Peyton Manning for 2011 NFL MVP [OPINION]

The Indianapolis Colts went from contender to laughing stock of the NFL in one season. The reason for this change is simple: Peyton Manning (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, user JuanPhotos).

At this point, Aaron Rodgers is the obvious frontrunner for the 2011 MVP of the National Football League. And deservingly so. He has led his Green Bay Packers to a perfect 11-0 start, not to mention they are the defending Super Bowl Champions.

However, if I were to cast my vote for the NFL’s MVP, Aaron Rodgers would not be my choice.

Nor would it be Tom Brady.

Or Drew Brees.

Definitely not Tim Tebow.

Rather, I would be casting my vote for Peyton Manning of the winless Indianapolis Colts.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself… “I thought he was hurt.” And you would be exactly right. Manning underwent season-ending surgery on his neck before the season even started. He underwent three such surgeries in fact in a span of just 19 months.

So, your next thought may be… “How could he possibly be the MVP?”

Well, I will tell you.

In 1997, the Colts were an abysmal 3-13.

In 1998, they drafted rookie quarterback Peyton Manning out of Tennessee, hoping he could turn the franchise around. Although they once again went 3-13, there were signs of change to come and Manning was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team.

The fresh, young, gun-slinging quarterback truly began his triumphant reign in 1999, leading the Colts to an impressive 13-3 record. This was, and remains, the biggest one-year turn-around in NFL history.

What did he do the next year? Well, he did it again, going 13-3 in the 2000 season. Thus, the team went from winning just three games in 1997 prior to his arrival to having back-to-back 13-win seasons with Manning under center.

Certainly this was no coincidence.

From 2003-09, the Colts amassed at least 12 victories in each season, an unbelievable accomplishment in today’s professional football and a streak that may never be matched again. Twice over that stretch they began the season at least 13-0, and in 2008 Manning won his third NFL MVP.

Not to mention their Super Bowl victory in 2006 and Super Bowl appearance in 2009 in which they lost to an emotional New Orleans Saints squad.

Last season, 2010, the Colts went 10-6, snapping their consecutive seasons with at least 12 wins, but still reached the playoffs. Keep in mind 10 wins for most teams would be quite an achievement, especially for that team in Washington, D.C.

This season, however, Peyton Manning has been watching from the sidelines as his team continues to lose, now falling to 0-11 after losing to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday with Curtis Painter under center. With 10 wins being the team’s worst season since 2001, it appears this year’s team might not win one.

So let’s review.

The Colts went from 3-13 without him to having back-to-back 13-3 seasons with him. Then, the Colts had seven straight seasons with 12 or more wins and 10 wins just one year ago. But without him, they are currently 0-11.

Is there any player in the history of the NFL with more of an impact than Peyton Manning? I would have to say absolutely not.

If the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers, they would certainly win one game. If the Patriots lost Tom Brady, they would certainly win one game. If the Saints lost Drew Brees, they would certainly win one game. If the Broncos lost Tim Tebow, fans everywhere would rejoice.

The Colts lost three-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning and haven’t even sniffed a victory in 2011, proving he should be a 13-time MVP from 1999-2011. He is the engine that makes the previously dominant Indianapolis franchise run.

Is there any doubt he is the league’s most valuable player? The numbers speak for themselves.

So remember to spread the word: Peyton Manning for MVP.

Get well soon.

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