Adrian Peterson Named 2012 AP Offensive Player of the Year

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during a game against the Green Bay Packers on December 30, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's historic 2012 season has been rewarded with the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award as tweeted by Will Brinson of CBS Sports: 

One of the leading MVP candidates, Peterson went from being a superstar to superhuman thanks to his amazing work on the field this season. 

After suffering a torn ACL in Week 16 of the 2011 season, there was some doubt about whether Peterson would be the same again. He quickly proved the skeptics wrong with an incredible performance that lifted his team into the postseason for the first time since 2009. 

Peterson played in all 16 games, ran for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had a streak of eight games from Week 7-15 where he ran for at least 100 yards. He averaged 6.0 yards per carry, best in the NFL among running backs. 

In the biggest game of the season for the Vikings, Week 17 against Green Bay, in a must-win situation to get the team in the playoffs, Peterson ran for 199 yards and one touchdown in a 37-34 victory. 

As great as players like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were this season, they were part of a select few quarterbacks who dominated the league. 

Peterson, as a running back, was the best and most dominant player at his position. Of his 2,097 yards, he gained 1,019 of them after first contact. That is almost impossible to do in a league where the defenders are so fast and can attack out of nowhere if you get slowed down. 

We know that the NFL has become a quarterback-driven league, but it is nice to see that a great running back can still take over games. Peterson is a rare breed and his efforts this season merit all the accolades he will receive.