Adrian Peterson (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY)
Adrian Peterson went from plenty of doubters entering the 2012 season to all kinds of respect following the season, being named the top player of 2013 by NFL Network Thursday night.
After being named the MVP of the NFL in 2012, Adrian Peterson was voted No. 1 in NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2103.
Peterson ran for 2,097 yards in 2012, only eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s all-time single-season rushing record.
“I feel like I can do it again … I’ve thought in the past that I should have been No. 1 before,” Peterson told NFL Network.
The network revealed its top 10 players on Thursday night. Peyton Manning was second, Calvin Johnson third, Tom Brady fourth, J.J. Watt fifth, Aaron Rodgers sixth, Aldon Smith seventh, Arian Foster eighth, Von Miller ninth and Patrick Willis 10th.
The Vikings’ Jared Allen was 60th and Chad Greenway was 70th while former Viking Percy Harvin, now with the Seattle, was 90th.
“I had a good feeling without being cocky that I would be No. 1,” Peterson said. “I kind of made that assumption with the MVP. I was like, ‘Well, I don’t see how I wouldn’t be No. 1 knowing that I won MVP,’ so I kind of put myself there.”
His selection didn’t seem to surprise anyone, including Foster, the next-highest ranked running back at No. 8.
“AP, he’s been so dominant for so long and he continues to do that,” Foster said on NFL Network. “To see what he did after the injury he had, people don’t do that.”
Peterson’s incredible 2012 season came after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in December 2011. He returned to rush for 100 yards or more in nine of his final 10 regular season games in 2012, including two 200-yard efforts. He had a record seven runs over 50 yards.
“I don’t think he’s human. I think he’s a robot,” Tampa Bay Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.
Other players called him a “human super hero” and “Wolverine.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.