Remember the mid-season talk of the MVP race being between Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Brett Favre? In the end, there really was no race at all.

Manning, the Colts quarterback, won his fourth Associated Press NFL MVP award on Saturday, easily beating out Brees in balloting by 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. Manning got 39.5 votes and Brees, the Saints' quarterback, got 7.5. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers got two votes and the Vikings' Favre got one.

Manning also won the MVP in 2003, 2004 and 2008. That broke a tie with Favre, who won three MVP awards. Manning passed for 4,500 yards, 33 touchdowns and led the Colts to a record seven fourth-quarter comeback victories this season.

Favre, in his 19th NFL season and first with the Vikings, played better than anyone could have expected as the Vikings went 12-4 and won a second consecutive NFC North title. Favre passed for 4,202 yards with 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Obviously, Favre was not helped by the fact that the Vikings lost three of four games in December but clearly from the voting totals that is not what cost him this award.