What a year for incredible performances. Two of the best to ever play their respected positions, Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson put on a show.
The Debate for Manning
Peyton Manning hadn’t played football in well over a year and in that period had two neck surgeries. He came back into the league and went to a new system in Denver where the struggles were prevalent early on. The Broncos lost 3 of their first 5 games of the season and there were doubters, myself being one of them, about whether Manning still had it or if the Broncos were just getting situated. After that third loss against New England, something clicked. The Broncos went on an 11-game winning streak, the best of the season in the NFL, and Manning was nothing short of fantastic. He managed to throw for over 4,350 yards with 34 touchdowns and a rating of 103.7.
The Debate for Peterson
One year ago, Adrian Peterson tore his ALC and MCL In the final game of the 2011 regular season against the Redskins. A year later, he came up just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record. Peterson is just one of seven running backs ever to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season and is the only one to do it after having reconstructive knee surgery. The injury Peterson sustained has an average recovery time of over 8 months. He came back in less than six months. This year, Peterson average 126.5 yards per game, most in the NFL. He also had 12 touchdowns which was 2nd in the NFL. Peterson also managed seven rushes of 50 yards or more this season, tying Barry Sanders for the all-time record. The craziest part of Peterson’s amazing season was that he didn’t even have a 100 yard game until week 4 against the Lions, where he managed a measly 102 yards.
The Final Word
Manning and Peterson had amazing seasons. Manning managed to take the Broncos to the AFC’s #1 seed. Peterson fell just short of the all-time NFL rushing record for yards in a season. Both gave great cases as to why they deserve the title of Most Valuable Player. However, I think Peyton Manning going into a new organization after not playing football for over a year makes him the winner. This would be Manning’s NFL record fifth MVP and would be well deserved.