Tonight on CBS the NFL awards will be announced. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson should expect to hear his name often as his name has been mentioned as a possible winner for Most Valuable Player, Comeback Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.
Below are our “expert” opinions as to why Adrian “AD” Peterson should take home MVP honors tonight:
As a Vikings fan and blogger, watching Adrian Peterson every Sunday for 16 weeks was a joy and I was proud to be able to write about his journey throughout the season. Not only did Peterson have the second greatest rushing season in NFL history, he did so coming off major knee reconstruction surgery. As people say, there is NO WAY AD is human. He defied all odds set against him.
Coming into the season people were questioning whether Peterson would be the same as he was before he tore his ACL (see example). People doubted he would, “he’ll never be the same,” they said. To their credit, the doubters were sorta right. He wasn’t the same, he was even better than before he tore up his knee. But the ability to come back from a major knee injury is only half of the story (even the less important part).
What AD did on the field was the amazing part, coming off major knee surgery or not. Peterson led the league with 2,097 rushing yards — second most rushing yards in a single season and nine yards shy of the record. Scratch that — he didn’t just lead the league, he blew the league away (Alfred Morris finished second with 1,613 yards — 484 yards less than Peterson). He also averaged a career-high 131.1 yards per game (also league-high).
WOW STATS (credit: @EBSportsGuy via Pro Football Focus)
- 3.93 yards per carry AFTER contact — first in the league (and by the way, Arian Foster averaged 4.1 per carry — that’s it. AD nearly averaged after contact what Foster averaged total)
- 64 broken tackles (first)
- 40 runs of 15+ yards (first — second place? Alfred Morris with 24 (!!!)
- Of his 2,097 yards, 1,184 of them were earned on rushes of 15+ yards, which equals 56.5% (first in the league — second place? Jamaal Charles at 42.3%)
- To show how VALUABLE Peterson was to Minnesota’s offense — Minnesota as a whole averaged 5.4 offensive yards per play, while Adrian Peterson averaged 5.95 yards individually. When Peterson DID NOT touch the ball, Minnesota lost an average of .55 yards.
There was no one more important to his team than Adrian Peterson was to the Vikings. He literally — and figuratively – carried the Vikings into the playoffs despite a non-existent passing game and defenses stacking eight-plus men in the box to stop him.
In the final seven weeks of the season, the Vikings earned a playoff-berth by going 5-2. During that span Peterson rushed for 1,140 yards and seven total touchdowns, while Christian Ponder threw for 1,129 yards and eight touchdowns.
Adrian Peterson is the league’s most valuable player. His season was truly one of the greatest rushing season in the HISTORY of the NFL and no one impacted their team’s playoff run more than AD.
Approximately 405 days ago, if you would have told Adrian Peterson he’d be in the running for an MVP award, he probably would have believed you. Because that’s who Adrian Peterson is. No one, not even the most optimistic of Vikings fans thought Peterson would bounce back so quickly from a devastating Christmas Eve ACL and MCL tear. But Peterson did.
Peterson’s 2012 season was nothing short of a miracle, in terms of healing and recovery. Peterson achieved something that no other player may ever achieve again in the National Football League. Peterson returned to the field nearly eight months after having surgery and had the best season of his career, if not one of the best seasons in NFL history.
Peterson finished the season with 2,097 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. He finished just nine yards short of breaking the all-time rushing record by Eric Dickerson. Peterson also single-handedly took his team to the playoffs, running for 199 yards in a must-win game against the Green Bay Packers.
Peterson will go head-to-head with the likes of future Fall of Famer Peyton Manning. Manning also had one of the best years of his career, throwing for more than 4,600 yards, 37 touchdowns and taking his Denver Broncos team into the playoffs as the AFC’s number one seed — all after sitting out a season for having neck surgery.
But Peterson put on a show this season. Winning games when, at times, the Vikings offense didn’t seem to even show up to games. He single-handedly won games by putting the team on his shoulders and running to victory. Peterson, without any single doubt, deserves to win 2012 MVP.
Tonight Manning and Peterson will both be up for MVP and Comeback Player of the Year, both deserving each honor.
After a season ending knee injury in 2011 everyone thought Adrian Peterson would never be the same player he once was. His best days were behind him, and he would miss half of the 2012 season. Flash forward to the last game of the season of 2012, Peterson ran for 199 yards against the Green Bay Packers; it would be his 10th game of the season rushing for 100 yards or more, just short one-yard of having his 3rd 200-yard game.
The Minnesota Vikings finished the season with a 10-6 record, clinching their first playoff berth since 2010. Had Adrian Peterson missed half the season like he was expected to, would they have won 10 games this season? It’s doubtful. Christian Ponder did improve this season, but the team was still 31st in passing yards. Ponder and the rest of the team’s improvements alone wouldn’t have been enough to put the Vikings in the playoffs, it was the incredible season that Peterson put together that made them a playoff team. That is why Adrian Peterson is the league’s MVP.
AD is most definitely deserving of the MVP.
Remember this about Peterson: He was placed on the injured reserve due to a torn ACL and MCL on December 26, 2011. It normally takes athletes quite a while to recuperate from this injury. AD was ready to go back to the field on Week 1.
So what did he do in that game? He just rushed for 84 yards and had 2 touchdowns. No big deal. No! And all season long! He just did his thing. He carried the ball 348 times for 2,097 yards. He had 12 rushing TDs and one receiving TD this season. Seriously. These are amazing numbers for any football player. But when you consider Peterson had torn his ACL and MCL less than a year ago … it’s amazing.
What would the Vikings have been without this performance? No telling, really. Fans probably don’t even want to consider it. And who can blame them! They are thankful for AD. He is the league’s most valuable player. He just is, y’all.
“I will be disappointed (if I don’t win). I feel like I put in a good body of work this season coming off the injury. And what I’ve done to help my team, to be in the position…Whether I win or not, I feel like I am, inside, I’m the MVP.”
For all of Aerys Sports NFL award predictions, click here.