Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why Adrian Peterson Deserves the 2013 NFL MVP Award

After fueling the Minnesota Vikings to a 37-34 win at home over their arch-rivals, the Green Bay Packers, it's clear that Adrian Peterson has earned the MVP award. He posted 199 yards, leaving him just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's regular season rushing record (2,105 yards on the ground), but giving him a place as the second best single-season rusher in NFL history.

Peterson's efforts throughout the season helped the Vikings post an unprecedented 10-6 record, when most casual fans and paid analysts alike expected them to finish well outside of the playoffs. Not too unrealistic of an expectation for a team with a below average passing attack, and a defense with great talent on the line but one that had also been possessed with inconsistent play over the years (particularly from the secondary). Additionally, the Vikings two best offensive players came into the season with big question marks. Would Percy Harvin finally be able to stay healthy? Would Adrian Peterson still be Adrian Peterson coming off the ACL injury? "No" and "yes" would be the answers to those two questions respectively. Not only was Adrian Peterson able to stay healthy, but he posted by far the best season of his career, posting dominating performances week after week, to carry a mediocre Vikings team to the 6th best record in the NFC.

Some might argue that guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and even Robert Griffin III are more deserving of the MVP award than Adrian Peterson. After all, those the former two players led their teams to much more impressive records than Peterson did, and all three supposedly have a larger impact on the game since they play the "most important position", quarterback. To that I raise the question. What is the true meaning of most valuable? Well if you view it as the guy your team simply cannot do without, then Adrian Peterson should undoubtedly be crowned the winner in the coming weeks. Manning, Brady and RG3 are all surrounded by significantly more talent than AP is on the Vikings, and although their teams would not be Superbowl threats without them; they would still be somewhat competitive. Take Peterson off the Vikings, and you're left with the inexperienced Christian Ponder trying to pass his way to wins, while doing nothing but throwing the team out of the game. Ponder isn't a big play quarterback, and the Vikings don't have much of a receiving core outside of Percy Harvin; Adrian Peterson's unmatched rushing attack was essential to this team winning just a SINGLE game this season, let alone ten. If you want to talk about true "value" to his team, Adrian Peterson is right at the top of the list in the NFL, and that's why he should be the AP (no pun intended) NFL MVP in 2013.