After each championship game, I enjoy looking at the game stats and going through the players. I decide who are the few players that might be chosen MVP. I usually then pick one MVP, and my prediction is almost always correct.
In the 2007 NFL Super Bowl, Peyton Manning, the crowned MVP, never even made my short list.
Peyton Manning was not the true Super Bowl MVP. He should not have been chosen.
First, the stats: Manning completed 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards. That’s 10 yards per completion and 3.8 yards per attempt. Far from impressive. Manning threw 1 touchdown, but also threw 1 interception. Manning also had a turnover on a fumble. His QB rating was 81.8. To give a comparison, Detroit’s Jon Kitna had a QB rating of 79.9 this season. Those are not MVP numbers, those aren’t even winning starting quarterback numbers. And I realize that sometimes players have a major impact in a game that doesn’t show through stats, but Manning didn’t an impressive impact on the game. If that were the criterion used for Manning, then Kelvin Hayden would have a major gripe. But we’ll talk more about that in a bit. So we’re left with the question, how did Peyton Manning get the MVP award?
I’m starting to sense a trend in sports were super stars are played up at all costs. In this case, the super star Peyton Manning is given the MVP despite having a less than MVP game. But Peyton Manning is the super star. We have to give it to him anyways. I see this trend a lot in the NBA also, where super stars seem to get fouled on every play, regardless of whether the replay shows a foul. Also, the super stars need to commit a terribly bad foul to get a call against them.
So who should have won the MVP award? Here’s my short list. I believe all three of these players deserved the MVP more than Peyton Manning.
First, running back Joseph Addai. Addai carried the ball 19 times for 77 yards, and caught 10 passes for 66 yards. Addai was the team’s leading receiver, which tells us a bit more about Peyton Manning’s stats. Addai had a huge impact in the game with his 29 touches and 143 yards. The biggest knock on Addai is that he never found the endzone. That kept him from getting my MVP.
Next, defensive back Kelvin Hayden. Hayden gets the nod for having the largest impact that doesn’t show in the stats. Chicago was down by 5 points in the 4th quarter and driving into Colts territory. The Bears were ready to take the lead. Then Hayden intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, turning a potential deficit into a commanding lead. Hayden also had 3 tackles, 1 assist, and 1 pass deflection. Average stats. With more impressive defense stats the entire game, he would have earned my MVP award. But Hayden still deserved the award more than Peyton Manning!
And finally, my Super Bowl MVP, running back Dominic Rhodes. Rhodes rushed the ball 21 times for 113 yards (5.4 yards per carry!) and scored a touchdown. The TD turned a 14-9 Bears lead into a 16-14 Colts lead. Rhodes led the running game, had more impressive stats than Peyton Manning, and scored the touchdown that turned the game around.
Congratulation to Dominic Rhodes, the true Super Bowl MVP. Sorry Peyton Manning, but you can only fool some of us.