Today, Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning won his third-MVP vote by a landslide, as I'm sure all of you are well aware of by now. Although it was an easy win for him, many seem to think it was a bad pick.

Looking at the circumstances, it's easy to see why. While he had a very nice season following a slow start because of a knee injury, Manning did not have the flashy numbers of Drew Brees or Phillips Rivers, the role in the turnarounds of two bad teams like Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Chad Pennington, or the flashiness of Adrian Peterson. However, he was the “safe pick”, meaning, in a year without any true standout performances, he was the go-to man who had won the award before, with the reputation of being one of the best players in the NFL.

Their obvious thinking is this: here's a man known as being great by all fans who, following many setbacks including the offseason knee surgery and the poor play of his offensive line, running backs and defense, led his team to nine straight wins at the end of the season to grab an AFC wild-card spot.

All of the other players in the hunt for the award had fairly major issues. Pennington was, for the most part, a safe player, not winning games by himself but instead keeping his team in it by not making mistakes. Peterson fumbled much too often. Warner and Rivers played in very weak divisions and got in despite being mediocre teams with less-than-stellar records. Brees, while putting up the jaw-dropping numbers, finished last in the strong NFC South and didn't lead his team to many late, clutch wins. Ryan and Turner shared the credit in the remarkable story known as the 2008 Atlanta Falcons. And for Harrison, it can just be too difficult to win the award when the voters don't have stats like catches and touchdowns to rely on and be wowed by.

In the end, Peyton Manning as MVP was a decision we knew would be made, and despite the slow start and good numbers (but not exactly MVP-like ones), I have to agree with it. Without him, the Colts would be merely an average to below-average team, probably gaining five to eight wins per season. But with him and his superb leadership, they're a dangerous threat in the AFC. In the end, his remarkable performance against the odds and the season-ending winning streak to get his team a postseason berth won him this award, not his touchdown passes or yards.