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Sports

Adrian Peterson is Clearly the NFL MVP

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Maybe he’ll be 85 percent by midseason.

If Minnesota is lucky, he’ll be back in football shape by the end of the year.

We may never see the All-Pro running back we’ve come to know.

Those are some of the thoughts that Minnesota Vikings All-Universe running back Adrian Peterson swiftly put to rest this year following his return from ACL and MCL surgery.

Adrian Peterson would have shattered expectations if he had a 1200+ yard season. History taught us that even the best recoveries take time, and seeing as his injury occurred on December 24, it was seen as nearly impossible for Peterson to be ready for the season.

Forget the knee injury; AP is having a career year that has the potential to be the greatest running back season ever.

Numbers don’t capture the raw power and speed that Peterson brings to every carry, but they are still jaw-dropping f. He averaged 83 yards per game over the first six contests of the season, already defying expectations and proving that he had regained at least part of his breakaway speed and agility. Then the next eight games happened. Peterson has amassed 1313 yards on the ground over the eight contests. That is an NFL record. He’s averaging an absurd 164 yards per game during that stretch, but once again, numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Other than Peterson, Minnesota’s offense is non-existent.  Minnesota’s receiving corps struggles to get open virtually every game and quarterback Christian Ponder has devolved into an inept “game manager” who is unable to manage the game. With every passing week, Minnesota’s reliance on Peterson grows. And with every passing week, Peterson’s production seems to climb.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are having absolutely phenomenal years. Peyton has overcome serious neck problems and Brady has strung together yet another great season in New England. Both players’ value to their respective teams cannot be understated, but it still must be noted that they have significant help.

Peyton has the assistance of the fourth ranked defense and a talented group of receivers, while Brady has a solid defense and arguably even better pass catchers. The Denver Broncos clearly revolve around Peyton Manning but they are a good team. The Patriots would undoubtedly be mediocre with another signal caller but they are still a good team.

Peterson is “helped” by the league’s 20th ranked defense and a passing attack that is dead last in the NFL. All teams have to do is stop him, but they just can’t. There’s one player that they have to be concerned about, but he still shreds opposing defenses every Sunday. It’s hard to imagine the Patriots without Brady or the Broncos without Peyton, but it is downright horrifying to picture a Peterson-less Minnesota team. If Peterson missed one game it would likely be the deciding factor to elevate him in the MVP race.

The Vikings are staying alive in the playoff race and that can be largely attributed to Peterson. It’s difficult to imagine how exactly Minnesota would have won last week against St. Louis without Peterson’s helpful 212 rushing yards.

Manning and Brady are both deserving of every accolade thrown their way, but they haven’t single handedly put their team in playoff position despite having no help from the rest of the roster. Throw in the fact that Peterson tore his ACL not one year ago and you are looking at one of the greatest seasons for any player in NFL history.

Any running back approaching the NFL rushing record needs to get some MVP consideration, but when you factor in all the debilitating circumstances that the Minnesota Vikings provide, there is no question who has been most valuable to their team.

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