NFL Awards Watch, Week 16
Don't look now, but a two-time league MVP has thrust himself squarely into the conversation for the league's top individual honor.
After getting off to an uncharacteristic 3-4 start, the Colts have reeled off seven consecutive wins and placed themselves back into title contention behind the superb play of Manning. The eight-time Pro Bowler has completed over 69 percent of throws and connected on 13 touchdown passes with only three interceptions during the streak. While those numbers would lead most to believe the Colts' offense has displayed its normal explosiveness, the fact the team has morphed into a ball control unit makes Manning's stellar play more impressive.
The Colts rank sixth in the league in passing offense, but the team has only recorded 33 completions of 20 yards or more, and only averages 6.9 yards per attempt. That represents a significant drop from the 53 completions of 20 yards or more and the 7.6 average yards per attempt the team produced season ago. In addition, the Colts' running game ranks 30th in the league and has failed to provide the balance Manning has enjoyed throughout most of his illustrious career.
While Manning's ability to produce in a workman-like offense has been impressive, it has been the leadership he has displayed while guiding the Colts through numerous injuries to their top players that makes him deserving of the league's top honor. Pro Bowlers