Peyton Manning winning the MVP comes as no surprise to anyone that live in Indianapolis; we think Peyton should be the MVP every year. This year there were not too many that could argue with our appraisal of the Colt leader as Manning got 39 ½ of 50 votes for MVP of the NFL in 2009. Second place was Drew Brees with 7 ½.
Looking at the statistics alone it is hard to argue with Manning being given a 4th MVP award. Only one quarterback threw for more yards than Peyton’s 4500 yards. His completion percentage of 68.8% ranks behind only Drew Brees, the only guy to throw for more touchdowns as well.
MVP is not all about the statistics though. Perhaps it was that string of 4th quarter comebacks during the midpoint of the season had to have something to do with so many votes going Peyton’s way. Maybe it was the fact that he was able to do what he did with only one marquee receiver. Until this year only Garcon and Collie’s parents were aware these guys played professional football; now these guys are household names. For much of the season the Colts had a pretty anemic running attack as well (though Addai came on strong at the end of the season). Oh yeah, the guy had a new coach to deal with too.
Speaking of that coach, Jim Caldwell has to be in the running for the Coach of the Year. No one would have been surprised if the Colt’s had fallen of this year. Losing a leader like Tony Dungy was a pretty big hit to take. Instead these guys rattle of 14 straight wins, losing only because they decided not to try to win.
That move at the end of the season, sitting the starters in the game against the Jets could be what loses it for Caldwell, depending on who you talk to. Not making an effort to go for perfection rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, mostly fans. Those same fans have been pretty vocal about their disappointment in Caldwell. Although the fans do not get a say, they can sway voters.
It will all depend on whether the voters appreciate why Caldwell made the call when he did. From a coaching aspect, the stars did not need to be in the game at that point; it will be the perception of Caldwell’s decision process that will make the difference. Did he take them out at the right time? Should he have taken them out at all? Should they have even played that game? If the Colts were to lose in the first round though, Caldwell would most assuredly be out of the running.
Caldwell is up against some stiff competition this year. There were a number of stellar coaching efforts this year in the NFL- Jeff Fisher bringing the team back from 0-6 to finish 8-8; Marvin Lewis leading the cellar dwelling Bengals to the division title; Gary Kubiak getting the first winning season in Texan’s history. If he does get the nod for Coach of the Year, it will be the first time since Dick Vermeil and Kurt Warner did it back in 1999 that the MVP and Coach of the Year come from the same team.