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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
On Peyton Manning as an MVP candidate

By Paul Kuharsky

He could get a vote, maybe more than one.

Peyton Manning as an MVP candidate in absentia was a semi-clever joke very early on in the Colts’ miserable season. It does little for me now, however.

Sure Manning’s value has been evident. In the coaching booth and now on the sideline, he’s chimed in to help Curtis Painter as much as possible. We know he covered up a ton of issues on both side of the ball and even on special teams.

Some players, like tight end Dallas Clark and receiver Austin Collie, are absolutely pedestrian without Manning doing the throwing for the Colts. Defensive misplays that used to be covered up when the offense could score much more and more quickly are completely exposed.

My case against Manning getting any real MVP consideration is two-fold:
Same for Tom Brady or Drew Brees.

Colts center Jeff Saturday aligns with me.

"I hadn't heard that," he said, laughing when asked about Manning as an MVP candidate this season. "I didn't know that that was even a consideration. ... I think that's kind of silly when you've got guys who are having great years. To have that kind of conversation, I don't think is worth discussing."

Manning is a great player, and we’ve learned more about him while he’s been away.

It’s ridiculous to suggest he’s proving himself more valuable not playing than Rodgers, Brady or Brees are proving themselves valuable while playing.