What We Learned From NFL MVP Voting


Fifty AP writers voted on the NFL’s 2008 MVP Award. Here’s how the voting broke down:

Peyton Manning: 32

Chad Pennington: 4

Michael Turner: 4

Philip Rivers: 2

Chris Johnson: 1

Kurt Warner: 1


Here’s what we know from the MVP voting:

Peyton Manning is beyond great. If you recall, the beginning of the season was a nightmare for the 32-year-old. Having just rushed back from offseason knee surgery, Manning was far less than 100 percent, both in his health and quarterbacking rhythm. Exacerbating matters was the fact that he was playing behind a makeshift offensive line, thanks to injuries to center Jeff Saturday, left tackle Tony Ugoh and left guard Ryan Lilja.

As the season wore on, Manning and the O-line got healthier. But the Colts never found their run game. And a dilapidating-Marvin Harrison never found his fountain of youth. Still, Indy finished 12-4 because they had a signalcaller who knew how to win ugly. And that is the difference between Manning’s record-tying third MVP award and his previous two: winning ugly. At times this year, the Colts offense has gone from Porsche to Pinto, but the man driving the car still got the team to its regular season destination.


What else we know…

Voters had no trouble forgetting about Albert Haynesworth. The MVP at the midway point battled some injuries down the stretch but only missed two games. You can’t blame Haynesworth’s voting snubs on the small Nashville market; one voter was either way too shallow or way too deep in their thinking, evidenced by their vote for Titans’ rookie running back Chris Johnson.

Haynesworth probably didn’t deserve anyone’s first-place vote, but for some reason, that’s the only vote that counts. Unlike the Heisman voting, NFL awards do not ask for second, third, fourth and fifth place finishes on their ballots. Having a five-slot ballot only makes sense. The AP (or NFL) needs to update its voting process.

Why only 50 voters anyway? Why not include qualified television analysts? It doesn’t seem right that a newspaper reporter can cast a vote, but Ron Jaworski or John Madden cannot.

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