the Least Valuable Player for 2009.

197. Trent Edwards, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo has managed to be the franchise with the most dimmed hopes of the decade. After a desperate move in signing morale-eating WR Terrell Owens backfired on Buffalo, a losing record and another year of failed expectations is all they have to show for it.

Who suffers the most from roster-move backlash? You guessed it, the QB and the coach.

Dick Jauron was canned, and so was Edwards. Trent was never given the protection he needed with a retooled inexperienced O-line, but his inability to stretch the field with Lee Evans and Owens is a joke.

Even Harvard brainiac Ryan Fitzpatrick managed to do that. Trent, you were out-shadowed by Ryan frickin' Fitzpatrick. Next.

190. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers

I know players get injured in the NFL, but c'mon man. Parker hasn't regained form at all and it just seems that his best days as a NFL running back are over.

There's no way Mike Tomlin starts Rashard Mendenhall over Parker if he was the same player he used to be. Turf toe can be a debilitating injury, but Parker just doesn't have the "it" factor anymore.

Mendenhall has nearly 1000 yards on the ground, and Parker is watching from the bench. He probably won't be a Steeler next season and will get his opportunity elsewhere.

For now "Fast Willie" can be known as "Fast-Declined Willie."

179. Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans

I have to concede Kerry, you fooled us, bro. Big time.

After a stellar season in 2008, Collins dropped a huge bomb on Jeff Fisher and the Titans in '09, eventually losing the starting job to Vince Young out of desperation.

That move may have saved Fisher's job, and Young has done nothing but lead the Titans to a 7-1 record since starting 0-6.

Collins threw eight picks to six TD's losing two fumbles and posting a 65.5 rating while losing every game he started in 2009.

Can you say someone's career is over?

167. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders

In the same breath I said that Peyton Manning is the most consistent player of the decade, Russell has been the most inconsistent since his inception as Raiders QB of the future.

He can make some good throws from time to time, but will manage to turn the ball over in the worst way and sometimes cannot sustain drives.

Russell can help you win a tight one as he did in relief in a win over the Denver Broncos, but help you get blown out by inept play and decision making.

He lost his job to Bruce Gradkowski this season, and was actually being outplayed by him until Gradkowski was injured Sunday. Russell may be in-line to be the next Gino Torretta.

140. Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El, Washington Redskins

Everyone wants to blame Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn for Washington's failures, the token reaction to a losing team, but those guys are being shafted in the worst way.

How about Randle-El and Moss dropping passes, not playing to potential or helping Campbell out?

Here are their numbers combined for 2009:

94 REC, 1164 YDS, 3 TD

By contrast, Reggie Wayne has 92 catches for 1210 yards and 10 TD's, Wes Welker has 109 catches for 1198 yards and four TD's and Mike Wallace has five TD's alone.

I can go on. Bottom line, Moss and Randle-El haven't been able to get separation from DB's and Campbell has nobody to throw to. Sad.

119. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

I was one of the people who believed this guy would become a star for Matt Cassel and the Chiefs.

As it stands, Chris Chambers has played two less games in KC than Bowe and has the same amount of TD's and only 28 yards less.

Cassel is being labeled as overrated, but it's hard to tell when your receivers aren't playing to potential. Just as Jay Cutler in Chicago, no matter how good a QB is he needs talented receivers to throw to.

With Bowe as a No. 1 receiver, your career will be dead in the water like a traveling bullet.

101. Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs/Cincinnati Bengals

This guy is ridiculous. Kansas City finally cut their losses, and his plodding running style got him a 100-yard game with Cincy his first time out.

That will be it. It goes to show what egoism and narcissism can do to someone. Good riddance, Larry. Dick Vermeil should get an award from Nostradamus when he called you a crybaby.

Greatest coach name-call/prediction ever. You're still a crybaby.

86. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

All of the off-season drama that gave Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen something to do between Josh McDaniels and Cutler has come down to this.

Denver is in the playoff hunt and Chicago is licking their losing season wounds with Cutler at the helm.

It almost feels like when James Brown left Fox for CBS and was replaced by Curt Menefee. You hoped that the franchise anchorman Brown would do great but wished that he never left.

Menefee has done a respectable job and Brown has meshed well with Marino and the guys.

Well, Cutler hasn't. Fox still isn't the same and neither is Cutler.

68. Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions

He's overshadowed by a rookie, overweight and has to watch Randy Moss catch passes from Brady to the tune of another 1,000 yard season.

Biggest fall from the NFL superstar fraternity ever.

51. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

Vick has been successful in my eyes. He fought the dogfighting machine that threatened to protest every game, said all of the right things and showed flashes of the 2006 Super-Vick.

Now that his test-run in Philly is nearly over, we can sit back and wait for who picks him up for 2010.

Will it be St. Louis? Buffalo? Washington? Seattle? Oakland? Who knows, but No. 7 will be starting for someone next season.

40. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

Orton was a throw-in when Cutler was traded to Chicago from Denver. Let's just say he hasn't looked like it.

Orton has played better than Cutler and has helped lead the Broncos to a 8-6 record and part of the playoff discussion while Cutler leads the league in picks and has a 5-9 record.

Cutler lost security blanket Brandon Marshall and looks like a lost child in Chicago. He may be responsible for ending the careers of two long-tenured coaches in a small time.

28. Sidney Rice, Minnesota Vikings

When Brett Favre reported to Minnesota to play yet another season, nobody was happy as Sidney Rice.

His career has been resurrected, and Favre has the gunslinger mentality Rice needs from a QB to succeed.

He doesn't have Tarvaris Jackson tossing the ball, a guy who proved to become gun-shy not wanting to make the big mistake.

If Favre can keep up his surprising play and the O-line can keep him standing, Rice may be a bigger surprise in the postseason.

15. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Mr. Rodgers has finally made Lambeau his neighborhood, and the Packers are knocking at the door of a playoff spot.

If it weren't for two competitive losses to the Vikings and a close, but inexcusable loss to the Bucs, Green Bay would have locked up a playoff spot already.

Everyone wondered if Rodgers had what it took to be Favre's successor, and he has resoundingly proved that he does.

Aaron is knocking on the door of a 4,000 yard season and has 28 TD's to only seven INT's. Rodgers has the skills to be a great player for a long time, and has made the Packers' front office look like geniuses.

This concludes part one of the two-part MVP series, with 14 down to one being revealed next time.

Until then, enjoy the hopeful upset of the New York Giants at the hands of the Washington Redskins tonight on Monday Night Football.

Stay thirsty, my...oh what the hell, drink a beer and cheer!

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