The votes for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player have been tabulated, and it’s been determined that Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson is the 2012 winner. Peterson created the blueprint for winning the award: suffer a debilitating injury, work extremely hard in the off-season, and then compile one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.
Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards in 2012, the second best total for a running back in NFL history. Peterson also averaged six yard per carry, which further solidifies the belief that the right man won the award.
However, no player in the NFL has meant more to his team than Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III. He was everything the Redskins asked for and more since the franchise selected him with the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. The man dubbed “RG3” threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns against five interceptions. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Those statistics were good enough to earn him NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The Redskins’ offensive workload was placed upon Griffin III’s shoulders, a considerable responsibility for a rookie. Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan instituted the read option and pistol offenses in an effort to take advantage of Griffin III’s running ability at the quarterback position. Griffin III gave the Redskins and their fans the belief that something special was going to happen every time he touched the ball. RG3 had the pressure of the entire franchise on his back to play well for Washington.
He responded to that pressure by leading the Redskins to a 10-6 record, as well as the franchise’s first NFC East title in 13 years. Simply put, Griffin III made the Washington Redskins relevant for the first time since before he was a toddler. That was a feat akin to putting ten pounds of potatoes into a five pound bag, which is something that’s simply impossible.
While Griffin III’s efforts in 2012 wasn’t enough for him to earn the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award, Redskins’ fans hope his debut season is a prelude of things to come.