Three days ago, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning was the landslide winner of the AP's 2008 NFL MVP, receiving 32 of 50 votes cast by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Miami quarterback Chad Pennington and Atlanta running back Michael Turner tied for second place with four votes each; New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who nearly broke Dan Marino's 24 year old single season passing yardage record, did not receive any votes. The Colts, Dolphins and Falcons each made the playoffs while the Saints did not, so perhaps that explains the voting. Certainly, under Manning's direction the Colts were the hottest team in the NFL down the stretch, winning their final nine regular season games; their first round playoff loss does not diminish the value of that success and, in any case, that defeat took place after the MVP votes had already been cast.
Today the AP announced the winner of its 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. You would assume that Manning took this honor as well, right? Wrong. Brees received 22 first place votes from a 50 member media panel (I'm not sure if these were the same 50 people who voted for MVP), while Manning and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson tied for second with nine votes each.
Manning and Brees each had excellent seasons but what possible logical explanation can there be for Manning winning the MVP and Brees winning Offensive Player of the Year, let alone each player winning his award by large margins? Did Manning win the MVP based on his contributions defensively or on special teams? How can Brees be considered the best offensive player in the league but not receive a single MVP vote when seven other offensive players received MVP votes? This just does not make any sense.