I don't normally write FanPosts. But Adam Teicher wrote an article stating that Jamaal Charles cannot win the MVP or the Offensive Player of the Year awards, and that's it's basically ridiculous to think differently. I couldn't disagree more.
His analysis is the simplest analysis possible. Manning has thrown for a lot of yards and TDs, story over. And at a surface level he's 100% right. Manning HAS thrown for a lot of yards and TDs. But guess what... numbers lie. The numbers deceive. The numbers try to make something as complex as the MVP of the NFL as simple as "who has the most yards and TDs." So how am I going to prove that these numbers lie? WITH MORE NUMBERS!!!!
At this point this FanPost will become a Choose your own Adventure book:
Do you believe that great WRs produce above average Yards After Catch (YAC)?
If No, you agree with Teicher and probably still use your fingers to answer how old you are. You can stop reading here.
If Yes, then please continue on into a real evaluation of who should win the MVP this year.
Ok. Now that we have weeded out the dummies let's continue. Peyton Manning has thrown for 4811 yards this season. That's a lot of yards. In fact, he's on pace to set an NFL record in passing yards. Before you start clapping and carrying the MVP trophy his direction I think I should mention something. 2361 of his passing yards are from Yards After Catch (YAC). The second best team in the NFL has 1933 YAC (San Diego). That's 22% more YAC than the second best team in the NFL. The NFL average is 1552 YAC. Denver has 52% more YAC than the NFL average. If Manning had the NFL average for YAC, then he'd be just above 3500 yards. That would be good for 12th in the NFL, and nowhere close to NFL records. (Make sure when you are setting the MVP trophy down, you bend at the knees... don't want anyone to be put on IR here).
So is it possible that Welker, Thomas, and Decker are not only good WRs, but GREAT WRs? I think so. They are a YAC beast of a WR corp. No team last season had 2300 yards of YAC. This WR group has already done it in 14 games!! Is their a better WR group in the NFL? Probably not. They even made Tim Tebow a playoff winner... and that was before they added Welker. We are talking about the MVP award. Should Peyton Manning win the MVP because his WR corp is outstanding?
Ok, now that I've used my phenomenal writing skills to make you question his yards totals let's focus on how we can compare Jamaal Charles to Peyton Manning. If we take away the affect of Peyton Mannings amazing YAC yards he's averaging 4.2 yards/attempt. That's the distance he's actually throwing the ball. We often beat up Alex Smith for not throwing deep and being Capt. Check down... Alex Smith is averaging 4.0 yards/attempt before YAC. (No no... just stop it... put the trophy down, I wasn't suggesting Alex Smith is the MVP). So what's the difference between Manning and Smith... the WRs. Contrast this to Jamaal "MVP" Charles. He is averaging 5.9 yards per touch this season. Go ahead... find a better RB. I'll wait. No seriously... take your time. On an actual yards/touch basis Charles is the easy winner.
Ok Ok Ok... you think I've forgotten Manning's 48 TDs. WOW! That's a lot of them. I can't possibly have an argument about that. Well, at least let me try. Peyton Manning throws a TD on 8% of his passes. Which by any definition is crazy good. Jamaal scores a TD on 6% of this touches. So Manning is more effective at scoring per touch... but once again, sometimes Manning is helped out by his great WRs and I've yet to see Manning dive at the line to kill the clock like Jamaal did during the 9 game winning streak. Both numbers are crazy good.
Here is something else to consider. How important is Jamaal Charles to the Chiefs themselves. Jamaal Charles touches the ball on 38% of the Chiefs offensive snaps, and he accounts for 38% of the Chiefs yardage. We have no other threat. The defense knows to key on Jamaal. We give it to him anyways. And he wins the battle. How well does he lead the battle.... well he currently is the leader in these categories for the Chiefs
1) Rushing Yards
2) Rushing TDs
4) Receiving Yards
5) Receiving TDs
Go find another player who meets that same criteria on their respective team. I'll wait. Heck... find another player who has done that for a season. Any season. (I'm really hoping you didn't find someone and plan on rubbing it in my face in the comments). Their is no way to argue that the Chiefs would be as successful as they have been without Jamaal Charles. Zero way to argue it. Peyton Manning on the other hand is at the helm of one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Play makers who can make any player look good (ahem Tebow). So you want to argue numbers... let's take a deep dive. You want to argue what he means to his team. He literally does everything the best on his team this year. If he was allowed to pass to himself we'd draw that play up for him.
I'm sure the National Media will give it to Manning. He basically was given it Week 1 after he got 7 TDs in a game. I'm just asking everyone to give Charles his shot. Because I really don't think we've ever seen anything like him in the NFL. At least not in what he means to his team.