2013 NFL Regular Season Awards

2013 Regular Season Awards

1/28/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The most prestigious regular season awards in the NFL are given out by the Associated Press (AP), who will not name their award winners until February 2nd, the night before the Super Bowl. Other groups and publications, however, have already named their award winners for the 2012 NFL season, and while they may not carry as much weight as the AP awards, they certainly say something about the best individual performances of the season. For what it's worth, here are my picks for who should win each of the major AP regular season awards:

Most Valuable Player: RB Adrian Peterson (MIN)
Blog Photo - 2013 NFL Regular Season Awards
Adrian Peterson came up eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record in 2012, despite beginning the year a bit slow (by his standards) as he got back into game shape (he didn't play in the preseason). As far as I'm concerned, Peterson's season was more impressive than Dickerson's, despite the fact that he fell short of his yardage total. Peterson ran the ball 31 less times than Dickerson, and caught 19 more passes.

As far as this season, Peterson was the only player on the Vikings' offense that opposing defenses feared, especially after Percy Harvin's year was ended by an injury in the ninth game of the season. The Vikings boasted the 31st ranked passing "attack" in the league, so it was pretty much Peterson or bust on every Sunday. What did the league's best running back do? He led his team to the playoffs with the entire weight of the state of Minnesota on his shoulders.

Peyton Manning had an absolutely sensational season, but he inherited a team that made it to the second round of the playoffs in 2011 with Tim Tebow as their quarterback. If Tebow is really as terrible as most people say he is, what else could you expect but an impressive 13-3 season? Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are also worthy candidates, but it's extremely rare to see a running back single-handedly carry his team to the playoffs like Peterson did.

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Adrian Peterson (MIN)

I often award OPOY honors to a different player than the MVP, as there is often a player on a non-playoff team who puts up wild statistical numbers in electrifying fashion (i.e. Chris Johnson in 2009). This season, however, the player with the most eye-popping stats and performances was on a team that also made the playoffs. Adrian Peterson averaged over six yards per carry and was less than a first down away from breaking one of the league's most celebrated records.

Six players before Peterson have rushed for 2,000+ yards, and all but one of them won OPOY for their 2,000 yard seasons. The only one that didn't, ironically, is the record holder, Eric Dickerson. Dickerson just so happened to have his 2,000 yard season the same year that Dan Marino broke the single-season record for passing yards - a record that stood for 27 years.

I don't remember anyone breaking any passing yard records this year, so I've got Adrian Peterson, who was by far the most impressive player on the offensive side of the ball.

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