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February 02, 2013


NEW ORLEANS — Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year on Saturday night at the second annual NFL Honors held at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans. In addition, he was selected as FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year and finished as runner-up for the league’s MVP award.

Manning is the first Bronco to be named AP Comeback Player of the Year (quarterback Craig Morton received the honor from the PFW/PFWA in 1977) and joins Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (2005) as the only players in NFL history to receive the award while also being named first-team All-Pro by the AP.

The 15-year veteran, who missed the entire 2011 campaign due to multiple neck surgeries, beat out Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson for the award by a vote count of 31.5-17.5 (Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles also received one vote).

The NFL’s only four-time Most Valuable Player, Manning ranked second to Peterson in the 2012 MVP voting by a margin of 30.5-19.5, marking his seventh season finishing either first or second for the award (eighth season finishing in the Top 3). For his career, he has garnered a total of 180 Associated Press MVP votes—the highest total by any player in the last 25 years and believed to be the most since the award was initiated in 1957.

Manning, who was named FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year for the third time in his career (2003, ’04, ’12), signed with Denver on March 20, 2012, and led the Broncos to their second consecutive division title and the AFC’s No. 1 seed while setting every major franchise single-season passing mark in his first year with the club.

Named to his 12th Pro Bowl—tops among quarterbacks in NFL history—Manning finished the 2012 regular season with team records for completions (400), passing yards (4,659), completion percentage (68.6), touchdowns (37) and passer rating (105.8).

He directed Denver to 11 consecutive wins to finish the regular season while capturing AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors in October and December. Manning also passed Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the second-most wins (154) by a starting quarterback in NFL history in addition to overtaking Brett Favre for the most career games (73) with at least three touchdown passes.      

Other nominees for awards at the NFL Honors included Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who was in the running for AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year recognition that went to Houston defensive end J.J. Watt.        

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