Adrian Peterson Wins a Well-Deserved Most Valuable Player

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 30: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings after a game against Green Bay Packers on December 30, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. (Photo by Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

Just rename the award "Most Valuable Peterson" and be done with it.

After much back-and-forth and a tremendous amount of (usually) healthy debate, Adrian Peterson walked away with the NFL's award for Most Valuable Player—as well as Offensive Player of the Year (per Barry Wilner of The Associated Press).

Peyton Manning walked away with the Comeback Player of the Year award, so "All Day" didn't sweep the categories, but he got the one that says it all (per Barry Wilner of the AP).

Some Minnesota Vikings fans may not want to hear it, but I'm not sure the team makes eight wins this season without him. I'm certain they don't make the playoffs.

To come off an obliterated knee and run for over 2,000 yards is staggering. That 1,019 yards came after contact is ridiculous. His yards after contact would have placed him as the 16th most effective running back in the league this year. He led the league in carries of over 20 yards. His 27 was 15 more than the next running back.

Peterson also had (according to ESPN Stats & Info) a record seven 150-yard games this season:

It's a phenomenal season even without the massive knee reconstruction.

Add that in, and what can you say?

Really though, this wouldn't matter if they didn't win games.

While playoffs shouldn't be a huge factor, many people felt it was. And as I said, Peterson carried this team into the playoffs.

For me, it all started in Week 3 when Peterson hammered away at the San Francisco 49ers defense for four quarters. It wasn't even close to his biggest game, but it was a critical one.

The Niners defense was worn down by physical play that began out of the backfield.

Did he win the game himself? No, but he showed the way and his play was a big reason for their victory, which in turn made this team believe in what it could do.

Playoffs included.

When Percy Harvin went down, Peterson stepped up. When Christian Ponder imploded, "All Day" picked up the pieces.

When it comes down to it, he took a youthful team of promise and showed them how to work hard and win games. He wanted to be the best—and showed this team they can be as well.

If that doesn't scream "Most Valuable Player" then what else does?


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