2004: Peyton Manning (BEST)
Why He’s here: This was Manning’s second MVP award (sharing the previous year with Steve McNair) and his first of several appearances on our list. At the time, his 4,500-plus yards and 49 touchdowns were both career-highs that Manning would only rarely top the rest of his career. Oddly enough, it was one of three seasons in which he attempted less than 500 passes, which makes it perhaps his most efficient season. Some who remember this season consider it one of the best seasons ever by a quarterback, as Manning was one vote shy of being the unanimous pick for NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Team Success: With the league’s MVP at quarterback, the Colts went 12-4 and won the AFC South. However, after steamrolling the Broncos in the Wild Card Round, the Colts lost in New England in the Divisional Round.
By the Numbers: Completed 336 of 497 passes (67.6%) for 4,557 yards with 49 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.