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Be The GM: Manning Vs. Jones-Drew
Authored by Andrew Perna - 5th September, 2009 - 11:30 am

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The NFL is living in a golden age of quarterbacks where the one common denominator of winning teams is a strong passing game.

Saturday's matchup marks the last of the second round. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will battle for the final entry into the Elite Eight.

How They Got Here

Manning dominated Texans defender Mario Williams with 80% of the vote in their first-round tilt. However, Jones-Drew just barely got past Titans running back Chris Johnson. MJD drew 51% of the vote; the slimmest margin of victory thus far.

Why Jones-Drew Is A Franchise Player

The Jaguars are obviously confident that Jones-Drew can handle a bulk of the carries, otherwise they wouldn't have allowed Taylor to skip town. There isn't much behind him on the depth chart, but he's been durable (47 of 48 games played) in his three-year career.

MJD has never carried the ball more than 197 times in a season, but he's a dual-threat and had 259 touches in 2009. He has scored 38 touchdowns in his career, which translates to one every 1.2 games played.

He's diminutive in height, but shakes off tacklers and is incredibly strong. His low center of gravity is a huge asset and he's shifty as well. He's dangerous as a kick returner, which showcases his ability to turn on the afterburners when needed.

Why Manning Is A Franchise Player

In a few decades, you'll be able to tell your kids (or grand kids) that you had the pleasure of watching Peyton Manning play perhaps the best football we've ever seen from a quarterback.

He's had many a record-setting season, but his efforts in 2008 were especially impressive. The numbers weren't eye-popping, but he was able to lead the Colts to yet another playoff appearance after offseason surgery, problems on the offensive line and the regression of good buddy Marvin Harrison.

Only three players have more touchdown passes in NFL history, and he'll likely pass Fran Tarkenton for third place in the first half of the 2009 season. With Brett Favre lingering longer than expected, it's becoming more and more unlikely that Peyton will finish at the top of the TD list, but his passer rating is much better and ranks second all-time.

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Andrew Perna is Deputy Editor of RealGM.com and co-host of RealGM's Radio Show. Please feel free to contact him with comments or questions via e-mail: Andrew.Perna@RealGM.com