Peyton Manning in the midst of his most impressive season

Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning is one of the greatest players in NFL history.  Few people would question this not so grand proclamation. For all the unbelievable numbers Manning has posted throughout his 12-year career, 2009 would have to be considered his finest performance.

This season, Manning picked up his fourth MVP award, in leading the Colts to the best record in the NFL.  He threw for 4,500 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. 

In past seasons, Manning has been complimented with a strong running game courtesy of former Colts All-Pro Edgerrin James and current teammate Joseph Addai. Addai only rushed for 828 yards in 2009. Manning also used to have an experienced receiving core, led by his favorite target, Marvin Harrison.  

This season, Manning's passing focus has involved the all-star ascensions of wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark.  Manning also deserves loads of credit for the development of young receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie.

Wayne and Clark each caught 100 balls this season. This was Wayne's second 100 or higher catch season.  He has replaced Harrison as the team's undisputed number one receiver. Clark improved from 77 catches in '08 to the century mark in '09.  He should now be considered the most prolific tight end in football.

In his second season as a pro, Garcon caught 43 more balls than in his rookie year of 2008.  Collie, a first year player out of BYU, grabbed an impressive 60 catches this season.  Even Addai got in the receiving act, catching 51 passes out of the backfield.

Manning has seamlessly transitioned into this new pass catching dynamic in Indianapolis.  Despite throwing 16 less TD passes than during his record setting season of 2004, Manning's 2009 resume shines above all the rest.