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AFC West: Manning leads MVP race

The AFC West has turned into a one team show. The Denver Broncos thanks in a big way to Peyton Manning have jumped out to a four game lead in the division with just five games left on the schedule. Denver defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday 17-9 to win their sixth consecutive game.

In second place are the San Diego Chargers who lost for the third straight game Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens and are 4-7. Oakland also lost for the fourth consecutive week and dropped to 3-8. However, worst of all are the hapless Kansas City Chiefs who lost for the eighth straight game and fell to 1-10 and are quickly wrapping up the first draft pick selection in next year’s draft.

Denver has raced out in front by four games thanks to the play of Peyton Manning. The veteran quarterback is on track to win his fifth regular season MVP Award in the league. Manning, who is 36-years of age, has played remarkable football over the first 11 games of the season.

The signal caller’s stats are remarkable: 67% completion rate, over 3,000 yards passing, 26 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 106.2, which only trails Aaron Rodgers last season’s MVP winner.

Comparing Manning’s numbers to Rodgers from a year ago, you can see that Rodgers led the Packers to a 14-1 season, as he did not play the last game of the season.

Thus far, the Broncos are off to an 8-3 start and should repeat as the AFC West champions. During the previous years that Manning won the MVP, the Indianapolis Colts never finished the season with less than a 12-4 mark. If the Broncos can finish the season 4-1 and host a postseason game then Manny must be considered as the favorite to win the MVP.

Just comparing the same Denver team this season to last year’s club, you can see the big difference. Using a combination at quarterback of Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, the Broncos finished just 8-8 on the season.

In the previous four seasons that Manning won the MVP, he averaged over 4,330 yards passing and over 34 touchdowns per season. With another five games left in this season’s schedule, Manning’s numbers could reach 4,700 yards passing and 40 touchdown passes.

The numbers are evidence that Manning should be considered as a favorite to win the award, but what is even more incredible is the fact Manning did not play a single down last season due to surgeries on this neck.

Two teams have better records in the AFC thus far than Denver. Houston is 10-1 on the season and Baltimore is 9-2 nevertheless, however his gaudy numbers are enough to plant him in first place in the race for the MVP.

The competition is tough and the season long, but the odds makers are backing Manning to win the award for the fifth time in his career. Manning however, is more interested in winning games to get home field advantage in the postseason to go after his second Vince Lombardi trophy.


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