Adrian Peterson: Your 2012 NFL MVP
Let's just end the debate already. I know there are people out there, people that get paid to talk and write football, that think Peyton Manning should be the 2012 NFL MVP. There are others that think that Tom Brady is worthy. But I'm not hearing any of it. While guys like Manning, Brady, as well as defensive terrors like Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt are having fantastic seasons, the only clear choice for MVP is Adrian Peterson.
Let's leave out the fact that Peterson is coming back from a devastating knee injury at the end of last year. His candidacy should not be swayed one way or the other by the fact that he is doing what he's doing coming off of major surgery. Medical histories should have no impact on MVP voting. Leave those for "Comeback Player of the Year" which Peterson should also win. Anyway, all Peterson has done thus far is rush for 1,812 yards, averaging a healthy six yards a carry, while scoring 11 touchdowns. If this doesn't seem impressive enough, take a closer look.
Peterson is playing for a team, the Minnesota Vikings, who have virtually no passing game whatsoever. Quarterback Christian Ponder may have started the season hot, but for weeks now defenses have been stacking the box, daring him to beat them. And can you blame them? It's not all his fault. His best receiver, Percy Harvin, is done for the season and his remaining options are guys like Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins, and tight end Kyle Rudolph. In a nutshell, every defense know that the Vikings are going to force Peterson down their throats, they are ready for it, and they still can't stop him. He is running around, through, and over virtually every defense he sees. As has been well-reported, he is also hot on the heels of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, which has stood for more than a quarter century. But even if he doesn't break it, he should still win the MVP.
The Vikings won all of three games last year. This year they are 8-6 with two tough games remaining against Houston and Green Bay. Whatever the outcome of those games (I think they win at least one), you have to wonder whether Minnesota would have won three, or even a single game, had Peterson not played this year. Isn't that the very definition of valuable? As for Manning, he's had a great year but he plays in the worst division in football and for a team, the Denver Broncos, who made the playoffs and even won a playoff game with Tim Tebow at quarterback last year. Tom Brady is having a great season as well, but not so good that you could possibly choose him over Peterson. So call him AP, call him Purple Jesus, call him All-Day, but once and for all let's end the argument and call Adrian Peterson Most Valuable Player.