NFL MVP 2012: Power Ranking Candidates for League's Top Award

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

With the 2012 NFL regular season drawing to a close, it’s time to start power ranking the potential MVP candidates and figure out which player is the right choice for the award.

There are many stars this season worthy of the top honor in the sport, but a select few have separated themselves from the field with their elite play and consistency throughout the season.

All of the following NFL superstars have played amazing and must be considered for the NFL’s MVP award this season.

 

No. 3: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

While it is hard for some voters to get behind a defensive player winning MVP, there is little doubt that Houston Texans' star defensive end J.J. Watt deserves to be at least considered for the award at season’s end.

Watt has emerged as one of the best defensive linemen in the entire NFL, showing an innate ability to not only disrupt the opponent's passing attack, but stifle the run with the best of them as well.

The Texans’ star leads the NFL in sacks with 20.5, leads the league in tackles for loss with 20 and ranks second in passes defensed with 15.

While there have been great defensive stars across the league in 2012, Watt's unbelievable numbers prove that he is MVP worthy.

 

No. 2: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

After tearing his ACL and MCL on Dec. 24, 2011, many experts questioned when Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson would return in the 2012 NFL regular season, as well as how effective he would be.

With 1,898 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns, Peterson answered the questions about his knee recovery emphatically by running towards Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards.

While Peterson may not obtain that stat, the fact that he could go over 2,000 yards just months after undergoing extensive knee surgery is a testament to just how dominant of an athlete this young man really is.

If he has a monster game Sunday, Peterson will force his way into MVP consideration.

 

No. 1: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

Even though his team had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season, Denver Broncos' veteran quarterback Peyton Manning was coming back from missing all of the 2011 season with neck surgery and had signed with a new team in a new division.

After 16 weeks of NFL action, the Broncos sit at 12-3 on the season and are one of the most complete teams in the AFC. While the defensive unit in Denver deserves immense credit, Manning’s offensive numbers have been flat-out amazing.

With 4,355 yards and 34 touchdowns through the air so far this season, Manning has proven that not only does he deserve to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award for his 2012 performance, he deserves his fifth MVP award as well.

How’s that for a resurgence?

 

Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.

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