After defeating the St. Louis Rams, the Minnesota Vikings are sitting at 8-6, with a chance to make the NFC Playoffs. And considering Christian Ponder, who is probably one of the worst five worst QBs in all of the NFL is behind center, that’s pretty impressive. While the Vikings have a good defense, the reason why they are winning games – let alone being competitive – is because of one man and one man only – - Adrian Peterson.
With his 212 rushing yards yesterday, Peterson now has rushed for 1,812 yards this season, which includes 11 touchdowns and an astounding 6.3 yards per carry. Peterson is now 293 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s rushing record, which has stood the test of time for 28 years.
That should be more than enough for Peterson to take home the MVP award, yet the NFL loves to hand out their reward to the best quarterback that is on the best team. We haven’t seen a running back win the MVP award since 2006, when LaDanian Tomlison took home the hardware after he set the NFL record for touchdowns in a season. Basically, the only way a running back has a chance of winning the MVP award is if they set some sort of record:
2005: Shaun Alexander – Had the touchdown record, until LT broke it the following year.
2003: Jamal Lewis - - Over 2,000 yards
2000, 2001: Marshall Faulk – - TD record (at the time) and over 2,000 yards from scrimmage.
1998: Terrell Davis – - Over 2,000 yards
1997: Barry Sanders – - Split the award with Brett Favre, had over 2,000 yards.
As you see, 2,000 rushing yard seasons or touchdown records seem to be benchmark for running backs to win the award.
This definitely isn’t a knock against Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers, seeing as those three quarterbacks have all had amazing seasons. But without Peterson, to paraphrase Jim Boeheim when he was talking about Gerry McNamara: “Without Adrian Peterson, we wouldn’t have won three *beep* games”.
Unlike the three amazing QBs listed above, Peterson’s Vikings may miss out on the playoffs, but it shouldn’t matter. On the offensive side of the ball, there hasn’t been a player in the NFL who has made as much as an impact as Peterson. Even though that should be enough to win the award, it probably won’t be. The award will go to Manning, which is understandable.
Understandable, but wrong.