Walked in on Day One and raised the play of a needy linebacker corps, particularly impressive for a second-rounder from mid-level Utah State. The tackling machine improved in coverage as the year went on.
TIE: CHUCK PAGANO & BRUCE ARIANS
With the leukemia-stricken Pagano coaching for 12 weeks by text, voice mail, e-mail and inspiration, Arians went 9--3 and sailed Indianapolis into the playoffs. Then Pagano returned, and the Colts beat the big, bad Texans.
TIE: ADRIAN PETERSON & PEYTON MANNING
After undergoing four surgeries in two years and missing all of 2011, Manning had one of his three best seasons. Peterson, returning 37 weeks after major knee reconstruction, had arguably the best rushing season ever. Call it a draw.