On Saturday's NFL Honors award show in New Orleans, the 2012-13 NFL MVP will be announced.
Here's to hoping a running back wins it for the first time since the 2006 season.
The NFL has transitioned to more of a passing league in recent years as players like Manning and Brady put up gaudy stats. It has even led to some teams drafting differently, making sure to address the secondary and the pass rush first and foremost.
But Peterson showed just how valuable a running back can still be in the 2012-13 campaign, racking up a league-leading 2,097 rushing yards and 2,314 total yards. He came nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's season rushing record. That included 13 total touchdowns (12 rushing, one receiving).
But it's about more than the stats for the AP. After all, it's safe to say the Minnesota Vikings wouldn't have even made the playoffs without the five-time Pro Bowler.
The Vikings went 10-6 this season, grabbing the NFC's sixth and final seed in the process. They did this despite second-year quarterback Christian Ponder averaging 6.08 yards per pass attempt, good for 31st among 32 qualifying quarterbacks.
Peterson had an astounding 10 100-yard rushing games during the 2012-13 campaign. That included eight consecutive 100-yard games and two 200-yard games (he posted 199 rushing yards in the 37-34 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season finale).
Keep in mind, this was despite defenses stacking the box against him. It's hard enough to produce like this when you have a balanced offense. The fact that Peterson did this with defenses dialed in on him is frankly hard to believe.
In fact, situations in which defenses had more defenders playing the rush than available blockers, Peterson rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries (according to ESPN Stats & Info via ESPN).
Manning and Brady also had spectacular regular seasons, but no one did so much with so little talent surrounding him than Peterson.
It may be a "quarterback league," but it was a running back's league in 2012-13.
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