Wednesday, January 2, 2013


With the 2012 NFL regular season officially in the books, it's time to look back and determine who earned the title of the league's Most Valuable Player. There are three standout candidates, all with compelling cases, all worthy in their own right. Each one enjoyed tremendous individual success over the past 17 weeks and helped his team reach the postseason, but one rose above the pack and is the frontrunner to win the award.

3. Tom Brady
Brady once again guided the league's most prolific offense by getting the most out of New England's deep arsenal of weapons in Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. The two-time MVP amassed 4,827 passing yards--the second highest total of his distinguished career--and limited his mistakes, posting the lowest interception percentage in the league. His name is plastered over the NFL leaderboards, for the 35 year-old placed in the top five in nearly every passing category. Tom Terrific is a longshot to take home the trophy but has the best chance to win more valuable hardware: another Super Bowl ring.

2. Peyton Manning
After sitting out all of 2011 and getting released by the Colts (fortunate to draft a good replacement in Andrew Luck), the 36 year-old field general came back and added another MVP-caliber season to his Hall of Fame resume. Even more impressively, he single-handedly transformed a mediocre offense that used to rely on Tim Tebow's miracles into one of the league's most dangerous passing teams that outscored every team not named the Patriots. Eli Manning's big brother threw for 37 touchdowns, posted the league's second highest passer rating (behind only reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers) and completed 68.6 of his 583 pass attempts--tied with Matt Ryan for the best rate in the NFL--all while leading Denver to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC. Although Brady's stats are neck and neck with Manning's numbers, Manning's season was more valuable because his supporting cast was not quite as deep nor talented as Brady's receiving corps. However, you could make the case that neither one was the top quarterback last year since Drew Brees accrued the most yards and TDs, Rodgers boasted the best passer rating and Luck led the most game-winning drives.

1. Adrian Peterson
The NFL's leading rusher and MVP favorite rebounded from a down 2011 plagued by injury to have a historic year. Peterson racked up 2,097 rushing yards, falling just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's single season record. AP also led the league with with 2,314 total yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving yards combined) while helping 10-6 Minnesota clinch a playoff berth with its 37-34 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. With his eye-popping numbers and timely late-season surge, Peterson is the clear-cut choice for this year's MVP.


  1. Peterson definitely deserves consideration, but he doesn't deserve it over Peyton. When Chris Johnson rushed for 2000 yards, he received 0 MVP votes. The QB position remains by far the most important position in the league, and Peyton was certainly the best QB in the league this year. And from what happened to the Colts last year, which you could make a case for Peyton being MVP last year despite not playing a snap, which shows just how awesome he is, it should be obvious that he is MVP. The media frenzy seems to be wanting Peterson for MVP, which is what usually drives the voters, should be close.

  2. True, but Peterson was incredible during the second half of the season. The Vikings were 6-6 but won their last four games to make the playoffs, and they couldn't have done it without Peterson. Peterson was far and away the best running back this year, whereas Manning was the best quarterback but barely. Brady, Brees, and Ryan all had awesome years too.

    1. Lots of QBs had great seasons, as is the case every year. And contrary to what you think, there were several other great seasons by RBs. Peterson was only 3rd in rushing TDs in the league. I know, that could be misleading, just like any other stat, but just saying.

      Brees was certainly not even close to the 3rd best QB. His team missed the playoffs, was a wreck all season, and he threw 19 picks.

      We can say Peterson was amazing for 1/2 the season, or we can say Peyton was amazing for the whole season.

      And I just don't agree with the line of thinking th at one guy at a particular is much better than the #2 guy more than the #1 guy at another position is over that #2 guy. That doesn't make any sense to me. Otherwise, just find the weakest position usually, and that's not right. The QB position is infinitely more important and valuable than any other position in football.

  3. This is the year of "the" RB, singular. TDs are not the measure of a RB. Give the man some love. I don't care if Johnson didn't get the MVP that season he was chasing E.D., that doesn't mean he shouldn't or wasn't seriously considered.

    The first two games of the season, even though Peterson was running hard, the coaches spelled him with Gerhart every other series. Also, the coaches went heavy with Harvin before Harvin went out with an injury. There is a chance that Peterson could have shattered that record.

    He also did this on a team that was 3-13 last season. Brady and Manning were playing on playoff teams from the previous year. If you are going to alternate Manning and Brady for MVP every other year until they retire, that seems pretty boring when there are other players that have exceptional years.

  4. Without Peterson, the Vikings don't make the playoffs and are lucky to scrape .500. Without Manning, the Broncos are still a good team and probably make the playoffs (but obviously arent the best team in the AFC). They made the playoffs last year with Tim Tebow as their QB for god's sake.

    I think Peterson had a greater impact on his team's success and was worth just a little bit more.