The Sports Daily > Colts Authority
Cold Hard Football Facts Loses Their Collective  Mind

The love-in is over.  Today Cold Hard Football Facts showed once again that it cares nothing for facts or context.  Their article entitled Meet Your 2008 MVP was one of the most ridiculous they’ve ever posted.  They claim Chad Pennington is the MVP.  Their reasoning is as follows:

1.  The Dolphins won 10 more games than last year
2. Their passing game lead the league in YPA after being the worst in football last year.
3.  Pennington had good efficiency numbers (though not volume numbers)
4.  No one else deserves it (specifically Manning).

Let’s look at the facts:

1.  Any argument about how bad the Dolphins were last year is irrelevant.  Pennington shouldn’t be rewarded because Cam “Cam-cam” Cameron  was such a horrible coach.  Pennington wasn’t the only improvement in the Dolphins this offeseason.  Besides bringing in the Parcels regime, the Dolphins had the first overall pick in the draft, which they used on the offensive line.  It’s amazing how a site that claims to value things that aren’t obvious would attribute the Dolphins total turn-around just to the QB. 

2.  The Dolphins had the 11th best run game in the NFL.  The Colts had the 31st.  Chad Pennington was not solely responsible for the success or failure of the Dolphins offense.  Peyton Manning was (solely responsible for the success or failure of the Colts-grammatical edit). 

3.  They say the Colts are a wild card team that scored a ‘mediocre 377 points’.  Good lord.  THEY WON MORE GAMES THAN THE DOLPHINS DID.  THEY SCORED MORE POINTS THAN THE DOLPHINS DID.  If team A wins 12 games, and scores two points a game more than than team B with the next to worst running game in football, how can you possibly say that the QB from team B was better when he only won 11 games with the 11th best running game.

4.  They claim Manning didn’t ‘spark his team to an improvement’.  The award isn’t for what player ‘improved’ his team the most, it’s for which player was most valuable.  The Dolphins got an awful lot of mileage out of an offensive set where Pennington wasn’t even taking the snaps.  It’s hard to argue that guy was really that important as a QB when the team doesn’t even use him every play.  Meanwhile, the Colts endured a wave of injuries all year, and kept winning (against a much more difficult schedule) than the Dolphins who faced the 30th toughest schedule in the league by DVOA.

5.  Pennington outpaced Manning (barely) in some efficiency stats precisely because he WASN’T the MVP.  The Dolphins had the luxury of a good line and running game, allowing them to use Pennington’s arm more judiciously.  The Colts had to have Manning throw more (hence much better volume numbers AND virtually identical efficiency numbers) because they couldn’t move the ball any other way.  In the Footballoutsiders efficiency stats, Pennington was actually BEHIND Manning.  He wasn’t actually more efficient over all. I only bring this up, because if CHFF is going to use stats no one cares about (TD % for example) then it opens the door for me to do so as well.

The bottom line:  Manning won more games.  His team scored more points.  Pennington had a better line and a better running game.  He could win an award for QBing the most improved team maybe, but any piece that argues that Manning doesn’t deserve the award because his team was a wildcard and only scored 377 points but Pennington does despite winning fewer games and scoring fewer points stretches credibility to the breaking point.

Not a strong effort from CHFF.  Follow the discussion here.