Taking a year off from the game is not something that is easy to do. Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning missed the entire 2011 with a series of back and neck injuries that required surgery. He returned to the game this season and led the Broncos to a 13-3 record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. He has had an MVP like season and if Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson did not exist he would be the leading candidate for the NFL‘s most valuable player.
Manning deserves comeback player of the year because he is a quarterback and it requires more skill to do what he has done. Peterson did not miss the entire season last year with an injury, so his comeback was not about adjustments, but more of a testament of hard work and pure determination. He deserves MVP. He put an entire team on his back and literally ran them into the playoffs.
The Broncos were a good team without Manning, but his relatively easy coast to a 13-3 record is a statement to just how bad New York Jets QB Tim Tebow is. He did not lead the Broncos to the playoffs. The defense led this team and it was nothing short of a miracle that they were able to overcome his poor quarterbacking.
Manning will get a week off to prepare for his next battle and he might be headed for a marquee matchup with New England Patriots QB Tom Brady for the AFC Championship. That is a game that will be worth the wait. It could be the last time we see those two battle it out for glory on a big stage. Manning’s comeback is the most impressive in the league. Peterson had that most impressive season. We will have to wait and see how the chips fall.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33