Such a great season for Peterson didn't look possible after a nasty injury ended his 2011-12 campaign. The Vikings running back suffered a torn ACL and MCL and it wasn't known if he could return for the start of this season, let alone be effective once he got back.
But Peterson proved both notions wrong and came back better than ever just in time for the start of his near record-breaking season.
He compiled an astounding 2,097 yards, good enough for second most in a single season in league history and fell just nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's record (2,105).
On a game-to-game basis, no player in the NFL was as consistent and dominant as he was.
Peterson broke the 100-yard mark 10 times during the season and did so in eight of his last nine games. If he had gained one more yard against the Green Bay Packers in the team's season finale, Peterson would have broken the 200-yard mark three times in his MVP-caliber season.
His big play ability was a huge factor in his team's success and that was on full display with Peterson busting 27 runs of 20 yards or more, good enough for tops in the NFL. If that isn't enough evidence of a major impact, Peterson accounted for 13 of the team's 34 offensive touchdowns.
All of this and Peterson had next to no support from the rest of the offensive unit.
Quarterback Christian Ponder was no great shakes for Minnesota and certainly didn't provide the necessary backup that a featured back would desire. Ponder was mostly inconsistent the entire season, as evidenced by the Vikings finishing ranked No. 31 in the passing game.
So, despite the fact that teams knew exactly what the Vikings were going to do on the offensive end, it didn't matter a lick as Peterson just ran right through or around them anyway.
Not a soul on this earth gave the Vikings a chance to make the playoffs this season, but Peterson single-handedly changed that.
With little talent around him and a very predictable offensive approach, Peterson still had a legendary season and was monumental in the Vikings' improbable run. If that isn't the definition of what the Most Valuable Player should be, I don't know what is.
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