Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning added another trophy to his already impressive collection. Manning was named the NFL's 2012 Comeback Player of the Year, after sitting out a year with a neck injury.
While a few teams jockeyed to sign Manning this past offseason, most experts and fans stayed away from hyping him up. He was released from the Indianapolis Colts after missing the entire 2011 season with multiple neck injuries, and at times in the leadup to this season, many questioned his ability to throw a simple spiral following said injuries.
If Manning did anything this past season, he shut his doubters right up. He led the Denver Broncos, the winners of the offseason Manning sweepstakes over teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, to a No. 1 seed in the AFC and a 13-3 record.
Under Manning, the Broncos had the No. 5 passing offense in the NFL, and was only helped along by the No. 16 rushing offense. Manning led an offense that put up 30-plus points 11 times in the regular season, and never scored fewer than 20 points.
Individually, Manning had possibly the second-best season of his storied career. He had his second highest yardage total, with 4,659 yards. He added 37 touchdowns, the second-highest of his career, and had a 68.6 completion percentage, all good for a QB rating of 84.1, and a total rating of 105.8.
While many expected him to play decently once it was shown that he was healthy enough to play, few expected him to pick up right where he left off, especially after having had to learn a new offense for essentially the first time in his pro career. He played in all 16 games and looked very good doing it.
Unfortunately, he couldn't lead his team to the promised land, falling to the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional round. Doubters immediately got riled up about him not being able to win a single playoff game, but he didn't have a terrible game. He threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns but unfortunately, he also had two interceptions. One of those came in double overtime, and it set up the game-winning field goal for Baltimore.
When it comes to his competition for the award, Adrian Peterson gave him a run for his money. Peterson tore the ligaments in his knee in December 2011, leaving many to believe that he would be something less than full speed this season. Instead he topped 2,000 rushing yards.