Chris Johnson has had one helluva season. There is a reason why we Colts fans were so very much for Bill Polian swinging some kind of deal to draft him last year. Could you imagine this guy as a Colts running back, sharing caries with Joseph Addai? What's the single season rushing record for a team? Yeah, the Colts would break that by about 300 yards with Johnson sharing carries with Addai.
However, as wonderful as CJ is, he is not the NFL MVP. We said that last week, and some of you bashed us for it. Now you know why.
Numbers and stats are all good, but an MVP helps his team win football games with those numbers and stats. The MVP also should have an impressive resume of game-winning performances during the year, especially in big games.
Oh, and the MVP must make the playoffs.
No MVP in NFL history has not made the playoffs, and that trend will likely never be broken. An MVP player not qualifying for the tournament is embarrassing for the league. That's why they have the "Offensive Player of the Year" and "Defensive Player of the Year" awards. Last year, Drew Brees won OPotY after throwing for over 5,000 yards. However, he wasn't a legit MVP candidate because his team did not qualify for the playoffs.
This leads me to Chris Johnson. Last night, he ran for 142 yards on 21 carries with 1 TD. That's very impressive. However, his team lost 42-17 at home while they are in the midst of a playoff push. With the loss, the Titans are all but out of the playoff picture. As Jimmy at Music City Miracles so accurately spelled it out, the Titans have feasted on crap teams this year while playing quite poorly against the good ones.
Sorry, but in CJ's case, when your numbers not only do not help your team consistently win, nor do they even help your team make the games respectable in terms of the final score, you aren't an MVP. That may sound like the criteria is "unfair" towards Johnson, but that's how they judge things. If MVPs were given out to players who put up huge numbers despite the accomplishments (or lack thereof) by their teams, Barry Sanders would have won three of four MVPs. He was the best player in football during his ten years in the league; better than Emmitt Smith (yes, don't even try to debate it, especially when you look at Sanders and what he had to work with) or anyone else at that time.
This "their team must win" criteria is why so many QBs win league MVPs.
If anything, last night saw Philip Rivers dump Chris Johnson from the MVP race, and possibly pass Drew Brees. But, the reality is Peyton Manning will indeed win his 4th MVP award. I was accused of being "homer" for saying that last week, but when most of the MVP voters are essentially out writing that they will vote for Manning, it isn't being "homer" when you state the obvious. Besides, Peyton is arguably the best player in football on the best team (currently) in football.
So, yeah, Peyton will win the award. Nothing CJ or Rivers did last night will alter voters minds.