The 2010 Michael Vick for MVP Debate… Vick for MVP

November 28, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Loyal Homer.

Michael Vick is a disgusting human being.

He is an epic failure as both an ambassador of his sport and as a role model for the millions of young fans who idolize NFL stars. His life choices rank him somewhere in my book between Saddam Hussein and Charlie Sheen. He has squandered virtually every chance that commissioner Goodell and the league have given him to get his personal life under control. In short, much of his life can be summed up in just two words – vile disappointment.

But, he is also one more thing I forgot to mention. Michael Vick is one heck of a good football player.

He is the single most important player, in respect to determining the overall success of his team, in all of the NFL. Since his days as a starter in Atlanta, Vick’s athletic skills were unquestioned. Although somewhat one dimensional – running his unique version of a one man option play – the fact that he was a freakish athlete was undeniable. But now since his ascendency to the role of starting quarterback in Philly, he has taken his game to a whole other level. He has proven himself as the consummate pocket passer as well as threat to role out and stretch the field on any given play. He is now among the greatest players in the NFL and deserves to be considered for league MVP.

While it is true that Michael Vick did not start the season as Philadelphia’s starter, and he has missed some games due to injury, these facts are really not a detriment to his case. The fact that Vick surpassed Kevin Kolb as the starter in Philly is impressive. The Eagles had enough faith in Kolb to release former six time Pro Bowl QB and face of the franchise Donovan McNabb, and that’s the guy that Vick beat out for the job as starting signal caller.

Since taking the reigns of the team, Vick has led the Eagles to first place in the ultracompetitive NFC East and remained undefeated as a starter until yesterday’s close loss to the Chicago Bears. It is no coincidence, however, that Philadelphia’s previous three losses have seen Vick missing for the majority of the game. That is a pretty obvious indicator of his value to the team.

Just comparing the Kolb led Eagles’ week four performance against the Washington Redskins and Vick’s record setting performance against the same team just six weeks later on Monday Night Football proved that Vick is the difference maker. Kolb struggled mightily against McNabb and company laeding the anemic offense to a total of 12 points. The week ten rematch proved to be an entirely different story. Vick amassed a ridiculous 333 passing yards with four touchdowns and threw in an additional 80 rushing yards and two scores on the ground to boot. Yet, again Vick was the difference. While he can’t post career numbers like these every week, this performance is hard evidence that Michael Vick is definitely one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and should be considered in the same elite company as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Arian Foster for MVP.

Michael Vick is more than just a one hit wonder. Through the first 11 weeks of the season he sits atop the leader board with a crazy 108.7 QB rating. Similarly, he was flawless over that same spell throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Yes, that’s right – ZERO interceptions. He may not have had the same platform as a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning, but he certainly has done enough to get noticed. He has also caused others to include him in the MVP talk, not to mention the blogosphere buzzing in his favor.

While I may still loath his very being and refuse to buy his reformed animal lover act, I can see that he is one of, if not the best, QB on the field this season. That should be one of the main considerations in the MVP talk.

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The All Time Greatest Colts Quarterback Debate… The Greatest QB Who Ever Lived

August 10, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Loyal Homer.

Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback that ever lived, and that’s a fact. Well, maybe it’s not a fact, but it’s an opinion based on fact. An opinion I can seriously not overstate. You might ask, “Just how good is Peyton Manning?” I’ll tell you. But brace yourself because the answers may be shocking.

Peyton Manning’s football prowess is so blindingly brilliant that doctors recommend watching him play through a pin hole in a sheet of paper. Mathematicians have declared his passes the only perfect arches that occur in nature. Physicists have even speculated that if he throws a football hard enough in the exact opposite direction of the earth’s rotation he can actually turn back time, like at the end of the Superman movie. In my not so humble opinion, Peyton Manning is the greatest football player in the history of mankind.

Throughout his career he has drawn comparisons to other great quarterbacks, especially Johnny Unitas. Both he and Johnny U have been hugely successful, record setting quarterbacks for the Colts. The comparison comes naturally. Each man is an icon in their own right. But in comparing legacies, Manning stands alone.

Unitas will forever be remembered as a revolutionary of the game. His innovative approach to the passing game paved the way for the stars of today, but he simply cannot measure up to Peyton Manning. In terms of franchise records, there is no doubt that Manning is superior. He owns practically every Colt’s franchise passing record – including passing yards, passing touchdowns, attempts, completions, and completion percentage – an impressive feat considering how high Unitas set the bar. Even more impressive still is the fact that Manning has succeeded in today’s faster, more intense version of professional football. Modern athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger than they were in Unitas’ day. So while Manning would have absolutely owned the 1950s and 1960s, the same cannot necessarily be said of Unitas in the late 20th and early 21st Century.

When it comes to league-wide accolades the two are neck and neck, but Manning still has the edge in a close one. Both quarterbacks have been selected to an impressive ten Pro Bowls. They both have one Super Bowl victory a piece to their credit, but Manning also has the honor of being the Super Bowl MVP. Admittedly, Unitas has a couple of NFL World Championships to his credit, but that’s not 100 percent comparable to the Super Bowl since the AFL and NFL were not yet combined and competing against each other for an undisputed title yet. Unitas did beat out Manning in terms of All-Pro selections with six to Manning’s five, but Manning trumped Unitas in the more prestigious category of AP NFL MVP awards. Manning stands alone with a record four league MVP awards compared to Unitas’ three. While Unitas hangs with Manning almost tit-for-tat in awards, Manning usually seems to win in the bigger, flashier categories.

But the most compelling argument comes in comparing their best years, where Peyton Manning seemingly dwarfs Johnny Unitas. In 1959 Johnny Unitas set a career high scoring 32 touchdowns and compiling 2,899 passing yards. Four years later, in 1963, he established another career benchmark throwing for 3,481 yards and 20 touchdowns. Even combining Unitas’ career high marks together, as if they were accomplished in the same season, his statistics become pedestrian feats when compared to what Peyton Manning does on a routine basis. On three separate occasions – 2000, 2004, and 2009 – Manning eclipsed both single-season highs for Unitas the 32 TDs and the 3,481 yards. There has never been a season in Manning’s career when he threw for fewer yards than Unitas’ best season.

Peyton Manning’s best season came in 2004 when he threw for 4,557 yards and scored a then NFL record 49 TDs. This aerial barrage was a campaign for the ages. Manning’s TD record has only been surpassed by Tom Brady, who scored only one more TD than Manning (50) during the 2007 season. But even Touchdown Tom doesn’t stand up to Manning in the long run. Aside from Brady’s record breaking 2007, he has never eclipsed the 30 TD threshold… something Manning has done five times in his still relatively short career. While this debate isn’t about Brady, it speaks volumes that Manning’s numbers are consistently better than the current NFL record holder.

So when it comes to statistics, just about the only number that Unitas has that is greater than Manning is the one on his Jersey, where Manning wears 18 but Unitas donned 19). But, if you look at it in golf terms, not surprisingly Manning wins again.

In the intro to this debate Bleacher Fan asked who we would choose to lead our team. Undoubtedly it’s Manning. The guy has not only broken Unitas’ franchise record, he has set NFL milestones. He puts up stat lines that would be career years for most quarterbacks, past and present, nearly every season. He also does it with charisma. Peyton Manning is surely the greatest Colt’s quarterback of all time.

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The Most Devastating NFL Injury Debate – The Colts Go As Peyton Goes

August 24, 2009

Read Sports Geek’s argument that Big Ben is someone the Steelers cannot lose to injury while Bleacher Fan argues that the Ravens cannot afford to lose Ed Reed.

Most teams have played two pre-season games to this point, with two more following in the next couple of weeks. The third pre-season game traditionally showcases the starters for at least a half, while the fourth and final game is basically a showcase for the reserves and the guys trying to make the team. Excited yet? I’m sure excited! What is not exciting is the thought of a star player going down due to injury. Which NFL team can least afford to lose their superstar? After careful deliberation, I have decided that the Indianapolis Colts can ill afford to lose quarterback Peyton Manning.

Peyton Manning has been a star in the league ever since he was drafted first overall by the Colts back in the 1998 NFL Draft. He is a beloved figure in the league. People in SEC country absolutely love him. You will even hear Gator fans and Bulldog fans say they have the utmost respect for Manning. Loyal Homer’s mother, who was born and raised in Georgia and is an avid Georgia Bulldog fan, will root for Peyton Manning against the Falcons and it drives me crazy!! The truth is you will not find many people who will say a negative comment about Manning.

In the NFL, Manning has been named MVP three times. Since starting as a rookie, Manning has an overall record of 124-68 (which includes a 7-8 record in the playoffs and a 3-13 record his rookie season.) The offense is built around him. Before the beginning of the 2008 season, Manning had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his left knee. The injury caused him to miss a good bit of training camp and all of pre-season. Did he struggle? No, not him individually. He actually won his third MVP.

This year could be one of Manning’s biggest challenges. Gone is longtime Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison. That is a big hole to fill, as Harrison has been with Manning since the beginning of the Manning Era. Also gone is former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore. He has been Manning’s offensive coordinator for his entire career. Together, Moore and Manning developed the hurry up offense for the Colts. In this offense, the team skips the huddle and goes straight to the line. It is Manning’s responsibility to read the defense and call a play that he sees as a successful play. He audibles the play to the rest of the team through verbal and hand signals.

I am not sure any other quarterback in the NFL could do this. He is the unquestioned leader of the team. Can you honestly see Jim Sorgi running the hurry-up offense? That is exactly what would happen if Manning went down with an injury. Sorgi is to Manning what Jason Garrett was to Troy Aikman for years – nothing but a career backup. If Manning goes down, he takes the team down with him. They go from a Super Bowl contender to a mediocre team. Does another team take that much of a fall in a league built on parity. I think not!

If there is a team that cannot afford to have its star go down, it is the Indianapolis Colts.

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