Posts Tagged ‘Comeback Player of the Year’

Adrian Peterson’s MVP Season: Best Ever by a Running Back

In Inspiration and Motivation, Sports on December 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson entered the final game of the season needing 208 rushing yards to break Eric Dickerson’s record of 2105 rushing yards which was set in 1984.  The odds against any running back rushing for over 200 yards on any given Sunday are not great, but Adrian Peterson is not any running back and defying the odds is something that he has done every game this season.

After suffering a torn ACL in the second-to-last game of the 2011 season, no one expected much from Peterson this season.  Although the recovery time can be shorter, for most athletes, it takes 12 months to fully recover from a torn ACL.  Most running backs will be able to play the following year, but it usually takes two years to get back to their pre-injury playing level.  Peterson is not most running backs, but if he follows the recovery route of other running backs, he should be even better next season, which should send shivers down the spines of defensive coordinators around the league.

Many people want to reward Peterson’s incredible season with the Comeback Player of the Year Award, but he doesn’t deserve it because, miraculously, he only missed one game with his injury.  That award should go to Peyton Manning for coming back from a serious neck injury that sidelined him for the 2011 season, and resulted in his departure from the Indianapolis Colts.

Ironically, Peterson and Manning are also the two names that top the list for the NFL MVP Award.  While many think that Manning is deserving of the award because of his incredible season with the Denver Broncos, Peterson absolutely deserves to be the MVP.

Even though he fell nine yards short of breaking Dickerson’s long-standing rushing record, Peterson’s season was the best ever by an NFL running back.

In 2002, New York Jets head coach, Herman Edwards, famously stated…“you play to win the game!”

Because of Peterson’s unbelievable season, the Minnesota Vikings were in position to beat the rival Green Bay Packers and secure a spot in the playoffs.  They were put in the position to kick the game winning field goal because of Peterson’s 28-yard run that put him within 9 yards of the rushing title.  If the Vikings had no shot at the playoffs, they may very well have called a timeout and given Peterson the ball again to try and get the record.  They may have been content to have the game end in a tie so that they could give Peterson the ball again in overtime to try and break the record.  But that 28-yard run would be the last time that Peterson would touch the ball in the regular season.  When Blair Walsh’s kick squeezed inside the left upright, Peterson’s chance at the record was gone, but his team was in the playoffs.

What makes Peterson’s season the best ever by a running back is the fact that everyone knew that he was getting the ball because the Vikings have a very limited passing attack, and yet, no one was able to contain him.  The fact that he was tearing apart opposing defenses on a knee that was torn apart at the end of the 2011 season only adds to allure of his incredible season.

The record books will show Peterson rushing for 2097 yards in the 2012 season, 9 yards short of breaking Dickerson’s record, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  Peterson carried an entire team on his surgically repaired knee to a surprising playoff berth. Without him, the Vikings most certainly would not have made the playoffs, and quite likely would have been picking near the top of the draft in April.  With all due respect to Peyton Manning, who had an incredible season, Adrian Peterson is the clear-cut choice for MVP of the 2012 season.

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