NFL Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson Definitely Belongs in NFL MVP Discussion

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

After yet another amazing performance Sunday, Adrian Peterson for NFL MVP talks are finally starting to heat up. From morning radio discussions, to topics on sports talk shows, people are finally beginning to truly acknowledge his amazing season.

Up to this weekend all the talk had been about Peterson’s miraculous recovery from ACL knee surgery. Never before have we seen a player return to form so quickly after major surgery, and we’ve certainly never seen anyone come back and arguably be better.

Peterson is currently leading the league in rushing (1,128), and is on pace to exceed his career high for yards in a season. This is just nothing short of remarkable when you consider the normal recovery timetable from ACL surgery, and the typical decline in production most running backs experience the following season.

I’ll be the first to admit that I thought Peterson wouldn’t put up his normal numbers in 2012. I believed that he would play week one, and that he would get to 1,000 yards rushing, but I never dreamed of the season that’s unfolding before our eyes.

So with this ridiculous display has finally come talk of MVP for Peterson, and why not? At this point he at least has to be in the discussion. By the true definition of who the award is supposed to go to, AP means as much to the Minnesota Vikings as anyone else does for their team in the league. He has undeniably carried his team at times this season.

Only Arian Foster (252) has been utilized on more plays this season than Peterson (231).

The unfortunate thing for AP is that the award now seems to have an association with quarterbacks, as some have devalued running backs in today’s “pass-happy,” league. A running back has not won the award since 2006 when LaDainian Tomlinson and his 28 rushing touchdowns took home the hardware. Every year since, a quarterback has won the honor.

So at this point, Peterson doesn’t seem to have that great of a chance to win his first MVP award. Peyton Manning is the front-runner in the eyes of many, and it’s tough to argue against that selection. All I’m asking is that people at least consider AP for the league’s highest individual honor. He’s earned his way into the conversation, and if he keeps up on this torrid pace, you never know what could happen.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish