Even if he emerges victorious in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, Peyton Manning will not end the debate over the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

After being named the 2013 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player at Saturday's "NFL Honors" awards show, however, Manning should be the consensus choice for greatest regular-season quarterback pro football has ever witnessed.

Manning has now won the award five times, the most of any player. Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas and Brett Favre were named MVP three times.

Although Manning was head and shoulders above the MVP field this season, he failed to join Tom Brady (2010) as the only winner to be voted unanimously. One wrong-headed member of The Associated Press opted to make the process about himself rather than selecting the most deserving candidate.

By basic statistical measures, Manning generated the most productive season ever. He set records with 55 touchdown passes and 5,477 yards through the air while leading the Denver Broncos past the 2007 New England Patriots for most points in NFL history.

Manning has compensated beautifully for waning arm strength by translating opposing defenses before the snap, processing information in the pocket more quickly than any quarterback and consistently squeezing accurate passes into small windows.

The difference between this year's campaign and last year's MVP loss to Adrian Peterson was the addition of slot receiver Wes Welker and the emergence of athletic tight end Julius Thomas.

Armed with a pick-your-poison attack capable of exploiting mismatches down the field and underneath, Manning became a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Even before the season started, it was evident that this offense would enter the NFL's pantheon.

What we will remember most about Manning's 2013 season was the onslaught of points he would throw at overwhelmed opponents to turn a tight game into a laugher. Even when his offense was held in check for a significant portion of the game, he repeatedly showed the ability to pull away with a flurry of touchdowns.