Ranking the Top 25 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Candidates

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Ranking the Top 25 NFL Offensive Player of the Year Candidates
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year Adrian Peterson is among the top candidates to win the award in 2013.

Since 1972, the Associated Press has annually recognized the NFL's most outstanding offensive player with the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award.

That description comes with a caveat. While the award is technically open to players at any offensive position, it has never been won by an offensive lineman or tight end.

The award is typically given to the league's most productive quarterback or running back. Of the 41 times it has been given, it's been won 39 times by either a quarterback or running back. The exception is San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, who won the award in both 1987 and 1993.

While team success is certainly taken into consideration with the NFL MVP Award, the Offensive Player of the Year award typically trends most toward the quarterback or running back who has the year's most impressive statistical production. Therefore, the following slideshow breaks down the players most likely to put up the league's most impressive statistical production, with a heavy emphasis on quarterbacks and wide receivers.

*All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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