For much of the 2012 season, Adrian Peterson seemed like a lock for the Comeback Player of the Year. What he had accomplished coming back from a torn ACL and MCL was nothing short of amazing. But, once his numbers started piling up, Peterson was vaulted into the discussion for Most Valuable Player.
On Saturday night, Peterson won the MVP Award at the 2nd Annual NFL Honors awards program at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans, distancing himself from Peyton Manning to win the MVP. Peterson’s miraculous comeback was sparked by rushing 348 times for 2,097 yards – just nine yards shy of the all-time single-season rushing record.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as the league’s most valuable player,” Peterson said. “While the award is considered an individual achievement, I couldn’t have had the success that I did without my teammates, my coaches and the Vikings organization. I’m blessed to be a member of the Vikings, and I hope next year we can get the ultimate team award by bringing a Super Bowl championship to Minnesota.”
In a statement, Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said that the team wanted to congratulate Peterson on the award and his incredible recovery.
“As an organization, we are extremely proud of Adrian’s accomplishments this past season,” Wilf said. “He is a great representative of the Minnesota Vikings both on and off the field, and we want to congratulate him on this incredible honor.”
The NFL Honors telecast was at 8 p.m. Central Saturday on CBS. A couple of the other top honors were Houston defensive end J.J. Watt winning the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year Award, Manning winning the Comeback Player of the Year and Dallas tight end Jason Witten winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Peterson’s return from his devastating injury had many crossing their fingers that he could return to the form he had showed prior to the injury. Few would have believed that, not only did he come back, but he put together one of the greatest individual seasons in NFL history and is a deserving winner of the Most Valuable Player trophy.
Peterson joins QB Fran Tarkenton (1975) and DT Alan Page (1971) as the only Vikings to win the Associated Press MVP award. He becomes the first running back to win MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson (2006), breaking a streak of five consecutive years with a quarterback winning the award. The Palestine, Texas, native becomes the 16th different running back to gain the honor.
In addition to the MVP honor, Peterson’s awards from 2012 include the AP and Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers Association Offensive Player of the Year, FedEx Ground Player of the Year, first-team All-Pro, Pro Bowl starter, Pro Football Weekly/PFWA Comeback Player of the Year and NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year, among others.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.