Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Jan 2006

Alexander Wins MVP over Manning, Brady

Whoo-hoo! Pacific Northwest Media Bias! Shaun Alexander wins the 2005 NFL MVP award with 19 votes. Peyton Manning had 13, Tom Brady 10, Tiki Barber 6, and Carson Palmer 2. This should make the Alexander contract debate even more fun. Just remember, Seattle, you aren't paying him for the past. You're paying him for the future. Of course, his future is probably going to be pretty good for a while.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 05 Jan 2006

89 comments, Last at 24 Jan 2006, 11:46pm by Juanita Weis


by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 5:48pm

Clearly, this shows that Tom Brady can't get any respect.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 5:49pm

I still think Tiki got robbed, but it's hard to not give the MVP to a guy who broke the touchdown record, even if the record was only a couple years old.

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 5:51pm

Well...I disagree with the results. If I were choosing a RB, it would be Tiki. But I probably would vote for Tom Brady this year, and keep in mind I'm a Colts fan. For third place...uh...how about Walter Jones? Obviously, I have no problem with Manning getting votes, so...

by Sean (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 5:52pm

It wouldn't have been my choice- I would have voted Brady 1, Barber 2...but I'm not going to get worked up over it. Alexander has had a tremendous season.

by Kal (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 5:56pm

As good a season as Tom Brady had - and it was a great season, and hugely essential to his team's victory - it's hard to vote anyone MVP that isn't on one of the better teams in the league at the time. And at least on records, it's hard to argue against someone like Alexander or Manning. At the end of the day, a lot of people look at success - and the Pats just haven't had it this year.

They also look at that bad performance in KC. :)

Somehow, I expect that Bill Simmons will turn this into a 'see - this is what I'm talking about' article within a day or two.

by Towwb (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:04pm

When did "Most Valuable Player" turn into "Player of the Year"?

by Justus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:06pm

I'm okay with Alexander being MVP but Barber should have been at least #2 in voting. Only 20 yards fewer rushing than Alexander and over 500 yards receiving? And all that behind a relatively no-name offensive line and an inaccurate QB? Does anyone think the Giants are anywhere near .500 if they didn't have Tiki? (And talk about improvement in securing the ball...only one fumble in 357 carries. Remember back in 2003 when he had 9 fumbles on 278 carries?)

by Dan Riley (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:16pm

Personally I think that it's very important that the Pats never win any of these individual awards. Feed the Disrespect Beast!

by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:27pm

One of the problems I have with the choice is, as much as I love the objective metrics, watching Seahawk games didn't leave me with an impression of Alexander along the lines of "this guy might be one of the most valuable players in the league." I think it's hard to give the award to somebody who puts up the numbers but doesn't have that impact on the field.

But there's only so comfortable I can be with that kind of analysis, even if it's my own. :)

I did get that feeling this year when I watched the Patriots (Brady) or Giants (Barber) or Panthers (Smith). I had the same feeling with the Larry Johnson (but he didn't start the full year) and to a lesser extent with Peyton Manning. I just didn't get "MVP" when watching Alexander play.

by Kurt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:29pm

I'm also surprised that Tiki didn't do better. In addition to what Justus said, he played against a lot harder schedule than Alexander did. He also led the league in total yards by a larger margin than anyone in the last ten years.

by Kaveman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:30pm

While Alexander's had a great year, so has the rest of that offense. He's a cog in that machine; an important one certainly, but he's no Barry Sanders.

I think Tiki's season has been more worthy of this award, but even he has had some help: Plaxico and Shockey.

But Tom Brady should have had this award. Lost his offensive coordinator, his O line was giving him next to no vertical time, he had no reliable running game and the defense couldn't be counted on at all. The Patriots are in the playoffs almost solely because of him.

And I'm no Pats fan.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:31pm

I think it's highway robbery that Ray Lewis didn't win. Although based on what I gathered from announcers, it really should've been a Favre/Vick split, with Orton third (because he just did what he had to do to win games!).

I'm surprised Urlacher didn't get any votes, though. You figure someone is going to at least acknowledge that defense may be important occasionally, and they'd see the Bears' defense being the most significant, and throw a vote to Urlacher (since he's the star of that defense and all). But I guess the lure of the glory boys was just too big this year.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:32pm

Manning is getting pretty pissed off about the waterfall of disrespect. First, he had to share (SHARE!!) the award with that has-been in Tennessee. Then, this damn rookie punk from SD dares to sack him on a flukey naked boot. On national TV! It got Merriman the DROY award, that one play, like Favre giving Strahan the record a few years back.

And what does Manning get for his troubles? Second!?!? And he didn't get all three pro-bowl QB slots to himself--once more he's forced to share! Get in line, Tom and Byron, the new king of disrespect is Peyton Manning.

Oh, he'll be subtle about it in interviews; you have to look for the coded words and gestures. If he says "shucks" or "gosh" during an interview, look out man, it's war! The term "film study" secretly means he's hired Jeff Gilooly to take out Alexander's knee before the big skating comeptition.

And specifically--I know this because the Colts team psychologist owes me money and pays with inside info--if Manning utters the phrase, "Shaun Alexander had an excellent year and deserves it. It's an honor to be considered along with him," when asked about the MVP, it secretly means: "My minions and I will crush your team in the big game, then hunt you down across the field afterwards, tear out your liver, and eat it with a fine chianti on live TV. Bwa-ha-ha." Either that, or... it's time for my medication.

by Kurt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:33pm

Here's a surprise (to me, at least): Barber's 2390 total yards is also the second highest since 1960 (Faulk, 2429, 1999). Just a monster year.

by dfarrar777 (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:44pm

Oh, great...here comes another annoyed, slightly confused treatise from Latte-Boy on how "touchdowns shouldn't matter...passing yards and cute stubble should!"

Seriously, I wouldn't have argued with Tiki being selected at all. Inferior O-line and QB to Alexander. Brady? Kept his offense afloat through harrowing injuries. When Heath Evans is Option One, you've got problems. Take that from someone who suffered through his 4-year Seahawk tenure.

Manning? Sure. But Shaun is a guy who would have run for over 2,000 yards had he not been taken out of several garbage-time situations. Defenses were also able to stack the box against the Seahawks (esp. when Darrell Jackson was hurt) more than they were the Giants.

And those TDs? Ye gods. Gotta count for something...

by El Angelo (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 6:54pm

No love for Carson Palmer out there folks? The guy had the best year of any QB....

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:09pm

No love for Neil Rackers?

Seriously, though, I was looking at a list of all the AP MVPs throughout the years, and stared aghast at the entry for 1982 -- Mark Moseley. A f-ing KICKER?! Could someone who followed football at that time please explain that one to me? I can only guess that the strike played some part in it. But I simply can't imagine anyone voting for a kicker as an MVP, at least not in the modern NFL.

by ChicagoScott (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:13pm

Carson faded at the end & lost a bunch of votes.

Peyton made some foolish plays vs SD & then sat for 2 weeks & lost a bunch of votes.

Brady will use it as motivation & a sign of disrespect so Pats fans don't mind.

I suppose Tiki did deserve more votes. He is forced to play with the lesser Manning so that makes his life more difficult.

by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:20pm

MVP shouldn't be "best player at his position" or "most record-setting player". It's supposed to be about the player that was the single most valuable player to his team. Alexander runs behind an amazing offensive line, and plays in an offense with one of the most underrated (except here at FO) QB's in the league. That's why I personally wounldn't have voted for him. But what players would the loss of have made the team fall apart? Maybe Tiki. Definitely Manning or Brady. Manning is the lynch pin to the Colts. And for the Pats, everyone BUT Brady and his WR's were horrible this year, and Brady is the only reason why the Pats are in the postseason. I think one of them deserved it more.

A comment on someone else's comment:

At the end of the day, a lot of people look at success - and the Pats just haven’t had it this year.

I wonder what Brady has to do to win this award. When the Pats succeed (consecutive SB wins 2003-2004) Brady doesn't win because he didn't post the best individual numbers on a season. When he does post the best individual numbers (2002--he led the league in passing TD's, and maybe in yards as well?, and this season he led the league in yards and DPAR, or at least did so for most of the season) he doesn't win because his team wasn't a winner.

by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:21pm

I'd have voted for Alexander, if only because I'm starting my own Anti-Tiki backlash.

Nothing against the guy personally, I'm just sick of ESPN pimping him harder than an aging hooker. If one more announcer there calls him "underrated" in spite of the fact he gets more publicity than any other back due to the NY market, I'm gonna poop on my TV.

by turbohappy (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:42pm

Definitely Brady. The Colts wouldn't fall apart without Peyton (not as bad as everyone thinks anyway).

I'm suprised Edgerrin didn't get some of Manning's votes.

by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:48pm


Check their TDs. That's nearly the sole reason why Shaun got so many more votes than Tiki.

by ChicagoScott (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:48pm

Why didn't Brady win the MVP?

Less than 2 to 1 TD/Int (26 to 14).
6th best QB rating (92.3) & nowhere near Manning (104.1) & Palmer (101.1).
Most yards passing but he threw the ball 77 more times than Manning.
10-5 (excluding week 17 Flutie-lovefest), but only 3 wins versus winning teams.

Kyle Orton went 10-4 as Bears starting QB but no one thinks he was the MVP.

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 7:51pm

I think my voting would be: 1)Tiki, 2) Brady, 3) Peyton & 4) Mr. Alexander... (5) Palmer)

Tiki literally took over the KC & Oakland games, with no help from his offensive line. Broken tackles, power running, and holding onto the ball to boot. He was a really good back before, and now fixed some of his earlier problems...

Brady single-handedly took the Pats to the playoffs...

The Colts don't go without Peyton.

Alexander had an amazing year, but as others have pointed out, he's running behind an awesome line, in an offense with many other weapons.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 8:05pm

I would definitely go with Barber as I think he is better all around than SA and plays on a worse team with a worse OL.

If you are asking if I think Tiki outperforms SA if he is in SEA or SA underperforms in NYG, well thats exactly what I am saying.

Personally i am not even sure if SA would make my top 5 for MVP. I think both Palmer and Brady were more valuable to their team as well. Not to mention Manning.

by Jon (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 8:07pm

No offense to Tom Brady, but I think the Patriots probably would have made the playoffs this year with an average QB, if only because the rest of the AFC East was horrible for most of the season.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 8:21pm

Frankly I've always thought the idea of "which player is the most valuable to his team" is a lot less impressive than "which player was the best on the field this season". The "brought the most value to his team" debate becomes very situational, such that it is arbitrarily decided that if your team didn't win, you can't be nominated. Who really cares about an award that is by its very definition eligible to only half of the players in the league?

Stop calling it MVP, start calling it Player of the Year, and start voting accordingly. I find the arguments that player A isn't as valuable to his team as player B to be the height of subjectivity and personal taste, and basing any substantial award off of it is absolutely silly.

Also, Tiki Barber was only 50 yards behind SA, but was he ever rested for long stretches of time? I honestly don't know.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 8:33pm

Additionally, if you really wanted to base an award off of value, most teams would have to default the award to their QB, as no other position is quite the focal point for its entire unit as the Quarterback is. There are just so many ways a quarterback can not just win a game for you, but also sabotage one for you. Drew Bledsoe in Seattle, anyone?

by Ted Max (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 8:51pm

I am with putnamp (27): The MVP trophy doesn't make much sense, since it's entirely context-dependent. Every team has a player that was most valuable to them, so selecting an MVP for each team makes sense. But selecting an MVP for the entire league? How can you possibly compare across teams? The ideal MVP becomes "The guy who kept the suckiest team from sucking," which is pretty hard to determine, or "the best player on the best team," which is meaningless.

The ideal MVP, then, would be a guy who goes undefeated with an incredibly bad team (this year's 49'ers, for example). Give me a call when that happens. Player of the Year makes sense. MVP's for teams makes sense. MVP for the league? Nah.

And as long as we are on the subject, why is the Super Bowl MVP always on the winning team? Presumably there might be a guy on the losing team who was even MORE valuable, just the rest of his team sucked so bad he couldn't carry them to victory. I'd much rather see the award go to the guy who tried to carry an overmatched team to victory and failed than a quarterback playing one of those "efficient" (uninspired) games for the better team (or a guy who got a random interception for the better defense, etc.).. Am I alone in this?

by Joon (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 9:08pm

Re: #29

you're not alone. dr z wrote an article about why he thought thurman thomas should have been the MVP of the norwood super bowl. and it's happened before; chuck howley of dallas won it in super bowl V even though baltimore beat the cowboys. and howley was a linebacker! this couldn't possibly happen today.

i think edge deserved more consideration, too. a great deal of barber's value was in his last two games, with herculean efforts against the chiefs and raiders; but by then, edge was already soaking in the steam room because he was so dominant the first 15 weeks that the colts had nothing to play for. his RB success rate is unreal. alexander really has no place in this discussion. it's like the baseball MVP going to the RBI leader for no other reason than RBI.

by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 9:20pm

"Tiki literally took over the KC & Oakland games ..."

Literally has so jumped the shark :)

by R.J. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 9:41pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but John Elway only won this award once. It's hard to take this award seriously when the people choosing it thought that only one year in his career he was the MVP.

by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 9:47pm

re: #32

What other seasons do you think Elways should have won the MVP award?

by R.J. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:00pm

Prior to his final 3 years when the Broncos actually had talented players all over the field, Elway took teams with average (or worse) talent to the playoffs and Super Bowls year upon year. If it's true that (1) the QB on just about any team is by definition the most valuable and (2) the idea of value is the irreplaceable player that makes a team a contender, Elway should have practically retired the trophy during the playoff runs of the Broncos.

by Zach (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:04pm

I think it's easy to say that Alexander shouldn't be the MVP because of the talent on the O-line...but that ignores the fact that he was the key to their entire season in several ways.

First, his improved play each year, especially when it comes to short-yardage and goal-line situations has given Holmgren much more faith, and allowed him to call more running plays.

Second, the Seahawks receiving corps suffered several injury setbacks. Darrell Jackson missed 10 weeks, Bobby Engram also missed some significant time, and while Joe Jurevicious stepped up for the team, Alexander was still facing a lot of defenses stacked against the run.

Last of all, there are the stats. I know he broke a two-year-old record, but the fact remains that no player in NFL history has scored as many TDs as Alexander. Had the Seahawks not blown out 49ers and Eagles, nor rested their starters for the second halves against Indianapolis and Green Bay, it's not hard to believe that he might have scored 30+ TDs and gained 2000+ yards. Even if you just want to deal with what he actually accomplished, he arguably had the greatest season for a running back ever.

by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:05pm

Re: #17

Moseley missed his 1st field goal of the year, and then proceeded to make the next 20 (then an NFL record). He made several clutch kicks to win games (including a 50 yarder in the snow to beat the Giants). His team went 8-1, winning the Super Bowl. And he's not annoying like Joe Theissman.

And yes, it was a wonky, strike shortened season. But he makes for a good trivia question, so I like the choice. Though I still think this may have been the AP's way of saying "F you, and your strike!"

by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:24pm

Re: 27

Barber missed only one full quarter (the 4th quarter of the 36-0 Redskin game) and parts of 3 others, while Alexander missed five, and parts of 3 others. Barber, howewver, was taken out in almost all goal line situations (Brandon Jacobs scored 5 times from the 1), while Alexander never was. Barber played much harder run defenses.

A complete breakdown (excuse any bad formatting):

Wk Opp (Rush Rank) Car - Yards - TD TD Length Bkp TD Length
1 ARI (23) 13 - 62 - 1 21 5
2 NO (28) 22 - 83 - 1 12 1
3 SD (11) 15 - 60 - 0
4 STL (29) 24 - 128 - 1 16
6 DAL (20) 14 - 64 - 0
7 DEN (17) 19 - 86 - 1 4
8 WAS (5) 24 - 206 - 1 4 3
9 SF (25) 21 - 71 - 0 1,1
10 MIN (18) 23 - 95 - 1 3
11 PHI (8) 21 - 112 - 0
12 SEA (7) 26 - 151 - 0
13 DAL (20) 30 - 115 - 0 1
14 PHI (8) 32 - 124 - 0 1
15 KC (4) 29 - 220 - 0 41, 20
16 WAS (5) 16 - 80 - 0
17 OAK (15) 28 - 203 - 1 95 1
Total 357-1860-9

Wk Opp (Rush Rank) Car - Yards - TD TD Length Bkp TD Length
1 JAX (14) 14 - 73 - 0
2 ATL (32) 28 - 144 - 1 14
3 ARI (23) 22 - 140 - 4 25,1,1,1
4 WAS (5) 20 - 98 - 1 3
5 STL (29) 25 - 119 - 2 1,18
6 HOU (30) 22 - 141 - 4 4,5,1,23 11
7 DAL (20) 21 - 61 - 0
9 ARI (23) 23 - 173 - 2 88,14 1
10 STL (29) 33 - 165 - 3 6,4,17
11 SF (25) 24 - 115 - 2 8,1
12 NYG (3) 31 - 110 - 1 4
13 PHI (8) 19 - 49 - 2 2,1
14 SF (25) 21 - 108 - 1 3
15 TEN (19) 26 - 172 - 1 1
16 IND (16) 21 - 139 - 2 2,1
17 GBP (22) 20 - 73 - 1 1
Total: 370-1880-27

Barber, 4th Quarter + Overtime
Wk Opp (Rank) Car - Yards - TD Last Play
1 ARI (23) 2 - (-2) - 0 9:41
2 NO (28) 9 - 38 - 0
3 SD (11) 2 - (-1) - 0 6:42
4 STL (29) 9 - 47 - 0
6 DAL (20) 4 - 25 - 1
7 DEN (17) 6 - 34 - 1
8 WAS (5) 0 - 0 - 0 16:07
9 SF (25) 6 - 28 - 0 6:24
10 MIN (18) 7 - 29 - 1
11 PHI (8) 5 - 17 - 0
12 SEA (7) 8 - 73 - 0
13 DAL (20) 11 - 64 - 0
14 PHI (8) 11 - 33 - 0
15 KC (4) 11 - 69 - 0
16 WAS (5) 2 - 32 - 0
17 OAK (15) 7 - 28 - 0
Total: 100-517-3

Alexander, 4th Quarter + Overtime
Wk Opp (Rank) Car - Yards - TD Last Play
1 JAX (14) 2 - (-3) - 0
2 ATL (32) 8 - 28 - 0
3 ARI (23) 4 - 5 - 1 8:53
4 WAS (5) 8 - 42 - 0
5 STL (29) 9 - 52 - 0
6 HOU (30) 2 - 39 - 1 13:25
7 DAL (20) 6 - 17 - 0
9 ARI (23) 8 - 22 - 1
10 STL (29) 11 - 40 - 1
11 SF (25) 3 - 5 - 0
12 NYG (3) 15 - 27 - 1
13 PHI (8) 0 - 0 - 0 30:33
14 SF (25) 0 - 0 - 0 16:31
15 TEN (19) 11 - 70 - 0
16 IND (16) 3 - 11 - 1 4:02
17 GBP (22) 0 - 0 - 0 30:16
Total: 90-356-6

by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:44pm

re: #34

So you're saying that Elway should have been MVP just about every year prior to has last three? Which years do you think Elway deserved the aware but didn't get it? The justification you gave might be more application to at least one other player in a given year.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 10:56pm

That's a pretty substantial stretch of games where he didn't play at all. You can move that Indianapolis one up a bit, too, because Mo Morris was in and got the ball to the 1, and Alexander ran that single play to score a touchdown (and tie the TD record).

13 PHI (8) 0 - 0 - 0 30:33
14 SF (25) 0 - 0 - 0 16:31
15 TEN (19) 11 - 70 - 0
16 IND (16) 3 - 11 - 1 4:02

11 runs for 70 yards in the 4th quarter against Tennessee, though, in the midst of those other 4 games. That's impressive, I didn't even realize he played that well there. That was the only close game of the 4, too.

by Travis (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 11:14pm

Re: 39

Morris was in for only 2 plays on that drive, which started on the Colts' 17, before Alexander came back in. Alexander had played the previous drive, as well.

by Dean from Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 11:15pm

Well for those that argue the award should go to the player that is most valuable in the sense that their team would be useless without them, Big Ben has to be added to the discussion.

With him, the Steelers are one of the top 5 teams in the NFL.

Without them, and they are close to the bottom 5. (in that at the moment I could probably do a better job than Maddox, and Batch has trouble staying healthy on the walk from the bed to the bathroom.

by Dan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 11:36pm

Shaun Alexander is clearly ranked too high because his team has choked the past two years. The MVP always going to last years Super Bowl MVP is way better than this because we all know winning in the playoffs is all that really matters. I no you guyz actually picked the MVP, you stat nerdz changed the vote, because Dr. Z and PK would nevr vote against a winnner

by Rex (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 11:39pm

I can respect Alexander's career because he has always scored an amazing amount of TD's, but I hate him.
Last year's quote where he felt "like he was stabbed in the back", because he was one yard shy of the rushing title, but the Seahawks passed for a TD, when they needed a win to make the playoffs.
Then this year when he went back into the game against the Colts. That tv shot of Holmgren restraining him from running onto the field is priceless.
I know 99% of pro athletes care about stats, but I feel like Alexander abuses it the most.
I am hoping he takes the big bucks in Arizona or some other city and he is terrible.
Either way, he is not the MVP. Tiki, then Manning, then Brady.

by stan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/05/2006 - 11:46pm

Based on the quotes by Jeff Fisher in USA Today, Manning has taken offensive football to a whole new level (see also, Don Shula). He is uniquely talented because he beats teams with his brains.

Peyton should be the slam dunk MVP even if his passing ability was as bad as Brady's or even Vick's. With his brain, he forces defenses into personnel packages and alignments they never use against any other team. He stops defenses from substituting when they want to.

No other player in the history of the game has ever done that.

His unique execution in the running game creates yardage for his running back. No other pro QB in the modern game has ever done that.

He is the most accurate passer in the game. He routinesly completes passes in spaces so tight, QBs like Brady, McNair or Palmer don't even try (Favre tries, but his throws get picked).

The only people who could possibly vote for anyone but Manning are stupid, ignorant or insanely biased.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:14am

Wow. With ballwashing skills like that, stan could sub for MMQB or for one of The Three Stooges.

by VCB (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:32am


I'd like to see Manning's stats playing home games and most road games outdoors on the east coast every year - I think you would find they would be, shall we say, a little different. On the flip side, I'd like to see Brady's or even Orton's stats this year in a dome.

by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:35am

Stan are those your thoughts or Fisher's?
Dean from Oz, totaly agree. Night and day.
re 36
according tp the NFL fact and record book
"Converted 20 of 21 FG's. Set then consecutive record at 23(including last three in '81)."
Why would people think a rb is more valuable than a qb?

by stan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:57am

The whole point of my post was to point outshow that Manning's value far transcends stats. Peyton changes defenses like no other player in the league ever has.

Coaches such as Fisher and Shula have commented that he is unique. He has taken the way offense is played to a totally different level.

It has nothing to do with stats.

It is a provable fact that defenses are forced to use packages and tactics that they use against no one else.

It is a fact that his run game execution creates running room. It is a fact that other teams find it difficult or impossible to get their QBs to replicate what he does when preparing to play the Colts.

It is a fact that well-respected coaches have stated that he is playing the position as no one else ever has.

Now I will readily agree that I am taking those facts and using them to form my opinion that they establish that Manning is the MVP. It is only my opinion, but I believe that opinions should be based on facts and logical conclusions stemming from those facts.

If someone wants to argue that these facts don't warrant the MVP award, it should certainly be an interesting read. To my knowledge, no pundit or commenter has even tried.

by stan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:12am

Fisher's comments are from a USA Today article by Gordon Forbes dated 1/4.

"Their offense is very, very unique," said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, whose Titans lost both division games to the Colts by a combined 53 points. "It's in a different league, a different class. What they're doing differently on offense, their style, this team, it's unique in the history of the game."

And: "He (Manning) does such a great job of putting people in position to make plays," said Fisher. "Ninety-nine out of 100 times he's right. They've changed the game."

"Specifically, what they do is a no huddle," said Fisher. "They line up with plenty of time left, and they force the defense to declare. Then Peyton changes the play. He's a blitz-beater. There can be no sign of the blitz, yet they'll come, and he'll be right with his call and beat them."

Read the rest. Obviously, there are some sources for other stuff in my posts (e.g. from Shula). The defensive tactics stuff comes for observation, supported by some nfl.com columns, conversations with former coaches, etc.

Fisher very clearly credits Manning with changing the game with his unique abilities as a QB.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:40am

In addition to all the fabulous powers Stan mentioned, Manning can have NFL rules changed by the force of his displeasure at losing in the playoffs.
The only people who could possibly vote for anyone but Manning are stupid, ignorant or insanely biased.
"Insanely biased" sounds about right.

by Justus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:54am

#47 - "Why would people think a rb is more valuable than a qb?"

In 1973 the Buffalo Bills' RB had 332 carries in 14 games. He averaged 6.0 y/a, scored 12 TDs, and amassed 2003 yards. The QB had 164 attempts, a 44.5 completion percentage, 939 yards passing, 5.7 yards per pass attempt, 4 TDs, and 11 interceptions.

I don't think anyone is going to seriously argue that Joe Ferguson was more valuable to that team than O.J. Simpson.

(In addition to Simpson's 2000 yards on the ground, the Bills also had a 500 yard rusher and a 400 yard rusher for 3073 total yards on the ground versus 939 through the air.)

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 2:29am

dfarrar777 #15:

But why can defenses stack the box against Alexander?

Because he couldn't catch a cold if thrown his way.

You know if he is in the game, Seattle is very likely to run the ball, because they certainly aren't going to do something silly like throw it to him very often.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:12am

Zach #35:

If Alexander hadn't been sat in the second half of five games, he would have ended up with way over 430 runs on the season - if he didn't blow a couple of knees or feet prior to then. No player has ever run that many times. The notion that Alexander would have if only given the chance is silly.

What Alexander really needed was more yards per attempt against Dallas, Philly, New York, and Green Bay.

Also he didn't break Priest Holmes' TD record. Holmes scored 27 rushing TD's and Alexander tied him. He broke Marshall Faulk's combined rushing/recieving TD record from 2000 of 26. Actually, he really broke Steve Van Buren's combined TD record, since Van Buren had 17 TD's in a 10 game 1945 season, the equivalent of 27.2 TD's in a 16 game season.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:27am

Rex #43:

Last year’s quote where he felt “like he was stabbed in the back”, because he was one yard shy of the rushing title, but the Seahawks passed for a TD, when they needed a win to make the playoffs.

Most running backs just whine about not getting the ball enough.

Alexander has taken this to a whole new T.O. like level. God forbid the Seattle O-Line should ever fall apart, or the team go 5-11 when expected to win the Super Bowl. He'd turn into the 2003-2005 version of T.O. constantly whining, preening for the spotlight, screaming at his teammates and coaches, etc.

F*** your stats man! Do what your team needs you to do to win!

If the roles were reversed with Barber and Alexander, can anyone imagine Alexander saying "he wished Barber well and he deserves to get the rushing title this year"?

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:24am


That's not true at all, Alexander had a lot more passes thrown to him in earlier years. Plays involving him as a receiver have been limited drastically this year. In 2002 he caught 59 passes for 450 yards.

Alexander was not sat "for the second half" in 5 games, I have no idea where you're getting that number, and you're definitely exaggerating the length of time he sat in some of those games.

If Alexander had ran 430 attempts, he would've had 2180 yards. 410 and he would've beaten Jamal Lewis' 2003 numbers. Injury wouldn't disqualify him from the MVP running, would it?

His comments at the end of last year were a bit of a disgrace, but so far it hasn't been an issue this year. Making a big deal about it now, hyperbolizing about similarities to Terrell Owens, whose villification lies more in his contract issues than his attitude, it sounds like more sour grapes.

Alexander has proven to be very durable over the years, but I do agree that if he had played in those games, he most likely would've been testing even his own lofty limits. I'm glad he didn't run any longer, and I was actually hoping he wouldn't play against Green Bay at all.

What Alexander really needed was more yards per attempt against Dallas, Philly, New York, and Green Bay.

You realize that Dallas, Philly, and New York were all stacking the box? Dallas and New York because the Seahawks' top two receivers were out, and Philly because they knew the only play Seattle was going to call were runs to simply run out the clock and end the game.

by Matt (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:27am

Rex and Andrew,

Please do not make comments about a man you obviously know nothing about. Alexander is a class act and should never even be mentioned in the same sentence as T.O.

That tv shot of Holmgren restraining him from running onto the field is priceless.
I know 99% of pro athletes care about stats, but I feel like Alexander abuses it the most.

Coach Gil Haskell told Alexander to go in. Did you watch the game?
From the Seattle PI - "He has done everything we asked him to do and more," Holmgren said. "I didn't want him to miss out, if I could help it, like he did last year." Before Alexander jogged onto the field, Holmgren stopped him. Holmgren said he told Alexander that if he got hurt, the coach would never speak to him again. Alexander said the coach said he had one play and joked he wouldn't visit him in the hospital if he were to be injured.

Last year’s quote where he felt “like he was stabbed in the back�.

Alexander said he made a mistake and that he should not have made the comment. Holmgren felt really bad about it and somewhat agreed with Alexander about not giving his player a chance to get the rushing title. This year Alexander has been extremely humble and is completely on board with Holmgren and whatever he says.
Wow, he is just like T.O. and completely full of himself!

by ian (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:57am

RE: Barber versus Alexander

I don't know who is the better player, or who is more valuable to thier team, but here are some interesting numbers:

sub-100 yard games - TB 8, SA 5
vs division opp - TB 2, SA 0
vs conf opp - TB 6, SA 4

total yards vs div - TB 699, SA 817

ypc season - TB 5.2, SA 5.1
ypc in sub-100 games - TB 4.1, SA 4.0
ypc division - TB 5.1, SA 5.5

Seattle clinched their early, the Giants late, and Seattle clinched homefield in week 16, while the Giants are the 4 seed. Say what you want about the quality of competition, but the 6 games against division opponants matter a lot, and clinching a division early has got to be a relief of some sort.

Against common opponants, which are many, since the NFC West played the NFC East this year, both backs suffered against the opposite conference, as TB delivered 2 sub-100 games versus the NFC West and SA turned in 3 sub-100 games against the NFC East. (one for each came in a blowout)

Based only on the rushing of TB and SA, those 6 common opponants run defense agaisnt the two running backs with the highest yardage totals are ranked in opponants yards/carry like this, with (NFL rank opp ypc):

1. DAL 3.5 (25 4.2)
2. PHI 3.6 (10 3.7)
3. SF 4.2 (11 3.8)
4. STL 5.1 (31 4.7)
5. ARI 5.9 (15 4.0)
6. WAS 6.0 (20 4.1)

The same numbers for just TB:

1. SF 3.4 (11 3.8)
2. DAL 4.1 (25 4.2)
3. PHI 4.5 (10 3.7)
4. ARI 4.8 (15 4.0)
5. STL 5.3 (31 4.7)
6. WAS 7.1 (20 4.1)

The same nubers for just SA:

1. PHI 2.6 (10 3.7)
2. DAL 2.9 (25 4.2)
3. SF 4.9 (11 3.8)
4. WAS 4.9 (20 4.1)
5. STL 4.9 (31 4.7)
6. ARI 6.9 (15 4.0)

Is one runner better than the other? I don't think you can say, but I think that what these numbers say is that with 6 common opponants, they each 'beat' 4 out of 6 opposing defenses, gaining more than the average yards per carry, and that in one half of the times that they lost, the game was a blowout.

Against the 25th best yards/carry defense in the NFL, the two highest yard gainers in the NFL 'lost', failing to beat the season average for the Dallas Cowboys defense, and leading their teams to a very shaky 2-1 record that could have easily been 0-3 against a team that did not make the playoffs.

That might be something to think about.

by Matt (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:01am

Tiki was good, but no MVP. Alexander is clearly the better choice in terms of running backs (Note: Larry Johnson very well could have beaten them both if he had started the full year). Alexander is a scoring machine. ESPN's Clayton said he scores 40% of the time when he is in the redzone. I would say that is very valuable. Alexander is extremely consistent. He has 11 games with 100 or more rushing yards and one game with 98 yards. This kind of consistency is what has allowed Seattle's passing game to be so good. Saying Alexander should not have received the award because of Seattle's line is a bad argument. It is like saying Peyton did not deserve his votes because he had good receivers and a good O-Line. If Tiki was as valuable as everyone is trying to make him out to be don't you think that he would have received more votes from the people whose job it is to watch football week after week?
For all of you non-believers, here is a quote from your false god(Tiki) posted on NFL.com.
"I have such great respect for Shaun Alexander. His abilities make him one of, if not the, top backs in the league. What I appreciate most about him is his consistency. Consistency is the true measure of a great player and Shaun is nothing if not consistent. The numbers he puts up week after week are just unreal."

by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:35am

Alexander had 380 carries this year, so the rest prevented him from exceeding 400, but it certainly didn't provide a boost to his statistics. Also, remember those games against the NFC East were primarily against 8-man defensive fronts as a result of Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram both being out.

That said, I don't think Seattle re-signs Alexander next year, and I think we see another running back put up very good numbers behind this offensive line. I'd rather they spend the money on Steve Hutchinson, then trade around and try to draft an RB if they have to. Something that doesn't include hand-cuffing yourself and losing out on your OG who will probably last you a lot longer.

by tim (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:35am


SA: 57.8 20.7%/-1.5 -20.5
TB: 47.4 17.4%/ 17.8 42.7%

adj. line yrds.
sea:4.53 nyg:4.31

hasslebeck accounted for 24 scores for SEA.

give tiki seattle's OL and he'll average 6yds a carry.

Disclosure- eagle's fan

by tim (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:37am

not that i think tiki should have won it, because without tom brady we'd be watching Jags-Fins this saturday.

by Trent (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:47am

Matt, i have to totally 100% agree with you in all accounts. I would say more, but you took my breathe away. I don't think TO has a children's foundation for needy kids in Alabama like Shawn Alexander does, i don't think TO has the humbleness of SA, especially in terms of loyalty to an organization that hasn't paid him yet...actually that's the exact opposite of the TO saga. If SA were like TO in anyway shape or form, he would have had about 10 fist fights with fellow players over his monetary issues with the Seahawks organization because of not getting paid yet....if you're going to talk about this MVP award, give the guy some credit, it's not like any of you give Seattle any credit to begin with besides Walter Jones, and that's only because he's talked about on MMQB. What about Hutchinson, Mack Stong, Terril, and Hasselbeck for his audibles at the line=? And i think it's sad to put his award on the O-line. Do you even watch the games people? SA gains most of his yards cutting back along the grain, especailly earlier on in the year like against Arizona in that long 88 yard run in the first play of the second half. That's not 0-line skills, that's SA's god given talent. Yes the O-line is great! But SA is even greater! He's done this every year, and you people just never watched him as close as you have this year. That 0-line has been growing during the last 5 years, but SA has been putting up numbers while their 0-line has been growing. Oh and by the way....TO doesn't give McNabb Christmas gifts. SA left Christmas gifts for all of his 0-line, and Mack Strong in the Seattle locker room, minutes before he left on a plane to go to his aunt's funeral. Come on people don't judge, if you don't know!

by ian (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:54am

I want to think that Seattle is in a very Denver like position with their OL - the running back position is pretty good no matter who is in there. Probably not 1800 yards and 27 TDs good though, but still pretty good. I'm not particularly worried at the prospect of Mo Morris and Leonard Weaver running with the ball next year, if it comes to that.

Its also interesting to me that Seattle hasn't run as many screens as they did in Holmgren's first few years there. Makes me wonder if, in Holmgren's system, the screen is an advanced topic for the RB - Ricky Watters was the back at the time - or a elementary tactic for the whole offense to compensate for deficiencies - younger line, greener QB, etc.

I don't think that comparing TB and SA as recievers is an apt comparison, because of the lack of screens in the Seahawks gameplans this year. Even when their two starting WRs were out with injuries, I don't remember seeing a lot of dump off passes to the RB or FB, and I think that means that Hasselbeck is finding a downfield receiver instead of a safety outlet, something that Eli might not be doing, which might mean Tiki has more passes thrown to him. That is utter conjecture, of course, because I haven't seen a lot of Giants games, but that is what it feels like watching Seahawks games.

by stan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 9:07am


Hey starshatter,

You write "Manning can have NFL rules changed by the force of his displeasure at losing in the playoffs."

Because there are others in New England who suffer from this same delusion, I suspect you mean defensive holding or illegal contact penalties, but they were adopted by the NFL decades ago. If you believe that the NFL changed the rules for Manning, you are right about one thing -- someone is insanely biased.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:15am

Re: #64

Ok, so Starshatterer should have said "Manning can have the NFL give referees special instructions on how extra tightly to enforce particular rules by the force of his displeasure at losing in the playoffs." :)

But please do tell us more about the fabulous, supernatural powers of your binkie. Will he be solving the problems of the Middle East next? Or will he skip right to investing the transporter and warp drive? I'm on pins and needles waiting to find out.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:39am

Ian nice post but it does ignore that SA played much worse teams this year and ignores Tiki's recieving production.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:45am

Stan (#50 )--

Hey, how's it going, nice to talk.

I was only parodying your style of taking the work of others (Polian, in the case of the rule re-emphasis), attributing it to Peyton, then exaggerating its impact.

You see, even as a New England fan, I could really care less about your opinion of Brady, or P. Manning, for that matter. You're a rabid fanboi, and it's usually more fun to laugh at you from home, than to try to argue with a rabid fanboi.

The reason I keep mocking your posts (and will likely contiue to do so, after this mostly serious reply), is that you are *such* a rabid fanboi, you throw the rest of the Colts' team under the pedestal you're trying to build for Young Chiseled God Manning. Until you acknowledge that a good deal of Manning's success comes from the fabulous support he gets from Harrison, Wayne, Clark, James, Glenn, Diem, Saturday, and (while we're at it) excellent coaching and more-than-adequate defense (new this year), you really need to be mocked more often.

Here's the thing: put Peyton Manning (or Brady, or Favre at the legendary height of his powers) on this year's Texans, and they would all struggle to cary their team to five wins. People wouldn't be comparing young Peyton to Dan Marino, or Jonny Unitas -- they'd be comparing him to Archie Manning. Remember him? People my age used to claim that he was the best quarterback in the league, on the worst team in the league. He had no chance at the kind of accolades young Peyton gets, because his team sucked out loud.

One tiny parable this year, from when some quarterback -- let's call him "Sonny Paycheck" -- went up against a team with a pretty good defense, but suspect cornerbacks, the kind of team built to make a a fabulous quarteback like Sonny appear even more fabulous. Call them the "Southern California Electrics."

But then, in the first quarter, Sonny's team lost a starting offensive tackle. Sonny spent the rest of the game getting sacked far more than he was used to, and lost the game by more than a touchdown.

It's a team sport, guy. Maybe, if the rest of his team stays healthy in the playoffs, and provide him the excellent support he's used to, Young Manning can get the hardware he realy wants.

by OMO (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:46am

It’s official…Stan has moved to the front of the “slurp� club with his off-the-charts lube job for Manning in this thread.

He bumps Starshatter and Patsfan from their virtual “deadlock� on the award for anything and everything that has to do with the Patriots Nation.

And Gentlemen…he who lives in glass houses, should not throw stones.

by OMO (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:51am

On an unrelated note.

I think if pushed, I could develop a pretty good quantitative and qualitative argument for all of the top 5 vote getters.

I hate to take the “warm and fuzzy road� but all 5 are tremendous players that depending on what context you use…I could see anyone of them winning the award.

Which is why many of these posts are: (my guy) should have won the MVP…without him (my team) would have sucked beyond all belief and they wouldn’t have won a game/got into the playoffs/been able to wipe their own arses…etc.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:59am

I will be honest, even though I suspect this individual post will be little regarded. I am somewhat suprised at the Alexander bashing I've seen done at almost all media levels, including here.

As I can understand it, the anti-SA arguements are such:
1) Tiki had more total yards - This is the strongest arguement I can think of in favor of Tiki, and I don't really have a problem with it.
2) SA didn't catch the ball much - While it's true SA wasn't a big part of the passing offense, the focus he received by every defense could possibly have had an effect on the passing attack of Seattle.
3) Anyone could run behind that line - While is may or may not be true, you could say that about almost any running back. And while "anybody" could have run behind that line, it wasn't "anybody" it was Shaun Alexander. And while the offensive line made him look good, so too did he make the OL look good. I can think of a few RBs who never reached their potential because they were not able to run effectively through holes his line opened.

SA's greatest asset as a runner is what you might call "field vision." While all runners have to be able to see holes opening up, SA has this ability more than others. You might say he has the ability to see holes before they open up, by anticipating the defenses angles and being aware of the blocking scheme, he'll frequently stroll behind the line while others do the heavy lifting ahead of him. This has lead some in the past to criticize him for not being aggressive enough. However it leads to positive yardage frequently, and big plays very often. A downside of this style is that when he hits the hole, he doesn't get as much credit as perhaps he deserves. "Anyone could have run through that hole!" the naysayers would say. Well, maybe. But "Anyone" might very well have hit the hole earlier, or hit another "hole" and not have had as productive a carry.

SA's vision is indeed a rare gift for a running back so young. It makes his running style unlike any other back I can remember in the league. No, he's not Barry Sanders, but neither was Barry Sanders Shaun Alexander!

SA's style also seems to avoid unnecessary hits for small results. I believe it will prolong his playing life quite a bit longer than some would otherwise project. His lack of catching the ball also prevents jarring hits which sometime come as a result. I will go out on a limb here and predict this:

Shaun Alexander will be a highly productive running back for the next five years, loosing almost no time to injury. He will be a marginally productive RB for another 3 years.

What will this mean? Well, I believe he will have a reasonable chance to break the all time rushing yards make, the all time rushing TD mark and have at least an outside chance at the all time scoring mark.

by admin :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:27am

OK, can I ask everyone to be nice to each other? I have not read the entire thread here but I think we can discuss which of five players should win the most valuable player award without impugning their integrity, or each other's integrity. I don't want to hear that Shaun Alexander only cares about stats, and I don't want to hear that Shaun Alexander has a foundation for needy kids. (Actually, I do want to hear that Shaun Alexander has a foundation for needy kids, I just don't think it is a reason to give the guy the MVP.) I would like to point out that it is possible to discuss these things without getting personal, and that support for one of the five players does not necessarily indicate that you don't like the other four.

On a serious note, "Shaun Alexander will be a highly productive back for the next five years" may be a stretch. As great as he is -- and I am not arguing with his greatness, nor with giving him the MVP -- he is subject to the same issues of age, injury, and physical breakdown as everyone else. While there remains the possibility he will buck the trends, the likelihood is that 2005 was his best year and that he will decline beginning next year when he is 29 years old, just like most of the other workhorse backs throughout NFL history.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:59am

ian #63:

Tiki gets thrown the ball because he is the best all-around player on the field for the Giants. Tiki leads the league in RB DPAR, and is a great threat as a receiver.

Same reason Philly throws to Westbrook besides running him. Same reason Edge gets thrown the ball by Manning besides running him.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:11pm

Trent #62:

TO has a foundation for Alzheimers. Would you please saint him now, like you've done for SA?

SA certainly has been paid. Did you check what the Franchise tender was for this year? $6.32 million. Rookie contract was for $5.5 million. He was paid $3.25 million in 2004 as a restricted free agent.

Last I checked, $15 million for your first 5 years in the NFL is good money.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 12:14pm

Aaron, you may indeed be correct with regards to SA's impending decline. However I was making an admittedly subjective observation that his running style is fairly non-contact relative to other runners. Going with the assumption that contact, rather than the simple act of running, is what will age a RB most, I assumed that SA will age better than the typical back.

Naturally I may be wrong. I wonder if there is any way to measure "number of hits" for every workhourse back, as opposed to number of carries. I wonder if number of carries is a good measure of future decline because a greater number of carries will likely translate into a greater number of hits. I wonder if we can in some way calculate the level of contact a RB will experience with their durability.

Consider two runners: Earl Campbell and Jerome Bettis. Earl was 5-11, 232 pounds of pure punishment. I use Campbell because he was probably to most physical runningback in history, and his carreer was probably cut short because of that.

Jerome Bettis is also 5-11, and at 255 a little bigger than Campbell. He plays in a bigger league, however, so I think we can say both players were of comperable size. Although he never had quite as good of a season as Campbell's 1900+ yarder, he's had a longer and more productive carreer. I believe this is in large part because, despite his size, Bettis is not the physical runner that Campbell was, preferring to spin around tacklers rather than running through them. Even though Bettis has slowed down over the last 5 years, he's remianed a highly valuable back for the Steelers.

So moving on to Alexander, I repeat that I have never seen a back quite like him. I too have been frustrated by his patience in the backfield, which has on occasion lead to him losing yardage when he might have gained. However I believe one result of this smooth style of running is he will age better than a typical head-first back. Thus my prediction.

by stan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:06pm

67 and 68,

I will take the complete absence of any substantive rebuttal as an acknowledgement on your parts that your are in agreement with the factual content of my previous posts.

I note that neither of you dispute what Jeff Fisher had to say.

OMO, Are you saying that Fisher is slurping on Manning? If you want to read a real slurp job, read any of the NE papers on Brady just about every week.

It's a simple argument I've made here based on factual premises and supported by expert testimony. None of which you have attempted to rebut.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:13pm

Re: #67

Good analysis re: importance of all the players on a team. Extra points for using Archie as an example :).

Re: #68

Give me a break :). I did say in other threads that I thought it would be unlikely the Pats would beat the Colts this playoffs should they face each other, after all. And that I thought the JAX +7.5 spread is way too high.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:26pm

Stan (#75 )--

What's Fisher supposed to say? "I can't coach my guys to the level they need to compete, and that's why they haven't beaten the Colts in three years."? Nah.

As far as substance goes, I notice my parable went over your head, so I'll say it plainly: the Colts lost to San Diego because Manning got pressured, and Manning got pressured because Ryan Diem went out injured. All YCG Manning's talent for quick reads and fast, accurate release didn't make up for it.

Manning ain't all you puff him up to be. No one is. In any case, statements like, "The only people who could possibly vote for anyone but Manning are stupid, ignorant or insanely biased," have no substance to rebut.

As far as Alexander as MVP -- it's a perfectly valid choice, but then again, meh. Any one of five or six guys could make a claim to be league MVP, just like Sportsman o' the Year, Coach o' the Year, Rookie o' the Year, Towel-Boy o' the Year, Snarky Anonymous Internet Poster o' the Year, &c. The opinion of 50 or so AP sportswriters is noteworthy, but (I'm betting) not exactly what Irsay, Polian, Dungy, and even YCG Manning are really after this year.

And OMO, I'm not a player-fan, I'm a team fan. That's the glass house around the corner, halfway down the block. Bring stones. ;-)

by Pats on the Potomac (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 1:28pm

It's hard to argue against Manning, Brady, Palmer, Barber, or Alexander.
I've always thought MVP had more to do with your importance to the team than with your stats, and Brady and Manning define their teams more than any other players in the game. Manning is the best pre-snap quarterback I've ever seen, which puts him in position to hit wide open receivers. This is NOT a knock on Manning, as he's mastered a system that allows his offense to have the edge before every snap.
The Pats would have been D-U-N without Brady playing out of his mind the first half of the season. They could have started 1-7, had not Brady saved their bacon against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Buffalo. Miami was 8-7 before the Week 17 exposition in Foxborough, and would have won the division had the Pats not pulled out those early victories.
Barber had a phenominal year, and had his biggest games when Eli was shakiest.
Palmer was on fire, and took an otherwise shaky team to the 3 seed.
As for Alexander, the Seahawks would have made the playoffs without him. They play in the worst division in the league. For all the grief the Pats get for winning a lousy AFC East, the NFC West is a joke. Arizona and Dan Fran are four wins a year, so Seattle would have gotten the division this year with a halfway decent RB. Still, Alexander was a force. The Smith-Holmes-Alexander TD records are overrated, but Alexander turns Seattle from a one-and-done playoff team into a Super Bowl contender. They are the only NFC team anywhere near the top AFC squads.
So, I guess I didn't really care who won this year, but I'd have probably voted for Tiki.

by stan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 2:04pm


As for Fisher, your response is complete nonsense. Simply getting beat is no reason to credit the other team's QB with revolutionizing the game. Lots of coaches in the NFL lost a ton of games to the Cowboys, 49ers, etc. and never said that Aikman or Montana "revolutionized" the game. "We got beat by a better team" is the ususal response. There is simply no reason for him to make the extraordinary statements that he did, if he doesn't believe them.

In reality, he has very strong incentives NOT to say what he did. It is a hell of a lot harder to convince your defense it can succeed in future games vs. the Colts when you are on record telling the world that the opposing QB plays at a whole different level and makes the right adjustments 99% of the time. Anyone who has ever coached for a living can tell you just how extraordinary Fisher's remarks are.

As for the Colts loss to SD,it was because the entire offensive line got the crap kicked out of it all day from the first play. They couldn't run and couldn't pass block. Ryan Diem got hurt "pass blocking" as he was driven straight back over another Colt lineman who got knocked on his ass. This was shortly after he got his ass kicked straight back 3 yards into the backfield on a RUNNING play to his side. He sucked in other games as well. See e.g. against Jax when he gave up two sacks within minutes.

In the same SD game, Lilja got knocked straight back 10 yards off the ball on a pass rush by Merriman which led to a sack. He was physically manhandled throughout the whole game.

But, the Colt offensive line isn't any better or any worse than it was last year when 3 different starters missed a bunch of games in the last half of the season. Isn't it interesting that when injuries forced Manning to make do with two rookies in the O-line (one undrafted and the other a 5th rounder), we didn't hear any excuses. When Brady had two rookies (quality 1st and 2d round picks) playing in the line because of injury, we heard the excuses all year.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:30pm

No, stan, you've got it all wrong. this won't do:
As for the Colts loss to SD,it was because the entire offensive line got the crap kicked out of it all day from the first play.
Manning's the real MVP, he can overcome trifles like that. Besides, his line's no good, anyway -- you told us that. Throw in anybody on the line, and the Young Chiseled God will prevail. Don't lose the faith, man. The Chargers cheated, somehow. That's it.

And as for Fisher's statements, well, I'll take his opinion as proof of his opinion, nothing more. Jim Kelley ran the no-huddle better than Manning did, a decade ago. It's hardly revolutionizing the position to follow the trail somebody else has blazed, only not as far.

Irrational Brady-Manning debate has its own thread.

by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:37pm

re 51
Yeah and missed the playoffs despite a defense that gave up 16.4 points per game

by ian (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:37pm

re: #66: Yes it does ignore that Tiki catches a lot of balls, and I have questions about why that is. But I think that when you see that out of 13 opponants played by each team, 6 are in common and they have a head to head match up, that to say that the remaining 6 teams are somehow more indicitive of aworth (either as a running back, as a player, or as a measure of opponant quality) than the 6 teams that they do share is somewhat suspect. What you can say for sure is that against those 6 teams, you can make apples to apples comparisons that are as good as it gets in the NFL (injuries, blowouts, mailed in end of season games, and quesionable calls not withstanding). And what you get when you look at them is that as rushers, they are both pretty good, but not against Dallas.

re: #72: I understand that Tiki is the best player on his offensive team, and I don't even quesion it. What I my question is however, is does he get more passes because he is the best player on the offense, or does he get more passes because he is a better receiver?

Alexander isn't the best player on his offense - I'd pick Hasselbeck without blinking - and the fifth and sixth string Wideouts that played while Jackson and Engram were out I think are better than what the Eagles had in their WR corps at the start of the season behind TO - their deep bench was better than some teams 2 & 3 WRs. The point being, in Seattle's offense, with the quality of players it has, you have to wonder, would TB have had as many passes thrown to him? I don't know the answer, because it isn't clear to me why SA doesn't get a lot of passes thrown to him - is he a bad receiver or just not as good as the talent around him?

Which is just a long and complicated way of saying that while I can come up with a way to judge, apples to apples, their skills as rushers (advancing the ball against common defenses reguardless of game context), I cannot do the same thing in evaluating their skills as receivers because TB gets thrown at more then SA, and the reasons why are unclear. Which is why we go to things like DPAR, but DPAR isn't an apples to apples comparison, its a statistical comparison that (if I understand it propery) tries to remove the differences inherent to offensive systems and schemes, and measure worth of a player to their team on a play by play basis.

So, as to worth to his team, merit for the MVP, whatever else, I don't know, and I don't believe that there is any case that is strong for anyone to claim one of these guys is more deserving of the award, just like I don't know how to compare any of these five guys - Alexander, Barber, Brady, Manning, Palmer - they each did a lot of superlative things in their respectve, but very different roles that helped their teams in the regular season.

The pick is a subjective popularity contest made by 50 sportswriters, who likely put more thought into their ballot than most Americans put in their political ballots. If there were an objective way of measuring, then we wouldn't have a vote, it would be self-evident who the MVP is.

by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 9:03pm

First of all Stan Forbes is an idiot.
Second of all I would certainly pick Manning, or several other qb's over Manning.
Third of all, Mannings stats are pretty amazing.
Fourth of all, what is up with the "provable facts"?
As far as taking offense to a whole different level, well the list is endless.
ok lets start
Luckman and the t formation.
Waterfield and Van Brocklin, first modern offense, Set scoring record in 1950 on a per game basis that still stands.
Otto Graham 8.98 y/pass, career, wow
Fouts, incredibly explosive offense.
Kelly, ran the k-gun no huddle in Buffalo.
Moon, masterful job of running the run and shoot.
And last but not least, let's give a big nod to Vick, who is referred to as the most exciting player in football on a regular basis.
Look I am not saying that Manning is not great or is not less valuable than Alexander, I totally think he is.
But I, and a few others here, saw the playoff game last year.
It did not look like he took a offense to a totally different level.

by Paul (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:01am

Ummm, I have never cared very much about awards, and I never realized ANYBODY did care this much-did y'all have money riding on -this? I was led by the NY media to expect that Tiki would win; seemed OK by me, Alexander had a great season and it certainly is a defensible pick. At the risk of sounding like a Manning basher, I have to say, he has a lot of help, don't you think? He's indoors, with an HOF RB and WR...I'm just not convinced that he is a quantum leap ahead of other top QBs...

by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 4:37am

Thanks for clearing that up. I did not know that the MVP includes last year's playoff performances as well. How come Brady doesn't win every year, then, being 9-0 in playoffs and all???

Here's my 2 cents on Manning's season FWIW. Go back to the media in week 14, he was the frontrunner. If they had run the table, even if his stats had fallen off, he'd have won. Not sure why, really... but that's the flipside of why Brady didn't win, not enough team wins.

Starshatterer likes to pimp the San Diego game as a Manning failure. Um, no. It was a team failure (the OL, usually good, struggled the week before at Jax--despite the big Indy win over that playoff team on the road--and the OL really fell apart in the SD game) and Manning brought them back from a 16-0 deficit to lead in the 4th Qtr. thanks to two short-field TD drives.

Then they gave up a figgie. Near the end, about 2 minutes left, it was still a 2 point game and certainly doable until SD's backup RB broke free for an 83 yard run. Clearly PM's fault.

Manning was handicapped by last year; when you win two in a row, each season must get better or voters will start to turn away from you. What, your TDs are down 40% from last year, you must be really ordinary. He was also handicapped, as was Edgerrin James, by their record--once you lose two ina row, even "meaningless ones", people somehow forget yor consistency and dominance. Then when you are taken out for two+ games(what does TMQ call the pro bowl, the 84% pro bowl?), there's plenty of mindshare (as marketing types like to say) being taken up by guys who have great weeks 16 and 17.....

I am a 35-year Colt fan and would have voted for Manning in an instant. But if I had given it a ton of thought, like the voters are supposed to, Tiki woulda been my guy, with Manning or Brady next, and then SA. (Actually, another week or two and Larry J in KC might have moved into the #2 slot.)

I REALLY, REALLY think it's time for a monster D player to come on and win this thing. After the first few games this year I thought/hoped it would be Freeney. If the opponents put 2.5 guys on you constantly, and you still cause their offense to falter on a regular basis, you deserve it. Alas, his season was good but did not quite pan out. But I am still optimistic for a D monster--Freeney or Urlacher or Merriman (I know, too soon to include him in this company, but what the heck). We need a LB with 8 INTs, 150 tackles, 10 sacks, and offensive game plans focused on nothing but neutralizing him every week. Then his team must be a top-2 D, and have 12 wins, minimum.

Crap, in this stat-driven offensive day and age, you could throw in 10 INTs, 15 sacks, 200 tackles, and 14 wins and STILL it'll never happen.

by Joon (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 6:07am

a defensive MVP will never happen, and in my opinion it probably never should. football is a team game, of course, but defense is even more of a team effort than offense. on a typical rushing play, for the offense, the RB is the most important player, and then the fullback, the offensive linemen in the direction of the run, the other OL, the WRs, and then the QB. (maybe the QB is higher when it's manning.) for a passing play, the QB is by FAR the most important player, then the intended receiver, the other receivers, the OL, etc. but for the defense? the guy who ends up making the tackle is more important than the other defenders, usually, but not by a lot. further, that won't be the same guy every play, like the QB and RB are mostly the same for every passing/rushing play. and most importantly, it just can't happen that one guy will be as critical to a team's defense as a top QB is to the offense. can't. the voters recognize this, so as frustrating as it is that there is no recognition of line play or defense, in some sense they have the MVP right.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 3:32pm

Rename it to the "Most Distinguished Play Above Replacement in a Historical Context" award, please. We don't need RBs and QBs getting more awards! :p

by thad (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 6:23pm

My point was not that the playoffs are or should be included.
My point was that Manning was not as revolutionary as Stan said he was.
I would totally have voted for Manning over Alexander.

by Juanita Weis (not verified) :: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 11:46pm

Well I feel like I'm walking into a locker room full of guys but I decided that was where I might get an answer to my question. I am a certified appraiser who has be asked to place a value on a football inscribed and signed for the owner by Joe Heissmann. I know a little about the man but don't have a clue where to find the value of the football. If anyone out there can assist I would greatly appreciate it. Value or directions to find it would be great. Thanks, Juanita Weis