January 3, 2013 by stevietz93
Adrian Peterson is the unquestioned league MVP. hands down. No bones about it. Nobody comes close, and this is coming from a die-hard Packers fan. He “put da team on his back,” in a way that nobody has done over the course of a season in a long, long time. (For “put da team on my back” reference, see below).
In my opinion there’s only one other player that someone can argue for, and that is Peyton Manning, but it’s time the NFL get off its decade-long fascination with handing out MVQ’s (Most Valuable Quarterback).
Now, to make my case as to why Peterson is the unquestioned MVP of the NFL:
He’s the best player on his team by a mile. The Minnesota Vikings are pretty close to talent-less, aside from Jared Allen and Percy Harvin, who missed half the season due to injuries. If it weren’t for Adrian Peterson, the Vikings may be looking at who they would choose #1 overall in the upcoming draft. The fact that this team finished 10-6 and on a 4-game win-streak to secure a playoff spot is not only amazing, it’s almost unbelievable, especially after everyone in the business wrote them off following the loss to Green Bay in Week 13. Remember, they finished 3-13 a year ago and the only real addition to the team was #4 overall pick Matt Kalil at left tackle.
And this is all due to Peterson. He finished nine yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing-record of 2,105 yards, becoming just the 7th player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He ran for more yards over the final 10 games of the season than his quarterback Christian Ponder threw for. It’s a completely unheard of anecdote in a league that has been overrun by quarterbacks over the last few years. In two games against the Green Bay Packers, he ran for 409 yards. 409! Take that in for a second, and realize how much that is. That’s almost as much as the Green Bay Packer’s leading rusher for the entire season (Alex Green, 464 yards). I could probably rattle off random statistics for another couple paragraphs, but I think you get the point.
Even then, it’s not the statistics that make this season so astounding. What makes it that is the fact that he did all of this coming off a torn ACL and MCL, which he suffered in week 17 of last season. Typically, these types of injuries take 6-8 months to heal, but in reality, upwards of a year or two to fully recover from and be back to normal. He began the season nine months removed from surgery, and had arguably the greatest season a running back has had in the history of the NFL. That’s not supposed to happen. This man is superhuman.
Remember this photo?
This picture was taken on New Year’s Eve of last year, Peterson in a hospital bed just days removed from surgery on his knee. Twelve months later, he single-handedly carried his team to his playoffs.
I’m only 19 years old, so it’s tough for me to have a legitimate opinion on who the best running back in NFL history is. My dad will tell me it’s Jim Brown. My older brother will argue Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders. Others will tell me Walter Payton, OJ Simpson, Marcus Allen or Gale Sayers. I’ve been watching football religiously for over a decade now, and I’ve seen LaDanian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, and Priest Holmes play.
Adrian Peterson is the greatest running back of this generation. Time will tell if he’s the greatest of all-time. But this season sure does a helluva lot to support that argument.
Just for kicks, here’s my list for the top 10 players worthy of the MVP, even if I say nobody but Peterson is worthy.
10. JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans
Watt’s season was outstanding. His 20.5 sacks are the most for a 3/4 end in NFL history. He had 60 plays that ended in negative yardage for the offence. My only problem with Watt is the Texans slipped at the end of the year, and you can argue that he’s not even the most valuable player on his own team (see, Arian Foster).
9. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Remember that video I put above? That was basically Lynch throughout the whole season, minus the earthquake it created. Lynch epitomized the Seattle attitude, with hard-nosed, in your face play. He welcomed contact instead of avoiding it for bigger yardage. And he was 3rd in the NFL in rushing behind Peterson and Washington rookie, Alfred Morris. Without him, the Seahawks aren’t the Seahawks, and it’d be tough to see them playing in the playoffs.
8. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
In the beginning of the season, the Seahawks were winning games despite Wilson. By the end of the season, they were winning games because of Wilson. The 3rd round pick carried this team through the second half, setting an NFL rookie-record for touchdown passes in a season. He had a passer rating of 100.0, good for 5th best in the NFL. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that Wilson would be a starting quarterback, let alone an MVP and rookie-of-the-year candidate,?
7. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Some people may be upset Ryan is only at number seven considering he led his team to the best record in the NFL. This isn’t a knock on Ryan. He finally took the next step, launching himself to the precipice of super stardom. I just wouldn’t put him on a level with Brady, Rodgers and Manning yet, and his stats left something to be desired.
6. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
I don’t even know where to start. This guy is amazing. 102.4 passer rating, over 700 yards rushing, ran the pistol offence perfectly, giving defenses fits all year long. Remember when the Redskins were 3-6 and evaluating talent for next year? That seems like light-years ago after a 7-game win streak to end the year and clinch the NFC East. And he’s a rookie. Go figure.
5. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
The fact that this team went from 1-15 to 11-5 and a wildcard berth simply by adding this Standford-standout is unthinkable. Through all the issues this team overcame, especially coach Chuck Pagano and his battle with leukemia, Luck stands in front of it all. Oh, and he’s a rookie too. #ChuckStrong
4. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
I wanted to put him higher on this list, but it’s tough after they slipped a little at the end of the season. Still, Brady is arguably the best quarterback in the business, and what he does year-in and year-out is unbelievable.
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Because of what he did last year (45 TDs, 6 INTs, 15-1), people tend to write off this season as a failure for Rodgers. But forgive him for setting the bar so high by having arguably the greatest season in the history of the NFL in 2012. This season, he was second in the NFL in TDs (39) while only throwing eight interceptions, led the league in passer rating with 108.0, and did this with a receiving corps that had everyone healthy for one week all year (week 1).
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Coming off four neck surgeries in two years and starting over with a completely new team is tough enough. Leading that team to a 13-3 record and the number-one seed in the AFC is crazy. Manning is just amazing, there’s nothing else to really say about the guy. In any other year, he’s the clear MVP.
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings