The NFL regular season is over, and so is the headline format for NFL columns that I’ve been using. To let you guys into some of the stuff that muddles around in my head while I’m thinking about how best to stay informative and entertaining here on More Than a Fan, I let myself get stuck having to write certain things about the NFL after every week by using those Three Things I Know titles.
At the beginning of every season for every sport, I sit down and tell myself that I won’t let myself get stuck covering the league or a team like a beat writer. Not that beat writers are bad, I happen to like lots of them, but it’s just that I’m not a beat writer. If there has been any success here at MTAF at all, it’s been because we’re a great group of personalities that run our mouths about whatever we feel like.
There will be a lot of times during the football season that I’ll be talking NFL and/or my beloved Cleveland Browns, but if there’s a cricket match that strikes my fancy one Tuesday, I don’t want to have to run out of the time I need to write about it because I have to pick out some facts about the NFL. (Cricket has matches, right? Games didn’t sound right)
Now that that’s over, today’s column actually is about the NFL. Sorry to the cricket fans for getting their hopes up.
Adrian Peterson is the NFL MVP
Without a doubt. Let’s start with the reasons that we all know: 348 rushing attempts for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns. He led the league in rushing by over 400 yards and out-gained the top four other Vikings skill players combined.
There are so many statistics that help prove why Peterson is the MVP that I couldn’t possibly list them all here (okay, I could, but it’s New Year’s Eve, for Pete’s sake), but there’s still one big reason why Peterson might not win the NFL MVP; Peyton Manning.
There are many folks that would gladly give Manning the MVP award and Peterson the Comeback Player of the Year award instead of the other way around. (Let’s face it, the two of them are sweeping those two awards) Truthfully, the argument for Manning to win the MVP is pretty massive, too: 583 pass attempts, 68.3% completion, 4,659 yards for 37 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions.
So, we have two players that absolutely deserve the MVP who’ve both had stellar seasons. Both led their teams to the playoffs and both look to continue their success in the postseason. There’s got to be a something that makes them different.
The difference is the circumstances under which they’ve thrived.
Peyton Manning led a playoff team back to the playoffs. He had two receivers with 85+ receptions and 1,000+ yards. Sure, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker had better numbers with Manning this season than they had with Tim Tebow in 2011, but these guys weren’t made by Manning, they were just helped by Manning. How do I know? Because catching more than 25 passes with Tebow at quarterback pretty much ensures that you have pro bowler potential with a decent passer at the helm.
Adrian Peterson led a 3-13 offense to the playoffs. That’s right, in 2011 the Minnesota Vikings were 3-13 with an almost identical roster. Peterson only played in 12 games last season before mangling his knee and saw first hand that anything other than a Herculean effort on that stripped down Minnesota offense won’t get him anywhere. So that’s what he gave; a Herculean effort.
Adrian Peterson carried his team the way that running backs rarely are able. He carried a terrible team up the cellar stairs and made it all the way up to the top floor. That deserves NFL MVP.
Now, picking the future Super Bowl MVP is a different story…