P. Manning ties record, wins third MVP award

The Baltimore Sun

Peyton Manning can tell Brett Favre to move over and make room for him atop the roster of NFL Most Valuable Players.

For the third time, Manning won the award by the Associated Press, joining Favre as the only players in that elite category.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback was a landslide winner yesterday in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Manning also was the league MVP in 2003, when he shared it with Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, and in 2004.

Manning received 32 votes, far ahead of Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington (four) and Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (four).

Manning had two operations on his left knee in the preseason, leading to a 3-4 start. From there, with Manning getting sharper by the week, the Colts won nine straight to secure a wild-card berth and a meeting today with the San Diego Chargers.

Manning extended his NFL record with his ninth 4,000-yard season and finished with 27 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and a 95.0 passer rating.

Bills: : Safety Ko Simpson was arrested outside a bar in his hometown of Rock Hill, S.C., after he refused to leave officers alone as they arrested another man, according to a police report.

Simpson was in a car that was speeding through the parking lot of the Celebrations bar about 2 a.m. New Year's Day. The driver and another passenger were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after they yelled and cursed at police, according to the report.

Simpson then began yelling at officers, saying: "I'm Ko Simpson with the Buffalo Bills. I am worth millions!" several times.

Simpson, 25, was charged with hindering police and released on a $470 bond.

Cardinals: : Edgerrin James told ESPN he won't return to the NFC West champions next season, even though he has a year remaining on his contract.

The running back has voiced frustration with his reduced role in the offense.

"I can't go through this again," James said. "I didn't come here to block. I'm not an offensive lineman."

Playoff tickets:: The NFL has given the Vikings one last chance to sell out the Metrodome for tomorrow's playoff game against Philadelphia.

Minnesota has until 4:30 p.m. today to sell 3,100 tickets to avoid a television blackout in local markets.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have sold enough tickets to today's game against the Falcons for it to be televised in the Phoenix area.

Coaching searches: : New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Cleveland defensive coordinator Mel Tucker interviewed with owner Randy Lerner about the Browns' coaching vacancy.

The Jets met with assistants Bill Callahan and Brian Schottenheimer for the team's coaching vacancy.

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will interview with the Jets and Broncos today.

Denver will also meet with McDaniels and plans to interview Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett at some point next week, the team said.

Et cetera: : Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel was held out of practice with a strained hip and is listed as questionable for the divisional playoff game against Minnesota. ... Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards will miss the game with a knee injury, but Minnesota hopes Pro Bowl defensive tackle Pat Williams will return after missing two games with a fractured shoulder. ... Colts rookie offensive linemen Mike Pollak and Jamey Richard missed practice and are listed as questionable for tonight's game at San Diego.

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