There are several reasons the 2009 season could have been disastrous for Peyton Manning.

Manning is having his best season to date, but will it matter if he doesn't get another ring?

Manning is on pace to have one of his best seasons ever, but can he come through with a big-time postseason performance?

Marvin Harrison is gone and his replacement – Anthony Gonzalez – went down with a knee injury in Week 1.

Two of Manning’s targets at wide receiver – Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon – had four NFL catches between them prior to the season.

The team’s supposed left tackle of the future – Tony Ugoh – was benched.

The running game is still pathetic – ranked 29th in the NFL and averaging 3.3 yards per carry.

Despite the obstacles, Manning is putting together his best season to date.

He is currently completing 73.5 percent of his passes – his career high for a season is 67.6 percent.

He is on pace to break the NFL record in passing yards for a season (5,264 yards) and has only been sacked twice in five games.

Manning’s success is likely to continue as seven of the Colts’ 11 remaining opponents have pass defenses ranked No. 19 or worse. And let’s face it, the undersized offensive line isn’t going to figure out how to run block overnight, so the Colts will continue to air it out.

Indianapolis will likely finish the 2009 season with at least 10 wins for the 10th time in 11 seasons. They might even notch 12 wins for the seventh consecutive season.

Manning is certainly in the running for his fourth NFL MVP Award, a feat no other athlete has accomplished.

There is no doubt that Manning could retire tomorrow and be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

The greatest ever? Many think he needs another Super Bowl ring to take the arbitrary title, no matter how many regular-season accolades he racks up.

Others believe one is enough.

It could easily be argued that Manning was responsible for several of the Colts’ playoff exits – in his first five playoff elimination games he threw one touchdown to seven interceptions.

Lately, it’s harder to point the finger at Manning. In the Colts’ last three playoff losses, Manning has thrown five touchdowns to two interceptions, averaging 334 passing yards per game.

Whether or not he needs another ring to be considered the greatest of all time, he’ll likely get another shot – maybe this season.

The AFC appears to be wide open and the Colts’ defense has excelled with a decimated secondary – ranked No. 7 overall and allowing 14.2 points per game.