The man who almost single-handedly pushed the Minnesota Vikings into the playoffs has won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award (and is the first Viking to win the award since Fran Tarkenton back in 1975):
Adrian Peterson racked up a bunch of awards on the night, starting with the NFL Fantasy Football Player of the Year Award. Peterson thanked the folks that drafted him in fantasy football this year … NO PROBLEM, ADRIAN … because that’s just the kind of guy he is.
The next award Peterson racked up on the evening was the award for NFL Offensive Player of the Year, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
The biggest highlight, however, was when Peterson was named the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League. This morning, I wondered whether or not Peterson would be able to fend off the challenge of Peyton Manning for the award, and it turns out that he did. In a season that started just eight months after Peterson had surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL (among other damage), he put together a season for the ages, rushing for 2,097 yards. That’s the second-highest total in NFL history, and just eight yards fewer than Eric Dickerson’s all-time single-season record of 2,105 yards. He also led the way in taking a Vikings’ team that was a 3-13 disaster the year before to a 10-6 record and a spot in the 2012 NFL playoffs.
There will be some people that will jump up and down and throw a fit about Manning not getting the award, but really … and yes, I’m biased … but Peterson really was the best choice for the award. If you base the award on who had the best season, nobody had a better year in 2012 than Adrian Peterson. If you base the award on who meant the most to their team, nobody meant more to their team than Adrian Peterson meant to the Vikings in 2012.
Judd Zulgad has more:
Peterson, who suffered torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee late in 2011, finished this season with 2,097 yards rushing on 348 carries, giving him an average of 6 yards per attempt, and 12 touchdowns.
His rushing total was the second best in NFL history behind the 2,105 yards that Eric Dickerson had in 1984 with the Los Angeles Rams.
Peterson beat out Peyton Manning, who in his first season as Denver’s quarterback contended for a fifth MVP trophy. Manning’s four are a record.
Peterson received 30½ votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Manning, who also won the Comeback Player of the Year award after missing the 2011 season following neck surgery, got the other 19½ votes for MVP.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as the league’s most valuable player,” Peterson said in a statement issued by the team. “While the award is considered an individual achievement, I couldn’t have had the success that I did without my teammates, my coaches and the Vikings organization. I’m blessed to be a member of the Vikings, and I hope next year we can get the ultimate team award by bringing a Super Bowl championship to Minnesota.”