Manning was the favorite to capture the award entering the season, but Peterson's electric return from reconstructive knee surgery has been awesome to watch.
It seems to be a race that can go either way, though that's not how Peterson sees it. In a bit of bravado that's hard not enjoy, "All Day" believes it's a done deal.
"It was something that flashed across my mind, me knowing what I was going to be able to do, being where I'm at now," Peterson told The Associated Press. "I kind of have that in the bag, especially how I've been telling people I'm going to come back stronger and better than ever. So I've pretty much zip-locked that in a bag and sealed it. It'll be cool to win it."
Peterson -- who leads the NFL with 1,600 rushing yards -- is hoping he'll add an MVP trophy to his collection as well, though he believes the odds are against that given his position.
"The MVP, man, that's something that I've always wanted to grab," he said. "I work hard. I want to be the best player to play this game, so with that, MVP awards come.
"But I know this league and how it is, man. They're kind of biased to the quarterback, which is unfortunate. They make it hard for other players to win it, but I will."
Peterson is 506 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record with three games to play. Break that mark and you have yourself a genuine bias buster.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.