Adrian Peterson is Truly Most Valuable Player, Not the Best Player on the Best Team

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With a national audience taking notice, Adrian Peterson showed why he is deserving of the NFL MVP award on Sunday.

The star running back totaled 199 yards and two touchdowns in the Minnesota Vikings playoff-clinching win over the Green Bay Packers. Without a doubt, Peterson was the difference in the game. At times he was flat out unstoppable. Without Peterson, the Vikings don’t win that game, and without him at all, they’d be nowhere near the playoffs.

At this point there are really only three names most are considering for the MVP award: Peterson, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. To me, it’s a two-horse race between Manning and Peterson.

When analyzing who should receive the MVP award, I like to consider what the team would be like if they removed the MVP candidate. If you take Peterson off of the Vikings, they are likely a last place team. If you take Manning off of the Broncos, they would still be a playoff contender (which we saw in 2011).

Now I love Peyton Manning, I think he’s in the discussion for best quarterback of all-time, but this year he’s a very close second for MVP. Any other year and I’d be making a sales pitch for him, but not this year.

Adrian Peterson carried his team to the playoffs. At times this season he just took over games, and was just flat out the best player on the field. In the game Sunday against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers was really, really good. He had the same impact for Green Bay in that without him, the Packers would have gotten ran out of the building. But Peterson was still the best player on the field, even with the defending league MVP on the other side.

To me, Manning is the best player on the best team, while Peterson is truly most valuable. Unless I’m not understanding the definition of ‘most valuable player,’ as in ‘most important to the sport,’ AP is epitome of who the award should go to.

So it will come down to the league’s leading rusher against one of the top passers. It’s no doubt a passing league, and an award that recent history tells us will go to a quarterback. Going into Sunday’s game I didn’t think Peterson would win the  award, but after the performance he put on against the Packers, he may have won some voters over.

Manning makes a good team into a very good team, while Peterson makes an average team into a good team. Adrian Peterson is the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish


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