The night before Super Bowl XLVII, the NFL will salute its best players and plays from the 2012 season with "NFL Honors," a star-studded football and entertainment event at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans. Just like last year, Alec Baldwin will host the proceedings, which will be broadcast on CBS at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 2.
One of the awards that will be presented on that Saturday night is the 2012 Most Valuable Player. Who gets your vote for NFL MVP?
As an actual voter, the choice was easy: PetersonI am one of the 50 voters for The Associated Press' NFL awards, and I didn't hesitate: The 2012 NFL MVP is Adrian Peterson.
Factor in the recovery from major knee surgery. Factor in his quarterback and receivers, and how opposing teams stacked the box and knew the Minnesota Vikings were going to run. Think about your expectations for the Vikes in the preseason. And look at how clutch he was in Week 16 against the Texans and Week 17 against the Packers, propelling Minny to the playoffs.
This was one of the greatest seasons ever by a running back.
Manning's profound impact on Denver can't be deniedPeyton Manning would receive my MVP vote. He elevated the entire Denver Broncos team with a combination of his play and leadership. He put up the necessary statistics to back up his value, while also leading his team to the AFC's top seed.
There are several worthy candidates (Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers), but I believe Manning is the right choice for the award.
Peterson had my support for a time, but Peyton's my final answerI have argued on behalf of Adrian Peterson in the past, but in the end, I think the award goes to Peyton Manning. He lived up to all the offseason pressure of being courted by multiple teams as the biggest free-agent since Reggie White -- not to mention overcoming what could have easily been a career-ending neck surgery.
Plus, the award has gone to a quarterback the past five years, so we might as well stay on trend.
Peterson's body of work more impressive than any quarterback's campaignMy top candidates are Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. All of them deserve the honor. Rodgers led the NFL in passer rating and led the Green Bay Packers to a division title -- accomplishing these feats with a below-average rushing attack and while getting sacked more than any other QB in the NFL. Brady and Manning both had outstanding years, too. My MVP, though, is Peterson. He came within 9 yards of breaking the single-season rushing record. Not only that, he carried the 10-6 Vikings to the playoffs almost single-handedly. His quarterback's passer rating was 21st in the NFL, so he did not get a lot of help from the aerial attack. Entering the season, I viewed Minnesota as a five-win team, probably a year away from making the postseason.
The three QBs all had great years, but none of them had a near record-breaking campaign. In fact, Peterson did break the record for most rushing yards over an eight-game span with 1,313.
I was riding the Manning bandwagon, but Peterson took this award down the stretchI was on the Peyton Manning bandwagon all season. But seeing Adrian Peterson turn it up a notch down the stretch -- when the Vikings needed their best player to do just that -- was special. Every time Peterson walked on the field, he was the best player on it.
Manning took an 8-8 Broncos team to new heights this season, but as a quarterback, he had much more control over his circumstances. Peterson had none; defenses knew he was getting the ball -- they were geared up to stop him, and still couldn't do it. At the end of the day, he gained over 2,000 yards on a one-dimensional club that made the playoffs, saving his best performances for when the Vikes had to have them.
Peyton will probably win it, but AD deserves itPeyton Manning is likely going to win the MVP award. But in reality, he took the Broncos, who reached the divisional round of the playoffs last season, and led them to ... the divisional round of the playoffs. What Andrew Luck did with Peyton's old team, the Indianapolis Colts, was more impressive.
My vote for MVP goes to Adrian Peterson, who carried Minnesota on his back. Seriously, the Vikings lost Percy Harvin and had Christian Ponder at quarterback. If that doesn't earn AD the award, nothing will.