Now that the regular season is nearly coming to a close, there’s been lots of water cooler discusssions about who the 2009 NFL MVP should be. There were some pretenders to the throne early on, but addition by subtraction dictated that the number of candidates would drop as the season wore on.
There’s three very worthy candidates who are leaps and bounds above the ‘posers”:
Drew Brees – The New Orleans Saints quarterback has put some pretty impressive numbers (4,130 passing yards, 33 TD’s, 11 INT’s), along with a 109.4 passing rating. He has the Saints within a game of having home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs. His stock may have taken a hit when he had an un-Brees-like performance against the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday (29-of-45, 298 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). Will head coach Sean Payton limit his action once the Saints lock up home-field? New Orleans’ last two opponents are Tampa Bay and Carolina.
Peyton Manning – Manning just continues his mastery over the league as he has passed for 4,213 yards, 33 TD’s and 15 INT’s. Let’s also consider that the Colts are 14-0 and on the verge of perhaps going undefeated, which is even more impressive considering that the team’s rushing game is pretty average. I expect that Peyton will surpass the 50,000 passing yard mark Sunday when they play the Jets. Not unlike the Saints, coach Jim Caldwell has to decide as to whether to rest Manning between now and the postseason. If the past is any indication, I would have to say the coach won’t rest him. The Colts have a soft last two games as they take on the Jets and the Buffalo Bills – two tuneups that should get the team ready for the postseason.
Chris Johnson – The Tennessee Titans running back is having an obscenely impressive season (1,730 yards rushing, a 5.7 yards-per-carry average and is averaging 123.6 yards per game), although to be fair, the second half of the season has been especially kind to Johnson as he averaged during that time 141.8 yards per game. He has a chance to eclipse the 2,000 rushing yard barrier in the next two weeks. One thing that may hinder Johnson’s chances? The fact that the Titans went 0-6 and have an overall 7-7 win-loss record.
While all three have the credentials and are very worthy, I have to give the nod to: Peyton Manning.